Today I want to share some of my ideas on decluttering and organizing your home. My mission in the new year is to create a Home Sweet Home feeling in my home when I’m inside. I don’t want to be stressed out by stuff or constantly running behind my kids to keep the house from becoming a disaster. I wish for a peaceful space in which we can play, work, eat and rest together.
That’s my goal.
Decluttering and organizing is a pervasive topic among women I know. Moms in particular feel overwhelmed by the management of all the extra stuff that comes with kids, in addition to their penchant for rummaging in places they weren’t meant to. Since before I was married, when I lived with roommates or even on my own, I went through bouts of purging and organizing. My efforts in the past were usually driven by some aesthetic aim. I saw a basket I liked so I brought it home and put some stuff in it. I saw a neat Pin and randomly decided to turn the closet upside-down so I could try it. But these weren’t purposeful and the changes weren’t long-lasting.
So for the past three months I’ve been making slow, steady progress toward real change in my home. I’m not finished, but I needed a jump start so that I could be ready to write these posts with an honest look at how my efforts turned out.
A bit about me and what my needs are: I work primarily at home and have a son who is almost three and a six-month-old daughter. We live in a 2-bedroom, 2-story townhouse with minimal storage. I tend to be creative and while I like organization, I easily give up on something if it’s not perfect. I also manage with chronic pain so I need to keep projects small and physical tasks to a minimum. Why is all this important? Because the process I’m describing to you requires you to think about yourself, your family and your needs. What works in my home might not work in yours. There’s no one best way to do anything. But instead of telling you how to “fix” your household, I’ll give you steps for figuring it out on your own.
Start by asking yourself this: How do I need to use this space?
When you start your plan with the end goal in mind, you can see the big picture and it will keep you from becoming lost in the process. Make a list of specific goals that you want to accomplish. You might jot them down in your planner or scrawl them on a large sheet of paper you hang up on the wall.
I strongly discourage you from attaching artificial deadlines to your goals. I’ve been caught in a trap of “30 Days to a Cleaner House” and similar plans. The problem with these schedules is that you miss a day or two and you’re at risk of quitting. Even worse- if you do manage to finish- your efforts usually won’t last because they aren’t thoughtful or sustainable. It’s similar to the Crash Diet.
There will be a time for parsing out tasks, but it’s not now. Before you start, know where you are going. Depending on the size of your house, you may go room-by-room to list goals. The way I think about my home is more of areas: kitchen/food, living room, bedroom, play room, and bathrooms.
Here are a few of my goals for these areas:
-Peaceful sleep in our family bedroom.
-Productive work environment in the living room.
-Stress-free organization in kitchen, bathrooms and closets.
This is also a time to take some “Before” photos. Use social media to motivate yourself. Set up a Pinterest board with your goal in mind. Instagram your disaster closet and ask your friends for encouragement.
Oh yeah, and gather up some bags and boxes for Phase One, coming tomorrow…
Share with the group now, what are your Home Sweet Home goals?