Recently, we’ve made changes in routines and systems, evolved with new life stages, and approached challenges with reframed mindsets in our home. Just like this quote, progress is impossible without change [including changing your mind as you learn new things and grow, too!].
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed in your home (been there, and still there sometimes!), here is an EASY, fast, 3-step approach to get the ball rolling towards positive changes in your home.
Spend 10 minutes NOW and make a quick VISUAL plan to tackle the worst pain-point in your home:
1️⃣ Establish the most frustrating aspect of your home (pick ONE room, ONE process, or ONE stress)
2️⃣ Write down your goal LARGE on a piece of paper - including a deadline! (‘I will figure out a better routine for school pickup by Friday’, ‘I will rearrange the living room to make it more functional by the weekend’, ‘I will declutter and organize our laundry room by the end of the month’)
3️⃣ Tape it up in an easy to see place close to where your goal is set to remind you
Seeing your goal all the time is to remind you that you already took the first step to making positive changes - NOT to make you feel bad you didn’t yet accomplish it (yet). Often the hardest part is just STARTING. You got this sh*t.
What’s a change you’re putting off that you just need to get started?
As you and your family enter new life stages, it’s a great time to reevaluate your current systems and routines. Make sure your home is still working for you as you adapt to the new seasons.
This kitchen cabinet went from holding ingredients for my small Italian bakery business, then I closed that chapter (for now) and turned it into a feeding / eating / medicine cabinet for the kids. As they grow and our needs change, it’s now a snack and simple crafts cabinet (I keep the more involved stuff in the laundry room). Our kitchen is long and has a lot of storage; this is right next to our kitchen table, which makes it EASY to grab and give stuff to my kids. Keeping up with those snack demands is no joke.
A few weeks ago, I finally recycled the bottles that were STILL in here. The baby stage is over for my two!
I know this will change again soon. But it’s working well and serving its purpose for now. Don’t be afraid to make changes so your home is as functional as it can be for you.
What’s working best for you in your home right now? Tell me, so we can share ideas!
Minimalism is NOT a zero-mess solution. LIVING in your home doesn’t mean just sitting around quietly, twiddling your thumbs as no one uses or touches anything. I might wish my kids did this sometimes (HA), but let’s be real - it’s totally, absolutely unreasonable for any family!
The goals of organizing and systemizing your home is to make it EASY to tidy, not to make zero.messes.ever.
As you live more minimally, messes can feel overwhelming and like you’re “going backwards” or you’re “not doing it right” [P.S. - there’s no “right” way to be a minimalist!]. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a type-A, neat freak, super-organized person. A few years ago I would have FREAKED if someone called and told me they were coming over in 15 minutes - it could take me an hour or more to just clean up and tidy my kitchen. But now, I can take 10 of those 15 minutes, put a things back in their designated homes and even have a few remaining minutes to go look at myself in the mirror and make sure my shirt is spit-up free.
Embrace the “progress over perfection” mindset as you figure out what systems and routines are working for you and what isn’t - don’t feel like your systems can’t be fluid and change. This week, I’m resetting some of our current systems and daily routines, catching up on work and doing a few creative projects I’ve been putting off.
Starting with Home Systems
Your home is decluttered [at least for now]. You own 80% less “stuff” that was wasting your time, space and energy. You feel like you can do anything […you absolutely can]. Now what?
Home systems are the roadmap and routines are the action that will help you maintain a simple, efficient and functional home. Incorporating easy systems and routines that help you maintain your efforts are important parts of a minimalish journey.
As you work on cultivating a place that you and your family really love, value and connect with, just the thought of adjusting your established habits can be overwhelming. Start small, and alter what you’re ALREADY doing, instead of starting something new. Minimalism isn’t just for organized, neat-freaks - it’s for messy people (like me), too [and maybe most of all!].
🧺 Laundry, 🍽️ dishes, 🧹 tidying and 🧽 cleaning are four of the most important tasks to keep a home running smoothly and efficiently. Use these four tasks to establish regularity in your routine. Remember, minimalism is a journey, not a destination; progress over perfection, always!
Need help establishing home systems and routines? Shop printables at my Etsy shop. My Deep Clean Checklist is a 2022 best-seller, AND I just launched a 14 page Easter Planner!
Is your home automated?
