Take On A Simple Mindset in 2016
Many of us dream of the perfect home, clutter free and serene, with no fingerprints on the fridge, no dust on the shelves and no GI Joes hidden between the couch cushions. We dream of waking up to fresh sunshine, sipping coffee in our pristine kitchens and casually getting ready for work in our color organized closets. The reality is that’s just not reality. We have lives, we live in our homes day-in and day-out, we have busy days and slow days. This image of perfection is one sold to us in magazines, commercials and movies and here is the first step to tackling your clutter in 2016 and getting your home organized: depart with that image of perfection, and instead, take on the mentality of simple living. Ask yourself, “What do I need?” Everyone will have a different response to their needs based on their lifestyle, but that’s the beauty of it.
Once you commit to taking on a simple living mindset, start by tackling one room at a time.
1. Your Bedroom Closet. Most of the items you take out of your closet will probably be spewed out into the bedroom. Starting here will give you a clean canvas to work with when it comes time to working on the bedroom. When it comes to clothes, aside from seasonal items, if you haven’t work it in 6 months, you probably aren’t going to start now. Most of us have attachments to clothes and other personal items in our closets, but asking yourself what you really need will help narrow it down.
2. The Bedroom. The bedroom is your sacred place to retreat to at the end of the day. It’s the room you’ll have your last thoughts before going to sleep, and first thoughts when waking up. Decluttering your bedroom will not only make it easier to manage the other rooms of your home, but set the tone for doing so.
3. The Garage. When you start moving to other areas of the house, you’re going to need space in the garage for the items you’ll be storing. Decluttering isn’t moving your stuff from one room in the house to another, it’s an actual sweep of things you don’t need and are bogging you down.
4. The Kitchen. (You’ll be tempted to start here, with the reasoning that it’s the most used room in the house.) Break the kitchen up into zones: beverage zone, cooking zone, washing zone, serving zone, etc. Having the items associated with these zones will make it easier to decide where things go and keep you from running all over the kitchen to get items you need. Clear out the pantry of anything expired and wipe down the shelves in the fridge for a dose of freshness.
5. The Backyard/Patio. There’s a reason people love ocean and mountain views. These views are uncluttered and bring a sense of calm to the inside of the house. You won’t be able to settle down if the view from your windows puts that “Oh, I have to do that” in your mind.
6. The Family Room. If you are always looking for the remote, it’s because the remote doesn’t have a place it belongs to. If there are always toys in the room, it’s because the toys don’t have a place they belong to. Family rooms often function as a plethora of spaces, and rightfully so, but this makes it hard to ask yourself what you need for this room. Be honest about how you and your family actually use the room. If most weekends you find yourselves eating in front of the TV, embrace it with some floor cushions around the coffee table.
Once you’ve tackled these rooms in this order, you’ll feel empowered and free to move to other areas of the house. Most of us tend to think “I’ll do it later,” but procrastination comes at a cost. Try thinking of every thing you own in terms of time. The more stuff you have, the more time it will take you to clean it, store it, maintain it, etc. In the process, don’t loose sight of the goal: to be settled in your home. Happiness is not dependent on order, but with order comes a sense of calm, control, and gives you more time to do the things you want to do.