We are about to start a new block of challenges – these will all be related to household management. We just finished looking at our homes in terms of how it functions, decluttering our stuff and wardrobes and then putting into place a plan for clutter prevention.
To simplify our homes we need more than just simplifying what we have. We need to simplify how our houses operate so that we reduce stress, save time and feel comfortable in our spaces.
Think about how much time you waste each week looking for things, digging through piles of paper for the “important” needed piece, running back home for the kid’s library book that is due at school, or scrubbing that shower finally since we neglected it a little too long (feel free to substitute your huge laundry pile if you must – same idea).
This week we will start with the cornerstone of simplifying your house – assigning everything a home! Months ago we stopped and created a vision for our lives. So many of you want a calm and organized home where you can relax. Hopefully you have now made a lot of headway into decluttering your house so you have less stuff to assign homes to. If not, carry on as each hour you spend decluttering now will pay off in the long run.
What we are aiming for here is that each room has a function that is clearly defined with homes for everything that belongs in that space. If you have piles / areas of clutter around your home it is time to look at these hot spots and figure out what will go (declutter) or stay (assign it a real home even if it is just a file or a basket).
A key point of organizing is to keep like with like so think about that as you assign homes for things. Be logical and be in tune with how you use your home. Some people would keep cookbooks in their kitchen and others might keep all books on a bookcase in the living room including cookbooks. Do what makes sense to you and what you will stick with. The aim is to know where to go looking for something when you need it.
If you consistently look for something in place X, but it is in place Y, think about whether you should relocate it to place X. The draw that pulls you to that location is the logical (to you) part that associates it with that placement.
If you always leave your keys on a counter but they get buried under other things don’t create a holding place for them in your bedroom, but look to make a home for it where you always drop them. Can you add a basket or dish for them? Can you hang a small hook off the side of the counter?
If you want items to be returned to their homes make sure everyone knows where things belong and that they can access them easily. For children that can mean labelling things that you expect them to put away. Hey, even for grown ups labelling does wonders. When my husband opens our hall closet and is looking for something he can quickly see which boxes or baskets hold medication for his cold or pain relief for the kids or extra toothpaste as they are labelled as such.
As you are assigning homes make sure you can easily access things you will need regularly. In my own case I often have clutter laying around waiting to return to homes that are under our house. While it is nice having the extra storage, we have no internal access so I tend to wait and take a whole heap of stuff downstairs together in one trip. In the meantime I end up with an overflowing outgoing basket by the door. Even then though it shows I have a place for everything as that is the place for “return downstairs” items. I also have a basket for things that are outgoing from the house (store returns, library books etc) rather than leaving them around the house.
Once homes are assigned be aware if you reach capacity for the space. Either declutter or redefine the space. Avoid creating a second location away from the first.
Challenge this week: Go through your home and clear your clutter hot spots by assigning homes to things. Be creative as needed and contain the items however best suits your home. Make it as simple as possible – no need to create an elaborate system to house something if a simple option is available. Sometimes simple things like a tray, hook or basket are all that is required. Do not create junk drawers or catch all baskets though. Find real homes and group like with like (whatever that means to you).
Find your simple,
Link up for week 25 (catch up) with any weeks of the challenge: