The holidays are over and if your house is like mine, it’s cluttered with new presents and out of sorts from decorating and … let’s say “well lived in.”
My goal — I guess you could say New Year’s resolution — is to declutter each space in our home and make it as functional as possible. I’m tired of walking down the hallway and remembering I need to rehang the frame that fell down and touch up the baseboard paint. I need to finally hang that towel rack in the bathroom where three people are sharing one hook. You know what I’m talking about, all those little details that disrupt the eye, but you keep saying you’ll get to it later.
How beautiful to walk into a room and just enjoy the space instead of making metal notes about what’s wrong with it!
I have a printable that I use when the house is untidy that focuses on one space for an hour each day, but that’s not going to cut it this time. Instead I’m going to focus on one space for the DAY. If I were still going to an office every day, maybe I’d do one space for the week — whatever works for you!
Three rules I’m making for myself:
- I will not shove things toward the back of the shelf or closet only to revisit it again in 6 months.
- I will create and stick to a schedule that I plan out in advance. No trailing off when I lose motivation this time!
- I WILL take these things to be donated at the end of that schedule. They will not sit in my garage or trunk for months ;)
I suggest starting with the space that’s been giving you the most anxiety. It’s probably the biggest task and will give you motivation to keep going. For me that’s my bedroom and closet.
Here’s my plan. You can watch the YouTube video here where I show the entire spaces before and after.
- Take down any remaining holiday decorations.
- Walk through each room and list the things that are not functional and what you will do about it.
- There’s no need to spend a lot of money, but make any necessary purchases that will make your space work better for you. (I bought a few things like new towels in a different color for each person, a charging station and shoe rack.)
I started with my bedroom and closet. I have been putting these off for awhile. I wanted to get it all the bedrooms done today, of course, but I only got to my room and closet. There’s no rush and you will be glad you took the time to get it done right. We don’t want to poke things back in the corner for the 50th time. If we don’t use it, it doesn’t need to occupy our space.
I desperately want to declutter this space that is supposed to be my little sanctuary. I’m going to have to take some things out — like this shelf that I love, but I just end up setting things down there and it looks cluttered. This rug doesn’t work in here like I had hoped. The wrapping paper doesn’t need to be here.
And I’ll tidy up the drawers.
I ordered new shams and lumbar pillow cover too that came later in the week.
My shoes are a problem, so let’s start here. I bought a bigger shoe rack. And I’ll put this smaller one in Clara’s room. I want to go through and be realistic about what shoes I’ll wear. I put the flats in a drawer.
Next, I’m going through each of my clothes. Would I buy it again? When is the last time I wore it? Can you imagine walking into your closet and loving everything in it! Most of us see an article of clothing through the lens of:
- When I lose 10 pounds,
- when I take that trip to Aspen,
- when I find the right top …
I’m over it. If I don’t want to wear it tomorrow, what’s the point? The excuses of some one gave it to you ten year ago or it was expensive 15 years ago don’t count either ;)
Next, are all of these things on the shelves. Do I need all these bags?
I’m feeling very optimistic today with my room finally all organized. I was going to do the kids’ rooms and closets today, but I’m going to tackle bathrooms instead because we got new toilets installed in the kids’ bathrooms this morning! I’m at the point in life where this is very exciting, haha! The old ones were over 30 years old, small and the lids were falling off.
The new toilets are skirted, which means there are no caps or curves on the bottom that can get disgusting.
Luca and Adriano’s bathroom
The sad truth is that we have three bathrooms, but this is the only working shower. I hear dripping behind the shower in our bathroom and I just know the wall needs opened up to fix it so it’s off limits. So we all share this one and it only has one hook.
On top of that, the towel situation is ridiculous. They use beach towels most of the time. The boys decided gray towels were for feet (because they ruined the bathmat). Marcello said he was “aware of the towel situation,” but I’m wondering if he accidentally used the “bathmat” on accident on occasion.
Ok, that was too detailed, but the point is I’m going to solve this with color assigned towels and a washable bathmat. I’m also putting up a rack with multiple hooks! And how cute is the animal rack? I love adding in unexpected things with a little personality.
We’ll probably have to have a family meeting about these big changes ;)
I also wanted to add a bulletin board of some kind to pin things like verses or funny memes … you know, for their time in the “office.” (We try to memorize 1 verse a week. I created these images that you can print like photos.)
