it is time to start the process of going through our homes and figuring out
what is most important.
*right* way to declutter your home, and I will have a post in a couple days with those
resources in case you are interested, but here I am going to talk about what
works best for me.
room by room approach. The reason I do
this is two-fold. First, I have three
small children, and if I tried to declutter a specific category throughout my
entire house on one day, I would never have my house put back together. Working on one room at a time helps me to
concentrate on one area, and to see a.) if something even belongs in that room
to begin with and b.) if it is something we actually need in our home.
either the spring or fall seasons. But,
I have been known to start going through a room in February, after we have
settled from all the holiday madness. It
is something that you don’t want to wait for the perfect time in order to
start. You just need to start.
start with the easy stuff. Surface
starts yelling at the rest of my family “put your stuff here!” I don’t know how many times I will have just
cleaned off all of the kitchen counters, when my kids will start piling books
they have read, LEGO they have put together, and they set it down on my clean
countertop. The same goes for my desk,
and my command central table.
for you to put their stuff. I have a
pretty basket that I pile all the treasures into. Eventually they come looking for it, or we
have a 10 minute tidy and one person’s job is to put away what is in the
completely de-own, because it is oftentimes bills (although if you have any
ideas on de-owning bills – I have a couple – please share them!) and other
paperwork. We will get to how to deal
with paper later.
your home, that perhaps you wanted to decorate with at one point, but they no
longer bring the joy to you that they used to.
Or along the same lines as my kitchen counters, try removing some of
your appliances from the counter. We
keep all of our appliances in a cupboard, and it makes me so much happier to
see nothing on the counter (except my coffee maker – which is something I
see a heck of a lot of beauty in!).
the amount of time you need to take care of and manage that stuff, and it will
give you freedom to use your time in ways that are important to you, rather
than to take care of your stuff.
well. Instead of worrying about all the
things you need to take care of during the evenings, on the weekends, you are
free to live your life, and to do the things that matter to you.
actually a second floor entry that Matt hung up shelves for us to use as a
clothes closet – and we do hang all of our clothes in the closet for the entire
family. Because we don’t have a lot of
closet space, we can’t keep a lot of clothes all the time. The options are either to store them in totes
in the attic (which we tend to do with off-season clothes and hand-me-downs for
the kids), or to hang them in our closet.
Because I have very little space, I tend to only keep the items that I
really love and wear. This is the same
for my kids and husband.
a lot of stuff away from the public eye.
So we have the interesting dilemma of living in a large house with
nowhere to hide stuff. Instead, most of
what we own is out in the open. This can
cause a lot of stress for me because I don’t like to see all of that mess all
over the place. And no matter how many
basket systems I work out with my kids, it is too overwhelming to them. So we try to have less, and that gives the
kids the ability to take care of their items without feeling overwhelmed.
before when the floor is covered in LEGO and Shopkins, princess dolls, and
yarn? OK so the yarn is probably slightly unique to my home. Usually what happens is my kids will work for
about 15 min and come down either saying they are finished (they are most
definitely not), or being so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that they
are crying and are paralyzed unable to clean it up.
once. And while I would love to say the
“take one toy out, use it, put it away” approach is a great one, it isn’t
realistic, at least not in my home. My
kids like to make elaborate scenes for stop motion movies using any and
everything they can get their hands on. I
love that creative play, so I have to make adjustments to my attitude about
what comes out when.
boredom. And it might at first. But, I noticed that when the kids have a
clear space to play, and only a few options, they play longer, and happier
together, than when they have everything at their fingertips.
because it is newer, or prettier, or the kids might like to use that. Then go through each room of your home and
weed out what you really, truly do not need.
the one area of your home that you are most concerned with de-cluttering?
Find the entire 31 Days of Finding Freedom in Simplicity series here.