I have a confession to make: I am not the tidiest person. I wouldn’t say I’m a slob, but I can sometimes be lazy when it comes to housework. Don’t get me wrong, I clean my house, but the problem is I procrastinate. The result? Things pile up and I find myself ending up moving various piles of stuff from one room to the next. And yet, I really dislike clutter. It actually makes me feel very anxious and overwhelmed.
In certain aspects of my life, I’m an organized mess; I arrange things in a certain way that makes sense to me, but perhaps might seem messed up to others. But in other areas of my life, things are just, well, messy and unorganized and I often find myself exasperated and asking “why can’t I ever find anything around here?”
Somehow, especially since becoming a parent, my house has become this place that’s just full of stuff. It feels like every room in the house has clutter, and last year this problem became a really big deal for me when I found myself struggling with depression and anxiety. One thing I learned in therapy is that a big source of why I felt overwhelmed all the time was the fact that there is so much stuff all around the house. I realized that the reason why I found it difficult to relax at home was that everywhere I looked I saw something to do and it seemed like I had a never-ending list of chores.
There are many steps I have taken to battle my depression and setting goals was part of that. One goal I put in mind was that I wanted to get different parts of my life more organized, the biggest one being my home. It’s going to take a lot of work and planning, but it needs to be a priority for me in my ongoing journey of living a healthier and happier life.
One of the main struggles with getting more organized is knowing where to start and what sort of process to take. One step I have taken is reading the book Organizing For Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases by Jane Stoller. This book offers wonderful tips for organizing different parts of your home, but more importantly, Stoller points out how setting goals and being more organized can alleviate stress in your life.
From organizing your closet to how and what to pack when you travel, Stoller provides valuable advice for organizing based on your lifestyle. A key lesson I have taken away from this book is the importance of decluttering and getting rid of unused items. This will be my first step in my goal of getting organized in 2018. There are many items around the house that my husband, children and I can do without and need to purge.
Yes, decluttering will be a family project! I plan on getting my son and daughter to go through their toy bins to select toys no longer played with to give away. As well, we will be going through all of our closets to collect clothing items the kids have outgrown and ones my husband and I no longer wear. Also on the list is sorting through our storage room. There are boxes of items ready to give away that we simply haven’t made the move to get rid of yet, as well as old furniture pieces and baby items we can sell or donate. By removing these things it will be so much easier to find what we need in our closets and storage room.
Having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place is a common theme in Stoller’s book. In her chapter about closets, I found the section about which clothes to hang and which to fold especially useful because it helped me see not only how I can organize my wardrobe better, but also how I can make better use of my closet and drawer space. In her chapter about storage rooms, one piece of advice Stoller gives, that I really wish my husband and I had done when we moved into our home, is label boxes you keep in storage. While we were clever enough to get shelves to store our boxes, we failed to label them properly which makes finding items so much more difficult.
One chapter in the book that I will most likely try to memorize this year is the one about kitchen organization. This is the one room in the house that currently drives me bonkers on a daily basis and frequently has me cursing under my breath. In its current state, our kitchen is poorly designed and very difficult to keep tidy due to lack of space and storage. But I am happy to say that we are looking forward to a more functional, organized and larger kitchen as we undergo a renovation this year (keep an eye on the blog as I will share more about this throughout the process). I will certainly be keeping Stoller’s tips for organizing cupboards, drawers and countertops close at hand when our new kitchen is being done.
The process of getting organized is barely underway and I can already see how life-changing this experience will be for me. The plans we are making has me feeling hopeful, optimistic and excited! The clutter in our home has been weighing heavy on me and I feel like the changes we are about to make will transform our house into a more functional space that we can relax in and enjoy as a family.