Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Building Habits

It's been about a week since we finished going through our entire house. I am amazed at the difference in our lives! I love knowing where everything is and being able to put things away quickly. It all goes back to having a place for everything and putting everything in it's place!

Aside from just decluttering, my husband and I both have some habits we are working hard to address:

  • Doing the dishes as soon as we are done with them. Before we would let the sink fill which made doing the dishes an actual chore. Instead, we spend the one to two minutes it takes when we are done using them and finish it. I love not having a pile of dishes to think about and dread washing. 
  • Making the bed daily. This one has had double the payoff. Not only does my entire room feel cleaner after this one task, but it also forces me to get out of bed a few minutes earlier and not hit the snooze that extra time. Making the bed before we leave the room gives me a sense of accomplishment before I even start the rest of my day. 
  • Everything in its place. It is so easy to leave things out on the counter and think, "Oh, I'll just get it later." Then you are left with piles in every room and an hour of picking up before you can start to clean. Now, we are both working on just putting things away when we are done with them! (Insane concept, no? :) ) I also do a nightly sweep to make sure things are picked up and the couch pillows are straightened before we go to bed. This way when I wake up, a clean house is waiting for me! Bonus: I think I cut my cleaning time in half simply because I didn't have to pick up the house before I could actually clean it. That means more time with my love... 
Just a week of these three things, and I have already noticed a difference in my attitude towards our home. I love not looking around and not having piles of stuff everywhere that need to be put away. I no longer feel like I am using spending time with my spouse as a means of procrastinating on housework. 

What are some simple habits that you do to make your time at home more enjoyable?

Celebrating Success

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our families, I returned from my trip to Illinois with a stockpile of baby things that needed to find their home in our home. I had already transformed our office into a nursery with a cloffice (closet office), but aside from a dresser, that left Jr with little storage.

I spent the next week taking things from the nursery, moving them to a place in a cabinet, taking things from that cabinet, and moving them to a closet, and then switching the items in that closet to a different cabinet. It was exhausting! But the smaller the pile of baby things sitting on the floor of the nursery the more accomplished I felt.

This also spurred on my desire to clear out the clutter of our home. I went through cabinet by cabinet, closet by closet until every nook and cranny of our place had been weeded through (with the exception of our desk).

Knowing I had an insane amount of clothes, I saved my mountain for the end. I knew I needed those small successes to give me the motivation to finish the task.

Side Note: I am sad that I didn't take before and after pictures of everything, because there really is a tremendous amount of change. I think I was so overwhelmed by the pile to donate in our living room, that I never felt like I truly accomplished anything until we dropped the load off to the donation station.

Looking back, I feel so much more free in our home. I was able to clear off some spaces to make dusting easier, I know where everything is in our house which makes clean up a breeze, and I no longer wake up avoiding the piles of clutter around my home.

Here is the mountain I had to tackle. 
Note the shoe rack behind the tote of shoes.... 

Before: So many t-shirts and sweatshirts!!! 

Some of these clothes I have had since high school. There are about 5 different sizes of things. 

Pile of things we got rid of. There is an under the bed tote at the bottom of that full of kitchen ware. *Note: I kept my 31 tote. We just used that to haul things to the donation station :) 

Husband's t-shirts piles are a little straighter! 
Moved the other shoe rack under my scarves.  This one is for boots. 

I love having my t-shirts in the bins at the bottom. I no longer have to dig through an entire stack. 

Organizer I bought for my undershirts. This freed up an entire drawer in my dresser! 

What holds you back from getting rid of clutter in your home? 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Getting Organized to Organize!

The more podcasts I listen to and blogs I read, the more I can't wait to get home and start revamping our home. I am motivated and inspired to take control of our home and the items inside. But alas, I am currently on vacation enjoying some family time before our little one arrives this July. So what have I decided to do while I am away from home? Start planning out those organizing projects!

I decided that in order to keep my thoughts straight, buying this notebook was absolutely necessary (and because I am a bit of a notebook junkie...)

I began by mentally walking through our home and making a master list of the big areas that I want to tackle. I made a few notes on some spaces, but most of my detailed plans would happen later.

I then found a great room organization planner on the blog Gifts We Use. It is super simple to use, and I love the design of it. What I struggled with though was the fact that I am 12 hours from my printer and trying to plan away from home. Insert aforementioned perfect notebook here.

I took the headings and main ideas from the Gifts We Use organizer and made a smaller version to best fit my needs. Starting with our master closet, I wrote my goal in the top right corner, "To have a purged, sorted, easy-to-use/maintain closet." I then wrote down my lists of things that work well and things that don't work.

Underneath I drew what our closet used to look like when it was organized/ how I want it to look when we are finished. Pictures and details of this project will come when I get back to our place!

I then made my Wish List of stuff I already know I want and made a section for notes. I love love loved the tasks that the other organizer had, so I wrote them down under notes. Sort, purge, place, contain, tweak.

On the back of the page I made a place for reflection. I really loved these four questions from the template:
  • Were your goals met?
  • Are your systems working? 
    • What needs to change? 
  • Does the space make you feel more organized? 

While we are discussing it, I think it is so valuable to take time to reflect on how the organizing went after it is finished. Getting organized isn't a "one and done" event. It is a process that takes time and development. Just because you think an idea may work does not mean that it is actually the best place or plan. Just like you don't clean your kitchen counters once and leave it, you don't organize a space one time without needing to reevaluate it.

I was so excited after writing this plan for the closet, I went ahead and wrote out some ideas for our dressers and hall closet too. I really can't wait to get started on everything!

What is your best way of organizing what needs to be organized? 
Share your ideas in the comments below!