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How to start simplifying your home

Organization

March 1, 2023

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“life truly begins after you have put your house in order”

-marie kondo

As we go about our daily lives, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos of our surroundings. We tend to accumulate more and more things, filling up our spaces with clutter, and adding unnecessary stress to our lives. The accumulation of things was never more apparent than after I had Penny. Kids have a lot of stuff, amiright? Jerry and I were already busting at the seams in our sweet starter home but now we had even more stuff! We were in a constant state of “where is this?” or “where does this go?” “Cram-this-here-and-we-will-deal-with-it-later” became our mantra.

I was feeling overwhelmed but knew exactly where to start. Luckily, organizing is my happy place! 

Simplifying your home does not have to be complicated! What if I told you that you could simplify your home one room, one corner, or even one drawer at a time?

  1. Start by making a checklist of every little nook and cranny that needs to be tidied up. Sounds like a lot? While the list might be long, the key is to start small, taking baby steps toward a more organized, stress-free space. 
  2. After making a list of all the areas to tackle, I like to organize them into a calendar format. This will not only organize your list into daily to-dos but you get the added benefit of a daily dopamine hit when you cross that puppy off your list. Win-win! (Pro tip: print a free calendar page from your Gmail account)
  3. Next set aside 15 minutes a day (so doable!) to de-clutter one area which breaks this [seemingly monstrous] effort into smaller, more manageable daily tasks. 

our January de-clutter calendar

Let’s begin! To gain some momentum, start with an easy one – your sock drawer. Take a moment to look at its contents. Are there any socks that you no longer use, that have holes, or are just plain ugly? Are there any items in that drawer that could be relocated to another part of your home? For instance, my sock drawer is also my accessory drawer so I need to allocate space accordingly or move either my socks or my accessories to another part of the house. Do what makes sense for you and don’t overthink it. 

Once you’ve identified the items that need to be removed or relocated, it’s time to organize the remaining items. Start by grouping similar items together. For example, group all the dress socks together, all gym socks together, all the ski socks together (wait, what?! cause I’ve been skiing once), and so on. This will make it easier for you to find what you need, and it will also give you a clear idea of what you have. But back to the ski socks. I shit you not, I’ve had 2 pairs of ski socks in my drawer since 2012 (when I lived in Denver and went skiing once!). Does this make sense? No. So, during this process, I moved the ski socks to the basement with my hiking shoes and Jerry’s golf shoes. Now, we know exactly where our specialty footwear lives and I have more room in my drawer for my new headbands and no-show socks. 

During the simplification process, I like to maintain a donate pile of anything that we can no longer use but would be great for someone else. There are lots of options when it comes to donating. My favorite is Goodwill because they are a non-profit that provides job training, employment placement services, and other community-based programs for people who have barriers to their employment such as veterans and individuals who lack either education, job experience, or face employment challenges.

Next, invest in some drawer dividers. These are best sourced at Amazon and are an excellent way to keep your drawers organized. You can use dividers to separate items by type, size, or color, depending on your preferences. Not only will this make it easier to find what you need, but it will also help you maximize the space in your drawers.

Finally, commit to keeping your drawers organized. This should be a whole heck of a lot easier now that there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. It’s easy to fall back into old habits, but if you make a conscious effort to maintain your newly organized drawers, it will become a habit over time. (More on habits here!) And the best part? Once you’ve tackled one drawer, you can move on to the next one, taking small steps towards a more organized and stress-free home.

Extra credit! See how this strategy works in other areas of your life. Is your computer desktop a disaster of old screen grabs and document files? What about your purse? Or the trunk of your SUV? Now that you have the skills this process will be easier to rinse and repeat in all kinds of spaces. 

Simplifying your life doesn’t have to be complicated! Start filling in your calendar and let me know when you are getting started by dropping a comment!

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