Recently I heard someone say, “Your home is holy ground.” I heartily agree. Home is where we love, learn, read, laugh, cook, eat and clean. And most importantly, we model life for others, especially our little ones.
Life happens at home; why not make it the best it can be?
In 2003 I launched Tranquiliving Organizing because I wanted to help folks to enjoy their homes and discover the wonderful possibilities home can offer. I inherited the organizing gene from my mom. I know everyone doesn’t enjoy the transformative process as much as I do, but maybe you’ll join me as I share practical ideas to help you become more organized in your one-of-a-kind home.
My organizing style isn’t fancy or color-coded like the celebrities you may have watched. Trending Netflix shows can be inspiring and fun, but most of what you see is not reasonable in real life. I’m super practical. The goal is to have a certain spot for everything you own and find it easily when you need it. In addition, we must have time at home to rest our minds and bodies.
Why is organizing important?
It saves TIME. We’re able to quickly find what we need. Nothing is more frustrating than to know it’s here somewhere, but not find it.
It saves MONEY. We don’t buy duplicates, or stuff we don’t need.
It gives PEACE OF MIND. We can breathe easier when we’re not surrounded by clutter. Home should be our go-to place for comfort and rest.
We can invite friends and family into our homes, or host gatherings without having to start from the ground up each time.
Recently, I noticed most of our drawers, cabinets and closets have become messy and cluttered. It’s been four-ish years since I relocated to Columbia and moved in all our stuff. It’s time to reorganize every space.
Here’s the process I use to get all areas back in order:
Take everything out. No exceptions. People often eliminate this step. It’s essential.
I’ll begin with our linen closet. Use your bed, a folding table or any surface to sort things. This closet had so much stuff crammed in, I brought some things to the kitchen table. You’ll be shocked how much a space can contain.
Only work on one space at a time.
Be sure to have a big trash can nearby.
Quickly toss anything outdated or unused.
Maybe you bought something you thought you needed, but didn’t use it. Give it away or throw it away. It’s been four years since I added things to the closet. If we haven’t used an item, we probably don’t need it.
We have too many towels, so I’ll donate some to an animal shelter. I also have electric curlers I haven’t used since we moved here, so I’ll donate them. I tossed or recycled all cardboard containers and lots of ziplock bags and outdated products.
Put only things back into your empty space that you really need.
Arrange it so what you use most often is convenient. You can buy small containers if needed or try to repurpose all sorts of containers you already have. Target currently carries a great inexpensive line of stacking containers, called ‘Brightroom.’ My all-time favorite organizing tools are gallon freezer bags and inexpensive plastic shoe boxes. Always sort and cull things in a space before you buy containers. You can also use the ones for kitchen storage and throw-aways.
Guess what? We have 12 new toothbrushes. 🙂 Who knew? I found other things I’d forgotten about, too.
If you think you’ll need a reminder, label containers.
When everything is arranged in a functional way, take a step back and admire the order. Give yourself a pat on the back.
Use this method for every single space in your home.
Tips to stay organized
*Each time you want to buy something, visualize exactly where it will be kept. If you have no appropriate space, don’t buy it. Everything must have a home.
*Put things back where they belong, always.
*Discover overlooked space, like the backs of doors. Shoe bags and metal hanging baskets can be game changers.
*Periodically, reevaluate every drawer, closet, cabinet, shelf etc. in your home. If your entire home needs to be organized, you may choose to tackle one area each week. One drawer at a time when you have a few minutes.
*Know ahead of time where you’ll donate or consign items.
I’ve had fun taking things we don’t use or need to a consignment shop in Columbia. It’s like a side job; I get paid for making space in our home. 🙂
It’s simple to order online nowadays and we constantly see cool things other people have so we buy stuff and don’t have a place for it. Online shopping is good and bad. It’s easy to buy and easy to over- buy. For instance, I’ve been considering an air fryer, but I don’t currently have room on our small counter. So, I’m reworking the area to make more space. I don’t use our knife block often, so I’ll donate it. I need to be convinced I’ll use an air fryer often or I won’t buy it.
Homes today average about 2,400 square feet. When I was a teenager, homes were on average 1,500 square feet. The average number of family members in a home has decreased in those years. Larger homes and instant shopping often equal too much stuff.
Remember, you don’t save money when you buy things on sale you don’t need. You save money when you only buy things you need.
I want you to love being home. I want you to rest, relax and rejuvenate there. I hope you’ll share your love of home with others. Home makes the world go around.
(House image from Country Living)