No matter how good your intentions may be, without the right tools in place it is impossible to maintain a well-organized home. The trouble is that people are often too busy being hard on themselves or feeling helpless to really take stock or take control. Following a few simple rules will help get your home in shape for visitors even when they arrive completely unexpectedly.
Sort By Threes
There are three reasons why a home may be difficult to organize:
- You simply don’t know where to put your stuff
- There is too much clutter
- You don’t have time to get to it
The first thing to do is make a firm date with yourself. Turn off the computer, the phone, and the television. Arrange for the kids to go somewhere else. If your spouse isn’t likely to contribute in a positive way, send him out for the afternoon. Pour yourself a stiff drink and take a piece of chocolate. Then, get started.
Set up a spot for all the things you don’t know what to do with and get a bin for all the stuff you want to get rid of. In the meantime, if you simply need to put some stuff away, then do that, too. Don’t waste time thinking about it. If it isn’t obvious where something should go, put it in the “to be determined” pile and keep going.
Take A Break
With the first part done, make a warm cup of tea and coffee and grab a pen and paper. Look at the “unknown destination” pile and figure out why the current system doesn’t have a place for them. It is very possible that when you first set things up, your life was a bit different. Maybe the kids didn’t go to school yet. Maybe you didn’t.
New hobbies and lifestyle changes often require new storage solutions. Yet, many people still try to make their living spaces work despite their changing needs. This is exactly when things start to pile up. Maybe the things that are piling up are transient and are not viewed as being worthy of a permanent space. Still, ask yourself if you don’t need somewhere to put it, why is it piling up? Be forgiving of your need to retain a certain level of junk. Accept your habits and make your homework as opposed to constantly hoping to be a better person.
Rethink The Current System
Review where things are being stored now, and how they are being stored. A bedroom constantly covered in layers of clothing could be indicative of an ineffective closet. Perhaps folding all the t-shirts is not the answer if it is too difficult to get to it. If the shoes are always blocking the doorways maybe there isn’t a good enough place to put them. This is where storage options need to be assessed.
Trash The Trash
Getting rid of junk and donating anything usable is a great way of reducing the number of things to find a home for. It is amazing how liberating getting rid of stuff you no longer need can be. It frees both floor space and mental obstacles to achieving your goals.
Making your homework for you is essential in not only achieving order but also maintaining it. Otherwise, cleaning up will be an endlessly frustrating cycle of bi-annual cleaning and then steadily growing shame and embarrassment at the inability to keep it that way. A messy home reflects on a person’s view of themselves. Keeping it organized is a great way of keeping your sanity when everything else around you is crazy.