Anyone who knows me, knows how much I hate an untidy, cluttered home. Infact I can be quite obsessed so much so that my husband often remarks on how I like our home to look like a “showhome”. Yes, I'll admit, it gives me a sense of calm and pleasure when everything is in it's place and all is neat and clean…However, having a 3 and 1 year old (who clearly have other ideas) has made me a lot more relaxed! At heart I still yearn for the picture perfect home. You know, like the ones you see when you flick through Home magazines! Now I am not suggesting that you aspire to that, but rather I am going to give you some ideas and thoughts on how you can declutter your home to make your day to day life calmer and more organised.
It is a good idea to have read the article about starting the new year organised before taking this next step!
Now that you have a good system to remember your tasks at hand, the next big step will be to get rid of clutter. Clutter diminishes a smile, dampens the spirit, and so should not be tolerated. I am not referring to the day to day untidiness that comes from children playing, but rather those “things” that somehow manage to ly around on countertops, in corners, behind doors and in cupboards never to see that light of day.
It is very easy to find any given room in a cluttered mess, but it takes some hard work to de-clutter and organize.
Many people say that one of their favourite things to do when stressed is to clean! Hard as that may be to imagine, it is true. Cleaning gives order and purpose to your life, even if only in smaller chunks at a time. I find that I wake up in a better mood if my bedroom is tidy and the kithen is clean…I am a bit more relaxed about the other spaces, but those two make a difference to my day.
I am not just talking about moving around clutter from one shelf to another. I am talking about de-cluttering every room of your home. Say good-bye to the dust, say good-bye to the junk – say hello to room to breathe and move around! Now, doesn’t that sound like bliss?
Start out by drawing up a list of what you absolutely want done. Think about those leaning tower of Pisa papers in the study, then move slowly into the family room. See any piles of old photos just crying out to be placed in a photo album or in my case a scrapbook? Write that one down. How about those piles of too small or in need of mending clothes sitting in the bottom of your child's wardrobe ? Write that one down, too!
If your home is very cluttered, then I suggest you allocate 15-20 minutes slots to each area. That way you won't feel like you are spending the whole day in one room, but rather over the course of the week, will see the changes happening each day in many areas of your home.
Another thing to remember is that whilst sorting, be ruthless..If you kept that magazine because you were one day hoping to read it..and it has been lying there for the last 12 months-THROW IT OUT! Is it important? Probably not.
Make piles for recycling, donating to charity and even for selling at a carboot sale… and make sure you get rid of them within a week! You don't want to have piles of stuff hanging about do you?
By now, if you are clever, you see a list of very workable, one-at-a-time chores that can be assigned throughout a normal busy week. The idea is to get started and work your way around. By the end of the week, you will have a beautiful, uncluttered home as your reward!
Now that you have a lovely clutter-free home, make sure you keep ontop of things…you don't want it slipping back into chaos. Make it a habit for yourself and even for your youngest family members to be discerning about what to keep and what is important.
I remember my Grandmother visiting once a year whilst I was growing up and carrying out what she called, a ‘Catasrophe'. This meant that she would empty the contents of all my cupboards and drawers etc in my room onto the floor. She would then position herself on a chair with a binliner and I would have to sort through everything and put it neatly back into place as well as get rid of anything that was unnecessary. It was such a chore and annoyance to me that as I grew older, I would keep my cupboards and drawer spotless especially in the month leading up to her visits, so that when she arrived, she had no reason to carry out a ‘catastrophe' . I hated it back then, but am so grateful to her for teaching me the value of decluttering.
I am a preschool and primary school teacher and mum to 3 children. I have been involved in education since 1997 and have trained in a variety of educational specialist areas. It is with this expertise that I write articles to help parents and educators provide quality learning experiences for the children in their care.