Well hello there, and happy New Year! I’m a tad late I know. I’ve been off vacationing and haven’t touched a solitary piece of work for the last week. I didn’t blog, read a blog, check the news, peruse Pinterest, or even so much as peek at my email… and it was wonderful. Now that I’ve returned home to a completely dead and drooping Christmas tree and more laundry than I care to see in the next lifetime, I’m on a massive kick to get things cleaned up around here. I’m finding that if I keep things tidy and uncluttered, that I feel more mentally calm and less easily frusterated. I’m probably just getting old or something. At any rate, here are some of my best tricks to getting the house organized and things put away.
- A place for everything, and everything in its place. If something doesn’t have a place, make a place for it, or get rid of it. If something has a place, but there’s too much of it to fit (example: too many T shirts to fit into the two drawers you have for them), get rid of the excess. Cleaning takes no time at all, if everything has a place.
- Use common everyday items to help you organize. Pickle, jam, or salsa jars, for example, make fabulous containers for small items. Shoe boxes, laundry baskets, crates, baskets, and buckets are all great for containing stuff neatly. Don’t get think organization takes an expensive system, use what you have!
- Use space for what you need it most. What I mean by that is, just because you have a coat closet doesn’t mean it has to be for coats. I turned two closets in my work room into fully utilized storage space by building shelves in them. They are ten times more useful to me this way than as a closet for clothes.
- Re-imagine your space. The above picture is one illustration of this, places like behind doors is prime space for storage. Try using the space under furniture, behind furniture, behind curtains, etc., to use every inch of space you have.
- Hang your storage. Sometimes square footage to add furniture is non existent. Can you you hang it? Shelves, crates, even small dressers can be mounted on the wall to give you that extra bit of space you may lack.
- Get the kids involved. Toys are my worst enemy. They multiply, they break my feet when I step on them at night, they appear in the least likely places, they are a never ending evil. To keep the toys from taking over my house, I make sure there are designated toy storage areas that are easily accessible to the little ones. That way, they are fully capable of putting their own stuff away. If the toys over flow the toy areas…than we take a bag to the thrift store and that’s the end of that problem.
- Decorate with storage. I used to live in a super tiny little house and I learned this very valuable trick. Store stuff out in the open in the form of home decor. Baskets with lids, footstools that open up, crates perched on shelves…use pretty things to hold more things. I use these metal buckets on my kitchen shelves for pantry storage since I don’t have a usable pantry just yet. They hold rice, flour, sugar and that sort of thing. It’s much easier on the eye to see four bucket than if I tried to just pile all that stuff up on the shelves.
- Waist no space. You have “x” amount of square feet in your home. That doesn’t mean that the builder used that space as wisely as he might have. From knocking out a wall, to building in a new closet, to re-arranging the furniture…use your imagination to use get the best possible use out of your space. It doesn’t have to be big budget stuff either. My mister built these spice racks on either side of the stove to fill an odd gap that was there. It didn’t cost much, but it’s a great use of a four inch wide gap!
- Add a dresser. Thinking that a dresser only belongs in a bedroom is an outdated notion. They look great in just about any room of the house and you get tons of storage without any clutter by using them. Just pick a size and style that fits the room. I picked this one up a little while back at a thrift store, and painted it. It makes my guest room functional for me, but not any less comfortable for a guest.
- Only keep what you love. Having stuff for the sake of having stuff builds clutter. If I don’t love it, and it has no meaning or use to me, I’m going to get rid of it. I like to have things that out that I really love to look at. A home should tell a story of the people who live there…anything that detracts from that story is useless to have.
January always seems to be my month to purge, clean and freshen things up for the new year ahead. I’m excited to get back to house painting and all that fun stuff, but I’ve got to start with a clean slate. Does the post holiday season send you off into a cleaning frenzy too? At the very least, a January cleaning spree will keep you from going crazy when it feels very much like the North Pole outside!
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
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