It’s funny how starting a new year puts us into a flurry of organizing activity, isn’t it? Fresh start, clean drawers and closets, organized home…
And now that we’ve got some things organized (assuming we have), what can we do to maintain the ground we’ve gained throughout the rest of the year?
Is it possible? Let’s try these tips and see…
1. Consistently declutter.
Once you’ve decluttered in January (and raise your hand if you still kept some things you knew you shouldn’t – guilty here.), make a habit of consistently taking note of what you aren’t using or don’t need throughout the year to stay ahead of the game.
Keep a box (or boxes) in a convenient place so that it’s easy to collect the items in one spot. Once you have a few, don’t wait for the yearly purge!
Donate, re-gift, or sell them, but get them out of the house and into the hands of someone who will actually use them. You’ll feel better not having the chaos, and happy knowing that you’ve helped someone else.
2. Rethink your space(s).
Sometimes the way things have always been seems to be the way they stay, even when it’s not working. And so many times those nagging little situations could easily be resolved with very little time, effort, or expense.
Reassessing your space, whether it’s an entire room or just a kitchen cupboard, can result in ideas, big and small, that will help you feel more organized and function better.
Consider things like furniture placement and room function. If it’s not working, figure out why. You may end up rearranging furniture, or even swapping rooms, but suddenly things will feel better, work well, and make much more sense.
And as you’re using smaller areas like kitchen cabinets, closets, and bathroom vanities, be aware if there are things that are not placed conveniently or ways that you’re wasting time and effort that you wouldn’t need to. Rearrange or organize it on the spot, or schedule a time to fix it that week or month.
3. Decorative + Functional.
Decorative accessories like baskets, bins, boxes and even jars or vases are fun to decorate with, and they can pull double duty as storage in almost every room of the house.
They help add texture, color, and interest, all while containing smaller items like toys, remotes, coasters, magazines, pillows, throws – anything that you want to keep close at hand but contained or out of sight.
Larger, but still fairly small and definitely versatile, accent pieces like this cute ladder shelf (sold in our stores) can be used in almost any room of the house, too. A great idea for a casual dining space, craft room, bathroom, bedroom, office, mudroom, or even living room. So many possibilities.
4. Quick mini cleaning.
Rather than trying to fit house cleaning or organizing all into one day, plan little mini sessions (15-30 minutes?) for the smaller tasks each day, or every other day, as your schedule allows.
Do as much as you can, as quickly as you can, during that time period. It’s a great way to quickly check those nagging little chores off your list, stay organized, and you may even get your heart pumping in the process!
5. Make your bed.
When we make our bed it lends itself to a sense of order in the bedroom and, hopefully, keeps us from being disorganized in the rest of the space.
It also starts and ends the day on a positive note, and makes you feel organized – even if you may not totally be.
6. Storage Furniture
When you’re purchasing new furniture, consider pieces that have storage already built in.
There are so many great options, like storage ottomans and storage beds, coffee tables with storage or space to put baskets, night stands with drawers, and even sectionals with convenient storage in the chaise like the one below.
7. Plan, Especially for the Unplanned.
Whether you use a paper planner and pencil or the calendar on your electronic device, we all know that planning is an important key to getting, and staying, organized.
But do you plan for the unplanned?
A very wise person I know often reminds me to take planning a step further. “Leave space in your schedule. Plan for the unplanned events that will inevitably come up.”
A reminder to not plan and fill the next week or month’s schedule so full in advance that there’s no space to accommodate the unexpected. And there almost always will be those things that come up — unplanned overnight guests, an impromptu dinner date with friends, family emergencies, or just time to breath and be. Or plan. And organize.
Life feels much better, and surprisingly more organized, not less, when there’s a balance between planning out every minute of your schedule, and leaving time for enjoying life and allowing it to play out as it happens.
So have you started your year with an organized home, or not so much?
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