“As the seasons change, so do we. May we be aware that we are shifting just like the wind.”
Ready or not fall is here. Some love it, and some are secretly mourning the long summer days and warm sun. The wind sweeps in this feeling of change, and for me I get so excited to cozy up in our home and prepare for winter.
Here I am, still on my decluttering train and I have been loving how freeing and less stressful my life has been feeling. But, I have to say that this clutter free kick has been with me for a while so I thought I would share a bit of background on how I transformed my life from clutter chaos to neat and tidy.
I’m a HUGE fan of New Years Resolutions and 8 years ago I made mine. It was to never go to bed with a dirty kitchen. This idea started me off in the right direction. I kept with it for the whole year - never going to bed without cleaning the kitchen. This meant no dishes in the sink, nothing left on the counters, everything put back in the cabinets… it all was clean. And I have to say there was nothing more freeing than waking up and coming into a clean kitchen every morning.
After that year passed I made a resolution to never go to sleep with a messy main floor. And to this day, almost 7 years later, I still keep this New Years Resolution. Sure this one takes more work. BUT if you keep on it I would say it takes 10 minutes every night to straighten and tidy up. And for me this is what keeps me feeling sane and happy. Now, I TRY and say I won’t go to bed with a messy house in general, but lets be honest, working full time, owning multiple businesses, and 3 kids doesn’t always allow this one to happen. But I do make a promise to myself that I will keep the main floor clean and worry less about what happens on the second floor. Because, hashtag… life happens.
If you’re thinking these resolutions sound awesome but scary here’s some helpful tips to get you started:
Everything must have a place. And I am serious…. don’t let things sit on your counter. It comes down to the 5 questions that I brought up last time. (Do we use this daily? Have we used this in the past 6 months? Is this a seasonal item that needs to be stored? Does this have a place in our home? Is there someone else who could use this more?) If you’re choosing to keep an item it needs to have a place in your home. And the corner of the counter is not an option!
Involve your kids. If you have kids, I can assume that most of the stuff is their clutter. It can easily turn into a big disaster. I ask them to take things and put them away. I will leave them on the stairs and when they go past they MUST grab their stuff and find A PLACE for it in their room. I will admit that I am NOT scared to throw stuff out… but more on that later. Older kids can learn good habits from this and will quickly learn to clean up and find a place. I truly believe modelling a tidy home will teach and encourage kids to keep their spaces neat and tidy.
Don’t be afraid to recycle and toss. Ya, I’m that mom but I will NOT keep every craft that comes through my door. I don’t want the clutter and honestly the kids don’t want their finger paintings from first grade given back to them when they’re 18. A helpful tip is to take a picture of the art work or craft and make a memory book for each school year. Or if you really must, keep 1 tote per kid and only that. Make wise decisions what goes in. Here’s a neat idea I saw on Pinterest.
Keep counters clear. Counters are precious space when it comes to kitchens so don’t have them cluttered with small appliances and dishes. Remind yourself everything must have a place… When you are done washing dishes put the dishes away. Clean off toys, papers, mail, whatever has found its way to the counter. At the end of every day have everything in a place and the counters washed down. It’s a great feeling when you can do this and turn off the lights for the night.
Do a walk around. Put away backpacks, jackets, shoes, and toys. Remember, everything has a place so this should be easy. Pick up blankets off the floor, put pillows back on the couch, just return everything to its rightful place and know that tomorrow you are starting your day off with a neat and tidy home. Trust me, this part takes about 5-10 mins once you have been doing it for about a week. Also, when you’re doing the walk around if you find things that don’t have a home ask yourself the 5 questions.
So as we transition from one season to the next, we do the same with our lives. This time of year allows us to be mindful of the simple things in life. I hope you enjoy this season, and that you let go of what doesn’t serve you.