This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for details.
Morning all! I have been thinking a lot about what has made us successful in minimizing the clutter around our house. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t look sterile and I do still pick up after these three crazy kids (and their daddy). I do tidy up every day but I don’t feel overwhelmed by the mess and I no longer feel that dreaded sense of ‘even if I stayed up all night I’ll never finish and get this house clean’ nevermind take a shower. I used to feel helpless and exhausted and it made me unhappy. Clutter stresses me out and makes me less than fun to be around.
I know there are plenty of parents who feel this way. Can’t afford a house cleaner and even if you could, would be too embarrassed by the mess to have a cleaner come. How could they clean when there’s so many toys and shoes scattered everywhere?!
I’m proud to say we have changed that scene completely around here. It took months and month of work but our status quo is manageable now and doesn’t overwhelm me. So what is the secret to escaping this feeling of being held captive by your stuff?
First off, we did get rid of an embarrassing amount of stuff… so that helps. If you don’t love it or need it, why let it stress you out? Donate, reuse or trash it.
However, having less doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have clutter around your house all the time. I mean kids can cover an entire floor with a splash of milk… seriously, there was like 1/4 cup in there, HOW DO THEY GET IT EVERYWHERE?!
Ok, so there is a second essential part of ensuring the house doesn’t look and feel like a bomb went off and you don’t spend all day and evening picking up. If you want to be successful with this, you need to have a place for everything to go. Seems logical, right?
Make enough space for the stuff that you need/love.
That part is simple. In tight spaces, this can be tricky but if you commit to it, it can be done. When everything has a place to go, picking up is less daunting and there is an endpoint that looks and feels great- as Marie Kondo would say, it’s your “click” moment. When all is right and you feel proud of your home.
The most helpful advice I can offer though, and this is pure gold people, is to make a list of the items you don’t seem to have a home for and then make them a home. You’ll find that as you go through your house-category by category or room by room-that there are a few things you never know what to do with.
For us, we seemed to always have items around that other people had left at our house. I ran a nature-based, summer playgroup and kids would leave things daily. Obviously, they didn’t have a home as they aren’t ours. I cleaned out our front hall closet and, after purging and simplifying, had some empty space. I decided I needed a space for these items to go so I would know where they were when we could get them returned AND I didn’t have them hanging out on my kitchen counters until that point. For reference, we also found that clothing that didn’t fit the kids any longer and tools of my husbands seemed to be scattered throughout the house and needed homes.
Here’s the reality- Sometimes these things need to get organized into a bucket until you have a home for them. Some very popular minimizing programs would tell you to minimize your whole home in a week and to not to do this middle step with an interim bucket, to just make a permanent home for it all and stick to it. Right or wrong, I’m a busy mom who has three tiny humans to keep alive and I gave myself a year to simplify our home and lives. Sometimes, I knew I would find a home eventually but not until I got to a different stage in the process. I then used buckets for these homeless items as needed until I found their forever home. It worked for me and maybe it will work for you. In fact, if you are sitting here thinking you’ll never finish simplifying your home then this likely will work for you. Been there!!
These tips are helpful once you’ve started the process but I hoped it may also help motivate some of you to start. Reach out if you don’t know where to begin, I would love to help you find the peace that I have found!
Enjoy the day y’all!