With the 859,934 organizational pins on Pinterest, I’m already feeling a bit behind + overwhelmed and it’s only the 5th of January! Deep breath. Deep breath. Please tell me I’m not alone… BUT I am strongly pushing away those anxious thoughts and instead putting my efforts on living with intention, my focus for the coming year.
Organizing doesn’t come easy to me. I am known to be a
hoarder collector & have difficulty parting with things – keep or toss, keep or toss??? But over the past few months things around the little ole’ homestead of mine have gotten a wee bit out of hand (I guess anew baby can do that to ya) and I am ready to rise above & take back this joint!
As we wind down from the Christmas craze, January typically is a quiet + cold + drear month in our neck of the woods. As I start the process of transitioning our home back to the everyday after the holiday mayhem, I always feel the New Year is ideal to clear the mind and begin a fresh start. Now is the time to clean house and create a more organized home!!
This past weekend, actually news years day to be exact (because over the past week I’ve completely lost track of time), I started the clearing out/organizing process. 4 bags have already gone to goodwill… go me! Coming from the person who hates to throw things away, this is big.
Here are the 6 steps that I have found really work [my foolproof tips] to purge + organize + renew your home for a fresh step in the right direction for the New Year…
1. Make a list
I am a list person. I love to write it down, perform the task, and then cross it off. To me, the “cross off” is the best part. I feel so accomplished afterwards! So here is what I do…
Go room to room around the home and make a list of what is working and what isn’t. Look in the closets, peek under the beds, and open the drawers. Create a page for each room and write down a plan of action for what you want to organize and what you need to lose (ie: organize sock drawer, purge papers/magazines, donate unused toys, etc).
A list will keep you focused + stay on track. When a task is complete, cross it off. Once all the tasks on your list are finished, the best part is reflection; looking back at all your hard work + efforts. It will also keep you motivated to do more!
2. Get Moving
Once your plan of action is in place, it’s time to get moving. Don’t analyze (which I’m known to do) Just start.Choose a room to start with and let your list guide you. Most likely, the whole house won’t be fully organized in a day – it’s simply not possible unless you already live in a spotless pad.
Instead of stressing and overwhelming yourself, set a time limit or a specific goal to work towards. Once it’s reached, be done. Then the next day, do the same. This will help avoid burn-out and will keep you motivated to continue. Organizing and taking control of the stuff in your home can be exhausting, so mentally prepare yourself for the job.
You’ll be amazed at how much better every room in your home looks once you get rid of the useless items. Like I said 4 bags already packed up & shipped out. Many more to go!
3. Purge. Toss. Donate.
Just keep saying to yourself… purge, toss, donate. purge, toss, donate. purge, toss, donate.
When going room by room, start by sorting through the items you no longer need, use, and/or want. Set up 3 boxes or bags (I typically use large heavy-duty garbage bags) to purge, toss, and/or donate. This will make the process faster + more efficient. Have you ever tried the 3-for-1 rule? For every new item you bring into the home (think about all those Christmas presents – shirts, books, toys, etc.), say goodbye to three things. Keep in mind, if something hasn’t been touched/used in 6-12 months, you probably don’t need it.
If you don’t use it, lose it.
Once you have everything bagged up, ship it on out as soon as you can. That way there can’t be regrets or second guessing!
And toss the miss-matched hangers! Go for all one color… IT’S LIBERATING!
Organizing is different than cleaning. Sometimes the 2 can get confused (according to my Mister). I am a great cleaner (surface cleaning), but when you open a drawer, it often doesn’t look so hot.
Once you’ve removed your unused items, it’s time to organize. I have found baskets, bins, trays, and other storage caddies are a great way to organize items you want to keep. Make a point to have a spot / a place for everything. This is especially key to keep the clutter in check with kids toys, books, games, and art supplies.
And keep in mind, it doesn’t have to look perfect because the reality is it won’t stay that way for long. As long as everything you keep is needed and placed/arranged in an orderly way, that is ‘perfect’. Take a glimpse at my newly organized closet… To some it may still look a mess, but to me, this is good! Shirts are together. Pants are in one section. Scarves are in a bin. Bags are in place. DONE!
These were snapped with my iphone cam which is why they’re a bit grainy, sorry…
Did I really just share a picture of my closet???
5. Go Vertical
Maximize your storage capabilities by using more wall space. Bookshelves are great for going vertical to get things off the ground, thus creating more floor area. In closets, add shelving as high as possible for extra storage of blankets or non-everyday essentials. Add hooks in the entry for additional coat/bookbag storage. Hang additional shelving in the basement and/or garage for more space to put large bins.
our entry coat rack > click for DIY Tutorial
A side tip for you >>> Choose furniture that can serve double duty to save on space!
The most important, but most difficult part of organizing…
Getting organized is one thing, but staying organized is truly a commitment. Once you’re organized, take the extra 10 minutes each day to tidy up and monthly to go through each room to purge any unused items or papers. Each night once the kids are in bed, I make sure all their toys are back in place, the dishes are done, the counters + tables are cleared off. It’s amazing what 10-15 can do to get the job done rather than piling up day after day!
Expect that there will be minor setbacks throughout the year (not a biggie), but remaining positive+ focused will help keep you motivated to stay organized.
While the snow is piling up outside, put that overabundance of extra energy and efforts into purging and organizing inside. The simpler we live, the saner we are! Rid your lives of the clutter and unused things to achieve a more meaningful, organized home.
What ideas / tips / suggestions can you share that keep your home organized + clutter free?