Many of you have probably heard this saying or some form of it. Well, let me tell you, living it is hard, but really pays off. Today, I will reveal what I have done for my organization, intentional living journey so far in my home. I hope this inspires you and maybe gives you ideas. I want to caution you that what works for me and my family is not necessarily going to be best for yours. There is no failure in that. Just an understanding that organization is a process and each individual is very different. I do provide these services to clients and am always willing to support you and your family on your journey.
Let’s begin. The kitchen. This is often the main place for people to gather. It is the heart of our homes. So, I often recommend that people begin organizing here. I am notorious for keeping, hoarding kitchen appliances and utensils. I may not ever use them, but I might, right? Well, on this journey I needed to take a look at of the things that I have and determine if they are worth keeping. If it has sentimental value, but you do not use it, I say keep it. But if it does not and you are only keeping it because you may use or you spent money on it, ask yourself, does this serve my family or could it serve someone else better? Can I purchase this item again if I needed it? I ask myself this because the more things I have the harder it is to organize, the more cluttered things can seem. With these as my questions, I gathered a large box and began to remove things that were not serving my family. If they were in a good shape, which many of the things were, they went off to Goodwill to find a new home.
Much of my cupboards, I was able to organize without it costing me any money. I like to group things by “like” objects or uses. I also like them to be stationed where I would use them. So, the potholders are near the stove, the coffee mugs near the Keurig, etc. Again, remember you have to get buy in from the other members of your family. This worked for my husband and I.
I then did use from fabric bins that I already had to organize my pantry goods. These a labeled, so it is clear and easy to find what you are looking for. I also used magazine holders for my canned goods. These were very inexpensive and actually made of cardboard. But I used them to keep similar canned goods together in the lazysusan.
Then onto the counters. Now, I really like pretty clear counters. But I do have a small kitchen, so some things needed to be housed there. Also, there are some items that my husband prefers to have on the counter. Compromise was necessary! So, I did find some great little trays that I use to control the “clutter” by grouping like objects in them. This helps me to feel like my counters are fairly clear, while giving a home to the things that need to be there.
The refrigerator and freezer were a nightmare. Often where food went to get lost and spoil. UGH! I dreaded opening the refrigerator. Things fell out and I would wait for weeks to clean it out. Terrible! I started by going through everything. Throwing out expired food, etc. Then I cleaned every crevice, pulled out every self/drawer, and gave new life to these appliance. After that, I grouped like food together. For us, leftovers were often lost. So, I grabbed two plastic bins at Target and labeled them leftovers. All leftovers live here. I also needed a place for juices, kids snacks/juice/bottles, cheeses, fruits, veggies, and meats. I did use labeled plastic containers for these too. Cheap placemats were placed on the selves. When things get spilled, my refrigerator is easy to clean now! This has helped us to reduce the amount of food wasted, reduce duplicate items, and to improve our ability to maintain a clean frig! Overall, we save money on food!
The freezer was a hot mess! I could never find what I needed. It was also like digging through a pile of frozen bags. No one has time or wants to do that. So, I used four reusable bags that I already had in my home. I labeled them and grouped like food. I did the same with the top shelf, but used more plastic bins. The label maker, I borrowed from my parents. It is truly amazing!
For the rest of the house, I looked around made a list of common items that I am always looking for, or are always laying around. These were often things that did not have a home. So, I made them a home. Always getting input or feedback from my husband because we all need to agree with the home that is chosen or it will not get put away. This has helped greatly! Sometimes it did require a labeled bin (you will learn that I love my bins) and sometimes it just required making space for it.
Although, I am still working toward de-cluttering our space and organizing, I find that by giving everything a home, I spend less time cleaning on the weekend. For the past month, I have actually been able to be present with my family and RELAX on the weekend. Normally, I am running around like a tornado and cleaning. Only to have it messed up, and completely overwhelming by Wednesday!
I hope my story and pictures inspire you to find your definition of clean and organized for your home. There is no right or wrong. In my mind, I am on a path to freedom to spend time with my children and enjoy life. Cleaning should not take me away from my family! It is still a very real challenge, but it is getting easier. It can become easier for you too. Remember I am here for you, if you need that extra support.
Continue on this journey with me. You are never alone.