Normally in August, I start talking about the kids going back to school, cleaning up spaces that were filled with camp gear, towels, bathing suits and more. For obvious reasons, this “Back to School” year is looking and feeling very different than in past years.
For most of us there were no camps, no swim clubs, many organized sports never happened and our home and spaces have taken a beating. With all of that being said searching for normalcy and control is what we are all looking for. Organizing spaces has always given us a sense of control and in turn also calms us and makes us feel really good.
SO… even though times are different and who knows if the kids are even going back to school in the traditional sense, we should all prepare for the transition of schedules to change and think about how our spaces are being used a bit differently.
Get Rid of It!
We have been staring at our “stuff” since March
Do you really need to keep that dress you wore once, or the sheets for an old bed you no longer use? No! Do we need the extra bags we think are going to get used because they are in good shape? We often hold things for future use, knowing that they haven’t been used in years but struggle with it being “too good” to donate. Don’t hold on to too many items for future use, treat your home as a breathable space to relax, to live.
Practice the One-In, One-Out Ideology
As soon as you buy something, get rid of another…or at least every other time you buy something :o)) This keeps your piles from piling up. Use your closet spaces and drawers as a guide. If it doesn’t fit in the area you have then it’s time to get rid of something. When you start putting things in other areas because you have run out of space, it is the beginning of being unorganized. We have guides all over our house. Cabinets, shelves, drawers…use them to help not over stuff.
Always look for “Low Hanging Fruit”. The “Easy Peazy” ones. The shirts that are yellowed, a shirt with a hole in it, a stain on anything, a hole in a bag, shoes that are trashed….don’t try and eliminate the difficult stuff first. Start with the easy stuff.
Once you’ve decided what to rid your home of- it’s time to organize! The best way to do this, if you feel overwhelmed as to where to start, is to go area by area. Here are some friendly suggestions for areas of the home:
Organize alike items together (ex- Hair, First Aid, or Toiletries) Hint: You can even separate items to make a kids section, so the little ones can make more of a controlled mess- keeping your life easier, less stressful.
I use these specifically in bathrooms…under the sink. Use the shelf to take advantage of the height so you don’t waste space:
Bed Bath & Beyond Bath Organizer
Try organizing an easily-accessible area for the kids. Keep healthy snacks or pre-packed lunches here. I always recommend grab and go snacks out of the box. It looks better in a clear bin and you will always know what you are running low on. It will keep you sane, trust me! Then, for tips on organizing your pantry, read our recent blog post, here.
I have been using these for 14 years! They are great in any area of your home. The laundry room, pantry, bathrooms, shelving. I move them all around the house as my needs change:
Bed Bath & Beyond Pantry Bins
Closets feel cluttered? Is it a fight to get your kids dressed each day? Make your week easier by laying out clothes for the entire week, each Sunday. You can get clothes dividers to hang, or what I prefer is stackable, clear bins that can easily be labelled for the days of the week, practices, or sleepovers.
I use these in bedrooms, mudrooms and linen closets all the time! :
Bed Bath & Beyond Canvas Storage Bin
Finally…Plan and Schedule!
Keep a command center. Declutter little post-it notes and scraps of paper. Get an erasable calendar that you can amend for weekly activities. Get rid of stacks of mail, permission slips, and school paperwork by using an organizer.
These are my go to! Take your piles and turn the right side up. It is easier to find, save, and much better to look at. I use these for rotating information I know I need to get to:
Target Magazine File
I also use these for belts, dog leashes, broom, jackets….absolutely LOVE them:
Bed Bath & Beyond Command Hook
We hope these tips help keep your home a little more live-able for the upcoming school year. If there are any questions, thoughts, or suggestions that you may have, we would love to hear!