Organizing is kinda my jam.
But here’s my secret just between you and me…I am NOT naturally an “organized” person. Whenever you take those personality tests, whichever one has traits like “super organized” is not me. Ever. I’m always the one that has to do with being outgoing, being super nerdy, or being spontaneous.
Sometime during college, my nerdy little outgoing self realized something – being organized helps me to get more done and feel less overwhelmed everyday. Which are two things I REALLY value. And that’s the number one reason why I stay organized and frequently declutter my house.
Sometimes when someone is naturally gifted in an area it can be hard for them to explain HOW to do what it is that they do so well. However, since organizing is something I have LEARNED, hopefully I can give you a few tips that will help you gain control over your clutter too!!
Tip 1 – Set up simple routines.
My secret sauce, if you will, for keeping my house clean everyday is to set up simple routines. When I first became a stay at home mom (super preggo with kid #2) I knew that to make it everyday I would have to set up a routine for me and my 1.5 year old. I literally sat down with a pen and paper and mapped out what a day would look like for us.
I also included in that when I would do the dishes, laundry, take naps, and also our MEAL PLAN for the week with my grocery list made. And for a long time I stuck to it! Once baby 2 was about 6 months, I redid our schedule with her nap times, etc.
Literally take a pen and paper and write down what your morning and evening routines will look like.
For the purpose of keeping your house clean, I would focus on the biggies – when you will do the dishes, laundry, and general pick up of the day’s clutter. As you get good at that you can start adding more things to your schedule.
Tip 2 – Declutter kids clothes every season change (which is basically 2 times a year! )
We live in Texas so we basically have two types of clothes – summer clothes (add a sweater for fall) and the two months of cold we have!!!
Every time we go through a season change I use it as a time to clean out my kids clothes. I also do consignment sales in the area so I have a place where I put all of their clothes we no longer need, and then some plastic tubs for my favorite things I’m saving to hand down to the next kid (I have 3 girls…so lots of hand-me-downs!).
It’s really not as hard as it sounds, but it just has to be done, so I’m not completely overwhelmed by all the clothes in their room.
Don’t use their drawers to store off-season clothes – just go ahead and declutter each season.
Tip 3 – Set aside a spring cleaning weekend …in the Fall.
The idea of spring cleaning is actually a really great idea! But honestly, who has the time to do spring cleaning? It’s in a terrible time of year when you are totally slammed with end of the school year projects, graduations, spring break travel, and just generally EXHAUSTED from the school year.
So I switched my spring cleaning to PRE-HOLIDAY cleaning! Let’s be honest, I have WAY more energy in the Fall because my kids are back in school (wohoo!) and our routine is still rolling good and I also know that I want my house clean for the holidays when we will have people over.
I know that when Christmas comes (and my birthday in November) that we will be bringing in new things into our house. It just happens. The kids will get a million toys, and my husband and I will be the grateful recipients of things as well, and it just adds to the clutter.
So the past few years I have done a fall declutter of EVERY STINKIN’ ROOM. It takes me like 2 weeks of free time. But it is SOOO worth it!
I’m not afraid to toss stuff, but if I think it has value I put it into a pile. At the end of that declutter time I try my luck at selling it on Facebook. Then you can use that extra money to spend on Christmas!! Wohoo!
Tip 4 – Don’t be afraid to get rid of things.
I talk about this in my article on Decluttering the Kids Toys, but essentially you do NOT have to keep every single thing that comes into your house. I’m looking at you, school crafts.
There are lots of ways to nicely pass on unwanted family heirlooms, pass along toys that have ONE MILLION pieces, or that just cause your kids to fight. Don’t keep those things.
For more tips on getting rid of things visit my website at www.littlecottagelife.com where I have TONS of tips on decluttering and getting rid of unwanted things!
Tip 5 – Take intentional shopping breaks.
When my oldest was about 8 months old I really felt the need to just get out of the house one day. So I put her in the car and we started to head into town to go to Marshalls. About 5 minutes into my trip a thought occurred to me – where am I going to put the things I was about to buy on this shopping trip?
Going to the store to buy things just because I was bored was NOT a good reason to 1. spend money out of our budget and 2. give me more things I have to keep clean.
I literally turned around, drove into Sonic for a little treat then headed back home.
There are other ways to beat boredom, deal with stress, or just make yourself “feel better” than shopping. Take an intentional shopping break for three weeks and see how it feels! In fact, do that during your fall declutter. Make it your mission to NOT go shopping (other than groceries) for your declutter time and see how you feel about your house.
I have a bonus tip for you – get a friend to do these things with! Life is more fun when we moms have each other’s backs 🙂 Plus your are more likely to get it done if you have some accountability.