There is something about organizing your home that creates this amazing feeling. You feel freer in a way. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed and put the task off until tomorrow, or next week, or never. My guest blogger, Jennifer Weiner, has a few ideas:
6 Ways to Create a Peaceful, Organized Home
by Jennifer Weiner
When you have a disorganized or cluttered house, it can be overwhelming to think about getting things in order, especially if you have children creating new messes every time you clean. Taking the time to set up a system of organization can bring a new peace and order to your home and to your family. Break the job into manageable chunks and fight the urge to ignore the chaos.
1. Involve the children. Even toddlers can help put toys away properly. Martha Stewart Living suggests designing custom decals with pictures to help little ones identify the right bins for their blocks and other toys. Spend a few minutes a day helping your children until they learn the system.
2. Start now. Don’t wait until you have perfectly coordinated containers and a professional-looking design plan, says Tsh Oxenreider, founder of the Simple Mom website and author of “Organized Simplicity.” She says it’s better to work with what you have and just get started. Use custom labels to mark boxes, bins and containers with the contents. Start simple and refine the system as your organizational needs and preferences become clearer.
3. Avoid burnout. Organizing expert Marla Cilley, known as “The FlyLady,” recommends working in 15-minute increments. For example, rather than tackling your whole closet at once, just start with one shelf; when it’s done, either go to the next one or stop for the day. Your home will become more organized, and the project won’t intrude on your family time.
4. Sort the stuff. Label boxes for items to be put away, passed along to someone else, kept and fixed, says Georgene Lockwood in her book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Organizing Your Life.” As you work your way through your rooms and closets, be realistic about the space you have and what you should keep. Lockwood suggests asking yourself a series of questions: Have I used it recently? Do I have another one that’s nicer? Does it have sentimental value? Does it make me feel guilty or upset to look at it? Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit with your vision for a relaxed and comfortable home.
5. Stay on top of trouble spots. Flat surfaces like tables and countertops have a tendency to attract junk mail and other clutter, which can feel depressing when you’re trying to keep things neat. Designate a collection point for these items, suggests Good Housekeeping magazine. Give yourself incentive to keep those surfaces clear by using the space to display a pretty vase or a framed photo.
6. Write it down. Hang individual dry-erase boards, chalkboards or clipboards in the kitchen or laundry room to keep everyone in the family organized, Sara Gray Miller of Country Living magazine explained in a segment on “Good Morning America.” With custom labels and a personalized board to track to-do lists, kids will feel more organized and get the satisfaction of marking off completed chores and homework assignments.
Becoming disorganized doesn’t happen overnight, and it won’t go away that quickly either. Work your way methodically through your home, doing a little at a time. Figure out systems that work well for your family. It won’t be long before you realize that a weight has been lifted from your life, leaving you more room for the things you love.
Jessica specializes in custom digital printing, and when she is not writing for Print360.com she can be found cooking up a storm in her kitchen.