As a mother, it can be challenging to keep a space as tidy and beautiful as you want it to be. Mom blogger Amber Massey says organization and decluttering can help create a space that is inspiring. Her tips help make an overwhelming process much more manageable.
9 Helpful Tips for Organizing and Decluttering You Can Start Right NOW
Don’t get lost in the process. Here are the first nine steps you can take to get your home into the shape you really desire. It takes some consistency and patience, but you will get there quickly if you stay dedicated to the process.
Start by Removing Trash
Amber Massey explains that It might seem obvious, but many people don’t realize trash is the first thing that should be removed from any space. Kids (and adults) are naturally messy, and you may notice everything from used tissues to clothing tags are lying around. Get it out of the way!
It’s much easier to clean when you start to feel the impact. Grabbing a trash bag and starting there helps get one job out of the way and immediately starts to declutter the space. Sometimes, just knowing where to start is a huge deal, Massey says.
Make a Dent
Don’t let yourself get caught in the tiny details. Start with the items that are taking up the most real estate. Is there laundry on the couch? Are the dishes all over the counter? Pick one job that has a lot of oversized, space-taking items and get that job done.
If you have several rooms that need work, just pick one to start in. You might choose to start in the most irritating area or inconvenient to have messy (like the kitchen or bathroom). Be careful not to select the room that will immediately return to a mess (like the playroom) since you don’t want to feel discouraged early in the process. Once you get a space clean, focus on keeping that space clean as your primary goal and cleaning up a second space as your secondary goa Amber Massey says.
Don’t Binge It
Creating a clean and organized home should be a lifestyle goal—not a mad dash. Don’t expect the change to occur overnight. Give yourself the time and grace needed to get things on track and where you want them slowly.
The mess didn’t happen in one day and won’t be cleaned up in one day. If you push too hard, you and your family will feel burned out and likely return to the previous mess level with negative thoughts about getting organized. Make it as positive an experience as possible (it IS work, but it doesn’t have to be misery!).
Everything Gets a Home
Every item you choose to keep in your home needs to have a home of its own—a place where it truly goes. Once you know where your items should go, it only takes a few seconds to put them away. Coats go in the closet, pots in that cupboard—but what about this stack of school papers or this group of pens? The tricky part occurs when you have piles or stacks of things that don’t truly have a home.
Amber Massey recommends giving away, trashing, or selling items that don’t seem to ever have a home. If you need or want the item, then you need to give it a permanent place where it belongs. Rethink your storage and your current setup to find that item the right place to stay (but don’t get stuck on these details until the bigger items are all put in their homes!).
Don’t Hold on to the Extra.
As you go through things, have an established “end date” set to mark when you are going to get rid of them. You could take weekly trips to a local donation center. Or, you could plan to hold a garage sale and keep items for a few months until that date arrives. Whatever you do, don’t hold onto the items you are planning to sell or donate. Keep everything in one place and give yourself a deadline, so it gets out of your home sooner rather than later.
Always keep a box or bag going where you can add any items you don’t want to hold onto. By staying in a constant state of decluttering, you will help reduce how much excess comes into your home.
Take Stock of Storage Spaces
Sometimes, storage spaces become victims of circumstance and aren’t actually well planned out. As you clean, start to assess your storage spaces. If possible, clear the assumptions for what should go in a specific kind of storage space and ask yourself what would be the most convenient and what would fit the best.
Containers and storage spaces should contain all of your extra stuff. If your things don’t fit in your designated storage areas, you should pair them down until they fit comfortably.\
Utilize Vertical Space
Look for wasted areas of space—places you aren’t using efficiently. These spaces can often be used to house some of the things you want to keep but just don’t have the right home for yet. Sometimes, adding the proper bins, boxes, shelves, or hooks to a space will make it a much better fit for your needs.
Often, we maximize the horizontal spaces but don’t think to go up with our storage solutions. Rather than just have a couple of shelves, take the storage options up to the ceiling by adding more shelves, racks, or hooks. Look for shelves that are too tall for the items there and use organizational boxes, additional shelves, or other forms of storage to help break up the space so you can fill the whole area in a way that works for you.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Visibility is a huge benefit as you organize. Choose clear totes or things you can label when you are storing items in the attic, basement, closet, or under the bed. If you just put things in an unmarked box, you will more than likely forget exactly what is in there—causing it to be wasted space.
The goal for your organization should center around accessibility. You don’t always want to see everything out in your open space, but this means you need to make sure you are making the things in storage easy to access and visible.
Change Your Habits
One of the biggest challenges to keeping a clean home is often the habits we form. Rather than set things down in empty spaces, the habit has to be to put things away immediately. Rather than hold onto excess, the habit has to be to let go of the things we outgrow or no longer have a use for.
Even though we can get into a rut of disorganization and mess, we can also get into a rut of cleanliness and order. The process of evaluating space needs to become a regular part of the routine. When you can make decluttering and cleaning into a lifestyle, it no longer has to be a big chore that is only done on occasion.