Disclaimer: I’m the last person that should be writing about organization. In fact, when I told my husband about this topic, he straight up laughed in my face.
“Well, it will be a learning experience for everyone, then,” he said.
Now, I don’t claim to be the most organized person. As a child, I was the one whose room had carpet in perfect condition because it was always covered with clothes. My husband would claim not much has changed. I argue that having “messy” tendencies is different from being “unorganized.” We all have good days and bad days, right? As I grow older, I become more intolerant toward clutter. I’m known to hide something away in a drawer because I’m sick of looking at it, and then forget where I put it. So there’s an organizational fail for you. Do as I say, not as I do.
We’ve all watched HGTV. We’ve all read tips from the experts. And we’ve all scoffed at their unattainable lies. Their tips either require way too many trips to Home Depot, DIY skills I unfortunately don’t possess, or time we as busy moms just don’t have. Luckily, you won’t find any of that here. I’m sharing solutions that our family has found helpful. Our family that is run by a normal mom with normal mom tendencies toward being a tad bit messy. So, from one mama to another– I definitely don’t have it all together– but I’m working on it!
I’m known to throw things away because I don’t know where to store it, or it’s not frequently used. So, there’s the first tip. Throw things away! (Just make sure it’s not an important document that your husband will have to later dig through the trash to retrieve. Oops.) We all have so many things that add clutter our home and serve no purpose. Shoe boxes that take up a ton of room in the closet: Toss them. Magazines you think you’ll refer back to: You won’t. Books you’ve read: Donate them. Champagne you received as a gift but it’s just collecting dust because you don’t really like champagne: Re-gift it! Disposing of unused items is one of the best first steps to more efficiently organize the things you DO use.
Utilize Empty Space:
For the past 16 months that we’ve spent in our first home, our bathroom items have been stored throughout the rest of the house. Our bathroom is teeny tiny with no linen closet, so our towels, medicine, and excess toiletry items are stored in a cabinet in the living room, the toilet paper in the laundry room, and bathroom cleaners in the kitchen. We’ve done the best with the space we have, but recently began renovating a small closet in the hallway next to the bathroom. It formerly housed a furnace, which is no longer being used. It’s taken some time, but we’re in the process of creating a linen closet so that we can store all our bathroom necessities in one place! Now, I’m not suggesting you begin home renovations (unless that’s what you really, really want to do), but I feel like everyone can think of a spot in their home that isn’t being used to its full ability. What does the space under your beds look like? I promise you, under-bed containers will change your life. Underneath our bed you would find gift wrapping supplies, my husband’s guitar, and my box of denim.
Always Do The Dishes:
Okay, so this isn’t an organizational tip per se, but something that can make or break how you perceive your kitchen’s appearance. It’s amazing how having dirty dishes in the sink can make the kitchen look like a disaster zone even if everything else is in tip top shape (which, lets be honest– isn’t often the case). So, even if the toaster is still sitting out from the previous morning’s bagel and your stove needs a good cleaning– you will hardly notice if your sink is empty AND you’ll feel less stressed about tackling the small tasks. I’ve found that always making sure the dishwasher is ready to be loaded is a big help. There’s nothing worse than having a sink full of dirty dishes and the dishwasher being full– so to complete the unsightly job, you first have to address something else, which takes way more time. When I’m keeping up with the dishes, I feel like such an adult! *Fist bump* (Yes, I’m aware my perception of adulthood may be slightly skewed, but let me bask in my own glory, please!)
Create Space-Saving Solutions:
On any given day, mail is piled on the desk off of the kitchen, coupons I may or may never use are littered across my dresser, items to return are stacked on a corner of the dining room table, and the contents of my husband’s pockets are strewn across the console table. Now imagine if all of those things had a home. Imagine if the mail had its own wall-mounted basket, so that we could sort through it later? What if I made room in the top desk drawer for the coupons (and periodically threw out expired ones)? What if I took the items to return to the car (which would also put me one step closer to actually getting that done)? What if I gave my husband his own tray to house his wallet and keys and knife and chewing gum and all the other things men deem necessary to have on their person at all times? Can you relate? Start by recognizing what kinds of things are cluttering the flat surfaces in your home and then find practical solutions that really work for your family. Just don’t try and make your husband take his stuff to the bedroom. That would be too much to ask and then you’re back to square one.
Find What Works For You:
Store things in the vicinity in which you use them. This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes we toss practicality out the window in an organizational rage. For example, failing to make space for a shoe rack by the door can create spousal disrupt. Trust me. For years I’ve tried to force my husband into always putting his shoes away in the closet, but time and time again, I’d find at least 2 or 3 pairs scattered by the back door. Once he explained that sometimes he takes them off if its raining and forgets to put them up, and how he likes to have a pair to slip on to run out to the garage, I realized that rather than trying to break him of what he wanted to do, it would be better to simply accept it and create a solution that worked for both of us.