After selling most our things before moving to my mother’s house, we still had to figure out how to function in a house with minimal space and 2 families (including 2 toddler boys). Here is a brief overview of organizing your stuff.
#1 Start from Scratch
If you really want to organize a room you need to take every item out of the room, or you’re just moving things from one space to another with no progress. Then decide if each item is clutter or serves a purpose.
#2 Clutter vs. Purpose
If it doesn’t bring joy to your life or serve a specific purpose, donate, recycle, trash or sell. Certain things you can take pictures of or scan into your computer. Clutter and excessive STUFF can cause excessive unneeded stress.
If it is sentimental item but you don’t want it or don’t have room for it, take a picture of it to keep as a memory and give/sell it so it can bring someone else happiness. Special notes we get home from daycare or certain cards with thoughtful messages are scanned into our computer so that we have those memories. You don’t necessarily need the actual paper or item.
#3 Organizing Toys
Main rule we try to follow is if things come in the house then things need to leave the house. Too many things can be over stimulating for kids, rotate toys every so often to keep kids interested. Things that cause more of a mess they have to ask for it. Puzzle pieces are separated from the puzzle board to keep control over some chaos.
Think of what you CAN control and start there. I can control what they have access to, how it is stored and how many things they can use at a time. Our youngest loves throwing balls around, we use a large laundry bag to keep them all together. We keep the puzzle pieces in zippered pouches on the top shelf.
Obviously you can’t control everything all the time, but on most days the clutter can be cut in half, other days it looks like a tornado went through the house. It’s not about perfection, but is about progress. Finding the little “wins” throughout the day in order to keep moving forward
#4 Maximizing Space
Think vertical shelves, baskets, containers, command hooks, filing system for papers; these things are the tools toward a more functional life. We can get into more specifics in future posts.