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How to Attack Clutter and Why it is Important

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Clutter; it seems to be a big issue in my home.  I’m not sure about you, but I am ready to
attack the clutter and get rid of it.  It
is so important for me to get my house back to working for me instead of
against me.

I think the main reason it is important for me to attack the
clutter is because it stresses me out and creates an environment that is not
peaceful.

Every day when I look around and see something not put back,
or a messy surface, I get stressed.  Now,
I realize that I have three small children and a husband who are not so good at
putting things away, and me not following right behind them putting things
away.  Often I blame it on no closets,
not the right storage solutions, or not having a place for it to belong; but I
think that the real issue is that we have too much stuff.
Instead of easily putting away a few toys, and books, it
becomes overwhelming to see the amount of *stuff* that needs a home. 
We are actively teaching our children how to take care of their belongings, but when a little one is overwhelmed, it does not get done.

going through homeschool supplies for the new year

I have been feeling the pull to do a large home purge for a
few months now.  ‘What have I been
waiting for’ you ask?  Well, I will blame
it on life and busyness.
It seems that January was all about putting together a Winter Rhythm.  I needed the time for us
all to get back on the same page after our extended homeschool break for the
holidays.  I knew that I would take that
time to evaluate 2015, I wanted to settle into what some of my goals might be for 2016.  I
needed the space to be intentional about my time while also using my word of the year – actionto get my home back to normal.
I think that is typical of my January’s of late, trying to
put the pieces back together after a crazy 2 months of birthdays, holidays and
fun.
Now we are moving into February, and so the whole house purge
commences.
How do we start? 
Well, if you want to work the KonMari method, you take everything in
one category out and work through it all at once.  Unfortunately, I do not have that amount of
time to work on it, and I would be afraid that if I took everything out, it
might not all be sorted and put away for quite some time.  I do love the motivation and definitely the
idea of touching all items to see if they “spark joy” in order to know whether
or not to get rid of it, but taking everything out all at once is a tad too
extreme with three little ones underfoot.
Instead I plan to do the “one category in one room at a
time” method that I have grown to love from Tsh Oxenreider’s book Organized Simplicity.
I have talked a lot about this book over the years, but it
has been a while since I have actually used it (no matter how often I say that
I *plan* to use it!), to go through my home.

I like this method because you work through each room a
little at a time.  It seems to be much
more manageable for me with the kids.  I
don’t want to start a house purge and then end up having to stop in the middle
of it due to one of the many emergencies that pop up during the day.
Now, when I think of a whole house purge, I typically think
of the main living areas first. 
Why?  Because those are the areas
that see the most traffic, as well as where we live, so it is what I am
constantly looking at.  However, what
typically happens is I will tidy these spaces, and run out of time for the
actual purging
Because of this issue, I have decided to start with the
kids’ rooms.  The toys are immense, too
overwhelming for the kids to adequately take care of, too overwhelming for me
to take care of, the amount of clothes is overwhelming, the books,
surprisingly, not so overwhelming, but that is because I have weeded through
those already.
I think that once the kids’ rooms are under control it is
going to make the rest of the house a little easier to tackle. 
I then plan to work on our master bedroom.  The master bedroom is supposed to be a
sanctuary – ours is most definitely not a sanctuary.  As the only room that has a *sort of* closet,
we end up storing a lot of stuff in our room. 
It is time to go through it, to de-clutter, and then organize the rest
of it.  I would like to freshen up the
space, and make it a relaxing atmosphere.
Finally, I plan to end with my kitchen.  When I thought about doing this large de-cluttering
project, I figured I would start with the kitchen, but I have changed my mind.  It needs a good spring cleaning, and by the
time I get to it, it may just be spring! 
The kitchen is the life of my home; I spend an enormous amount of time
there.  I love it, but I need it to work
better for me.  I need to get rid of old
canning lids and rings that are rusted, my jars need to be more organized for
the coming canning season, and the organization of food and kitchen tools needs
to better.

Last year I did a 31 bags in 31 days challenge project, which
went incredibly well.  I thought about
doing that again for February, going down to 29 bags, but I am embarrassed to
think about how many bags we may end up using to purge the home.  Instead I plan to update you on my progress
as we go throughout the month.

