‘New year, new decade, new you!’ We’ve all had a similar thought. Am I right? I love this time of year. A time to take a look at our lives, assess what is working well for us, and what isn’t working well. We use this process in all aspects of our lives, and I get pretty excited every winter when it’s time to comb through the house and go through every room and assess what is still serving us well and which things we are ready to let go of.
I get most excited about this process in my kid’s bedrooms! They accumulate more stuff than the rest of us—all the gifts they receive throughout the year—birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, Hanukkah gifts, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween...the list goes on and on...Doesn’t it seem like there is a constant stream of things coming into our homes?
Today I’m sharing my go to list of 6 New Years Goals I use to get my home organized every winter. Once I move through this process life seems to run a little smoother. Less chaos in the mornings before school. Less listening to kids screaming “where is my favorite red lego with the face on it!?” Are you kidding me, kid? Less search parties for those tiny toys. It really does simplify my life and I hope these goals will inspire some organizing goals of your own!
1. Map it out!
Sit down with a pen and paper and write down every room in your house including hallways with closets that need tending, and don’t forget your basement or attic storage. Now make a list for each room of areas that need organizing. Say you have eight rooms in your house, you will be making eight mini lists of what you’d like to tackle in each room. Your list might look something like this:
- Organize pantry—go through all non-perishables and throw away anything expired, make a bag or box for items that have not expired but you know you won’t end up using and consider donating those items to your local food bank. Then what’s left can be organized within your pantry cabinet. Put all like items together and keep the things you use most frequently on a shelf that you can comfortably reach and the stuff you don’t use as often on the highest or lowest shelves.
- Clean and organize the top of the refrigerator—I don’t know about you but my refrigerator collects things. Even though I have baskets up there to hold lunchboxes, keys, and dog treats, it still collects other objects that don’t necessarily have a home.
- Clean out the junk drawer—every home has a “junk drawer” our junk drawer holds nails, tacks, nuts and bolts, hammers, screwdrivers...all sorts of random things that we use often. I love having this drawer organized because we use it so frequently that if it’s not organized it becomes extremely frustrating when trying to find the right size nail, or that weird bracket replacement for the blind. Life Made Better has great easy-to-use storage boxes to hold all the tiny bits for quick access.
- Organize linen closet
- Organize under the bathroom sink
- Go through all toys and organize by category. Legos,
- Go through bookcase and let go and donate books no longer wanted, store keepsake books in a tote in basement, and then you have a refreshed bookcase
- Go through clothing and let go of unwanted items and items they’ve outgrown. Store unseasonal items in a tote in basement.
- Go through paper piles
- Organize office supplies
You get the idea here. Once you have created a map of what you’d like to accomplish, you can break it down into manageable sized tasks, which leads me to my next New Years organizational goal…
2. Schedule Time To Organize
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your entire home will not get organized in one day. Spread the tasks out over a month or two and allow yourself to invest the time to set up organizational systems within your home that will simplify your life throughout the year and for many years to come.
Scheduling one small task a day will help you to not feel overwhelmed and you will begin to see results in no time. Maybe you tackle the easiest job first to feel a sense of accomplishment which will motivate you to keep on going. Don’t feel like you need to do a whole room in the same day. Have 20 extra minutes? Challenge yourself to go through one bin of toys.
3. Get The Whole Family Involved!
Out with the old in with the new. My kids understand that if they don’t let go of the things they don’t use anymore they’ll have no room for all those Christmas gifts. They enjoy the process of going through their toys and organizing them. They feel accomplished and enjoy playing with their things now that they can find them.
My daughter collects Shopkins and my son collects LEGOS. It’s important to organize these items in durable carrying cases so they can keep them all in the same place and it allows them to see what they have so they can find what they’re looking for.
4. Have 10 Minute Power Cleans!
On Saturday mornings, my kids know they have to do their weekend chores. If it’s a busy weekend with lots of activities going on, I don’t like to drag chore time out so we’ll do a 10 minute power clean and I’ll assign them each a task to clean or organize for 10 minutes. We turn it into a challenge to see who can complete their task in those 10 minutes.
5. Make It Fun And Rewarding
Turn on the music and enjoy the time you and your family are spending caring for your home. Be present in the moment and know that this time spent organizing is going to make your home feel loved and cared for. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Offer small rewards to the kiddos for completing tasks—like some extra screen time, or having a friend over for a movie night. Keeping them motivated will get them pitching in in no time.
6. Use The Right Organizing Tools
When thinking of each space you’re organizing it helps to visualize your ideal space. What do you need from that particular space? What do you need quick and easy access to? Do you want the items to be out in the open in bins or baskets or in easy to use carrying cases? Having the right tools helps you to put a system in place. When everything has a home to go back to you will be able to maintain all your hard work.
I hope these tips help to simplify your life and let you enjoy a more organized home. Happy organizing!