Organizing and Folding
Here are a few small tips from Allison's lesson that can make a big difference:
- Walk your house with a garbage bag. Be ruthless. Take the bag straight out to the big trash (Emily Ley).
- Walk your house with a donate bag. Be ruthless. Take the bag straight out to your car and drop it off next time you're in the car (Emily Ley).
- Clear your bedside table of everything except a clock, a lamp, and two things that make you happy (Emily Ley).
- Declutter by category, not by room. For example, take all the clothing from all around the house (work on one family member at a time) and put it in a pile. Handle each item and decide whether to keep, donate, or trash. Then put it all away. Same with books, papers, etc. (Marie Kondo)
- Donate anything that hasn't been worn in a year (Marie Kondo).
- Sort items in smaller containers inside drawers, especially kitchen gadgets, bathroom drawers, supply drawers (Marie Kondo).
- Get rid of your junk drawer and have a command center instead.
- Put a hanging shoe organizer on the back of every closet door in your house (I even have one on the outside of our playroom closet door) for small items. These are great for shoes, but also gift wrappying items, scarves, gloves, small games, small linens, doll accessories, toy cars or figurines, craft supplies, etc. They aren't very expensive, and they don't take up much space.
- Put linens and coats that are only used every once in a while in space bags at the very top of your linen closet. This saves space and keeps them clean.
- Only have 5 minutes? Declutter and organize one drawer or cabinet.
- Label stuff. Now everyone can put things back where they belong, not just you. Kids can't read yet? Use pictures!
- Take the extra few steps it takes to put something where it goes. Retrain your brain. Pretty soon it will be second-nature.
- Teach your kids good habits like putting away as they go, how to decide what to keep and what to purge.
- This may be unpopular, but purge toys when your kids are out of the house. If you're worried about getting rud of stuff they love, put it in the closet for a week or two and if they don't ask about it, donate. I've done this for years and have never had them ask for something back. As they get older, they can make more of the decisions. (Note from Clair: ask the grandparents before you get rid of things - they might want to keep something for sentimental reasons.)
- Put a load of laundry in first thing every morning (or every other morning, depending on the size of your family). This keeps it from piling up on you and it only takes a few minutes to fold and put away one small load (Emily Ley).
- Fold using the Konmari method (check out millions of videos on YouTube) so that you can see all of your clothes from the top of the drawer.
- If refolding everything seems too big of a task, work one family member at a time. I did my drawers three years ago, my kids' drawers a few months later, and then finally my husband's about 6 months ago.