You want to start getting your home organized, but with all the possibilities out there, do you have no idea where to start? Maybe you have so many areas that need sprucing up, or even could use a complete makeover, that it can be hard to decide which area should take priority. The biggest barrier can be that you don’t feel like you have time to even start. There is simply just not enough time in the day to accomplish all the normal cleaning, let alone start a big project to get “down and dirty” with organizing. Or, maybe you’ve tried this thing of organizing your small space before, but it seems like a never ending battle. You get busy and fall into a habit of just tossing the lids in the cabinet (after all, the lid will surface again when I need it, right?), tossing your dirty clothes on the bedroom floor, or you have a mess fairy that you are convinced moved things you put away. Wherever you are on your organizing journey, the good news is that you don’t need a boat-load of time to simply start.
Here are some basic tips to get you started. I will cover these topics with more detail in future blog posts. In the meantime, come say hello and let us know your specific questions in our contact form.
– When we have so many areas that need to be cleaned up, it can be hard to get in the groove, but start small. You don’t have to conquer it all at once. Start with bite-sized pieces that can be done in 15 minute increments. These 15 minutes can be carved out of many different places…whether considering an earlier wake time, some quiet time after the kids are in bed, over your lunch break, or first thing Saturday morning, the options are available. Starting small could look like cleaning out that junk drawer you can’t get closed anymore, putting your events on a calendar, or even simply allowing yourself to believe that you can have an organized home.
Create a Habit
– Building a new habit takes intentional action. You cannot magically create more time for it and the time to work on the new habit does not simply appear on your calendar. You schedule what you value. Sometimes, our schedule / daily life planning may need to be the first place we start organizing. When our daily activities are no longer ruling our life, we can then carve out the space to organize other parts of our life. It is not all about tools and methods, but about a change of mindset, a decision that “I want this and I can make it happen”. Building in the habit of living an organized life takes that “want to” and turns it into consistent action steps that get integrated into your life. The key is to see organizing as a lifestyle change and not just a one-time activity.
Get Others on Board
– Everyone has at least one other person in their life…and you probably don’t do everything exactly the same way. Working with others takes communication and collaboration. Whether it’s at work, with your husband, with kids, with friends, or with room mates, communicating about how you are organizing your life and being flexible with how they are living their life is crucial. If the people around you see you making changes to your lifestyle, but you have not communicated why or what changes you are making, you will probably end up facing resistance. Weaving your new lifestyle changes into your everyday conversations can allow them to encourage and support you in your organized lifestyle decisions instead.
Think Outside the Box
Be creative with where and how you manage your belongings and your time. No one said this process has to be boring! Do you have a little nook that could double as a bookcase? Do you have space under your bed where you could roll some plastic tubs? What about the space under your sofa? That space often goes unused… accept for that runaway piece of popcorn. Put that space to good use by buying some bins to slide underneath. Vertical space such as this is often forgotten, but is highly valuable. It’s space that we as humans don’t occupy much of, but has enormous potential for the things we use each day.
Is that Mickey Mouse waffle maker still taking up space in your kitchen, or the egg cracker still sitting in your drawer? We acquire these types of things over the years. They may have even been useful at one point in our life, but are now simply collecting dust. It’s time to say goodbye and evaluate what items you use frequently, and even what can be used for more than one purpose. For instance, a bench with storage is a great option. My husband and I have an ottoman for our living room that serves as blanket storage, nests 2 stools inside, and the top can flip over/open? to be a food tray. When you’re making your next furniture purchase, ask yourself, “How many different things can I do with this?”
One of the keys to being successful is to allow yourself room to experiment and to give yourself yourself grace when it’s not done perfectly. I struggle with perfection and I know so many others who have expressed the same challenge. Starting small is about moving forward toward your goals and values so that you are not aimlessly going through each day. Implementing organizing and productivity strategies into your life will free you to focus on what really matters to you.
Question: What is one area of your home that you can apply the “Start Small” technique to this week?
Start a conversation in the comments below! We’d enjoy hearing what “Start Small” organizing techniques worked for you.