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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simplify and De-Clutter

It is amazing how much junk you accumulate over the years. What is even more amazing is that we only use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time. So what do we do with all that extra junk? Simplify and de-clutter.  Simplifying and organizing your house is easy if you know how.

You may be wondering why you should bother simplifying. After all, what does all that clutter really do? For one, there will be less time spent cleaning your house which means more time for stuff you like to do. Although I am sure there are many moms that love to clean, I for one would rather be at the beach or playing with my kids. 

How many times have you looked for your keys and been stressed because of it? When you are organized there is less stress and frustration trying to find items. This also teaches us needs vs. wants which is a valuable lesson and makes us analyze what is important to us. All of these lead to a calmer, happier mom which leads to a calmer, happier family.

Starting is not as daunting as you may think. Just break it down room by room. You could tackle the closets one week, the bedrooms the next, and the kids playroom last. Start by coming into the room with a new eye. Look at it like you are a stranger in your house. Look at where the clutter accumulates. Then attack the clutter. No, seriously, you need to have an attack mentality because you are going to be giving up stuff you may be attached too and do not want to give up. For instance, those "skinny" jeans you have not worn since the 80's do not belong in your closet. I had my rehearsal dinner outfit I had kept for years, just because. I finally gave it to Goodwill because I knew it was not my style anymore and I was never going to wear it again.

As you are going through the clutter have 3 laundry baskets, or 3 plastic bags, whatever. You can have a keep pile, goodwill pile and garbage pile. As you go through the room put items into those piles. Examine each item and ask yourself if you really use that or if you are emotionally attached.

 Re-purpose things and be creative with storage solutions. My husband found some cabinets that someone was throwing away. He brought them home and we cleaned them up and and painted them. They are hung up in our basement and used to store play dough and art supplies along with extra storage for food items. This has really helped in a house where storage is scarce. We also added shelves to bare basement walls to put the kids toys up on and added drawers from an old waterbed below the shelves. Just another way to re-purpose old things for creative storage ideas.

Now that you have the clutter in check you need to keep it that way. I use the rule that for every item I bring in, I have to get rid of 1. I also believe in less is better, especially with the kids toys. I have found that when they have too much of anything, they do not play with anything. They do not know what they have and it just creates chaos when you have too much. The kids are part of this de-cluttering process and we go through their rooms before birthdays and Christmas to give their old toys to the needy. This gives them the sense they are helping others which is important.

I invite you to try simplifying your house and the clutter and see if you feel better!

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