How is your home organization for 2016 going?  Have you made a lot of progress in the month of January, or are you just starting, like me?

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32 Comments

  1. I agree, attacking clutter is SO important! It even adds a lot of stress and anxiety to my daily life when I see a bunch of clutter in my living spaces so I do my best to stay on top of it!

  2. We move city and house every two years and most of the time get rid of a lot of stuff before the move. even though we move in with minimal belonging, we always manage to pile up quickly. especially toys and books and bits and bobs. I really want to do a house purge too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I'm with you! Clutter stresses me out, and I'm unable to concentrate on other tasks until things are cleared away. My husband never puts things away. He loves to leave stuff sitting out!

  4. I just started reading Clutter Control: easy Feng Shui Tips for Getting Organized by Skye Alexander. It keeps me motivated in re-organizing some areas of our house. It's kids toys and homeschooling supplies that usually get me!!

  5. I'm a HUGE neat freak so this post is all for me really. I can't stand any mess around me as it messes with my brain, and quite clearly I may have a small OCD with it haha! Never a bad thing though. Love to see a post like this to help those who aren't as tidy and would like to be. Great tips on this post and a lovely blog 🙂

    Megan

  6. Getting my home re-organized is my big gal for 2016! With a husband, six kids, two large dogs, and a cat – it seems like there is stuff everywhere! I love the the KonMari method of perking – it is helping me. Good luck to you!

  7. I've heard about the KonMari method but it sounds overwhelming. Clutter has been a stuggle, but it has gotten better for us once we taught our son how to put his toys away after he's done playing with them. 29 bags sounds like a lot btw!! Best of luck on your decluttering!

  8. Thanks for sharing this! Getting rid of clutter is like the most difficult thing for me to do, but at the same time I can't live with clutter in my life

  9. I hate clutter, but it seems to be everywhere in my house. My husband thinks I'm just to pedantic about it, and maybe it's an ocd, but I can't stand things out of place. Thanks for the tips.

  10. Good organizing is one of a good way to manage the household, but again everybody has to involve. I use to be a person who always wants everything placed where it supposed to be, and neatly..but I learned to let loose myself a bit..a little messy here and there it's still okay..but not complete mess..then I start to panic.. lol.

  11. Clutter seriously makes me uncomfortable. I'm better at not letting me stress me out because when it's not my home there's nothing I can do about it. A military life and moving taught me how not to collect what would be clutter.

  12. I live with people who have lived with clutter so long they no longer see it, and I can't stand it.. the clutter around the house is just too much chaos for me. It took me a year to get rid of a laundry basket of socks in the living room. Its ridiculous. We're moving this summer and I'm not taking half this junk with us.

  13. Organizing is hard when you work and have little kids but it seems all the more important in that lifestyle because clutter is almost injurious to a healthy lifestyle. I always feel if I want to de clutter my mind, I need to de clutter my surroundings.

  14. Oh, canning season, how I wish I had things to can! A few years ago, I got a little crazy with it, and just bought stuff from the grocery store. I think this year, I will have to keep an eye out for some kind of farmer's market or something (that's not so crowded as the one in the city we used to live in was!).
    January was great for decluttering at my house, but also because I had already started and was more than ready to move on from the holidays. There is still a ton to do, though. We're also wanting to find a way to rearrange the office (we need more space than we have, really, and just need a good clear out so there can be more room for the stuff that needs to be up). That will be an undertaking on it's own, let alone the rest of the house, so I'm thinking the office will be my focus for the month. We'll see how it goes!
    And of course, I would love to see/read about your progress! 😀

  15. I live in such a small home that I have to purge quite often. I have gotten now to where before I purchase anything I have to know exactly where it will go or I don't buy it…of course yarn does not count as I can always find room for that LOL! My kiddies are also all grown up and it becomes so much easier to deal with clutter once they get older although I do have a hubby who is a small pack rat and loves to collect things which then turns into clutter. It all ends up in our bedroom and that does drive me a little crazy because as you say it should be a sort of sanctuary. Maybe I can convince him to purge!!!

  16. wow – a house purge sounds overwhelming! But, it is good to stay away from the clutter. I always feel better around an organized space. I try to do more closet purges about twice a year, but maybe I'll look into house purges too!
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

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