I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend!! Mine was certainly enjoyable with all 3 of my kids!! My husband made me breakfast and dinner yesterday, and I didn’t have to lift a finger!!
Today, I wanted to give everyone tips and tricks, on what I have learned that helps Make the Chaos of life, just a little more Graceful. Having 2 adults, 3 wild and crazy children, and 1 dog—- all while living in a small home, can set us up for– kinda– living in a *disaster zone*. From dirty dishes, toy explosions, clutter in general, can certainly seem amplified, when you live in a small home. I wanted to share some of the things, I implement on a regular basis, to keep my home organized and clutter free.
Making Your Bed
Making my bed everyday, certainly helps any bedroom feel calm and clean. After a long day of work, there is noting more calming, then crawling into a crisp made bed. My bed also has quite a few throw pillows. I really like having throw pillows because not only do they add style and comfort, but they kinda force me to make my bed everyday. I usually sit all my throw pillows in a pile, on the floor at night, and when I wake up, the last thing I want to look at, is a bunch of clutter on the floor. So, that really does encourage me to make my bed. I also make sure that all of my kids beds are made too.
Toy Rotation and Clean-Up
Another tip a trick I do to keep my home organized, is that I rotate my children’s toys. This had been a life saver with cutting down on clutter. My children only have a quarter of their toys available to play with. The other 3 quarters are in bins, organized in my basement. Every 2 weeks or so, I will pack all their toys that they have been playing with, put it in the basement, and bring a new bin upstairs. After I started implementing this, I noticed that they really played more deeply with their belongings. When they use to have availability to all of their toys, I noticed that they really couldn’t make decisions on what they wanted to play with. When they couldn’t decide which toy they wanted to play with, it was like a massive toy explosion that seemed so overwhelming.
The toys that remain available for the kids to play with, at the end of each day, I make sure everything is picked up and put in its rightful home. In the living room, we have an ottoman that serves as toy storage, and in the kid’s bedroom, we have a large basket. Teaching the kids to pick-up their belongings everyday, has really helped to teach and train them, that it’s not “OK” to leave huge messes scattered everywhere. Granted, I typically just teach this to my 2 toddlers. My oldest is 14, and has been taught a long time ago about the importance of keeping a tidy home. The result of teaching him at young age—- he pretty much keeps his room pretty clean, “most of the time”. (and he is a teenager— gasp)
Dirty dishes are pretty much the Ban of my existence. Dirty dishes, are like a friend that you really hate, that never goes away. OK—- enough complaining——- Sometimes, my sink does fall victim of having dirty dishes left in the sink at night. But most nights, I do try to make sure that all of the dirty dishes are placed in the dishwasher or washed by hand. If anyone is like me (not a morning person) having to deal with dirty dishes, from last nights dinner, and deal with them in the morning is such a headache. My mornings, run so much smoother when I start my day with a clean sink, clean dishes, and a clear counter-top. Not to mention when getting home from work. It’s so much nicer to start meal-prep for dinner, with a clean dishes and counter-top. I typically try to take everything off our counter-tops. Counter-top space is limited already, I certainly wouldn’t want to have a huge pile of dirty dishes or clutter on it.
Everything Has a Home
It has taken me a while to set-up good working systems with keeping our items organized. Organizing your home can sometimes seem like an overwhleming task, however, the benefits of having all your belongings in designated spots, means that your day is more streamlined. Who wants to spend 30 minutes looking for an item that you only need for about 5 minutes??
Put Things Away
This really should seem like a no-brainer. But when you get something out, you need to put it away when your done. And not just put it away in any old place, you need to put it away in its designated home. When you get into a habbit of putting things away where they belong, you will find that looking for an item you need is so much easier.
If any of you, are like my family, you get bills, flyers, and junk mail every day/week. We try our best to deal with this constant stream of incoming mail pretty much on a daily basis. About a year ago, I implemented a system to help deal/manage our incoming mail. If we fail to deal with our incoming mail, it certainly piles up really quickly. I do have a bin that sits on a dresser that’s located in our kitchen. Our side door is pretty much the door we use everyday with going in and out of our home. Our side door leads directly into the kitchen, with our mail box directly outside. The flow of getting our mail, coming in the house, and placing everything right beside our bin (on the dresser in the kitchen) has worked our pretty good so far.
Can you spot the metal tub, to the right, on the dresser??
I placed some simple folders in it that files everything that’s incoming. I have broken my folders into categories:
- Bills to be Paid
- For Denise
- For Shaun (the hubby)
- For the Kids
- To be Filed
If you notice I don’t have a column/folder for junk mail. I immediately deal with recycling our junk mail. We have enough paper clutter to manage, let alone hanging onto to junk mail that we may or may not ever need. Typically once every other week, I carry this bin to my desk, sort everything, file my items, and pay my bills.
Everybody has to deal with laundry—– uhhhh. Another task that seems to be never-ending!!! My husband really does help out quite a bit with this task. We typically try to do a little laundry, every day. I know, that doesn’t sound like much fun. But you know what else is not fun??? Letting our laundry from 5 people in one home, pile up. Doing laundry everyday, makes this never-ending task, just a little easier. Letting your laundry pile-up for about a week, followed by washing, drying, folding, and putting it away seems so much more time-consuming, versus doing a little bit, everyday.
I will be the first one to admit, that I do need to follow my own advice. Sometimes, it’s just a lot easier to push our daily tasks aside and just have a relaxed day. But for the most part, I do follow all of these tips and tricks almost everyday. Following these tips and tricks, really does help our home stay more organized and clutter free. Doing a little bit, everyday, really helps with cutting down the size of a cleaning task and the amount of time needed to keep things tidy. I would much rather spend 30 minutes everyday cleaning and tidying things up, versus designating multiple hours or even a whole day to tackle these tasks. Spending time with my family is certainly more important. (even if our kids are a little wild and crazy). This is why I choose the name for my blog!! I try to Make Chaos Graceful!!