Despite popular belief, being a stay-at-home parent isn’t all bon-bons and soap operas. First of all, the television is controlled by two very opinionated three-year-olds. Watching anything that doesn’t start with ‘Mickey’ and end with ‘Mouse’ is likely to trigger the next World War. Secondly, if you’ve been in a home with multiple children under 5 at one time, you’ve realized that your humble, once semi-organized abode becomes a messy one in no time flat. Who has time to eat anything when you’re busy picking up after the “destruction duo” and making sure they don’t ride the dog (ensuring that the mess will travel faster than on foot)?
Believe it or not, there are some secrets to staying organized in a chaotic household. I can’t guarantee that you catch up on Days of our Lives, but at least it’ll give you a moment to catch your breath and have a bite to eat. (Pro Tip: Save the chocolates for when the kids go to bed).
When it comes to organizing, it goes without saying that it’s easier when you have less space (and obviously, less stuff, too). I have to believe there is something to this whole “tiny house” craze. It’s appealing, but I have a little trouble imagining my wife, twin toddlers, and our 70-pound dog in a space just slightly larger than our current Master bathroom. It makes my head hurt. The thing that we can all learn from the 10’s of people all jumping on the “tiny house” bandwagon is that they’ve all had to downsize from where they were residing before. A LOT.
While I don’t recommend heading to Home Depot and starting your build tomorrow, I can get on board with some of the great ways they use to downsize their households and get organized. Following some of these tips can make your home more organized, and less cluttered.
1. The first rule in decluttering is to do it in steps.
Looking at a 2400 sq. foot home and saying you want to get organized is great, but can be a bit daunting. Realize that it’s not going to happen in an afternoon (especially with kids around). Pick one room or problem area and focus your attention there. A bathroom cabinet perhaps, or the pantry. Remember, you didn’t amass everything in 24 hours, so understand that it will take more than a day to go through and get it all in order.
2. Take on one shelf at a time. Being super busy, I like the “One Shelf Method.” It starts by cleaning off one shelf. It can be a shelf in the pantry, or closet. Even a kitchen shelf. Spend 5 minutes and organize just that space. When your 5 minutes is up, take a break and then start on the next shelf, bin, or counter. You won’t realize it until the end, but 5-minute “sprints” of cleaning are far more effective than a whole house “marathon”.
3. Establish a home for everything.
Although we didn’t always follow the golden rule growing up, my parents tried teaching us kids the “place for everything, and everything in its place” mentality.
Click here to read more of Kevin’s tips for decluttering!