With spring right around the corner, it’s time to get organized and tackle that to-do list you’ve been delaying. Are you ready? Let’s do this!
First, I have a confession to make. I’m right there with you, my friend. I have a long list of things to organize, file, donate, sell, throw away and clean out. I tell myself I’ll get to it next weekend, next month, in between work projects and it just never happens. Running my business, serving my clients, parenting and household duties are always at the top of my to-do list, so the organization tasks keep falling to the bottom of my priorities. Can you relate?
This spring I will finally conquer the clutter and create new processes in our household that will help me get organized and simplify my life once and for all.
Are you with me?
The goal is to simplify, organize and become more intentional with our time and the items we keep. This will bring me joy when I’m working at home in a clean, clutter-free and inspiring workspace. It will also allow me to be more productive. I’m also teaching my kids how to organize their bedroom and playroom and how to fold their clothes and put them away after I’ve washed them. This week, my girls (ages 5 and 7) were putting away their clothes. They asked me if they could watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo so they could see how she folds clothes. After watching the show, they came into my office with two bags of clothes they no longer wanted, and they had folded their shirts the “KonMari” way — all on their own! I think this spring cleaning project will definitely have a positive impact on my entire family.
I’m not an organizing expert, but I’ve done a lot of research (and watched several episodes of Tidying Up), so I hope I can inspire you to join me in this endeavor.
Emily Ley, the founder of The Simplified Planner, suggests you start with a trash bag. Walk through your home and get rid of papers, receipts, tags, etc. Also, organize your inbox. She recommends you search for the word “unsubscribe” and remove yourself from any non-essential lists.
Here are a few more tips that I plan to implement during the next few weeks to get organized:
Tackle the closets.
Many professionals suggest getting rid of clothes that you haven’t worn for a year or more. If an item no longer fits you, get rid of it. If you no longer like the style or if it doesn’t “spark joy,” it’s time to let it go. You can sell your items online, donate or give them away to friends or family. Donating formal dresses you’ll never wear again or children’s clothing to charity, or passing them on to another family is always a great idea. If you have kids who can share clothes, organize the items you love most in plastic bins and label them by size, so you don’t forget what you have. I have two girls that are two years apart, so my little one wears a lot of her big sister’s clothes that are lightly used or even brand new.
Clean out your drawers.
I like to tackle one or two drawers at a time, so I don’t get overwhelmed. If you have a little more time, you can tackle an entire room of drawers. Take out things that you no longer need or want and get rid of the excess, including clothes, accessories, toiletries, makeup, and that junk drawer in the kitchen. Add dividers or inserts to separate the items so it looks nice and neat. This will also make it easier to find what you need.
Go through all the paperwork.
This is the hardest task for me. I have so much paperwork that it becomes overwhelming, so I need to find a solution to this problem. I think the best idea is to buy an organizer. That way, I can easily label and separate invoices, contracts, bills, school forms, etc. and file them away faster at the end of every week (or month). I will make a commitment to file away this paperwork by adding it to my calendar and setting a reminder so it gets done. A great tip we’re already implementing is to recycle or throw away junk mail as soon as it arrives, so it doesn’t clutter the counter. Remove yourself from mailing lists by adding your name to the National Do Not Mail List. Also, clean off your desk and keep only the essentials on your desktop, so you have a nice, clean workspace.
Find a home for all the toys.
We now have a playroom, which has been a huge help. But my girls still love to take the toys out of the playroom and make messes. The rule is that if you take things out, you must put them back in the playroom when you’re done. I’ll be honest; this doesn’t always happen. Many times, I’m calling them to come and pick up their toys before someone trips and falls over a doll or a Lego set in the family room.
I prefer to involve them in cleaning out their playroom, so we do it together every few months. This also teaches them good habits (at least, I hope so!). We go through everything in the room, take out what they no longer play with, and organize what’s left. The important thing is to find a home for all the toys and make sure they’re on board. Also, label the toy bins or baskets so everyone knows what goes where.
Put away or discard kids’ art projects.
My girls keep bringing home mountains of art projects and my sentimental mommy heart doesn’t want to part with them. However, there’s no way I can keep storing everything in my office. I plan to go through all the projects and keep what is most meaningful. In the past, I’ve had a photographer friend take pictures of my daughter’s artwork against a white poster board, so I could upload the images and print a photo book with her art. There are also companies like ArtKive that offer this type of service, which I think is great. You simply mail them the materials, they photograph it, create an art book, and mail it all back to you. Isn’t that awesome?
And it gets even better! ArtKive is offering Miami Moms Blog readers a special discount. Just use the promo code MMB and get $20 OFF your order until May 15, 2019.
Whether you have a long list of projects to tackle or you just want to organize a specific area, start by making a list of everything you want to accomplish. Then prioritize that list.
Busy moms don’t have a few weeks available to declutter and organize their entire home. But that’s okay. Sarah Giller Nelson, a Miami-based professional organizer and founder of Less is More Organizing Services, recommends that you tackle small projects at a time.
“Moms don’t have the time to dedicate 8 hours of their day to organizing, but it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing endeavor. If you do that, you are setting yourself up to fail. Instead, use the blocks of time you do have, even if it’s 30 minutes, to get small tasks completed,” says Sarah. “These pockets of time will help you get things done and you will be more productive.”
My hope is that you can #ConquerTheClutter and create a space you love without any added stress, so you can spend more time enjoying your family. I will be doing this right along with you, so let’s cheer each other on and get organized together!