When the groundhog saw his shadow in the beginning of February
I am pretty sure I cried a little…
This winter has been pretty intense in our home with regard to sickness. The kids have had their share of sickness to include: the flu, stomach bug, pink eye, random colds and fevers. The “fun” thing about a family with 4 children is the ability to pass sickness back and forth all-winter-long (ha ha). To say that we are in need of a good declutter to simplify our space would be an understatement.
Needless to say I am so ready for Spring! In fact I cannot even tell you how many times over the last two months that I’ve googled to see how many days are left until Spring (March 20th, 2018) – 20 days, 11 hours 30 minutes and 30 seconds… Nothing helps me embrace the season change like a good old fashion house cleaning.
Clutter Completely Overwhelms Me
It’s hard for me to strike a balance between clutter, kid mess and a lived in home. I have come to realize that I am happiest when my home is tidy and our stuff isn’t everywhere. When we have too much stuff (books, toys, DVD’s, clothes, etc) I’ve noticed it is really easy to become overwhelmed. By getting rid of excess things and keeping both meaningful and useful items on hand cleaning and maintaining a tidy home becomes easier and less time consuming.
With focused effort a tidy, clean, intentional home is realized.
A space free of clutter and stress makes way for a simplified and meaningful life.
For the last couple of months I’ve been in this purge and simplify mode in our home. Essentially if we don’t use it regularly it will not be missed. So far so good. The process of decluttering a home takes a seriously dedicated effort and time. Believe me taking the time to declutter and simplify your space will be worth the effort in the long run.
Make A Plan
Chances are your clutter did not occur overnight therefore it is important to give yourself both time and grace to get through your home. This process is going to take time but the reward for your time and efforts will make it worth it. So where do we begin? For me personally I sit down and make a list of each room in my house (I am a BIG list maker): kitchen, half bath, living room, front room, “office space”, bedrooms, each bathroom, pantry, laundry room, master bedroom closet, etc. Be specific in each area that needs care. Don’t forget the garage.
Once you have a plan in place decide whether you want to start with easiest or hardest organizational task. Utilize storage bins you already have or perhaps garbage bags and designate a space specific for storing these items while going through your room. I like to have garbage bags available for “goodwill”, “blessing” (*think baby clothes and that friend that is going to conveniently have a new baby girl or boy that these clothes could be a blessing to) and garbage. I usually use the middle room/guest room to store our stuff that’s in limbo while going through this process.
There’s just something about getting rid of excess that get’s me excited. It opens up doors for new things to come yet affords me the opportunity to enjoy things I may have forgotten about.
Closet Cleaning the Easy Way (My Current Project..)
Each night after my husband and I tuck our kids in to bed we’ve made time to fold, hang and put away laundry. I generally fold and hang the clothes, my husband puts the clothes away. His help makes this task go much faster than if I were to do it on my own. What my husband doesn’t realize is I am using this moment at the end of the day to purge our master bedroom closet of excess clothes. Clothes that are too big, too small, ripped jeans, never worn, etc. I’ve done this slowly giving myself only a few minutes each night to grab and go. I’ve noticed I look forward to my closet dash each night. It’s a work in progress but I’m pleased with the slow, steady pace.
Quick Effective Way to Organize A Space
*Perhaps the idea of extending a cleaning session overwhelms you completely and you’d rather have it done and over with faster. I totally get that. What I recommend doing is pulling everything out of your closet and setting up stations – keep, toss, donate. Let go of items that literally just take up space and have no purpose. Some items will be easier than others to get rid of. Things of sentimental value and heirlooms are important to keep (in my opinion) but, holding on to that dress you wore when you first started dating your husband may or may not fit in to this category (ha!)… I still have it.
Simple Guidelines for a Full House Clutter Purge
My husband was teasing me as I was writing this post. The goal isn’t to embrace minimalism. The goal is to get rid of excess “stuff.” Stuff that end up maybe in the washer even though it hasn’t been worn, or maybe even that ends up on the closet floor for some unknown reason. Perhaps it’s the excess toys that need cleaned up non-stop. I loved this list in the new book by Emily Ley and I figured I’d share it here:
THINGS TO GET RID OF:
- Unnecessary Items
- Outgrown Items
- Broken Items
- Items you’re “planning to use one day”
THINGS TO KEEP:
- The Best
- The Favorite
- The Necessary
- The Treasure
Ok, let me start this by saying I by no stretch am the organizational guru of the family. I do not love decluttering a space. I do however love the feeling of a decluttered space. I have learned over the years a few little tricks that I want to share to help encourage you as you declutter your home.
- We have 3 baskets under our coffee table – these baskets are filled with 1) LEGO Duplo, 2) dinosaurs and animals and 3) miscellaneous toys. Probably every other week I have the kids sort through these baskets. I’ve been amazed that even my youngest has learned to put his toys in each designated bin.
- Place a lidded basket at the bottom of the stairs to house and hide shoes in addition to storage for backpacks. We use a round basket that the kids place their backpacks in. Now instead of dropping their backpacks in the front of the home every night when they get home from school they have a designated spot for their belongings.
- Enlist the help of your family members to keep things organized and tidy. In our home we call “time out” where all hands are on deck and the house is tidied up in no time. We call “time out” as often as we need to.
- Place a garbage bag on the inside handle of a closet door. By doing so, it makes putting items that no longer fit, or that you no longer like off of a hanger and headed in the right direction (Goodwill or to a family/friend, etc.).
*As I think more on this topic I will be sure to add different ways that I’ve found to keep clutter away. Also, please feel free to share ways that you have decluttered and simplified your home.