From Overwhelmed to Organized
Organization is very important to me! I am not one of those people who believe cleanliness is next to Godliness, however it does make a huge difference in my mental health. I often get asked how I stay so organized and the answer is simple. I have mild OCD and do not function well in chaotic environments. My home is my sanctuary so I do my best to keep it clean and organized. Below are my top tips to get from overwhelmed to organized.
~Make your bed. You will have already accomplished a task for the day. This small task may be what leads you into doing more small tasks.
~LESS IS MORE. If you don’t need it and never will, it needs to go. For those with kids, the same principle applies with their belongings. We cycle through our toys so they are not drowning in them and appreciate what they have. We have a spare closet that I use to store toys and books that we cycle through. Keeping your home clean and organized will be so much easier when there is less to clean and organize.
~ Organize one room at a time. Choose one room and give yourself a week or two to get it organized. Doing too much at once will cause you to burn out. You may also feel overwhelmed by focusing on more than one room at a time.
~ Make it fun. Think about redecorating and how you can make your newly organized room your own. Organizing is only a chore if you make it one. I enjoy getting creative and rearranging furniture and home décor. I love decorating a fresh room and taking the time to really make it my own. I also love to hit up Home Goods for some cute storage containers!
~ Spring clean. I typically start in early March and end in late April. I choose one room a week to sort through, donate, and trash anything we don’t need or use. Let’s face it, we all accumulate stuff over the year. It’s amazing how therapeutic cleansing yourself of unnecessary items can be. Just cleaning out my closet makes me feel lighter! This would be a great opportunity to figure out what actually sparks joy in your life and home. I also take this time to deep clean.
~ Get your kids involved. If you have kids, try to get them on the organizing bandwagon. Now I do not mean be militant with your kids and make them constantly clean and tidy up their belongings. I simply mean make cleaning up fun. We have a plethora of fun clean up songs and my kids do a pretty good job of cleaning up after themselves. They help me with little chores around the house and are great about putting their toys away at the end of the day. It goes back to less is more. They don’t get overwhelmed cleaning up because there isn’t a thousand things to put away.
~ Maximize storage. We use cute little toy boxes that go with our room design so that toys are not laying around everywhere. We use a bookshelf in the living room to store games, puzzles, and play kitchen items. We recently finished our basement and turned it into a playroom. The kids love having their own space!
~ Keep things together. We do our best to assign locations to our items. All of the Barbie and Barbie accessories are together and all of the Matchbox cars are together. My books and journals are all in one place and so are pens and pencils. It’s nice knowing where all of your belongings are. We never have to search for car keys or look for that one piece of mail.
~ Make a cleaning schedule. Once you start getting rooms tidied up, you may find keeping up with cleaning isn’t too bad. Creating a cleaning schedule can really help you stay on top of it. I don’t spend hours a day cleaning because for the most part my house is clean and tidy. Below is a look at my monthly cleaning schedule. Keep in mind that this isn’t set in stone. Sometimes I change things up and some days I don’t clean at all. This is just what my routine tends to look like. I usually spend 15-20 minutes a day on cleaning and I do one load of laundry Monday through Friday.
1st and 3rd week of the month
Mon: family room and garage (cars)
Tue: basement and kitchen
Wed: dining room and living room
Thur: downstairs bathroom
Fri: vacuum downstairs
2nd and 4th week of the month
Mon: master bedroom and bath
Tue: Josie’s bedroom
Wed: Matt’s bedroom
Thur: kids bathroom and spare bedroom
Fri: vacuum upstairs
~ Ask for help. I get plenty of help from my husband and kids. This is OUR home. I typically do the majority of the inside work while my husband tends to do most of the outside work. Our kids have their responsibilities and chores too. We are a team and always help each other out. If I'm having a bad day, my husband will vacuum a room or do a load of laundry for me. If Mike needs help spreading mulch, you better bet I will be beside him with my hands in the dirt.
~ Know your why. This may sound a bit silly but having a why will help you stay on track when you start to feel the task getting tedious or overwhelming. My mental health is my why. I can think so much clearer when the house is picked up. Having too much clutter around makes me feel agitated and anxious. I take a lot of pride in my home and do my best to make it cozy and inviting.
~ Give yourself some grace. Getting organized doesn’t have to be stressful. Take your time. Enjoy the process and make it fun. This doesn’t have to be perfect and keep in mind that organization will look different to each person. We all have different circumstances and are in different stages of life. Do what works for you!
I hope you have enjoyed my top organization tips. Not all of these will apply to everyone; this is just what works best for me and my family structure. Please feel free to share your cleaning and organization secrets! I would also love to hear cleaning and organization methods and products you like and would recommend. I really enjoy the Marie Kondo method and love getting ideas from The Home Edit!