When most people think of organisation they picture all the images they have seen on pinterest. You know what I’m talking about. The numerous boards that are filled with all the projects you have pinned to complete “one day”. Shelves adorned with matching bins, perfectly stacked and lined up displaying beautiful labels. While these images are absolutely drool worthy, for the everyday person who is desperately wanting to restore some order to their home these pictures can just make the process even more overwhelming. So how do you “get organised” when you have absolutely no idea where to start?
For those of you out there that feel they are drowning in clutter and disorganisation I’ve put this post together FOR YOU! With a few tips and tricks that will hopefully give you that little push that you need.
First things first, if you are waiting for the “perfect” time to get organised I’m here to tell you that there is never a perfect time. You are always going to find an excuse to keep putting it off, that’s how we all wind up in this predicament to begin with, right? We put off making decisions and things begin piling up until it gets to the point of being too overwhelming. Make the choice to start and JUST DO IT!
In the past I have heard people suggest that you start with a small project, a single drawer or cupboard. This may work for those wanting to ease into their organising journey but if you are truly struggling to find peace and order in your home and life, choose the most troublesome area of your home, that area that will have the biggest impact when it is organised.
If you struggle with mountains of toys that don’t you have nowhere to put or that your kids don’t play with or that they have even outgrown. Start here.
Is your kitchen so full of stuff that your cupboards are filled to capacity, your benchtops are constantly covered in clutter? Do you have to clear a pile of stuff every time you need to make a meal? Start here.
Are your bookshelves bursting with clutter and toys taking over your living space? If you don’t have a living room that makes you want to sit and actually relax at the end of the day, then start here.
Routines and Schedules
Do you struggle to get out the door on time….or just in general. Do you forget appointments, work commitments, deadlines and meetings? Start here.
Working on the most difficult area that will make the biggest impact on the way your home functions can be a huge motivation for two reasons.
- You will truly notice a difference.
- Future organising projects can only get easier.
The reality is that you don’t need all the fancy boxes and bins to be organised you just need to get started. From my own personal experience 90% of the problem is clutter.
Pick up a box or a garbage bag, go for a walk around your house and start picking up obvious clutter. Broken toys, books you’ll never read, appliance you haven’t used, clothes or toys the kids have out grown. Make it a priority to do this weekly. Even the most organised person continues to aquire clutter.
If you have decided to start in a specific space then gather EVERYTHING from around your house that you want to store in that space and get started. There is nothing more frustrating than organising a space and then finding a dozen more things that you need to find a place for.
Group like items together and then get rid of any multiples. Designate a spot for everything and if it doesn’t fit it has to go. For example if you chose a cupboard for your glasses and coffee mugs and they don’t all fit, purge.
In regards to paper clutter and piles gather every piece of paper from around your house in one big box and begin sorting into piles to
- To action
- To pay
This next tip is absolutely crucial. If you pick up an object and say to yourself “I might need that one day” GET RID OF IT! That sentence is a sure sign you are never going to use this again. TRUST ME!
If you are one of the “I paid good money for this, I’m not throwing it out” kind of people, then try to sell it. Give yourself a deadline and if you haven’t sold it by then, donate it to someone that could really use it. That $900 exercise bike you bought 10 years ago and never use is not making you any money sitting in your garage. You will never get your money back on it so cut your losses and gain some space in your garage you may desperately need for items you actually use or need to store.
You do not need to hold on to excessive stuff to make you feel happy. Is the mess and disorganisation making you feel happy at the moment? I’m guessing its not or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
Once you have purged and found a spot for all of your stuff, label, label, label.
- Put pictures on toy bins so you can quickly pack things away at the end of each day or to teach your kids where things go.
- Label shelves and baskets in your pantry to keep everything in order.
- Put a tag on baskets in your media center or entertainment unit so you can easily access what you need.
The next step is to come up with your “maintenance routine.” What do you need to do each day to keep things neat, tidy and organised? I have talked a little about my nightly routine here but I have listed few examples below.
To keep your living room in order for example you may want to complete the following tasks each night.
- Pick up all the toys each night and put them back where they belong or get the kids to do this as part of their routine before bed.
- Pick up throw blankets and cushions and straighten up the couch.
- Put any books or magazines away where they belong.
In the kitchen your nightly routine might entail
- Doing all the dishes every single night
- Clear the bench tops of all clutter
- Sweeping the floors
In the bathroom your list may look a little like this;
- Hang wet towels on the rack to dry
- Hang bath mats up to dry
- Take dirty clothes to the laundry room
- Pick up all bath toys to drain
- Wipe over the vanity
You have gone to all of this effort to cut down the clutter and organise your space, you now need to put the steps in place to maintain it. If you don’t you will be right back where you started before you know it. These chores don’t take a lot of time but they can make a huge difference to how well your home stays organised. Write a little list of tasks to do each night before you go to bed and you will wake up to an organised and tidy home each and every morning.
My final tip to maintaining a tidy and organised home is to keep decluttering. Things are coming into your home every single day and your children will continue to outgrow clothing and toys, once it’s no longer needed, get rid of it. This isn’t a “do once” kind of thing, it needs to be done regularly. There are several ways you can do this.
To keep on top of toy clutter schedule in one day a month to go through children’s toys. Throw out broken toys and those “junky” toys that they played with for 5 minutes aka McDonalds toys.
21 Item Challenge.
Grab a garbage bag and walk around your house picking up unused or unwanted items. Depending on how cluttered your house is you can do this once a day until its manageable – or every week / fortnight.
Choose a room each day for one week to go through and collect anything lying around not being used. Do this every month.
If you keep this up regularly you will eventually get to a point where you only have to do this once a month. I actually have a clear plastic storage tub in my garage at all times so that if I come across a clutter item I have somewhere to dump it right away and get it out of my house. Once the tub is full I take it and donate it.
Once you start to see results it really is hard to stop. When your home is calm and tidy it can have a massive affect on your mood and productivity, not to mention being able to find something you need because everything is where it’s meant to be.
I hope this has given you the motivation you need to get started on reclaiming your home. Make 2017 your year to declutter your life. I can guarantee that it will make an unbelievable difference.