September 2, 2011

Happy Home Organizational Series: Where to Start?

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Where do you start to create a happy functioning home?

My goal for this series is to give you some tips and tricks that will help you live with less clutter, organize your spaces, your home life and over all make them happy and more functioning. I wouldn't consider myself and expert by any means but there are a few things I've learned along the way that really help me organize life and function better for our household, I hope to share those lessons here during this month long series.

One of my goals for 2011, was to get rid of 100 things! At the end of last year I realized we've accumulated a lot of stuff! Stuff we weren't using, or stuff that no longer fit our family and served a purpose. So I set out to take stock really in what we had and make sure we were actually using it, wearing it and loving it. There's so many projects I want to organize in our home, this series is giving me the accountability to do so, along with sharing it with all of you.

It's no secret, I don't like clutter. I feel suffocated with to much stuff lying around, cluttering the house and serving no purpose. I've almost reached my goal for the year. Here's my basic simple tips for making sure your home is clutter free and holding me accountable to this less is more lifestyle. I first wrote about this here, you can read the full blog post but here's my rules:

  1. Twice a year I go through everything (i mean everything) in our home once in the Spring and once in the Fall.
  2. If you haven't used it, worn it or seen it in 6-12 months get rid of it.
  3. The in/out rule: You bring something in you take something out.
I recently did #3 when I went shopping at Down East, I bought 3 shirts that day came home and immediately took out 3 items from my closet I hadn't worn in the last six months and donated them. Then I hung up my new stuff. These three rules are my basic mantra when it comes to organizing our home.

Since, it's the beginning of the Fall season I will be tackling #1 over the next couple weeks. I think it's best when you start organizing a space to pull everything out. Look at it all, and decide what needs to stay and what needs to go.

Pair down first and then start organizing from there. I think it helps organize the space better after you've gotten rid of what you're not using and what doesn't need to be there. You have a cleaner more reduced palate to work with then.

When closets are cleaner they function better. When everything has a place it makes your home clutter free and function better. You with me?!?

Have a hard time letting go? Me too sometimes. I like to think of myself as a memory hoarder sometimes. There's things I've saved for memory sake like pictures, old year books, clothing, etc. but I usually try to designate one area or one box for keeping those things safe. I have a box of old high school things in our storage. I keep photos in albums all organized by event. You get the picture.

Now, I try not to buy anything or bring anything into our space that I don't already have an idea where it will go, or a use for it. There's a ton of things (mostly decor items) that we've accumulated over the years that I'm no longer using and it's time to really get rid of it.

I think another thing about getting organized and creating happy functional spaces is getting real with yourself first! Do you still have clothing laying around that doesn't fit for whatever reason and you're holding onto it? Are you keeping something in your home because you paid a lot for it and can't bare to part with it but don't really use it?

Me too sometimes. I keep telling myself that I'm going to have some sort of yard sale and get rid of everything. First, of all I don't have a yard to have a sale. Second, decide what is actually worth selling that you might get money from and then donate the rest. Getting real with yourself in this way allows you to look at your clutter & stuff objectively.

I've found that by actually having things in your home that are useful, lends to the overall function and make living easier. It is with these tips and principles that I want to begin this series.

Start this weekend! A nice long weekend will give you some time to evaulate your home the things in it, what can stay and what needs to go.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be sharing with you some projects that I've organized and cleared the clutter.

We're going to talk about schedules, calendars and keeping your home/family life on track.

Lastly, I want to talk a bit about organizing your blog, scheduling posts and other things that make blogging life fun and not feel like a chore after a while!

If you have any questions or things you'd like me to cover please feel free to email me at andreaworley@live.com and I'll answer your questions and address your topics!

Happy Weekending, enjoy your Labor Day!!

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