^ I chose this picture of the wall in our basement because the current state of our house is under construction. No, we’re not renovating. Our children have managed to take it over with their stuff. In order to take this picture I had to endure the pain every parent will feel at some point when they step on a rogue lego. Despite all of this, this picture is fitting. Love begins at home…and so does decluttering.
Okay, so if you’re in the home decor and organization community you’ve already seen Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix. She’s amazing isn’t she?! Before I watched every episode I actually read her detailed book a few years ago. For you Kindle lovers. I didn’t do everything she said to do because I was a new mom and was just trying to survive. So I took a few things here and there. I started folding my laundry a certain way. Now, it wasn’t all of our laundry, but it was all of the things that took up a lot of space. I also tried another decluttering method by another blogger to get rid of so many bags in so many days. Prior to this I was slowly decluttering and getting rid of my clothes on online marketplaces so when I tried to get rid of a ton of bags worth of ‘stuff,’ I couldn’t! What is my point to all of this?
DON’T get hung up on other methods, rather use them as a GUIDE.
I’m a firm believer in the Me Method. What is the Me Method? It’s whatever works for you! Not all organizing methods work for everyone. For some reason it’s hard to part with certain items. I’m one of them and I constantly boast about how I’m the complete opposite of a hoarder. If I see something in my home or classroom that I haven’t used in awhile or even recently – I try to find another owner for that item or throw it out! But, sometimes I need to think twice about some things even if I haven’t used them in what seems like forever. But, clutter is extremely stressful. So what do I do? I put it away where I don’t see it. Not helpful in the long term, but it is in the short term.
So now I’m a working mom of two young ones. One is 3 and a half and the other is almost 7 months. I said this when I only had one, but it’s about survival at this point. So I practice the Me Method. I took a few things here and there from different organizing programs and methods and made my own. And I’m comfortable with it. What’s great about this method is that there’s tons of tweaking. It is completely customizable to you because you’re in charge. So take all of what I’m about to say with a grain of salt because this is what I’ve learned from my Me Method.
Bins and Baskets
I love bins. For the most part I always buy clear ones for my home and classroom so I can see what’s in them. I also label them so I know exactly what’s in there and it looks uniform. I’ve bought cute baskets too and at first I had them beautifully organized in my laundry room as a catch all for all of our excess household products, but then we stopped buying in bulk so I wasn’t filling them up and they just sat there taking up space. NOW they’re in my linen closet housing our old towels that I use as rags for cleaning. Who knows where they’ll end up next! I also use tissue boxes to separate underneath my bathroom sink for all of my toiletries and cleaning products. I feel like I’m helping the landfills one tissue box at a time because I’m reusing it. Once that box gets old and ripped I use another.
So like I mentioned before I’ve used online marketplaces to get rid of my old clothes and make some money too. I’ve donated them as well. But, here’s the thing. After watching Marie Kondo I threw ALL of my clothes on bed just like she said to. I’m always saying I have nothing to wear, which is not entirely true. I thought it was. I have a lot of clothes, BUT I’ve also had two pregnancies, fluctuating sizes, and style changes. So when I saw everything on our bed I realized I have A LOT of clothes and only a few items sparked joy. Here’s the problem with that. If I only kept the ones that sparked joy I’d literally have maybe 4-5 items that I’d keep. But I need more than 5 items to live in so I kept a lot more than I wanted. Now I have bags of clothes I’m not keeping on the floor of our bedroom STRESSING ME OUT. My advice: Don’t throw all of your clothes on your bed unless you have the time to go through it all and you actually have a place for them to go. You don’t want to get stuck with bags of decluttered items all over because then all you’ve done is move the mess within sight! Who wants that?
Baby and Kid Stuff
Let’s be real here. I’ve organized our basement, which is another play area in the house. I have two young children. My 3 and a half year old destroys it. Yes, he’s already awesome at organizing and will put things back where I want him to, however, it obviously doesn’t happen all the time and that’s okay. I’ve come to grips with it. When you have kids you need to accept the fact that you are not going to have an instagram-staged house. There’s a reason why I haven’t written a post on our living room or basement renovation. They’re constantly covered with baby bumpers, toys or piles of laundry. But that’s real life. What you can do is instill the value of organizing and decluttering with your kids. Kids really don’t need a lot of stuff. Less is so much better. This is not only coming from a mother, but a teacher as well. Too much is overwhelming. Kids needs structure and organization. It helps to keep them calm and de-stressed just as much as us! It also teaches them the value of owning something and taking care of it. I’ll admit, my son has too much. Way more than I ever did at his age. I’m not happy about it, but he has inventory on ALL of his toys and if something goes “missing” he knows. So I started having him really looking at his toys and keeping what he wants. It wasn’t as much as I wanted him to get rid of, but it taught him the value of keeping only what he enjoys playing it.
So what was the point of this post? I guess the point was to show you that no one is perfect and we all struggle to declutter our physical lives to enjoy what’s most important. I constantly have “mom guilt.” I come home from work exhausted to 2 little ones who just want to play, but I need to do the dishes, laundry and decluttering when I get home. If it doesn’t get done it piles up and I get frustrated, stressed and not pleasant to be around. I’m also hoping that decluttering our lives will make for less laundry and less ‘having to clean up’ around the house. If there’s not a place for an item in your house, seriously, just get rid of it. Do you really need it? Nope. Think, what would happen if you got rid of it…would you have a little anxiety for an hour, a day, a week? I guarantee if it’s not really important you’ll get over it and feel a thousand times better.
So if you’ve made it to the end of this long rambling post, know that you’re not alone and that there’s someone out there rooting for you and knows you can do it!
What’s your Me Method? Have you figured it out yet?