By Joyce Robinson of NeatFreakss
January 9, 2021
Home is where love begins. It is our place of refuge. So when our home is organized, we feel calm and joy.
Because the pandemic has caused us to be home more than usual, we can attribute the sudden surge of interest regarding home organization to this recent event. It seems normal to crave the simplicity of a clutter-free home amidst a situation that seems out of our control. Right off the bat though, no matter how organized you are, if you live with little kids, it’s not easy. You can be as organized as you want to be, but you need the whole gang involved to get the house in order. Also keeping in mind that kids are meant to make a mess. Let them. Sometimes just getting down on the floor, making the mess with them and enjoying their company is what we need too. As long as they know that their toys have “homes” or a place to go back to at the end of the night, that’s all that matters. They won’t always be kids after all.
An organized home not only looks pleasing to the eye, but will help you reach a state of mental calm.
Here are some of our organizing tips:
1. Be Positive & Give yourself Time.
Some dread the word “organize” before they even start. Organizing doesn’t have to bring you stress. Just visualize the end state when everything is in its place. Picture how beautiful your house would look and the satisfaction it will bring you and your family. Allow plenty of time. Each space will require different amounts of time. An office drawer could take 30 minutes to organize, while a garage for example, can take days. Be patient.
2. Start where you are right now.
Key word is START. Are you at your desk? Throw out old pens that don’t work. Are you in front of your fridge? Throw out expired, smelly items. Are you in your closet? Donate clothes that you haven't worn in 2-3 years. The easiest place to start is your closet. It is the one place you’re in everyday. It feels good to donate clothes to someone who will wear and appreciate them the way you used to. However and wherever you choose to start your organizing process will be rewarding if you think of donating your unused items as gift-giving as opposed to simply discarding.
3. PURGE before Organizing
It is easier to organize things when you have sorted and purged through them first. Let's take the contents of the fridge, for example, you don't really want to organize something that has expired. The best time to purge is before a move. Don’t bring things you don’t need into your new home. Another great time to purge is after every big occasion like birthdays, or Christmas. When you get something new, make sure you donate something old in replacement of that new thing.
To help you purge, identify what’s important and keep that aside. We have the 3G’s Rule: Gold, Garbage & Give. Identify which ones 1) has value, 2) have to be thrown away, and 3) need to be donated. Once you have done the sorting & purging, then you can start organizing.
4. LOOK for & USE Wasted Space Creatively
Do you have a shelf that's sitting empty? How about a bare wall or corner? Maybe you can use a clear plastic container and hook it behind your bedroom door to display your jewelry? Always look for wasted spaces, think of it as a possible home for your homeless things.
5. Organize & Group items that are ALIKE.
Food go in the pantry or fridge, all office supplies go in the office, all cleaning supplies go in your laundry room, etc. Once you have categorized as such, you can go further with colour-coding. You can assign each child a coloured bin. This can be a fun and easy way to have the kids sort their things.
6. You don’t have to buy stuff to store your stuff.
Use what you have. Look for things around your house that you can reuse and upcycle to store things. But if it’s necessary to buy a container, ensure that you buy clear ones for things that you use often so they are easily visible and accessible to you. And if they are not clear containers, label them so you’re easily reminded of what’s in them once they’ve been stored.
7. There is a HOME for everything.
It would be nice if we can return everything where it should be at the end of the day, but in reality, we don’t or sometimes can’t always follow this rule. Thinking that our things have a home is a good place to start. Creating new habits is not easy, but setting tiny achievable goals will eventually pay off. It will take time, but the effort is well worth it.
8. Appreciate your efforts
To want to even start the process of organization deserves a pat on the back! Sometimes it will be a “one-step-forward-two-steps-back” scenario, but to keep persevering will be key. One drawer/one basket/one room at a time. So when you do finish each tiny/huge task, take a moment to appreciate your efforts.