Organize and Simplify
Clutter is an excess of stuff. It’s trash, things you don’t use, clothing and toys. It takes up space, and it takes up your energy -- both figuring out where to store it and digging through it to find what you’re looking for.
Does it feel like you spend half your time putting toys away – toys the kids dump out but hardly play with? Do you feel like you have less space in your home because of all the things you don’t use that take up space? Is it hard to find clothes in your family’s closets? Finding things in general?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to declutter.
A good habit to start is setting your timer for 15 minutes each day and devoting that time to ridding clutter. As you’re working, ask yourself:
- Do I really use this?
- If it’s a clothing item: Have I worn this in the past year? If not, give it away.
- You can help others by giving away your clutter. When you get a pile of things together you don’t need, make a plan to either donate them or have a garage sale.
- Envision your home at a level of organization that it would be very easy to pack for moving or to have someone help you with if you were ill.
You can get your kids involved in decluttering and make it fun. Have a garbage hunt through the house. Or have the kids pick up and count things around the house that need to be thrown away. See how high a number they can reach.
As you declutter, divide the house into zones. You can spend a week using 15 minutes per day in the kitchen, the bedrooms, the living room….
How about the kids’ artwork?
It’s hard to part with, but it sure can take up a lot of space. Some ideas for dealing with it:
- Choose a favorite piece of each child’s artwork every week (or have them choose it), and display it on the refrigerator.
- Set up folders for each child, and take the previous week’s favorite and put it in each their folders.
As hard as it may be, throw out the rest. You will end up with 30 weeks’ of favorites (or however many weeks there are in the school year).
For more information and decluttering strategies, check out FlyLady.