If you’ve been following along, you know we’ve set some goals for ourselves to get organized, simplify, less is more, declutter … our homes.
We kicked the year off with a 30-day decluttering challenge dubbed #declutterlikeamother with Allie Casazza. It was a great start, and is a work in progress as we continue to declutter and organize our homes.
Wen is prepping for a move and to get her house on the market, what better time to get the house in order?!
Through this process we’ve learned a few tips that have been helpful to us and we wanted to pass on as we continue on this journey.
1. Be honest
As Wen is prepping her house for a move, this process has been very timely. When you look at something ask yourself “do you want this in your new home” “will you use this in your new home” “where will this go in your new home”? Do this with everything from your child’s artwork to clothing to decor. Each item should have a purpose and a place in the home. If it doesn’t, out it should go.
2. Storage bins are the enemy
Do we have storage bins, drawers, holders? Yes. However, we find them to be the enemy in two ways:
- They allows us to keep things we really do not need because they’re out of sight.
- They become a catch-all for those items we don’t know what to do with. And then you forget about them.
Make sure your storage bins and junk drawers are functional and include what they were intended to hold.
As you go through your items, there are several methods to get things out of your home. We like the Donate-Sell-Toss method. As we go through each item those are the questions we ask ourselves.
- For donating, we’ve set up a corner in our office, while not attractive at the moment, it’s helping us through this process. Each month we take a photo (for taxes) and then load up the donations to get dropped off. By assigning a task it tends to get done.
- For clothing, shoes and household items, check out Give Back Box. We love their mission and it’s a great way to recycle your boxes.
- For selling, this is a questionable one and is not right for everyone or everything. We’d all love to make money by selling items on eBay or social media pages and you think it’s easy, right? Well it’s not. And it’s time consuming.
- Wen is into the BST (buy-sell-trade) market for girls clothing via Facebook and is an admin for a collective group. These are brand specific clothes that tend to hold some resell value. However, as a working mom, it takes time away from other priorities as you have to — review the clothing, take pictures, set a price, list online, hope to sell, then invoice, package, weigh, print mailing label and get into the mail. And if they don’t sell, then what? The ROE (return on energy) goes down and the items are still in your home.
- Wen’s pro tip is take items that are of value to a consignment store or send in to an online marketplace (i.e. thredUp or Poshmark). This gets the items out of your home in a timely matter. You may or may not make money but you’ve succeeded in getting them out of your home which is the end goal.
- For tossing, this should be easy. If it’s broken, damaged, unusable, unwearable, toss it. Some items, like electronics should be recycled or disposed of properly, look into options before putting into your trash.
4. Say no to Toys!
Kids need toys for play, but they don’t need ALL the toys. Our kids have plenty and we’ve been eliminating toys when holidays and birthdays come around. Our older two (age 6) are understanding the value of money and experiences. They are much happier going to an event, place to go, or a new app than toys. We fully embrace and encourage this!
5. Make a daily routine
We get it, decluttering and organizing is a big job. Incorporating a few tasks daily will make it more manageable. Here are a few we do every day:
- Make the beds
- Go through mail
- Check backpacks
- Dishes out of the sink
- Wipe down kitchen
What we want is to walk in from work to a calm, happy and inviting home. We know our homes are not model homes and we want them to showcase they’re lived in. Sometimes, the clutter builds up little by little until one day we look at it and we’re shocked to see how much stuff we have accumulated in our homes.
Knowing where to start can be overwhelming. There are some great resources available to help kick start or guide you through the process, here are a few of our favorites:
- Organizing Spree – “My philosophy is to reduce the clutter. Get rid of items you don’t need and don’t use! When you’re organized, everything becomes easy to find.” Spree, owner.
- Hiring someone to help you get organized is a great option when you don’t know where to start.
- [THE] Home Edit – #goals right here and they recently worked with Lauren Conrad!
- If people like LC are seeking out advice from others, know you are not alone in this declutter and organization battle.
- Konmari – Developed by Marie Kondo, The KonMari Method™ is widely regarded as a new approach to decluttering based on Japanese values in order to surround yourself with items that spark joy.
We also love *finding our tribe* and keeping us real. We were excited to connect with Sarah and follow how she is becoming a minimalist mama! Through her journey she’s taking back her home, time, and life which means being more present for her daughter, husband and friends. Read her post here!
Happy declutter and organizing!