When you’re a busy parent spending your day working from home or the office, and running around after one or more children, there often doesn’t seem to be enough time to keep the house in order. Paperwork piles up in a flash, toys and games get strewn from one room to the next, and the cupboards quickly become bursting at the seams.
If you’re feeling more and more stressed out by the clutter in your household though, it’s time to do something about it — even if you just do one small thing a day. Read on for some tips you can follow today in order to organize your home and get back in control of its contents.
Break the Work Into Steps
When you gaze around at your home and it looks like a tornado swept through or that it simply feels too full, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and wonder how on earth you’re going to make a difference against that mess. A great way to combat this so that you actually get the job done is to break the work into smaller steps, rather than attempting to organize the entire house in a day or a weekend.
There are different ways that you can go about this, but you might like to test out starting with one space at a time. For example, you could de-clutter one shelf, one closet, one drawer, one room, or one particular area of the home. Once this has been done, move on to the next one, and continue.
Visualize How You Want Things to Look
Similarly, you can help yourself to stay motivated to get the job done if you practice visualizing how you want your home to look when you’re finished tidying. Spend some time picturing how you would like each room of the house to come together, and think about the feelings you will enjoy when you see the results.
It pays, too, to create an inspiration board or a scrapbook where you can collect your ideas. Attach pictures that you have taken out of magazines or printed off the web that evoke the feelings you want to have when in your home, and which showcase a room set-up or design that you really love.
Donate and Throw Away Items
Next, you will never be able to enjoy a beautifully-organized home if you don’t become at least slightly ruthless when it comes to clearing away clutter in every room. While it is very easy for items to accumulate quickly, particularly when you have children who bring home or are given new things on a regular basis, you must keep in mind that many items are no longer required or used after a short period of time.
Go through each room of your house regularly and look for things that are either broken and need to be thrown out or repaired; that can be donated to local homeless shelters or other charity organizations; or that you can give to friends and family members. Your children will no doubt have reams of clothing that they have grown out of, as well as toys, books and games that they no longer need or use.
Teaching them the benefits of donating goods to not-for-profit organizations can have wider ranging benefits than just clearing your house of mess too. Once the inside of your home is clean, examine your garage for unused or older items, and even vehicles or boats, worth donating to a good cause that will open up valuable storage space.
As well, try to be on the lookout, as you de-clutter, for items you have been keeping “just in case.” These things will usually gather dust stuffed in the back of closets, under beds, in junk drawers, or in garages and you won’t even remember you have them if (and it is a big if) you ever actually want to use them.
Get the Kids Involved
Lastly, one of the best ways to get your house in order and keep it that way is to get your children involved in the organization process and in everyday tidying up. For starters, help them to go through all of their possessions to see what needs to be donated or thrown out. Next, take what is left and make a place for everything.
For example, you can put up hooks for their school bags, hats, and coats, and place shoe racks in the foyer so that they have somewhere to put their bits and pieces when they arrive home from school. You can also give children their own hampers in their rooms for their laundry, provide large boxes for toys, put up shelving for their books, and so on. Make sure that everything can be reached and easily accessed by them so that they don’t have to wait for you to be there to put things away.