Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. -William Morris
I have already been to several clients homes in the past month since starting my business and one of the resounding questions I keep getting is “How can I stay more organized?”. The answer is…It’s hard. As a family of seven we have a constant influx of things coming and going in our home. Simplifying, having less stuff, and putting things away keeps my home and mind less cluttered. I can breathe and rest at home. It doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time. It’s also a constant process. BUT it can be done! Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years. I’ve already realized my design business for most clients will be a two step process. 1. Making a functional home 2. Making it pretty.
1. Donate- Pick a room or start with a smaller area in your home one day and start going through your things. Have a trash and donate bag handy. And get purging! Don’t overthink it or else you’ll become emotional. It’s just stuff!
2. Fill up those bags- My kids keep trinkets and toys from restaurants and so many odds and ends. THROW. IT. OUT!
3. Label Items- Even if you’re not organized by nature a label maker will become your best friend and make you FEEL really organized. It also helps your spouse and kids know where you want things and take ownership of your home together!
4. Up and Down or Catch All baskets- If you have a two story house having a basket upstairs and downstairs for transferring stuff makes it so easy. If something needs to go up or down throw it in and take it where it needs to go at the end of the day. Or a catch all basket in the kitchen. Do your best to keep it as small as possible and once it’s full it’s time to take the fifteen minutes you need to go through it.
5. Try to keep up- If you can have designated areas you go through once a week it gets easier. Mail, pantry, fridge, closets, kid backpacks, etc. If you fall behind it gets overwhelming. I clean my fridge every other week when I bring home fresh food. It helps keep me sane! And now I don’t have science experiments growing in the deep recesses of my fridge.
6. Make it fun- I play music in the house and if I’m doing kid stuff I try and get them to help. A tangible goal is a great start, like getting rid of two toys or stuffed animals. That way it doesn’t overwhelm them and every little bit counts (especially with multiple kids)! Also, let me share one method I use to get the kids involved. I tell them that if they don’t help then I will be getting rid of pile “A” or they can help and make pile “B” with what they are willing to part with.
7. Live with less- How many towels do you really need? How many extra sheet sets? Think through clothing. What do you always wear? Your kids? It could be because she’s my fourth but Paige has two baskets of clothes. One for shirts and one for pants. Less clothes means less laundry. Less laundry means I keep up on it a lot easier too.
8. Paper- I hate paper! I’m trying to go paperless with most bills. Mail I categorize in keep, file, and trash. My kids school papers go into their own files. I try to keep 2 pieces per week and trash the rest. We each have a keepsake box for sweet and sentimental memories as well.
9. Be grateful- No matter how messy or clean your home is I believe it’s all about perspective. Being grateful for what you do have instead of what you may not have. It’s truly an issue of the heart. We are abundantly blessed and I for one want to live like I know that.
My goal is to simplify and stay simple and clean in 2017!