Incorporating systems (the roadmap) and routines (the action) increase efficiency at home, saving you time, energy and money.
The term “home system” comes from the home automation industry, meaning a tech solution to automate the bulk of electronic tasks and connected devices. When it comes to this more technical term, I am thankful to have an engineer husband who works to make efficient solutions for customers every day; he incorporated that digital efficiency small-scale in our own home. I have some background knowledge about the home automation industry was just getting big years ago - the possibilities are incredible!
When it comes to daily life, home systems for families can be as manual or digital as you like - whatever works best for YOU. Adding digital systems and solutions to your daily routine can significantly increase efficiency and productivity - it sounds contradictory to use technology when you’re trying to live simply BUT, it’s just another, new(er) option to save time, energy and money!
Amazon (Alexa) and Apple (Siri), have brought simple automation solutions to the masses in recent years, although I’d argue these are more conveniences and not necessarily true home automation solutions.
I’m talking about taking that next step after decluttering - organizing and systemizing for the whole family thru the end of February. I hope you’ll join the conversation!!
Do you currently have any home automation systems set up? What do you DREAM of that your home can do?
Big Home Maintenance Tasks
Let's talk about maintaining the big stuff that you *really* don't want to break.
Most large appliances have filters - these filters catch the crap that could cause major problems if they got stuck further down the internals of your home - pipes, ducts, etc.
Most people know that you have to change water filters in the refrigerator (if it has a water system). Did you know, your dishwasher, washing machine, microwave and many other appliances also have filters?
I recently cleaned our washing machine filter after forgetting about it for at least 6 months. It was gross, but the worst part was the stinky water that came out. I knew when the clothes started smelling it was overdue. Same goes for the dishwasher filter that I clean monthly - if I forget and the dishes are getting gunky, I know I need to clean the filter.
Swapping and cleaning filters are an easy way to maintain the very important stuff that keeps your home running smoothly. Manufacturers make it easy - look up your model number's manual if you need guidance.
Did you know you need to clean or swap these filters? Many people don't!
Self Care for Minimalists
Before this Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about taking care of OURSELVES - the person we should LOVE the most and care for the most, although as moms, it can sometimes feel like (and even be) the complete opposite.
“Self care” is a huge buzzword (in my opinion). It’s a great concept, but can actually be frustrating - so many moms try to treat themselves and think, “Is this self care? Am I taking enough/too much time away for myself?” It can be hard to get a “break” - we’re small business owners, I am a stay at home mom and the primary caregiver of my kiddos. BUT - there are still ways to indulge, even if you DON’T have the luxury to take a bigger chunk of time away from your every day.
Tidy Tip - Go Backs
Ever work in retail? I did quite a while ago! "Go Backs" were a big part of it - anything behind the register that needed to 'go back' to its place - returns, items customers didn't want, etc. I'm sure you know of this system, but have you ever used it at home?
I have a small basket in our living room I use for little things that get left around, BUT, when my kids' stuff gets excessive, they both get a bin, I fill it up and then we work together to put it away (I do most of it for my youngest!).
My favorite things to use as temporary bins are foldable crates - I have a few from both Green Made (InstaCrate) and Clever Made (Clever Crate) (bought at Sam's Club and Costco). See how they fold totally up in that second pic? I usually keep them in the car for groceries, shopping, etc.! They store easily without taking up much room, are stackable and have lids.
Do you have a "go back" bin you use at home? What about a foldable crate? (HIGHLY recommend!)
Nightly Cleanup in the Kitchen
That nightly cleanup after dinner can be the most tedious, but in just a few minutes, you can get back on track (even if you’re a messy cook, like me!). Let me DISH out a little secret …
🍽️ Dishwasher loaded
🍽️ Items returned
🍽️ Surfaces wiped
🍽️ Hard floors (+ difficult stuff) cleaned
Lots of people love to work in sections in the kitchen, BUT, if stuff is just piling up, it can be helpful to just blitz through tasks; loading the dishwasher / doing most dishes (so you can see your counters), returning things in groups to the pantry and cabinets, wiping off crusty surfaces and then vacuuming up all the remaining/lingering crap, and washing that ONE annoying pot that won’t fit in the dishwasher (ugh).
What’s your preferred method for that last, often tedious, cleanup after dinner? Going to try my “DISH” method?