O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Spring is the traditional time of rebirth. It is the season that we clean out the old, dirty and worn out and replace it with clean, beautiful things. One of my goals for this year was to get my home completely organized. A recent study at Princeton Neuroscience Institute found that clutter limits your brain’s ability to process information and restricts its ability to focus. Clutter is the number one reason that American homes are disorganized. Too much stuff limits our ability to function well and raises our levels of cortisol and thus, our anxiety.
So, for our brains to function properly and our stress levels to be low the first thing necessary is purging the clutter. You can either use a box system (trash, donate, keep) for closets or rooms or you may have to just go with a whole house declutter. For me, it was time for a whole house makeover. So, one room at a time I got rid of stuff. Americans are all suffering from affluenza and that is the number one reason we have clutter.
I had extra dishes, coats, books, toys, and clothing that all needed to go. Getting rid of stuff is the best first step because it opens up the room and gives you space to find solutions. Chic Boutique in Whitefish even paid me for getting rid of clothes! After I got rid of extra stuff, I also scoured the internet and Pinterest for the best home organizing tips and tricks and here is what is working for me.
Tote Bag System~
I found Thirty One Bags to be the best solution for corralling stuff for me. One thing I really needed under control was sports equipment. I love that these totes are big and stand up alone. I filled them with little kid ski boots and helmets and only needed to grab the bag on Saturday! Another bag holds all the ski gloves, goggles, masks and hats. It was an easy solution for something that was really creating a lot of clutter in my laundry room. With spring here, it is time to put all of that ski stuff in a storage bin and replace it with baseball equipment. In summer, all swimsuits and lake things will go in the totes.
Totes are a great solution for library books, baby gear, road trips, and outings. Just find the tote that works for you and keep it filled with what you need. Store it in the closet and just grab and go when you need it.
Baskets are perfect for magazines, books, toys, and throw blankets. These are the things that clutter up the living areas. Target and TJ Maxx have some great baskets with chalkboard labels on them that are extremely durable and cute. Kids can easily clean up their own messes when a label is right on the basket! In the dollar section, they also have some cute plastic bins that are perfect for first aid items, hair items, toiletries, pantry items, craft supplies and more.
I also bought some wire baskets to hang on the wall by the door. Mail goes in here and important school papers that need to go right back. A basket on a table by the door holds keys.
I love this idea for keeping paper organized. It is genius! Buy a file box for each child. Have files for birth certificates, shot records, school information, and best of all, favorite art work and cute things from your kids. At the end of each school year, take out the art and school stuff and keep your favorites.
Some other useful ideas I found were color coding your kid’s towels, cups, toothbrushes, etc. and hanging plastic hooks at kid height in the closets so instead of throwing jackets and sweatshirts on the floor, they can easily be hung by your child.
Spending the last few months purging and organizing my house has reaped so many benefits. No more frustration while trying to get ready to go somewhere, everything was in its home and no more buying new things because we couldn’t find the old ones. There are no longer coats thrown on the floor of the coat closet thanks to hooks hanging down low.
Spring cleaning will be a snap now that there is not so much random stuff cluttering up my house!