January is almost over. This probably has some thinking of the Super Bowl or Valentine’s Day, but to me, I see the end of my crazy organization challenge month!
It’s been a really busy month thanks to my ambitious idea to create a new focus each month of 2014. It’s incredible how consuming it is to take on so much organization at once. Now that the majority of it is behind me, though, and I can tell you it has been TOTALLY worth it. Before I get into some more thoughts, let me show you a few more tasks I tackled, starting with the laundry room.
I never opened or used the cabinets in there because they were a nightmare. Piles of junk were gathered on top on the dryer, leaving me no room to fold or spray stains. I believed laundry couldn’t be any more of a daunting task, but somehow this cluttered area made it worse.
After tossing a lot and rehoming just as much, the after let me breathe a sigh of peace.
I love laundry now! No, that’s a lie, but I don’t cringe when I walk into the laundry room.
Next up were our horrific garage shelves. David built these in a summer or two ago to help us stay more organized. Oops.
What a disaster.
Ahh, another big sigh of relief.
That’s what this challenge has been for me: one big sigh of peace and contentment after another.
I’ll be honest, I’m a bit behind. I have yet to tackle the playroom or go through Hailey’s old clothes, but I fully plan on doing these before February 1. My bed didn’t get made every day, but it did on most days and I liked it.
Still, I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve done. I feel the third trimester creeping up on me and to have all these checked off before I feel too big and before baby girl is here gives me a sense of relief and accomplishment.
To prevent these sort of piles, clutter and internal turmoil from happening again, I’ve learned a few lessons I plan to instill:
1. Find new items an immediate home. The hardest part of this challenge wasn’t physically pulling things from shelves, but the mental energy it took to look at each item and decide where it really belonged. Too often I wouldn’t know where something should go so I’d quickly toss it in a drawer or closet, which obviously came back to haunt me. Now everything that comes in the house goes on the kitchen table. I hate a cluttered kitchen table, but nothing is allowed to leave it until it finds a rightful home. Though it requires a bit more thought up front, I strongly believe this will help me from ending up where I started a month ago.
2. Have an ongoing donation and/or garage sale pile. We have some storage space that is now solely designated to these purposes. If we don’t need an item, it goes directly in the trash or one of these piles. When the box is full, it’s time to make a trip to Goodwill. Too often before I’d have 1 item to donate, but figured it wasn’t worth the trip to drop off one item. Now, problem solved!
3. Put things back where they belong. It sounds like a simple childhood rule right? But so often I’d toss something close enough to where it should go instead of putting it where it really belonged. I’d throw shoes in the closet, but they wouldn’t make it on the shelf. I’d shove a new pack of paper towels in the garage, but not take the extra 60 seconds to unload them and stack them properly. All these little ‘short cuts’ lead to an unorganized and cluttered home, which took a full month of focused tasks to undo.
So far, so good. Only time will tell if I can stick with it, but I have high hopes. Right now I’m relishing in putting the pots and pans back on their proper shelf, lining up my shoes and keeping Hailey’s toys contained. For a full list of before and afters of tasks I’ve checked off, you can click here.
What is your best tip for getting and staying organized?