Clear the Clutter & Chaos

LITTLE ONES

There is an ancient Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Organizing your entire house might seem as challenging as a thousand miles on foot, but with a decision to change, a vision, and a solid plan you’ll be on your way!

1.  Recognize when you are ready – it’s a choice.

Living a more simplified life starts by acknowledging its time for change.  If you have hit rock bottom with the clutter and chaos in your home and life, your first step to making a change to change.

2.  Be prepared. Be patient. Be smart.

Before you begin the paring down and de-cluttering process in your home, be prepared to face emotional obstacles.  Be patient with yourself on items that stir up memories, but be smart and don’t start with them.  If you aren’t ready to face your memorabilia, but your kitchen is easy – start there.  Remember success breeds success.

3.  Be realistic.

Stacks, piles, and over-crowded areas of your home didn’t happen overnight and it won’t all go away overnight.  Estimate how long you think an area will take and then time yourself.  This will help you gauge future projects so you know how much time to schedule for yourself to start and finish an area of your home.   Know going in, MOST projects are going to take much longer than you think!

4.  Avoid Calendar Clutter.

There is a major external clutter in all our lives – our overcrowded calendars!

A lot of the clutter in your home and life can most likely be attributed to not leaving any time in your daily schedule for regular home organization maintenance. Set clear boundaries for yourself and your family in the new year to allow for more time to maintain the spaces.

5.  Set weekly/monthly goals & appointments.

THIS IS KEY!  With more time on your calendar to devote to your simplification process you will be need to hold yourself accountable to organizing your own life. Consider lining up donation pick-ups ahead of time so you have the extra motivation of a deadline.

6. Hold off on supplies.

Discovering what organizational supplies you will need is one of the last steps in the process.  Save money and time by waiting until you know what you need.   Unnecessary supplies can add to your frustration.  Consider getting creative when using items you already have in your home to help you organize.

7.  Maintenance – Routines are key.

Organizing is an on-going journey with a “Clutter Back Guarantee”.  If you don’t work to maintain your spaces(s), the clutter will come back.  Build in regular times to purge throughout the year:  before and after holidays, birthdays and seasons are easy times of the year to make a pass of areas in your home.

8.  Know when to ask for help. 

If you become overwhelmed or do not feel like you are making much progress, call in a family member, friend or a professional for help.

BEFORE: 

BEFORE PLAYROOM

AFTER: 

Playroom-After

Here’s a list of possibilities to spark your enthusiasm, focus on completing one area each month:

January:  Desk/Home Office: Organize your finances before tax season officially begins.

February:  Mudroom/Laundry Room: Start by pulling everything out. Decide what you are actually using in this space.

March:  Clothing closets: Switch out your mismatch hangers to uniform hangers.  As you swap hangers, decide if that article of clothing is really worth keeping.

April:  Technology: Dedicate 15 minutes a day to purging old photos and emails.

May:  Bathrooms: Use non-slip drawer dividers to keep like items together in bathroom drawers.

June:  Photos/Memorabilia: Organize your photos by year or event. It’s time to chose the best masterpieces from the year and let the rest go.

July:  Playroom: Work with your children to pare down and identify what they truly love and use.

August: Cabinets and Drawers: Use labels!  Labels hold everyone in the family accountable to putting things away where they belong.

September: Garage: Set aside a full day.  Divide items into 3 categories: Keep, Trash, Donate.

October:  Kitchen: Clean out the old and expired items since the holidays are around the corner.

November:  Attic/ Basement: Add shelving to create vertical space.

December:  Bedrooms: Create a reading nook.  Bedrooms should be a place that represents rest and calm.

BEFORE:

BeFORE CLOSET

 AFTER:

AFTER CLOSET

_________________

Looking for that perfect Holiday gift? Look no further!

 

Give the gift of time and organization this year with a Simplicity gift certificate

Present

Don’t forget that if you book Simplicity services now through the December 19th you receive 15% off! Not including organizational supplies. Email Simplicity to set up your appointment today!

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12 Tips for Simplifying Your Holiday

Wreath

1) PlanningThe holidays will be here before you know it.  Take the time to plan what needs to be accomplished.

2) Calendar:  Make sure all family members are on the same page-literally. Keep everyone’s events marked on the same calendar so the whole family knows what’s coming up.

3) Decorating:  Avoid feeling like you have to decorate every square inch of your home.  Let go of decorations you seem to avoid putting out each year.  Listen to the song – “Let it Go”!

4) Saying No:  The holidays can be exhausting so keep in mind that it’s okay to say “No.” You will actually appreciate more when there is less on your plate.  It will help keep your stress levels down and allow you to not be so burnt out when the season ends.

5) Mailing list:  When adding or editing addresses in your database-start early. Avoid waiting to order your cards and print labels a few days before Christmas when you are already stressed.

6) Holiday cards:  Aim to have them ready, stamped and in a box by November 1st!  On or around the first of December, send them out as you like.  This process can take a lot of time, but once it’s done you can relax and enjoy the season a little more.

7) Holiday treats:  If you plan to bake for the holidays, consider giving these items a week or two before Christmas.  It’s a great time to connect with your friends and neighbors when they might be more grateful for a special treat.

8) Limit gift giving:  Draw names for gift giving.  This takes the pressure off of worrying about the amount of gifts and how much money you have to spend on each person.  Purchase one thoughtful gift for the person you draw.

9) Meaningful gifts:  Share an event or activity with a loved one, make a donation to a charity that is important to that person, or create something yourself that they would enjoy. Consider giving the gift of time.

10) Get into the giving spirit:  Encourage your children to donate old toys, games, and stuffed animals.  This will also provide a head start on your New Year’s resolution of de-cluttering and organizing your home.

11) Wrapping it up:  No need to take up space in your home with lots of  rolls of wrapping paper.  Just purchase one roll of butcher paper from Michaels.  You can have your children decorate the paper or just use decorative ribbon.

12) At the end of the holiday season:  Punch a hole in the corner of each of the holiday cards you received.  Place the cards on a large jump ring with a pretty bow or ribbon you have hanging around post holiday gift giving. Place the cards in the middle of your dinner table or wherever your family regularly gathers.  Every day, make an effort to think about, pray for, or reach out to the family on the top card.  Once you flip through all of the cards you can toss them guilt free and look forward to next year’s flipbook of new cards.