A good start to changing the way you think is to change the way you live. It’s time to de-clutter your household and that means tossing out old items you no longer use and letting go of the past. These things include old kids drawings, school papers, and even birthday cards.
Holding onto the past will block the door to the future.
Having three kids of my own, all teenagers now, I’ve had my fair share of messes and I am known for holding onto old memories. No seriously, when I went through and cleaned my house before my husband retired from the military, I still had all my kids baby teeth securely placed in a ziplock bag and dated with their names. My kids are now in high school. That’s how much I held onto the past. It was hard for me to let go, and sometimes it still is. But when you hold on for too long, it can mentally stress you out. I’m also known for my OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) to the point one tiny piece of paper on the floor would make me flip out. Oh the counseling I went through to let go of that part of myself.
And don’t think once your tiny tot becomes a teenager that those messes disappear. Oh no honey, those little messes become bigger messes. And if you’re kids are as tech advanced and nerdy as mine, they hibernate in their rooms during the winter with chips and mountain dew. Trust me, my teens have chores and they know better, but no teenager ever “remembers” their mom specifically telling them they couldn’t bring food up into their room.
You don’t have time to battle life’s messes that clutter your home.
Have no fear moms! Whether you have tots or teens, these five steps can help you on your path to de-cluttering your home so you can focus more on de-cluttering your mind.
Be it warmer months that bring days spent outdoors, sweet treats and backyard barbecues or snowy cold months of dreadful isolation, spending time with loved ones in and around the house can also mean many messes, big and small. In both the Summer and Winter times when kids are out of school, entertaining and keeping the house clean become serious challenges — even for the most organized families. But it’s even more of a challenge when you’re not even feeling up to the task. We all know mid-life transitioning means one day you’re fine, the next day you could chew the head off a llama. That said, when you aren’t chewing the head off something, here are 5 steps to start your cleaning process.
There’s a Place For Everything and Everything in it’s Place
1. Stackable Bins
Bins and containers are the easiest way to organize your closet and your home. Just label the bins and toss those items right in there before popping the bin back up on the shelf. You can even buy colored bins to organize your storage by category or to simply hide what’s in the bins.
2. Donate those old and unwanted things
Every Summer and Winter we make it a habit to go through our closet and dressers to make room for the next seasonal attire. In doing so, we toss our outgrown clothes and shoes, old toys, blankets or coats, and unwanted electronics or games into a bin labeled “Donations”. Because we’re a retired military family, we usually call on our local Purple Heart to come pick the donations up. Purple Heart is a congressionally-chartered charity for military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat and their families. You can find out where your local Purple Heart is by visiting www.purpleheartpickup.org
3. Keep dirt and snow in the bin
It’s easy to forget to kick off your shoes once you enter the house. And even if you do, it seems as though sand, dirt, and snow somehow manage to find their way into the home and the shoes are all over by the door. To help keep the mess outside where it belongs and to keep the shoes neat by the door, get a small bend and put baskets for the shoes underneath it. You can use a shoe basket or even just a Tupperware tub to leave at the front door. This will keep your floors and rugs from getting filthy and organize the shoes in one spot.
4. The JUNK men are your friends … or hunks, whatever!
Remember that saying “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure? Well it’s true. There are people who will come and haul the last of your stuff away, for a fee. They advertise on community bulletin boards, or leave their business cards in local shops. These companies or people will haul away old furniture, appliances, computers, and simple junk that you no longer want or that the donations won’t accept. Whomever you use, just get that junk out of there!
5. A Tiskit-A Taskit, Toss it in a Basket
With three teenagers and two adults in the house, it never fails that no matter how much I clean, at the end of the day I always manage to find clothes, coats, wash rags, dish cloths, pens, school papers, and everything else laying around the house like a tornado flew through unexpectedly. In order to keep everything from piling up, I keep a few baskets on the side of the stairs with each person’s name on one. Then, as I find things, I toss them into the basket of the person who it belongs to and make sure everyone checks their basket before heading back up to their room. Easy for mom to keep the area clean and easy to see who is or isn’t putting their things away.
These 5 tips are just a start to getting you into the habit of organizing and de-cluttering your home. However, you know your family best, so only you can organize your life better than anyone else. Then, when you’ve mastered the art of organizing your home, you can work on yourself.