Guest Contributor, Kim Brenneman
Clutter and disarray suck the energy out us. We can’t see the forest for the trees. Emotionally attached to our stuff and our homes and our families and their stuff we can’t see where to start. Looking at our messy homes can be mentally exhausting.
When we live in a state of order and have the discipline to keep things in their proper place then we are free for other pursuits. We can spend a couple of hours whipping up some deliciously fancy cupcakes in the kitchen, start a home business, make lawn furniture with old pallets, learn photography, and a hundred other things. Looking at a cluttered mess though, we spin around not knowing where to start and escape it in some manner. It’s easier, in that moment, to look on Pintrest at great ideas than it is to put the house in order so that we can do the great ideas.
Let’s get started on clearing the way so that we can have some fun doing, not just looking and thinking about it!
Get a piece of paper and a pen.
- Goals are always a great motivator so first get an idea about what it is that you want to do when you have the time to do it. Write your goal in big letters across the top of the page.
- Identify the rooms or areas of your home and what happens in each area. Write it down on the paper.
- Go around your house with a basket or box and take the appropriate things to the appropriate place, i.e. staplers, scissors, and pens in the office area, books to the bookshelves, current magazines in a basket by the spot where they are read, trash in the trashcan, and unused and unnecessary stuff goes to the thrift shop.
- Look at each area of your home with your paper and pen in hand. What needs to happen for each area to be more orderly and organized? If you have trouble with this then take a look at an organizing web store such as www.containerstore.com, check out this post, "9 Organizing Ideas" or do a search on Pinterest and you will find multiple pictures that will inspire you with a plethora of ideas. Write down on your paper what will work for similar rooms of your house. Do not be overwhelmed but click through to the original site and learn how the person did it. Often it is with “found” materials and paint.
- Not only does your home need to be organized but it needs to stay that way. This boils down to the discipline of keeping things where they belong. Give yourself and your family a couple of mottos to live by: “Don’t lay it down, put it away,” and “Everything has a place, when everything is in its place.”
- Keep your home clean with a daily clean up time. At our house we have a list of daily chores and every day at the same time everyone does their cleaning chores. “Many hands make light work.” On your paper, make a list of the daily cleaning chores for each room and assign it to a person. This isn’t hard labor, it’s fast, and it’s simple: Straighten, Dust, Sweep.
- Every week, or month, take an hour to make a menu plan and a grocery list. Now you know what you are going to eat and you don’t need to think about it. Don’t throw out your menu plan but use it again another week or month!
- Every morning do a load of laundry and if you have a bunch of kids, like I do, then switch loads every time you change activities during the day. That way, you keep up.
Now that things are in order and you keep them in order with some new family mottos, organization and a daily cleaning time you have more time.
Kim is the joyful wife of Matt and the blessed mother of nine children.
When not busy homeschooling and farmschooling, she enjoys writing, gardening, cooking, reading, sewing, and crafting.
Kim lives on a farm in Iowa where her family grows beef cattle, corn and beans, and operates a micro-dairy selling cheese at farmer’s markets. She loves to write and speak about her passion for home and family. She is the author of Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family. She blogs about the same subject at:
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