It is hard to feel content and love your home if your house is a mess. If you are like most of us (and some of the people I asked on Facebook!), you probably crave more order and less clutter in your house. For us to really enjoy the Fall season (and to be ready for the holidays this winter) I think it is important to address the underlying issue of what I call visual chaos in our homes.
When your home is filled with stuff, be it clutter, piles of papers, dirty laundry, projects, or even too many accessories or an abundance of furnishings, your eye has no peaceful place to land. All that stuff keeps us from seeing any beauty and often times prevents us from feeling energized and creative at home.
Visual chaos can take the form of random clutter, or it can be due to lack of cohesiveness in your decor.
Today we’ll attack the clutter, and later on we’ll talk about a simple way to create visual calm in your decor (and you don’t have to have a calm color palette!)
First, let’s deal with the random clutter! Notice I did not title this post “The Secret to a Clutter Free HOME.” I said ROOM. And that is because if you have an issue with clutter, as most of us do, we have to start somewhere to stop the craziness. We have to break it down to something we CAN manage or we’ll be paralyzed.
I believe if you start in one room, and you commit to keeping that room clean, it will become a habit you won’t want to break. And that habit will spill over into wanting that same visual calm in other rooms. At my house, we keep our family room, kitchen, living room, dining room and powder room as clutter free as possible most of the time. I would rather enjoy a few clutter free spaces than spread the clutter out all over the house and have NO peace anywhere.
Just so you know my house is not perfect, here is what I find in an upstairs bedroom on a regular basis. Yikes! Most of this stuff is what we bring to church (although I see a random sock and a paint can), we bring it back home on Sunday afternoon and don’t know where to put it so it ends up in a heap somewhere. We all have random stuff like that, don’t we? (humor me here people).
In spite of the secret I am about to share, you house will still get messy because people live there. That is a good thing! My rooms are often in disarray because we have kids and we hold music rehearsals here so furniture gets pushed every which way. But I can easily put the room back in place because we don’t KEEP CLUTTER in those rooms. So what is my secret to a clutter free room? (It isn’t really a secret because I’ve shared it here before a few times, it isn’t revolutionary (and it is a little crazy so neat freaks don’t hate me!!) but it WORKS for me!)
The Grab & Box Technique
1. Pick a room that has too much clutter.
2. Grab some bags and run around the room, filling the bags with any clutter that fits in the bag. Don’t over think this, if it is random, doesn’t belong there or you just don’t know what to do with it right now, IT GOES.
3. You can toss ALL THE CLUTTER in one bag or box, no matter what it is (this is a super speedy way to tidy up one room). OR, if you have a little more time and want to somewhat organize it as you go, have bags labeled as “GIVE AWAY” “THROW AWAY” “DEAL WITH LATER” so you can separate each item appropriately. Obviously if you run across bills or things you need to deal with immediately, set those aside.
4. Don’t get hung up on micro-organizing clutter right now or worrying about what to do with everything you put in the bags. Try to make quick decisions so you can move on.
5. Then, schedule a specific time to deal with the bags one at a time on an upcoming weekend. Put it on your calendar. Or, if you are really brave and ready to let things go, toss the bag in the trash and don’t look back.
You’ll be amazed how fast you can transform your house, one room at a time, with this technique! I love INSTANT gratification so it helps me tremendously to SEE the clean room right away and then deal with the junk as a separate project!!! Just don’t let the bags pile up, deal with the contents or toss them in the trash before you move on to the next room!
By tackling this little project today, Autumn nesting will be more fun! YAY!
Which rooms in your house do you need to declutter?
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Click here to visit the other lovely 31 Day ladies (including Nester who is dishing out daily help for our messy nests and Emily of Remodeling This Life who is helping us focus on simplicity!)