I LOVE spring cleaning; it’s my favorite time of the year. But what I love even more is getting rid of junk. There’s no greater feeling to me than seeing a once crowded, stuffed-full drawer become neat and organized.
If you’ve just finished your spring cleaning but are still feeling overwhelmed with certain areas of your home, have no fear because the neat freak mama is here! I’ve listed my top tips and tricks to help you get those piles off your counters and have the playroom of your child’s dreams!
Piles, Piles, Piles
Before starting this blog post, I took a poll on Facebook to see what the top struggles for moms are when it comes to keeping a tidy home. The number one response: piles. I got questions like, “Where do I put it all?” and “How can I prevent my spouse from just throwing stuff on the counter?” Listed below are my three most tried and true methods for keeping piles out of your life.
Tips to keep your house (and counters) pile-free:
- Everything should have a designated place that is easily accessible and understandable to all members of the house. If your system of organizing is too difficult for your spouse or children to keep up with, then change it! Having a system that works for everyone will encourage all members of your household to work together to keep the house clean and clutter-free!
- Procrastination is the enemy. If you’re in the habit of saying “I’ll get to it later,” start eliminating that phrase from your vocabulary. I guarantee that 99% of the things you’re putting off for later will take 10 minutes or less to accomplish (i.e. sorting the mail, putting away clothes, washing dishes, etc).
- Give items a time limit to exist outside their designated home. A great example is when your kids play with their toys. My son loves to create extremely elaborate train tracks. Even though some of his train tracks are beautiful and very creative, he knows that at the end of the day, he has to pick them all up. Toys are not allowed to stay out once bedtime comes. This helps my son know what I expect of him, and it teaches him to pick up after himself at a young age. It also gives him the chance to actively play with toys, while I get to enjoy a clean and tidy house in the evenings and in the mornings before he starts the cycle over again.
Plastic is Your Friend
There is a plethora of plastic storage containers ranging all different sizes, colors, and functions. The best part about plastic containers is that when it comes time for your family to move, you don’t even have to unpack what’s inside! Simply tape the drawers or the tops shut and you instantly have a moving box ready to go!
Having things in plastic storage containers also makes looking for items a breeze. Most plastic storage is see-through, allowing you to see what’s inside at a glance. If you opt for a colored bin, simply find some cute washi tape and label it! You can find plastic bins for literally every room of the house!
Look for Inspiration
If you have high hopes for de-cluttering but have no idea how to organize your home in an effective manner, look it up! We live in a golden age of technology. Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Google . . . the sources for inspiration are endless. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with how to organize something, take some time to find your inspiration. Or if you have an organized friend or family member, invite them over to help you!
But What About the Kids?
Children bring a lot of things into our lives. Love, happiness, laughter . . . and lots and lots of junk. Trying to de-clutter your children’s bedrooms and playrooms can be overwhelming, especially if they’re jam-packed with toys.
Observe their habits
Take an afternoon and watch your child play with his/her toys. Chances are, your child is going to gravitate towards certain toys more than others, and some not at all. The next time you find yourself without your child, whether it’s for school, nap time or bed time, take those un-played-with toys and put them in a box. Hide the box for about a week or two, and if your child doesn’t ask for anything in there, it’s safe to give away or toss.
Prepare in advance
It may seem daunting, but asking your children what they want for the holidays a few months in advance can help quiet the noise of Christmas commercials. By asking our children what they want in advance, and asking them multiple times before we begin our shopping, we are guaranteeing ourselves items that they’ll actually use and play with.
The best gift
Toys and presents are a great way to show your love for the children in your life. However, time spent with family is even greater. Birmingham has amazing places to get year-long memberships. If you want to decrease the amount of toys in your home, ask family and friends for memberships to places like the zoo or McWane. If those places aren’t on your child’s radar, ask for gift cards for gas or hotels and take a family trip. Birmingham is central to so many amazing places that are only a few hours away.
Believe You Can and You Will
My last tip is to believe in yourself. De-cluttering can be overwhelming and stressful — especially for busy parents. By believing in yourself, you’ll be starting off with a positive attitude and good vibes to get you through those hard times.
If you use any advice in this article, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below!