Decluttering and organizing are both ongoing processes that can feel like they can be never-ending, vicious cycles. Especially in a house filled with kids, your entire home feels as if it is in constant turmoil. However, no matter how exhausting or time-consuming decluttering may feel, it should be a top priority. Controlling the chaos can immediately impact your stress levels. Dishes overflowing the sink, toys scattered around the house, and shoes strewn about your foyer will not only make your life look chaotic, but it will also make you feel out of control as well. No one wants to lose focus on what is important in life; however, the more stuff we have, the more time is focused on cleaning that up and not on what really matters.
There are so many strategic ways to organize your kitchen or living room; however, this year, concentrate on including your entire family in the decluttering process. The more hands on deck, the quicker and more efficiently the job will be done. Not only is the kids’ involvement in cleaning helping them learn important life skills, but they will grow a sense of responsibility for their possessions as well. Below, I have listed some tips to hone in on when you are preparing your home for an organizational revamp. These are aimed to assist you and keep this procedure as smooth as possible.
Create a Place for Everything
One of the number one reasons we find ourselves in a constant state of clutter is simply because we do not have proper storage for our belongings. Toys typically get thrown into any open space, and shoes are shoved at the bottom of our closets. When you do not give an item a home, this is when you find them on the counter, table, or floor. Acquiring beneficial storage will be crucial to your decluttering quest. Whether it be a storage cart for your bathroom supplies or a shoe organizer for the back of the closet door, you will immediately notice the small bits of clutter disappear from view. It is essential we encourage our children to utilize these storage containers to get them in the habit so that one day, without your direction, you’ll come home to the pleasant surprise of a clean house!
Have an Ongoing Donation Box
When we start this process of decluttering, it’s in our best interest to go through everything we own. Create piles separating what you wish to keep, donate, or throw away. Have everyone in the family participate. Channel you inner Marie Kondo, and only keep what really gives you joy. This will free up a lot of space in your home. However, instead of quickly moving on and never thinking of donating until your next big clean out, try to maintain an ongoing donation box. Keep this box somewhere that is convenient and easily accessible. That way, whenever you realize you are not loving something anymore or notice you haven’t used it in quite some time, simply toss it in the box. Make a special effort to bring the bin to your local donation center at least once a month.
Schedule Designated Times to Straighten Up
Treat the time you take to declutter like any other appointment you have! Physically write it down in your calendar or set a daily reminder. Whatever helps you stick to this time. This could be as small as the 10-minute window you have when you are waiting for your coffee to be made or right before bed while listening to your favorite podcast. You will feel at ease when you look around, and everything is in their place each day. This will also lessen the number of times you have to do a deep and elaborate clean of the entire house. Additionally, you are also provided with the perfect opportunity to get the whole family involved. Make a game out of it! Choose the kids’ favorite song and play it through the entire house. Give each of them a room and have them work on straightening up throughout the duration of the song.
Don’t Organize Until After You Declutter
Commonly, we group organizing and decluttering into one category. But what many don’t know is that we should look at each of these tasks differently, and do them in a specific order. When you organize your belongings before you declutter them, it is ultimately a wasted effort. If you have an overcrowded closet, no matter how systemized it is, it will not last for long. Even if these things are out of sight, it is certainly not out of mind. Clutter will soon overcome your home once again. It’s paramount to go through our belongings and really only keep the necessary items. Once you have done this, then you can formulate a system to keep the clutter subdued.
Recognize the Clutter Hot Spots
Every home has a certain area that is heavy with traffic. Your foyer or mudroom are perfect examples of this. Constantly throughout the day, your entire family is passing through this room. Coats are being left here, and shoes kicked off in all directions. Be sure to take a moment to emphasize to your kids that when in these areas, they should take responsibility for their items and avoid leaving them all over the place. It is such a small task but will go a long way. Your stairs leading up to the second floor of your house can be another unique area that tends to host most of the unnecessary clutter. During your scheduled cleaning times each day, maybe take a focus on this area as well.
Optimizing your home should be a priority you focus on. Our home is our happy place, and it should be a relaxing environment for everyone. We want to come home and feel less stressed instead of being burdened by more. Putting the whole family to work and developing plans for cleaning and organizing will make it that much easier to love your home! Comment below with a hack you’ve tried in your own home.