Life at this time of year is usually very full…and then we add the holidays! You may look around your home, feel overwhelmed, and wish you had more time to get organized. We get it! But things might not be as bad as they seem. We have found that there are five areas that can especially get out of control when they are not maintained and make your house look more cluttered than it actually is. If you tackle just one, two, three, four, or all five of these spaces that make your home look cluttered, you will be surprised at the difference it makes to the overall look and feel of your home.
Space One: Kids’ Drop Zone
Is there a great big pile of shoes, coats, mail, or maybe pieces of sports equipment that greets you at the door? Organizing a drop zone – or launch pad as we call it – will make your home feel and look less cluttered. Although this category is called the “Kids Drop Zone”, everyone needs a launch pad! Establishing a launch pad for your kids gives you that in-between place to house items needed when you leave and when you return home. A launch pad is a simple and efficient space that helps maintain and contain all that comes in or goes out of your home. The items may differ slightly and be unique to your family, but it is important to give every item a home so that items do not continue to collect into piles or get lost when you need them most. It is just one area, but it has many moving parts; establishing a launch pad in your home will make a big difference in your home organization.
Space Two: Paperwork
Does the pile of incoming paperwork continue to grow? Maybe last month you went through a hefty stack of paper and whittled it down. This month you see it has grown just as high, if not higher! Or maybe it is organizing kids’ documents – the paperwork, artwork, and sentimental items that grow abundant and just keep multiplying! What do you do with all those bills, catalogues, memorabilia, and other documents that just keep accumulating? Paper can quickly get out of control and feel like a recurring battle. This is because paperwork requires maintenance – daily, monthly, and yearly maintenance. Each document needs to go to a category, whether that be “Action”, “To File”, or “Trash”. When you apply an action to it, watch as the pile of paper gets sorted. Start small with a basic filing system, and then when you establishing a routine for your paperwork, you will have a system for handling your paperwork. Tackling this area will make your home feel and look so much more organized.
Space Three: Laundry
Laundry is a task, with many steps, which makes it difficult to stay on track and complete. This is another area of the home that can quickly get out of control. Maybe the laundry room itself is a black hole. Setting up a routine for this task is what gets you to the finish line. Here are a couple tips for tackling your laundry and getting it into an organized process:
- Decide if doing a load everyday, or devoting a specific day of the week to laundry is best for you.
- When you go to start a load of laundry, purpose to be committed to the task until it is finished.
- Set an alarm for when the laundry is done in the washer to remind you to put it into the dryer.
- Set an alarm to take the laundry out of the dryer.
- Fold the laundry right then and there in your laundry room.
- Immediately gather up the folded laundry and put it away.
Following up succinctly with each step will not allow you the opportunity to become distracted from your task! Setting alarms will help you remember and keep you from forgetting about the laundry. Knowing the steps to follow and complete will keep your mind on the task at hand and help you to complete it from start to finish. You might even decide to organize the laundry room after you finish doing the laundry. Organizing this area will make your home feel and look so much more organized!
Space Four: Playroom
What is the state of the playroom? Every parent knows this area can quickly get out of control. Toys seem to beget toys. There’s no time like the present to prepare your kids for the holidays and get ready for all the gifts that will be coming in by making room and decluttering. Kids also play better when they have fewer things to play with! Simplifying choices and reducing distractions allows children to play with what they have for longer periods of time with more focus and creativity. Having this area of the home organized will also make the rest of your home feel and look less cluttered. Make decluttering an adventure with your child with these helpful tips:
- Pick an area – focus only on this area.
- Take all toys, books, and games out of wherever they currently live. Kids will LOVE this. They get to make a huge mess and get every toy out!
- Sort all items into categories placing like with like. You can start with making a big pile of books and then going on from there. Kids will really enjoy making piles of items.
- Go through each pile and decide what you will keep and what you will toss (thrown away, recycled, donated, or sold).
- Put all the keep items back in the place they will live. This can be a great step to do with your child because they will then know the place each item belongs.
- Here are some of our favorite organizing products for kids.
Space Five: Bathroom
The bathroom-whether that be your bathroom or a guest bathroom, can often be an overlooked area. But it really is an important part of the home and probably the most used space in every single house. It is oftentimes the first place you see in the morning and the last place you visit before going to bed. Bathrooms can quickly get filled with half-used hair products, broken eye shadow cases, medicines, various body lotions and so much more. Your home will feel so much more organized if you spend some time decluttering and organizing your bathroom.
- Get rid of all the expired medicines, products that are nearly empty, old makeup, crumbled up band aids, the electric toothbrush you never use, the few remaining teeth whitening strips… you get the idea!
- Clean out the hair in your hair brushes, wash your makeup brushes, wipe clean the inside of your bathroom drawers.
- Go a step further and toss out old hand towels, shower curtains, and bath mats.
- Use drawer organizers to keep your bathroom drawers in order. It really makes a difference!
- We love turntables for facial products, lotions, and/or perfumes whether they be in a cabinet or under the sink.
- Read this blog post for more ideas about some great products for organizing your bathroom.
We want to see before and after photos of the space(s) you decide to organize. Tell us about them in our Facebook Abundance Declutter Group!