I keep saying that this is my year of organization. Except…I still have boxes that I haven’t unpacked from last year when we moved. LAST YEAR. Clearly I need organizing tips, but I’m too overwhelmed to get started! So I am glad to welcome Ellen Delap today for this guest post with organizing tips for the unorganized! She is a PROFESSIONAL organizer, but don’t let that scare you. She is super accessible and helpful with no judgment—even for people like me who really need help. I hope these tips help you organize your home!
Does it seem like all the other families have it together? Forever looking for that lunch or right shoe left behind somewhere? Even with your best effort do you feel like organizing is not coming together in your home? Fear not! There are a few tricks to be learned here! Follow these steps for a more organized home.
Organizing has been elevated to an unprecedented level. It is an important part of our daily life. But we all have different levels and needs for organizing. We don’t have to be OCD to have organization going on in our homes. We want to be organized enough that in 15 minutes we can be company ready. We want to be organized enough that we have a sense of serenity when we look in our closets. Most importantly we want to be organized enough that our kids are learning that organizing can make a difference in all our lives. We want to enjoy our homes and nurture our families there. We don’t live at Martha’s (Stewart) home. And besides, she has minions to help.
Reset Your Family Mindset
The first step is getting your family on board. All the organizing you can do for hours can be undone in minutes by your kids or partner. Start with a family meeting. Ignore eye rolling and have everyone share the benefits of organization. It’s a starting point to get everyone on the same page and work together. Talk about the one small thing that is going to be done nightly called “The Reset.” It’s where you reset all the stuff that needs to go back to where it belongs. Even if you don’t have a place for everything yet, getting it back to the right room is a first step. “The Reset” takes place every night right after dinner. It’s when stuff gets carried back up the stairs to kids’ rooms and things are put away. At your family meeting stress that everyone is participating in “The Reset” and start it the next evening. By having this routine each evening, you are starting to get organized.
Start with Yourself
As parents we often start with our kids rather than ourselves. Step 2 is to put your own oxygen mask on first. If you are ready to go in the morning it’s the best feeling in the world! Head to your own closet and be brutal. Yes, there are tags on clothes you wish you had worn. Yes, it’s hard to let go of those fabulous items you wore before you had kids. If it’s too hard, invite a trust friend over and do the same for her or him. Getting your closet organized can be done in small segments, like 1 or 2 hour units. Don’t take it all out but work on shoes at one session, blouses at one session, dresses at one session and so forth. If it’s hard to schedule time, ask for help in corralling the kids and hire a sitter. Take it on as a challenge and go forth!
Purge Toys and Tech
Next step is the toys, stuffed animals and technology. These.are.everywhere. Your kids are faced daily with a Chinese buffet of toys that makes it hard to play with or enjoy. To set a goal of how many, think about a kindergarten classroom. There is a place for everything on shelves or baskets. Pare down, donate or consign. Place the stuff in black trash bags in the garage for a few days first to see if there is a major attachment to it. After that, off it goes to bless others. This is especially important to repeat right before a birthday or the holidays. Ask your kids to choose 3 toys to donate first. It’s all about cultivating decision making, blessing others who have less, and learning about organizing. Once organized, label where toys go and have practice sessions with your kids on putting away toys and electronics. It may not be natural for them, but practicing helps.
Cut Down on Kid Clothes
Last step is the kids’ clothes. It’s completely overwhelming at times how many clothes are in our home. It causes laundry issues with too many clothes too. Break this into baby steps by working through each kid’s closet and dresser. Label right inside the dresser what goes where. It’s a real heads up to grandparents and partners and helps them be team players in getting your kids dressed. It’s a real blessing when it comes to laundry too. Now your kids can put away their clothes easily because there is space in the drawers.
Being organizationally challenged is really about new perspectives. Pace yourself on getting more organized. It’s often getting started that’s the hardest part. Make an appointment with yourself to get going. Remember it’s a process that can be done over whatever period of time works for you. Let go of your perfectionism, set a timer for 15 minutes at a time, and get going. Wherever you leave off, just go back to that space for the next 15 minutes. There are rewards too! Not only will you probably find money, give yourself time to read the magazines you gathered in a bubble bath. If you get discouraged or need practical tips, check out my blog at www.professional-organizer.com , check out my Pinterest page or like my Facebook page.
About Ellen and Professional-Organizer.com
For over 10 years, Certified Professional Organizer and Certified Family Manager Coach, Ellen Delap has helped her clients make time and space for what’s important to them by organizing their homes, offices and their daily living. Ellen, owner of Professional-Organizer.com, works one on one with her clients in their homes and offices streamlining their environment, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle and prioritizing organization in their daily routine. She specializes in working with ADD and ADHD families, adults and students.
Ellen has been featured on Stretch Your Dollar on ABC13 Houston, in articles in the Houston Chronicle, a guest speaker on radio KLOVE, and is a national expert on The Clutter Diet, an online organizing website. She is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and a specialist in chronic disorganization and ADHD with the Institute of Challenging Disorganization. Learn more about her and her business at www.professional-organizer.com, Twitter @TexasOrganizer, Facebook business page EllenDelapProfessionalOrganizer and Pinterest Ellen Delap.