As women, we often find ourselves discontent with our homes. One of the most common complaints? Not enough space!
It’d be nice to have more elbow room in the kitchen. The living room doesn’t have space for as many furniture pieces as we’d like and the front entrance is too small. Kids need a bigger bedroom for toys and clothes. And you? You’re having troubles managing and keeping the house clean because there simply isn’t enough space.
Been there before?
MOST LIVE WITH LESS SPACE
Most women have this in common: very few of us live in our dream home!
Most of us have to make due with what we have and in many cases, are living in homes with less space than we’d like. Small homes can be challenging!
No home cook likes to work in a kitchen so tiny she can’t turn around without bumping into something. To have such a small house that bathroom noises can be heard throughout (particularly embarrassing when company’s around!). A place without storage space can be a challenge. Adding another baby to the family when the bedrooms are full is a real concern.
MANAGING WHAT YOU DO HAVE
It’s easy, so very easy to believe that a bigger home is the answer to our struggles. In some cases, it can be!
But sometimes…the problem lies not in a lack of space, but in how we manage the space we have.
Gals, it’s time to talk about clutter (unnecessary items) in the home.
TALKING ABOUT CLUTTER
What is clutter? Have you ever stopped to consider? Is it stacked mail or shoes piled by the door? Is it a room overwhelmed by knickknacks and ‘stuff?’ Those items you don’t want to deal with that you continue to shove in the closet?
Here, we are going to defined ‘clutter’ as something that doesn’t benefit your life. Something that sits in your home and doesn’t contribute to its/your functionality on a regular basis.
Like the old pots in the back of the cupboard that were replaced by those of better quality. The clothes you haven’t worn for a year because well…you don’t like how they fit. Makeup items so scattered throughout your bathroom that you don’t even know what’s there. Stuff your kids have outgrown and no longer use. Maybe it’s books. Toys. Puzzles. Games.
WHY WE NEED TO CLEAR THE CLUTTER
Should anyone be nervous, know that I’m not going to recommend becoming a minimalist! That’s not what this post is about! Rather, I want to help you see what I began to realize as I looked to implement change.
Clutter sucks the life from us. Remember at the beginning of our series, how we wrote a big, long list of things that drain us? Most of us could add ‘clutter’ to that list!
More than one study has proven that clutter actually keeps us from relaxing in the home. The mess and nagging knowledge of ‘I should do something about this’ wears on most homemakers and actually heighten our stress levels in more ways than one!
It’s easy to blame the clutter in our homes on a lack of space. Sometimes true. And often not. Often, it’s because we have too much stuff in our space (however big or little). When there’s too much stuff, we can’t find homes for it. And if something doesn’t have a home it will be-guaranteed!-in your way more often than not!
Once again, it’s all about baby steps! I’d recommend your choosing a simple place to begin and set aside 10, maybe 15 minutes of your day to begin de-cluttering. Choose one room in your house to work on this month. Set a particular time in your day when you will chip away at it. Put it in your cleaning schedule if necessary!
Take one drawer, one cupboard, one corner of the closet and start going through, getting rid of items that haven’t been used in the past year.
Sort items into 4 different categories in an out-of-the-way place: garbage, storage, thrift store or resale.
Some items in our homes are simply junk we haven’t dealt with. Items have either broken or wore out. Get rid of these!
If you can’t display things of sentimental value, box up that childhood toy, old yearbook, the memoir from your wedding. Get it out of your living space! If you aren’t through having kids yet, box up baby clothes/toys and pack them away until they are needed.
Should items be in good condition, take them to a thrift shop. Or, if you have (and will absolutely make) the time, you can privately sell items that have value.
Maybe you never make waffles but have a brand new waffle iron in your kitchen? Bought a bridesmaid dress but never wore it again? Purchased supplies in attempt to take up crocheting, only to discover you didn’t like it?
DEALING WITH STUFF
Divvy your stuff into groupings as you sort through. And then? Be sure to deal with it! In fact, set a time for yourself when you will do just that.
Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?
Make certain you don’t keep many items for resale or they’ll never leave your home. Set a limit for yourself: if it isn’t gone in ___ days, I will haul it to the thrift store.
Get it out of your house or it will re-home itself.
Where is your starting point? Is there a particular place you should begin?
For the next part of our series, click the link: A Simple Meal Plan.