Her bathroom is looking pretty good. I’m just going to add a standing towel rack because guests use this bathroom and the hand towel is usually wadded up on the counter. I’ll also check that she has cleaning supplies and refill her soap. I use Dr. Bronners, water and essential oil in this foaming dispenser. You can get the recipe here.
I’m making sure they have cleaning supplies because they are now in charge of cleaning their own bathrooms.
I went through my products a couple weeks ago, but I’d like to streamline the counter a bit and straighten my hair tools. I’ll have to do another post on all these beauty devices I’m trying out and which ones are working.
These picture frames have fallen off from children flailing their bodies into the wall for no reason. So I added some velcro to help keep them up. I’m also going to finally sit down and order photos for that bottom frame!
I’m losing steam, but I’m determined to push through! Today I’m tackling some smaller projects, but boy do they make a difference.
I recently organized the boys’ room, so I only need to focus on their closet today. It’s a hodge podge of things, but it works for us. On the left is all our baby gear. We short-term foster one a year or so and this is about the only place for it.
They share two dressers. One is for underwear, socks and play clothes in the room. And the other, in the closet, is for school uniforms and warmer clothing. And they yet another little set of wooden drawers for soccer gear. That huge trunk is full of all the kids artwork and memorabilia.
They each have their own hamper and I wash their clothes on Wednesdays. I don’t sort. I find it easier to wash each child’s hamper in cold so they don’t mix. They are responsible for putting their clothes away.
These Beddy’s zipper bedding really help the appearance of the room. They are a blanket and sheet set all in one (that goes on like a fitted sheet) and just zip shut to make them. (Use code HOUSEMIX for 15 percent off.)
Clara’s room only took me an hour. The main goals I had for this space was to add the shoe rack I had taken out of my room, hang a rack for her things and organize the top of her closet. I also threw away all the leftover balloons and party hats from NYE ;)
The rack she had here fell down, so I added this one we had leftover. Hooks make all the difference in kids’ rooms because getting them to fold or hang things on hangers is an uphill battle.
This large bin is great for stuffies and odds and ends.
The idea is for the small closet in the back is to be the pool zone (beach towels, sunblock, sunglasses, suits, etc), but it ends up housing all kinds of things. I put in a bin for swimsuits, took out soccer gear (that finds its way into every crevice) and a pair of roller skates that don’t fit anyone.
This cabinet on the right looks worse than it was because the kids just throw scraps and school papers in there. Some Dollar Tree bins make all the difference in these two spaces!
Home decor cabinets
And finally for today, I’m sifting through all this home decor. It feels great to get rid quite a few things I don’t use anymore or feel dated. Shoving it all in so that the doors will close was not a good strategy! Now I can see better what I have, though I probably will need a round two.
It’s my last day and boy am I relieved because I am TIRED! I went to the thrift store with the back completely full. It felt liberating to be free of those things we weren’t using. I even returned the Amazon packages I had sitting in my room for weeks and did the grocery shopping!
Just a few things left to do left on my list I made on Monday.
It’s more like a laundry hallway, but it’s what we’ve got! I love having the kids artwork in here to add a pop of color and fun in an unexpected place. The problem was I had run out of fames and put some up with blue painter’s tape. So I bought some inexpensive frames and hung them. It’s our own little gallery.
On the other side is this pegboard that needs tidying every 6 months or so. It’s not the most beautiful thing to look at, but because our garage is detached from our house, it’s handy to have these things here.
I just rearranged and decluttered the home office a couple weeks ago, so their wasn’t much to do here except straighten a couple drawers and make sure I didn’t let the donations stay in here too long or I’d be back where I started!
I added this wireless charging station as well. It’s white and streamlined, so it blends in.
Even though I spent quite a bit of time organizing and trying to make our house function better for us, I didn’t get to everything. It shows me just how much time and effort things can take from us.
I’m just going to keep at it, little by little. I’m going to continue to be careful about what we accept into our home. It really takes years to find the way a house can work best for your needs. Don’t give up! Let me know in the comments what space you would be so happy to see simplified in your home.
The Ultimate Organizing Planner
Be sure to check out my organizing planner, where I’ll walk you through each room of the house one by one. We can do this!