Ask Erin: “Fall” Into a Clutter-Free Life Part 3
article by Erin Love
This article is the final installment toward a clutter-free life! By this time, you should have gone through several of the most disorganized areas of your home and conquered them! Let’s keep that momentum going and tackle the rest of your home! Below is advice for the final few days of my thirty day organization challenge. You can do it!
Days Sixteen & Seventeen – The Children’s Bedroom:
Just like the master bedroom, your child’s bedroom should be a relaxing area that ultimately provides restful sleep for the little ones. However, sometimes the same bedroom will have to serve as a homework and play area. If your children are old enough, you might want to enlist their help with this challenge!
1. Stand back and look at the entire room. What does it look like now? Is there a “ flow” within the room? In order to make the best organization decisions, it is essential to determine where your child spends the most time within his/her personal space.
2. The next step is to sort belongings – This process is the reason it might take you two or more days to get this room in tip-top shape. Just take a deep breath and grab a few bins in which to place items. Sort “like with like” and immediately remove any item that doesn’t belong in that room. Be on the look-out for toys your child no longer plays with and put them in a donate pile. When you find items that are broken, toss them without hesitation.
3. Create zones – Begin thinking about how to reorganize the room so that there are zones for each activity. For instance, place a bookshelf next to the bed for bedtime stories. Set a desk next to the window for homework. And place bins for toys and games on shelves.
4. Be sure to label everything in your child’s room! To do so makes it much easier for you or your child to clean up the space quickly.
5. Encourage consistency – I suggest that you require your child to make his bed every morning and clean up his toys before retiring every evening.
6. Reassess – Remember to reassess this room every few months. Things will get out of hand again, but you can easily regain control. If necessary, make changes according to your child’s habits.
Day Eighteen – The Laundry Room
Does your home have a large laundry room or a small laundry closet? Whatever your situation, keeping the area both streamlined and organized will make your daily duties easier and more efficient.
1. How much room do you have? Do you need more space to fold clothes or store laundry detergent, dryer sheets, etc.? Are you using the laundry room to store items that could just as easily be placed in other areas of the home? If so, remove any items that belong elsewhere. For instance, are there a few toys from your son’s pocket lying on the top of the washer or dryer?
2. Remove and clean – Remove all items from the shelves and cabinets and then wipe each area. While removing items, get rid of anything that you no longer need or want.
3. Style the area – Who says you can’t infuse a bit of your style into the laundry room? Add a tray to house your detergent, spot remover and fabric softener. Include a pot of ivy or a picture of your family. Have fun with organizing!
Days Nineteen & Twenty – Your Photographs
Photographs are meant to preserve our memories so we can share them with others. How can those memories be preserved if we don’t take the time to care for our photographs properly? Let’s create a photo area that we can enjoy for years to come:
1. How many paper photos do you currently have? Do you look at them often? What is working and what is not working right now?
2. To create a better presentation for your photos, you should purchase archival boxes before beginning the organization process. They can be found at most large supply stores like WalMart and Target.
3. Sorting pictures by year seems to be the easiest and most effective way to keep up with them, but you can also sort by person or event. Whatever you prefer.
4. Label – Don’t forget to label the outside of your photo boxes.
5. Scan and save – If you want to make sure you will never lose your photos, I suggest scanning them into a computer and saving them to a disc or jump drive. Remember to create labeled folders on the disc or jump drive, too.
Day Twenty-one – Guest Room
Everyone doesn’t’ have a guest room, but if you do, take advantage of it and create a welcoming space for others. Otherwise, this room could turn into a catch-all space.
1. Do you frequently have guests? If not, would you like to begin welcoming more? What feeling does the room currently emit?
2. Declutter – Remove all items that will not or cannot be attract 3. Rearrange – Arrange the room to create a visual impact for those entering the room. For instance, maybe a beautifully made bed should be the first thing your guest sees. Get rid of anything that is not conducive to your new setup.
4. “Fluff” the space – I love the idea of giving the room a motel-like feel by providing a basket of essentials, such as toothpaste, lotion and shampoo.
At the beginning of this challenge, I suggested that you could have a clutter-free life in thirty days or less. A few of these steps might take a bit longer to complete than others, but I am confident you now have the tips you need to reach your own goal of creating a clutter-free life. Remember though to live clutter free, you have to commit to do so and strive to maintain an organized life every day.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this journey to a clutter-free life.