Hello, hello! In honor of "Get Organized Month" it's time I let you in on a few secrets that can help you get your space in check.
RULE 1: Organize First, Shop Second
One of the most fun parts of organizing is making that trip to the Container Store! It's so easy to get lost wandering the aisles and even easier to fill your cart to the brim with all of their amazing solutions. However, I always focus on decluttering first. Once you see what you are left with, try and utilize items on hand, even if they may not be conventional storage solutions. Once you've done that, then take that well-deserved trip to the store and choose products that will finish off the space, like my favorites here.
RULE 2: Reconsider Keeping Things on Hand for "Someday"
This is a tough one, but holding onto items that you might get around to using (or fitting into) someday adds to the visual clutter of your space. And half the time, when you have lots of excess on hand, you might even forget that you had something in the first place. The Minimalists use the 20/20 rule: If an item can be replaced for less than $20 and in less than 20 minutes from your current location, then part ways. This is a good idea to keep in mind for those items that are gathering dust!
RULE 3: Keep Like Items Together
Rather than just shoving items into random closets, try and keep all like items together. When you have all like items in a single space, it allows you to see exactly what you have on hand. And be sure to keep items in homes that are easy to remember. There is nothing like forgetting where you stored an item and having to re-buy.
RULE 4: Don't Keep Every Piece of Art Your Child Brings Home
What should I do with all of the artwork my kids bring home? I spoke to a few mom's groups last Fall and this was the most common question asked. There are some amazing apps out there that allow you to save photos of your child's artwork and mementos as they come into the house (Artkive and Keepy are both amazing!). From there, consider saving only the most special physical pieces, and compile all of your photos at year-end into a special book for them. Bonus points if you take photos of your child holding their artwork so you can see their cute smiles over the years. I love this blog post from my friends Mel & Betsy, where they share exactly how they organize all of their kids artwork into an annual photo book.
RULE 5: Focus on Function First and "Pretty" Second
I love a Pinterest-worthy space SO much, but find that sometimes those spaces just don't function long-term. If you are someone that needs to see your belongings, focus on creating a functional open storage solution with clear containers. If you find that you can't focus unless things are covered up and tucked away, go wild with labeled baskets. Stay true to yourself and your family's needs, so that you can easily maintain the system you put in place.