There is no better time than now than to tackle spring cleaning and organize your home. I’m not an expert and on certain weeks your can come by my home and question if it’s abandoned or not… but, BUT most days I obsess over organized and pairing down my home. I really enjoy the process and the result but know that most people don’t share the same sentiment. I decided to share my train of thought and best ideas to help those who may want to jump on board the spring cleaning train and tackle the chaos. Here are a few flawless tips to help you organize and declutter your home.
Gather like items
- There is some major truth to the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind.” I never realized just how many similar items I had until I pulled them all out of their scattered hiding places in my home and gathered them into one spot. Who needs 9 lighters when you don’t even smoke? Or 20 “painting shirts” when you’ve only painted your house literally, once? Don’t even get me started on the amount of pillow cases and paper birthday bags I hoarded. It is so much easier when it’s all in front of you to say, “okay, two of this item is enough. Let me get rid of the other 9 of them.” Seeing is believing. And unless you see your abundance, it’s quite easy to think you don’t have enough. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from the grocery store with an item I swear we needed only to find a few boxes already in the pantry. Our home items have the same pattern. And just to save you the trouble of wondering… keeping extras for one day “just in case” is a big fat NO. Just, NO. Collect. Compare. Consolidate.
- Speaking of “one day” items, this is when I’m the friend that answers honestly the question, “Does this make me look fat?” Don’t hate the messenger. Clothes that are a decade and three sizes ago? Cheers to letting those go. The four sets of dishes you keep for all the dinner parties you’ll never host? Ummm, you hate to cook. The queen of England is not coming over. One is enough. The flash cards. The high heels. The scrapbooking supplies. If the “one day” you planned to use these items hasn’t happened in the last several months… it’s time to part ways. Good intentions can leave us trapped by things that no longer serve us. I once kept an entire closet of school supplies, study books, and teaching material just to pressure myself into working extra with my kids on education. The reality? The hours they spend in their classroom was enough and I only felt guilty and less than every time I opened that closet up. I’m just not the type to work multiplication problems and make at home lessons. Letting that go was freeing and a big sigh of relief. Facing reality clears your clutter and your mind. Getting real starts with being honest with yourself and ends with following through.
- What does the follow-through look like? Well, once you have separated what you’re keeping and getting rid of, then you do just that. The only rule is that you don’t look back, don’t pull things out, and don’t change your mind. Your initial gut speaks volumes. Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to items we know we don’t need simply because we paid too much for them. A way that I overcome this urge to hang on to valuables that add no value to me, is to sell or donate the items. It’s easy to post things on Facebook Marketplace or take kid things to an awesome place like Once Upon a Child. With this option you make some money back from decluttering. It’s a win/win. The other option I do is find a local organization to donate to. Knowing it’s helping someone else feels like my items are not gone in vain. With my “toss” items out of the house (immediately! Don’t stall or they migrate back in) I can then focus on what’s left.
Everything has a place
- What’s left needs to be organized. And that doesn’t mean your closet has to be color coded and your bobby pins have to be all in a line… (unless that works for you). What it does mean is that every single item in your house has its own “home”. Find a spot, a drawer, a basket, a folder and put it where it makes sense. Then any time that item is not in that location, you make the effort to take it back to where it belongs. If everything has a spot, then it’s not confusing to tidy up. If there’s a system in place for organization, than your kids or heck, even the husband can pick up in your place. The one rule I have in this area is that all like things belong in the same home. It might seem convenient to keep books in each bathroom in case someone has the urge to read, or lotion on the kitchen counter so you can grab it easily, but that is a slippery slope into clutter and disorganization. Just find a home for like things and take the 30 seconds or 10 extra steps it requires to take it out and put it back in its home. Trust me, the extra effort will be worth it when you can exhale in your house because you look around and don’t see chaos. Well, if it’s anything like my house, there will be chaos, but not from your belongings. 😉
Don’t stop until it’s complete.
- Purging is time consuming and overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times I have decided it was a good time at 9 at night to clean out my closet. Only to have HEAPS of clothes piles all over my room and quit because I am totally overwhelmed and tired. Organizing takes a chunk of time. Be realistic in allotting the correct amount needed to do the job from start to finish. A half completed closet clean out job will just cause the rest of your house to look like it barfed chaos for several days after you lose steam. As a mom of 3, I get that larger jobs have to be chipped away at little by little. Divide and conquer. If you pick one aspect of your closet… say shoes or drawers, than just make sure that part is compete 100% before you stop. The main point, don’t quit, finish what you start… regardless of what size the job.
Make it pretty
- Organization makes my heart sing…. on an embarrassing level. It is so refreshing and calming and exciting to see a space functional and efficient and minimalist. But you know what is the glue that holds is all together? Making it pretty! You are WAY more likely to keep a pretty space in its current state. It doesn’t have to be expensive… heck, a quick Pinterest search can show you 99,000 ways to organize with dollar store items. But put in the effort to make your decluttered spaces appealing. Sure, maybe you’re the only one who will ever see that your laundry room has the cutest drawer liners and wicket baskets…. but you will smile every time you’re in there. And if you’re a mom, you know that’s A LOT of time.
Bask in your new tidy space.
- Every time I finish a space I find my self going back to visit it. Sounds like a stage 4 clinger but I’m worse than a teenage couple in the midst of a break up… I just can’t let go. Purging and organizing is HARD work and enjoying your space is the whole dang point. After it’s all said and done just allow yourself to randomly walk by said room, closet, area and smile because you did a good job and you now can reap the benefits…. until your kiddos discover it.