"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
I have spent the better part of today organizing my home. I am not that great at maintaining an organized home, so I let it go for awhile until I can't stand it anymore. Then I do an overhaul. I regularly pick up my house, but I do it very quickly. So things do not always get put back in the place I prefer them to be. Plus I have four other people living in my house, who are very helpful (minus Luke, of course...he mostly just destroys things at this point in his life) but can't read my mind and know where I want things to go. And I am fine with that. But that is why today was spent organizing some things.
Brett took Chloe on a Daddy date, so the boys and I worked hard at home. It is amazing how much easier one less child is. Side note: before she left, Chloe gave me a hug and said, "I'll miss you, Mommy." So sweet, but from what I hear, she did not miss me at all :).
Caleb is actually a bit like me in that he likes order. Chloe, on the other hand, thrives with clutter. That may change, but for now, that is how it is! As I was organizing the toy box, Caleb got so excited to find hidden treasures! He also gets such satisfaction over a job well done.
I did some other things, as well. While I was doing all of this, I realized that organizing does not come naturally to everyone. There are people who are definitely way more organized than me, but I thought I'd offer a few tips for those who need some help....
- Put things where you use them most, not necessarily where they "should" go. I keep scotch tape in my kitchen because I use it there most often, even though tape "should be" in the office.
- Put things where they are most convenient. I keep my plates in the cabinet closest to the dishwasher because they're heavy. Pot holders go in the drawer next to the oven. Cooking utensils are in a container next to the stove. Before just aimlessly filling cabinets and drawers, brainstorm where they are most convenient. Organizing kitchens is one of my most favorite things!
- Throw away or give away that which you do not need. The phrase "maybe I'll use it one day" is the enemy of a clutter-free home. I am probably guilty of throwing/giving away too much, but I am not bogged down by useless stuff.
- Periodically go through your children's toys and pass them on to a friend who will appreciate them. Even if a toy is really cool, if a child does not play with it, pass it on. My children receive most of their toys as gifts, so it makes it a bit more difficult to give them away....but if they don't play with them, they don't play with them. I know a lot of people give away their toys when the kids aren't looking, but I prefer to teach my kids to be generous. They may beg to keep a toy, but if I know that they no longer enjoy the toy, I tell them how important it is to bless others.
- In my closet, I hung all of my clothes backwards. After I wear and wash them, I hang them the right way. In a few months, I will go through and give away the clothes which are still hanging backwards. My clothes are the hardest thing to purge. This is a tangible way to see if I actually wear an item or not.
I love receiving hand-me-downs from people, so I first try to pass on anything I do not want. A toy may be old to us, but it is new to a friend. If I cannot find a new home, I donate to charity. If items have value, selling on ebay/craigslist is a possibility.
I would venture to say that items that people have the hardest time parting with are sentimental items. It is important to remember that even though you throw away the item, you don't lose the memory. An example: Brett bought this little souvenir boat on our honeymoon. I had kept it ever since. When we were moving, I decided to throw it away. I have amazing memories of our honeymoon, which I still have even though the boat is gone.
The quote I began with is a good judge of what you should keep and what you should part with. A clutter free home is an enjoyable home!! And it makes day to day cleaning so much easier!!
If you want more advice on how to better organize your home, feel free to email me!! I would love to brainstorm ideas to making your home more efficient :).
And also please comment and leave any tips you have for organizing your home!! I always love to learn new tricks :).