Our home should be the most peaceful and relaxing place in the world. When a house is dirty, cluttered, and disorganized, it literally feels heavy, sticky, and depressing. There is evidence that such an environment can aggravate physical and mental well-being.
On the other hand, a clean, uncluttered, organized home has a feeling of light, harmony, and vitality. Our homes may be one of the few things we have complete control over. It’s worth the time and effort it takes to make your home the lovely place that you and your family deserve.
Here are some ideas to begin creating your calm, organized, simple home ~
- Quick Start – Set a timer for 30 minutes to an hour. You’re going to make three quick trips through your home. First, walk through with a big trash bag. Take the trash out. Second, walk through with a box for things to give away. Put the box in your car to donate as soon as possible. Finally, walk through and gather things that need to be put away. If things don’t have a dedicated home, set them aside. You will need to make some decisions about these things later. This quick start will help you feel instant gratification and gain momentum towards simplifying your home.
- Make a List – Write down the categories of things in your home you want to declutter (clothes, toys, kitchen ware, office/craft supplies, etc.) Feel the joy of finishing one area and marking it off your list.
- Declutter in Categories – Marie Kondo, author of the magic of tidying up, wisely suggests we rethink the idea of decluttering one room at a time. She advises, instead, to gather everything in your home that falls within a certain category (toys, books, cosmetics, CDs, etc.) This way you can really see what and how much you have. Bravely purge the pile and store what you keep in one place.
- Family Photographs – I needed help with this one. Here’s advice I gleaned from experts ~ Of course you love your family, but you don’t need dozens of framed photographs all over your home to prove that. The key to happiness is to live in the present. Be careful about making your home a shrine to the past. With that in mind, we keep just a few framed photographs in one spot in our home.
- Keep ‘Like with Like’ – Store everything within a single category in one place. Have one place for cleaning supplies, office supplies, gift bags, first aid supplies, table linens, photographs, your daughter’s hair accessories. This way you can easily find and put things away.
- Question Decorations & Knick Knacks – Your home is not a Hallmark store. Imagine living without all that clutter on your counters, end tables, shelves, and coffee table. Imagine clean, clear surfaces that hold only the book you’re reading and the drink you’re enjoying. Let your home be decorated by the people in it.
- Limit Your Color Scheme – Decide on a color palette for your home. Minimalism doesn’t have to mean black. Pick a few colors that make you happy and stick to it. It makes it easier to pass on throw pillows and other gewgaws that won’t match.
- Consider Bare Walls – This may seem a little extreme, but we have nothing on our walls except a couple of decorative mirrors. I love seeing the natural light and shadows play across our rooms. Removing wall art will instantly make your home seem larger and less cluttered.
- Excess Furniture – Nothing will make your home feel more spacious and less cluttered than getting rid of excess furniture. Sometimes we’ve lived with pieces for so long we don’t even notice them. If you have furniture that is just taking up space, consider giving it away to someone who could better use it.
- Everything in its Place – Every single item under the roof of your home should have a dedicated place where it is kept. If it’s not worth having its own spot, it’s not worth having.
- About Collections – In my perfectly clutter-free world, there would be no collections; however, I know some people disagree. I’ll never understand storing treasured collections in a musty box hidden in the basement, garage, or storage unit. If it’s precious, then enjoy it. Cull the collection and attractively display it in one area of your home. If it’s not important enough to do that, then it’s really not that important to you. Sell it, donate it, or throw it away.
- Keep It Clean – When your home is free from clutter and everything is in its place, cleaning is a breeze. For me, cleaning is an expression of the love and gratitude I have for my home and the people who share it with me.
“What I know for sure is that when you declutter – whether it’s your home, your head, or your heart – it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family.” ~ Peter Walsh
Think On These Things ~ Alicia