This is the first of my 2018 monthly resolutions. Up first in January: create a sanctuary at home by kicking out clutter, organizing like a boss and getting the whole family on the home organization bandwagon. Here’s how.
I hit a breaking point the other day in my home: We had just gotten back from a weekend trip to the beach, the girls were hangry and I was just trying to grab a book to read to them while their dinner cooked. But as I pulled out the library book, an entire stack of stuff—more books, artwork, a box of bibs—toppled onto me.
Having a disorganized, overstuffed house is not new to my family. We have more than we need, and I have struggled to get it under control. In the past, I’ve made progress and instituted systems, only to have the everyday chaos of kids undermine my best intentions. My house usually feels like this:
Some folks flourish in clutter; I’m not one of those people. Although I’ve developed a tolerance for mess (thank you motherhood!), the explosion of stuff everywhere is a constant source of stress.
So for my first monthly resolution, I’ve set the goal to create a sanctuary at home.
What does a “sanctuary at home” look like?
I’m a visual person, which is one reason why clutter and stuff stacked on every flat surface bothers me so much. I’m using this visual strength, though, to visualize what I want: sanctuary at home.
I didn’t do a vision board or anything—TBH, I would rather use that time purging or organizing!—so I spent some time thinking about what I want and how I want my home to look. What’s more, I imagined how I want my home to feel.
A sanctuary at home:
- is free of clutter but lived-in, not sterile.
- supports the lifestyle I want so I can spend my time doing things that matter, not searching for my lost phone.
- encourages creativity, health and together time with my family.
- brings me joy, not stress.
Having a clear picture of what I want and why I want it motivates me to do the work it requires to reach my goal.
Action steps to create an organized, clutter-free home
I’m big on lists, action items and knowing when I’ve met a goal, which is one reason why I’ve made a list of what I need to do to create my sanctuary at home.
Here’s how I’m going to build that dream environment.
- Reread Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I read this about two years ago and although parts of it are a bit woo-woo for my tastes, I found it to be a big motivation. Time to remind myself of her advice and insights!
- Declutter. We have too much, full stop. The amount of stuff is overwhelming, and others can make much better use of it.
- Organize. I will make easy-to-use systems so everything has a place. (I’m collecting ideas on this Pinterest board.)
- Get the family on board. Kiwi and Peeper are old enough that they can help clean up (and in fact Kiwi loves to put her toys back). Part of sticking to systems involves getting everyone else in the family to understand and commit to maintaining a sanctuary at home.
- Institute a one-in, one-out policy. To guard against clutter creep, we have to keep tabs on the stuff we bring back into our house. Every time we bring in a new outfit or coffee mug, then, we’ll need to choose one to say goodbye to.
Next steps to home organization
I know home organization is a lifelong project; I’ll have to work on upkeep. But first steps are to declutter and to organize.
After my Leaning Tower of Stuff breaking point, Eric offered to take the girls to their grandparents’ house overnight, so I have nearly 24 hours of an empty house to work my magic. I know doing a declutter marathon might be exhausting, but I’m unreasonably excited about the prospect of getting the house under control—and creating a sanctuary at home.
Check in later this month to see my progress!
In the meantime, I could use some tips, inspiration and encouragement. Tell me: What are your decluttering tips? Any podcasts I should listen to while I whip my house into shape? Any home organization hacks you love?