No, this is not an organizational blog. Decluttering and organizing my home has made a huge difference in my productivity, mama mood, and how I run my household, however, so I feel compelled to share the amazing benefits of it with you. When you organize your space, you save time and your mind is free to focus on other things.
Break it Down by Area
Don’t try to tackle your whole house at once. When it comes to decluttering and cleaning, I can have a very short attention span. It is easy to jump from different tasks without truly finishing. This will just burn you out, and your house will not get fully decluttered.
I make a list of the areas that I need to declutter, then I will tackle one area a night or weekend, depending on how much time I have. We just moved into our home in April, and I did a lot of major decluttering and organizing in those first few months. I am now noticing a few areas that were neglected and need to be sorted.
Instead of getting overwhelmed by what there is to do, a list helps you break it down into small steps. It is easy to conquer a small hallway closet in an hour than try to take on your whole house.
Pull It All Out
Through trial and error, I have discovered that it is harder to organize an area without first moving everything out. You will be essentially trying to solve a problem while engulfed in the problem. I start off with a clean living room, and then I move everything from the area I want to organize and declutter into the living room.
This ensures hidden clutter is brought to the light, and you can deal with how to organize your space at the root of the issue.
See also: Clutter Free Bathroom Hacks
Assess the Area
Now that your space is clear, what would you like it to look like? Some spaces just need clever rearranging, while others might need a small investment of a better organizational method. For example, the two areas I wanted to tackle in August were my hallway closet and my pantry. The hallway closet was just not working as it was originally designed, since there was only one shelf and a hanging bar. It was wasted space that needed a better system to work to its potential. For about $130, we bought two Rubbermaid closet kits. You can probably find or DIY a cheaper alternative.
For the pantry, I thought I needed to buy more shelves or something more functional. I actually just needed to arrange things better. It is surprising how much better the pantry looks by using different baskets that I already had on hand.
Sort It Out
I might be one of the only people that did not love the KonMarie method as a whole. The book has excellent points on how to organize your space, however. One important point being that we must handle each of our items physically and get rid of anything that does not bring us joy.
Throw away, donate, or sell anything that you don’t need. Be ruthless. If you haven’t used it for more than a year, then it needs to find a new home. So many people hang on to items because they think they will regret getting rid of it. This is what held me back from decluttering books, clothes, and toys. I told myself that if I or my kids really missed an item, we would just buy it again. Guess how many things we have bought again? None!
Instead, the whole family has been benefiting from fewer books, toys, and clothes. It is easier to keep things clean and organized too.
Organize Your Space, Get More Productivity
Fitting organizing into a busy schedule is hard, but I believe it is truly important. In my life, I have found that when I take the time to organize and declutter, I reap the benefits of more time. My closet used to be packed full of clothes. I had clothes ranging in four different sizes, and some that dated back to my high school days. I did not want to get rid of anything.
At the same time, I felt like I could not keep up with the laundry, could not keep my closet clean, and I just always felt unproductive. After reading a motivating book or blog post (this was back in 2012, so I can’t remember exactly what I read), I ruthlessly attacked the closet. I ended up donating seven garbage bags full of clothes. Since then, I have further reduced my wardrobe, as well as the stuff I have.
Surprisingly, it is now easier for me to keep the house clean than it was in 2012. I also accomplish more every day, especially when it comes to writing work. Since 2011 to now, I have added two little ones to my family, and yet, I get more done before 9 a.m. most mornings now than I used to get done the whole day in 2011. I truly believe one of the main factors for this change is decluttering and organizing most areas of my home. Organize your space, and you organize your mind.
Have you experienced the benefits of decluttering and organizing? What’s your next organizational project to tackle? Next on my list is the garage – the organizational task that never seems to get done.