We’re all spending hours upon hours at home these days, so it’s a good opportunity to get our spaces organized. For many moms, it seems like a daunting task. We’re teaching school lessons, managing work and keeping up with daily chores. How do we find time to declutter the house?
But you can take it one step at a time, and decluttering will make this period of isolation more productive and less stressful. Read on for advice from the experts.
Where to Focus—and What to Do
About four years ago, North Texas mom Crystal Nerpel was feeling the weight of chaos and clutter in her life. She did something about it, and now Nerpel helps others declutter and simplify their spaces through her business, Cloud Nine Organizing. Here is her advice for three key places moms (and kids!) can address.
Pantry: “Since most of us are eating nearly every meal at home right now, an organized pantry makes life easier,” shares Nerpel. “As you sort through your pantry, group like items together: canned goods, baking goods, snacks, and so on. Being able to see what you have on hand helps us make less trips to the grocery store. You may even find some treats you forgot about. If you are trying to juggle taking care of the kids and working from home, you could make life a bit easier by portioning out snacks and putting them within reach so they can be more independent during snack time.”
Bookshelves: “This quarantine may hold some hidden blessings for you and your family—like extra white space on your schedule for story time. Have fun organizing your bookshelves and let your children help you decide how the books will be sorted: by color, by size, by category, alphabetical. Make a game of it,” suggests Nerpel.
Garage: “It’s spring, so get out of the house and spruce up the garage. Dust off shelves, throw away trash/broken items, sweep the floors, make sure all gardening tools are clean and ready to use,” Nerpel says. “Again, get your children involved by having them sort through old toys: balls, scooters, jump ropes and other items. The garage is an extension of your house, so show it some love. Try not to use it as a dumping ground for unwanted items.”
Pro Tip: “If you have items you want to donate make sure to call your local donation center before dropping off items. Right now, they may have new procedures or limited hours,” says Nerpel.
Tools You Can Use
The team at Irving-based Michaels (the largest chain of arts and crafts stores in North America) also has some suggestions for tools and products that can help you make the most of your space. Keep these in mind during your online shopping sesh or for when it’s safe to head out to buy non-essentials. (Also, check your local Michaels store for info on delivery and curbside pick-up options.)
Get stuff up: “Take advantage of your vertical space,” says Sierra Hamilton with Michaels. “Install shelving, pegboards or organizer racks on walls, doors or cabinets. This will keep your supplies up and out of the way and allow you to clear your living or work area of constant clutter.”
Move it around: “Utilize mobile storage carts and containers,” Hamilton recommends. “If you keep your hobby or work supplies on a rolling cart, you are able to quickly move the clutter to a nearby closet. They’re perfect for kids’ craft and art supplies too.”
Go for double duty: “Find décor and furniture that double as storage,” she advises. “Storage mirrors are my favorite, because they hide away my beauty and hair products without needing to add extra, bulky storage to my space.”
Tier up: “Use multi-tiered hangers to declutter your closet. With these hangers, you can sometimes fit three times as many clothes in your closet,” says Hamilton.
Create a system: “Develop your own rules,” she adds. “I tend to stick to the ‘one in, out out’ rule to help me declutter. For every item I buy, one has to go. Create your own rules to abide by in your space.”
So what’s your system, Mom? Let us know how you’re staying organized at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of iStock.