Welcome to Part 2 of the Home Management Series all about Simplification. We ended last week talking about Decluttering – the benefits of clearing your space and how to get started. The first part is the hardest. It’s emotionally and physically taxing to get rid of your stuff. So please be gentle with yourself and remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Eventually, you will be ready to move to the next step in the process. Let’s do this!
I’m going to talk in later posts about simplifying your routines and lifestyle, so today’s simplification is more focused inside your home. It is about giving everything a place. It’s about the feeling you get when the dishes are put away, the toys are in baskets and the shoes have a spot. It is about creating a space that runs smoothly and feels comfortable.
Emily Ley is my main source of inspiration for simplifying. She has written many amazingly helpful books and owns a company dedicated to helping people simplify their calendars. In her book called, A Simplified Life, she talks about an idea that really resonated with me for today’s purposes. Her point is that you can buy all the fancy (and pricey) organizational stuff but it won’t do you any good if you are still holding onto 16 pairs of flip flops. You have to get rid of 15 pairs before you can begin organizing your closet.
Traditional organizing in today’s culture gets it wrong. It forgets that first crucial step. Emily’s approach and the one that we are following here is different because we don’t take a cluttered spot and tidy it up (which you will have to keep doing time and time again btw)…we get rid of the junk first.
Once our home is clutter-free, we can focus on creating the system. Either a physical system like a file folder or a system/routine that you go through when you walk in the door and take your shoes off. We want everything to have a home and we want everyone to know where things live.
That’s the end goal. How do we get started? See some starting steps below.
Step 1: Do a personal inventory. Start by figuring out what works in your home and what isn’t working. Keep notes on your phone as you go through your normal day. What could be moved to manage life easier? What are you wasting time trying to find every morning?
The aim here is identifying the function of a particular room and space. And also creating a home that works FOR you. So for example, if you are always misplacing your keys – let’s hang a small hook for them right by the back door so you know exactly where to find them as you head out for school drop off.
Step 2: Everything needs a home.
Tip: Always store similar items together. When you do this, you know exactly where to go when you need something and you will also know when you have an excess of something.
This isn’t about buying all the fancy organization tools. Once everything is decluttered, you will be shocked by what a few boxes and bins strategically placed will do. The most important thing is that you give everything a spot to live forever.
Step 3: Use your prime real estate wisely.
Typical spots to look at:
- Junk drawers
- Drop spots like the back door & the entry
- Creating happy spaces – your nightstand, your workspace, your bathroom
Take advantage of high traffic areas like your entry and back door to create systems that work for your lifestyle. Do you need to create a shoe drop zone and a place for mail? Grab a few ideas from Pinterest or The Home Edit to get you started. It’s also important to focus on creating happy spaces where you spend a lot of time like your nightstand, your bathroom and your office. Make sure those spaces remain clutter-free and beautiful!
Step 4: Communicate with your family where the stuff goes and the new systems you have created. And remember this will take some time to establish habits that everyone can live with. Continue evaluating until you have a home that functions smoothly. You’ve got this!
The resources below have helped me to create a home that feels organized and simple:
A Simplified Life by Emily Ley
Emily Ley Simplicity Challenge – her free yearly challenge (more information on her instagram)
The House Finch – hire this step out to a pro
My Pinterest board here
Thanks for tuning in! See you back here next week. XO