Unless you are living in an area with no internet service you have probably seen people “tidying up” their homes all over social media. Although Marie Kondo’s book The Art of Tidying Up has been on shelves for years, it seems that her new Netflix series is really what is taking the planet by storm. I, along with everyone else, started the series and learned some really great ideas from the KonMari method to help with organization in the new year. Having three children at home, perfection is not something that is achievable at this time, and I am OK with that.
Currently I am loosely following the Declutter Like A Mother challenge by Allie Casazza and have gained a ton of momentum. In the effort of completely transparency I am not following any one method 100%. I am taking bits and pieces from this, and other methods to help create momentum and keep going. Here are 5 things that are working for me to declutter and organize my life.
1. Starting somewhere small and without sentimental items is super helpful
I started in the bathroom because there is nothing sentimental about old makeup and expired vitamins. By clearing out stuff in this area I was able to see a real change in my mood as I got ready in the morning. I was also astounded at how much unused junk I had collected from beauty box subscriptions, I could definitely cancel those and save some coin. Next, I decided to organize my daughter’s pants drawer because I knew it would keep me motivated and simplify our mornings. This took me maybe 10 minutes to quickly fold these like Marie Kondo suggests and holy cow, what a game changer! Before it was a complete mess and now I can see everything and quickly pick out pants. This is also something that is easy enough for her to maintain which is a win for all of us.
2. I am not aiming for perfection
This is huge for me. I am a total type A personality and typically, if I cannot do something the exact way I envision it I freeze. I cannot continue the task and I end up just quitting. Having three children I realized I needed to give myself more grace and aim for progress not perfection. If I achieve perfection in a certain area that is great, but I am not setting that out as my goal. Know your own limits and capabilities.
Before | After
3. Know what perfection means for you
I am never going to be the person who has their entire cabinet contents in labeled containers and bins. There are going to be individual cereal and snack boxes on the pantry shelf. I don’t want canned goods in a bin either. The idea of emptying my cereal into a clear container is not an extra step I am willing to spend time on. Also, it is not worth it to me to invest in beautiful, individual linen boxes for my sheets in my lined closet. I just want them folded (remotely) neatly and accessible.
Know who you are and what is “worth it” for you. Also know what works for you. Just last week I tacked one of the kitchen cabinets. Many may take issue with items on the bottom shelf of this cabinet that are not in a pretty bin. I want to be able to open and grab the cooking spray, or salt and pepper quickly without having to pull out a bin. Organizing is all about accessibility and convenience for me. Clearly, the coffee must be most accessible- know what YOU need mama.
4. Limit your choices and possible roadblocks
For me, picking storage solutions that could be used in multiple areas of the home is key. I did not want to buy cute organizing bins in different colors for each area of the house. I knew I would end up needing one from the kitchen for the playroom and then I would just get frustrated that I didn’t have the right color and I would freeze. Instead, I decided to order specific bins in grey and black. These would go with any area of my home and could be used interchangeably.
I picked up the Y-Weave Value Pack sets from Target. I liked the selection of sizes, and truthfully buying a set was cheaper than buying the large and slim individually. As you can see I used some in my kitchen cabinet in the previous photos. I have the largest size and the medium ones in my pantry. These small cups have come in so handy in drawers. Check out my junk drawer, it is so embarrassing. I had been avoiding this but it didn’t even take my full 30 minutes of daily decluttering.
5. Keep creating momentum and utilize small bursts of time
You don’t have to spend hours a day decluttering and organizing. The challenge I am doing suggests 30 minutes each day. Sometimes I spend more, but I am aiming for 30 minutes. I find that when I do this I can see visible progress in this remarkably short spurt. For example, I was absolutely dreading my mud room – the room in the first photo of the post. It was a complete mess and had so much stuff in it that I couldn’t even get a reasonable before picture. I spent 30 minutes and now I have all my swim supplies for our weekly lessons in one place, my baby carriers and diaper bags in order and a spot for our winter snow gear. It may not look perfect, but to me it is perfectly accessible. I also feel so much more calm walking in there to do laundry.
6. If I can do it, anyone can!
I would like to tell you guys that I am not organized by nature.When I met my husband I lived alone in a 3 bedroom apartment with one room dedicated solely to clothes, it was a literal closet room. My other extra bedroom was a random assortment of other stuff, some junk, some necessities. Sadly, I have never been neat or organized. I finally decided 2019 would be my year to really make a go at it. I looked hard internally at what would be attainable for myself. A friend suggested a decluttering challenge that boasted only 30 minutes per day and I thought that this was a good jumping off point. I promise you, if I can do this with three children under the age of 5, ANYONE can.
What are you doing to declutter and organize your home for the new year? Have you watched any shows, or started any challenges to help motivate you? Share you progress with us and tag us over on Instagram so we can help cheer you on!