Out with the old and not in with the new. Well maybe a couple new things might be okay if they make you feel good and brighten your day, but the real goal is to organize and simplify your life starting with your home.
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Organize and Simplify
After years of having kids, moving around, collecting stuff, and clearly not focusing on needs vs wants, our house was full of stuff. So much stuff!! Things that didn’t mean anything to us, things that weren’t getting played with or looked at, and I knew it was time for a change.
I had done a pretty good job of being organized, everything for the most part had a place. I did the toy swapping (keeping groups of toys put up and swapping them out occasionally, so they feel new again). But the thing is we still had way to much for my happiness. Did I just say that? Does that make sense to you? We had way to much for me to be happy. It does make sense- happiness isn’t about all of the stuff, it isn’t about having the latest toys, keeping a walk in closet full of 50 different outfits/shoes to wear, or even having tons of collectibles collecting dust. Happiness is a feeling you should have whenever you are at home.
When you love the people and things around you happiness is easy to feel.
So let me take you back about a year and a half ago. That is when it hit me that things needed to change. I read the amazing book Soul Space by Xorin Balbes. Transform your home, Transform your life-Creating a Home That Is Free of Clutter, Full of Beauty, and That Inspires You.
That was just what I needed to start getting my house into a home that inspired me. Of course being pregnant with our 5th baby helped too 😉
Sort everything, organize what you are keeping, have a yard sale, donate.
I didn’t do this overnight, although you can if you want to. I spent a few months while I was pregnant going through each room and cleaning them out. I sorted through everything and decided what I was keeping and what was going. After reading the book it was easy to get rid of things. All you have to do when you are looking at something is think about how it makes you feel. Do you need it? Does it make you happy to look at it or is it just collecting dust? See that picture above with all the stuff all over the driveway? Well as you can see, I realized most everything was in the “we don’t need this to be happy pile.”
Next up-Sort and Organize. Everything that was going to be in the yard sale was grouped by like items and boxed up. Everything that was being donated was set aside near the car (so that we would have to take it immediately, and not allow it to go back in the garage).
Organize what is staying. This is such an important step. I used Clear Containers. As you can see I organized Sensory Materials, Puzzles, Trains, Holiday books and schooling, Paints, Science, Blocks, and Dress up play all in separated containers (size~48 qt.).
I took this picture so you could see how I store our floor puzzles. Instead of having 20 large boxes of puzzles, I cut the top of the box off and placed it in a gallon size zip lock bag with the puzzle pieces. This way the children still have the picture as a guide but it takes up a lot less space.
That is a great sight to see, now I can easily transfer toys, crafts, and seasonal schooling with ease.After the yard sale, we donated everything that is left to Goodwill- Nothing is coming back into this organized garage. You can see our list of 10 things to get rid of today to simplify your life and start enjoying your days without clutter.
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