Many people are faced with feeling overwhelmed by the situation they are currently in. They see clutter piled on clutter, unopened boxes (often from long ago moves), and clutter re-appearing shortly after they finish their tasks. It will help to look at decluttering and getting organised as an ongoing process rather than a to-do list item that you can check off. It can be harder with young children at home (but not impossible) or with a house full of people who may not share your vision for your home. I know there is nothing more frustrating than decluttering only to have other people bring in more “stuff” and dump it in your spaces!
Organising is an evolution not a revolution
As much as we would love to tackle “getting organised” as a to-do list item and finally be done with it, getting organised is really an ongoing process. Attempting to dump all the junk in one go can leave you with burnout and a half completed project. Start with one room or one drawer and go at your own pace decluttering first. Even if you cannot get others to commit to it you may want to help yourself and commit to not bringing anything non-essential into the home while you declutter.
Maintenance is critical to avoid returning to your starting point
It is not about sorting it all out today and then you are done because your house is now “organised”. Even when you reach the point where everything has a home and you have decluttered your existing excess stuff it requires regular maintenance. Most of us are not strict about letting anything enter our home that we don’t love or use, so will need ongoing maintenance. If you have children or a partner odds are “stuff” will make it into your home almost daily.
Commit to top-up decluttering daily, weekly or monthly and build it into your routine the same way you might clean the bathroom on a certain day or certain number of times a week. With a family it might take having some set rules on how much stuff can be taken out at once, where things can go in the home, who is responsible for returning items to their homes or how often people tidy up.
A 15-20 minute family pick up each evening can be all it takes if everyone pulls together. This is my biggest hurdle in my own home as time flies and before we know it we need to get the kids ready for bed. It becomes very easy to just leave it. For me, I have different breaking points for different spaces and tend to be okay with toys staying out in the playroom for days if needed, but push myself harder to tidy up the living room. My home is rarely in a state of 100% tidiness, but I am okay with that – everyone has a different standard or expectation. I know I can have my home tip top in 15 minutes though if need be since I know in an instant where things need to get back to!
Adapt, Change, Survive and Thrive
How your home will be organised evolves as you change. As you let go of stuff and as new things enter your home it alters your spaces – rethink where things will live and how they are used.
As you learn new tips and tricks and strategies, and as you are inspired by what you see and learn elsewhere apply this knowledge to your home and life. Take action! If something is not working for you don’t continue to force the issue just because that is how everyone else organises their home. Think about what could work for you, see an idea and be inspired to apply it your own way. As I said when discussing pantry organisation – you may not have a traditional pantry, but even having spaces clearly defined for food and appliance storage allows you to apply what you learn from other people’s pantries. All that matters is something works for you.
If you set up a filing and paperwork system, but continue to have papers laying around or in stacks you might want to rethink your system. Make it easy enough that you will maintain it. If you continue to struggle to find certain items regularly rethink their “home” and make it a place that is logical for you. One person may put their keys on a table near their front door, but another might prefer to have a space in their bedroom with their keys, wallet or handbag along with other day to day essentials like phone and diary.
What are your biggest hurdles or tips for success with maintaining your home?
Find your simple,
Image: Repurposed baker’s rack just one of many ideas for upcycling and organising with non traditional items you can find on my pinterest board. Try to think outside the box!