As we dive into a new season (2022, quit going so fast!), we love to take a big look-over! Time to pause, lean back, and do an assessment of our space- both external and internal. How have the past few months of life been? Were they restful? Busy? Hard? Unexpected? What does this season transition hold for you? We find taking the time to reflect allows us to keep the good and to shift the things that need change– a sort of realignment if you will.
Below are six valuable organizing strategies for transitioning into this new season with intention, space, and a clear mind.
1. Take Inventory
This is where we begin. First, take a look around (a literal look around). What in your space is causing unrest? Is there chaos in the living room, disorder in the pantry? Any piling paperwork or trinkets turning into clutter? Next, what about your time? How does (or doesn’t) your day flow? Let’s look for the gems, too! Have you found a new rest routine in-between school drop-offs? A new morning walk that’s lifting your soul each day? These are things we want to make sure you keep space for.
~ Download our list template here, or make your own. Use the “To Keep” column for positive habits & routines to keep, and the “To Boot” column for areas that need work. In this second column, note any spaces that need some reworking, in habits and in-house.
~ If you’re starting on organizing a space, make three physical piles: keep, donate, toss/recycle. Hint: the more things that land in the donate and toss/recycle piles, the more satisfying the end result will feel!
2. Create Margins & Keep ‘Em
Margins- the ever-envied extra in a day's schedule! Is it possible? We’re thrilled to tell you it indeed is, but it does take some planning ahead. If you begin scheduling your days ahead (considering drive time, wait time, etc.), you’ll gain a more realistic sense about what will actually fit. Overachievers we all are these days! Make sure what is being scheduled will actually fit, and then with time in-between.
~ Taking that list above, note where margins are needed. If you’ve found that new morning walk (before everyone else is up and before your phone starts going) is doing you wonders… keep it! If your days are constantly too crammed and are simply a whirl of motion, find the areas where you can create 5-min, 15-min, and 30-min margins. This is the time for you to pause! As tempting as it will be, don’t fill a margin! Let that free time just be- you’ll thank us later.
3. 5-Minute Tidy
If you’ve been following along with us for some time, you’ll have surely heard us share this one before. We’re strong believers in the 5-Minute Tidy! It’s an easy habit to weave into your daily routine, and for such a small window of time, it produces big results. When we take a look through our day, we know there are pockets of time (waiting for the kids, anyone?) that we can better use. Introducing… the 5-Minute Tidy!
~ Use five minutes to do a scan of your space. If anything is causing clutter, return it to its home, or toss it. Dishes, receipts, toys– these are common culprits of clutter that can be resolved in this five-minute sweep! Utilizing this quick tidy method helps us stay on-top of the clutter in our space.
4. “One in, one out”
The rule of “one in, one out” has been a game-changer for closets everywhere! However, this same rule can apply to toys, seasonal decor, dishware (hostesses, do we agree?) and more. The idea is that when you decide to add a new thing in, something must go.
~ Start taking note even before you purchase. Ask yourself if you own something you would feel ok with swapping out in order to add this new item. Ie: do you already own something you like more? You may be surprised by how often the answer is “yes”!
5. Create a “Schoolwork” System
Anyone familiar with the ten tonnes of paper (homework, crafts, field trip letters) to come home this season? This will likely triple if you have more than one little in school this year. We love a good system for giving things a “home”- meaning when the kids come home with backpacks full, they know where things go & they get trained to do so!
~ We suggest creating a system that works for your family, but we like to start with having one tray for homework, one box for crafts, and one tray for letters. Have a spot where favourite crafts or pictures may be displayed, and rotated out weekly. When things are rotated out, don’t feel terrible if some crafts don’t make the cut to stay! Take a photo of artwork and crafts before being recycled, and keep only the absolutes. And feel the freedom to adjust your system as you go!
6. Start Somewhere!
Last but certainly not least- start somewhere! Do not be overwhelmed by not knowing where to begin, and take comfort in knowing there are solutions to be found- often just at our fingertips. If you are aiming to improve your whole space, don’t feel like it all must happen now. Focusing on one area at a time makes it possible.
~ If you’re stuck not knowing what to focus on first, note what thing may be most weighty in your world. Is it managing time? Or the ever-messy living room? Start with the top of this list- taking inventory. Make your list, and circle the top 1-3 things to begin with. And if you need help, we’re here to come alongside you. Reach out to us here at the location nearest you, and we’ll collaborate on how we can best guide you.