April 10, 2017
Out With the Old, in With the New: How to Simplify and Organize Your Home By Tori Toth
Out with the old, in with the new: How to Simplify and Organize Your Home By Tori Toth.
by New York Spaces
Out with the old, in with the new: How to Simplify and Organize Your Home By Tori Toth
Every home has clutter. Maybe it's the entire house, a particular room, hanging out in the corner or behind a closet door. Sound familiar? If you have items lying around in an untidy pile now's the time to get a handle on your mess, purge and refresh your space.
Many homeowners don't see what's right in front of their eyes, so clutter piles build up without making a huge impact on daily life. Reducing clutter not only provides more square footage in a room but helps highlights a home's positive features, creating a warm and welcoming feel.
Clutter comes in all different forms, however there are the usual three items that tend to quickly get out of hand when not contained. Get ready to roll up those sleeves and handle these items immediately:
Mail & Paperwork. This is a constant cycle that can get overwhelming if neglected. Paper enters a home daily by mail, newspapers or magazines, school papers, maybe even office work. Create a system to contain each item. For instance, deal with the mail as soon as you bring it in. Throw out junk mail and have a bin for current bills and filing system for other important information.
Toys. If you have kids, you have toys and lots of them! Have a designated area for the toys (maybe in the family room, kid's room, toy area or basement). Use a rotating systems by changing out the toys they play with every few months so there isn't toy overwhelm. Every season go through the toys and donate or trash toys the kids no longer play with, are broken or they've outgrown. If you have a designated area that's out in the open get creative with storage solutions and use decorative baskets, boxes or even a trunk.
Clothes & Shoes. These items are used daily so can easily get misplaced from their home, the closet. Get in the habit of taking coats off and hanging them in the closet, rather throwing them on a chair back or floor. Corral shoes, have a system in place for dirty clothes and put clean clothes away immediately to avoid having a pile of clothes. It takes just a few seconds to handle these objects, but many times it's an afterthought that can easily get out of control.
In order to simplify an organizing process, it's important to determine why clutter keeps lurking in your home.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Clutter can naturally be created for fear of forgetting or losing ones belongings. This way of thinking leaves a home in constant disarray, keeping everything out in plain sight on easy to reach surfaces leaves each room with little functional space to complete tasks.
To combat this problem use clear storage containers and label everything this will allow the homeowner to use storage closets, cabinets and drawers clearing the clutter off the countertops allowing room to prepare food or brush your teeth. Not to mention by utilizing these storage spaces you're providing a clear space to rest your eyes and relax the mind.
Finding a Home. One reason why clutter can build up in a home is if an item is homeless. Clothes, shoes, toys, mail without a designated place to put these items, they tend to wander around. Creating a place for each item in your home is a crucial part to obtaining an organized home. Of course keeping the space in order only happens when you return an item back to it's home after use.
Returning an item back to it's home is considered a good habit. By always returning an item home, you're building in a maintenance system in your organizing process. Another good habit to adopt is to take 5-10 minutes every night and put items away, this way when you wake up in the morning the house is ready to show off.
Sometimes there is lack of action because there is too many choices creating organizing overwhelm. With so many storage products available to get organized, a person who has a hard time deciding on choices in life can fall into this trap. Not knowing what product would be best for their needs, delays them from ever starting. This can be particularly hard if the clutter has been building up for years.
Next time the thought process is paralyzed with indecision of what to do, start with one small organizing project. This will inspire the person to complete more projects and move things forward.
Another reason for clutter can be from a person's inability to let go of their belongings. Homeowners that have a considerable amount of clutter can spend hours on this task dwelling over each item because their belief is they might need it someday.
Many times homeowners will hold onto items for the wrong reasons and this can be a real emotional struggle that deters from obtaining an organized home. So, it's important to ask a series of questions including:
- Is the item beneficial to the person?
- Has the item been used in the past month or so?
This helps quickly make a decision, especially for an indecisive or hesitant person.
While it's great to always be prepared for anything a good rule of thumb is to remove seasonal items until they're needed. So, sort through all belongings quickly, choose what stays and what gets packed, donated or sold by thinking of those immediate needs. Don't forget to label everything and stack it neatly away for easy access.
Many times a homeowner never starts the de-cluttering process because of time constraints. This won't magically happen overnight so, schedule blocks of time (2-4 hours a week) or even just 15 minutes a day depending on what needs to be organized to make your goal a reality.
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