You Can't Organize Clutter [Pt. 2]
Only AFTER you dump the clutter can you organize what’s left!
Adding on to my organization tips from yesterday…
✨ Use what you can, BUT, if you buy new storage solutions, MEASURE and order extra!
✨ Clean your space before you organize/restock
✨ Decant pantry, laundry and bathroom staples to get rid of excess packaging and improve aesthetics
Don’t get stuck in a cycle of clutter by “organizing” it! My husband and I had a running joke before I ruthlessly dumped the clutter. He’d look for something and ask, “Where’d you organize that to?” I think that about sums up the “clutter cycle” so many of us continue to “deal” with.
LET ME HELP YOU GET OUT OF THE CYCLE! It’s a time waster, and a stress inducer for you AND your whole family.
You Can't Organize Clutter [Pt. 1]
Only after you’ve ruthlessly removed the “stuff” can you organize what’s left.
My top organization tips:
1️⃣ ✨ "Measure twice, cut once" - measure your space (and your items), THEN, figure out what you can use to store those items
✨ Use what you have or order your baskets/bags/bins of choice - Pinterest-perfect is nice, but useful is way better!
2️⃣ ✨ As Maria Montessori says, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Give absolutely everything a home
✨ Instead of putting it down, put it AWAY!
3️⃣ ✨ Chose a “method” and stick with it throughout your home - be consistent, whether that’s alphabetical, rainbow or something else; I like to do a “trial run” when I first organize an area, as long as it’s functioning well, I’ll keep the method/solution and I may update my storage bins only AFTER it's working well
✨ Label everything that is not in a clear bin
I used to buy new storage solutions all the time but I just couldn’t get rid of the mess. What I didn’t realize was that I was never actually getting rid of the root cause by RUTHLESSLY getting rid of the clutter and crap. When I stopped filling up bins with that clutter and slapping a label on them and actually gave what was left a designated home, I FINALLY became the more organized person that I always wanted to be. Can you relate? What’s your top organization tip?
Getting rid of 80% of your possessions can total A LOT of stuff. So how do you minimize waste when possible and do your best to put less in the landfill? Sustainable living and simple living go hand-in-hand!
Try one of these four ways to give something a second life…
ONLINE: Facebook Marketplace, Local Sales Groups / Swaps, Poshmark, Mercari, Kidizen, eBay | IN-PERSON: Consignment stores, pop-up events (lots of great kids ones out there!), garage and yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, auctions
Goodwill, Salvation Army, local shops, churches, family organizations, returning to work (ex. Dress for Success), animal shelters (old sheets, towels, blankets) [see my stories for more info on this!]
Special occasions, hand-me-downs, ask family/friends if they need or are looking for something, use a local service like buynothingproject.org
Paint decor, move it to a different room, refinish furniture, use something unused for something else (ex., an unused cute coffee mug as a pencil cup)
After the chaos of the holidays and the kids entering new stages during the first few months 2022, I have 4-5 boxes to donate - but, getting rid of that clutter is one way to avoid that dreaded cycle of it creeping back!
Have you given something a second life recently?
How to do this [what seems like] daunting and monumental task? Use what you’ve got!
You already have established habits and routines - use them to your advantage and make adjustments; build upon what you’re ALREADY doing. Yes, gaining your time back from all the stuff that was sucking it away is very exciting, BUT - implementing brand new systems and routines will be harder to maintain in the long run. Ease into it.
Home systems are the roadmap and routines are the action that will help you maintain a simple, efficient and functional home. These tools are especially valuable for “messy” people [like me] and help establish order, repetitiveness, and most importantly, WILL to get something done and maintain your minimalish efforts.
✨A few ways to get started with home systems and routines✨
🏠 Establish a loose daily routine that you can stick with about 80% of the time
🏠 Habit “stack”; when you do one thing you typically do, ADD something else you also need to get done - this is also great for adjusting bad habits!
🏠 Use a digital calendar that you share with other members of your household so you are all on the same page
🏠 Begin to create systems around one of these four home tasks - Laundry, Dishes, Tidying, Cleaning
Did I help you [I hope]? Please let me know and share with a friend!
Mindset Shifts with Minimalism
Mindset matters - shifting your mindset helps ensure you take baby steps towards accomplishing your goals. The mantra I say to myself on REPEAT now is “progress over perfection” and although whatever I imagined might not be EXACTLY what I envisioned, I get more accomplished and make small strides towards my goals (where as before, I might have had DREAMS, that I wouldn’t even act on).
Here are 3 ways I’ve adjusted my mindset since beginning my minimal-ish journey…
💫 You’ll always have to take care of your home, why not do it in the most efficient way possible?
💫 Make time to make memories; stop wasting it on stuff you don’t need or care about
💫 When something needs to get done, ask for help, make it fun, and take care of it quickly so you can shift your focus to what matters more to you and your family
Remember, anyone and everyone can be a minimalist - there is no “end goal”, you can call yourself a “minimalist” if you just decided the lifestyle was right for you! It’s a journey, not a destination.
What’s a mindset shift you’ve made recently?
Minimal-ish living doesn't mean getting rid of all your “stuff” - it means making the “stuff” you value work best for you.
💙 It’s saving you time, money and SANITY.
💙 It’s getting rid of the noise and excess.
💙 It’s having a home that’s efficient and simple to manage.
💙 It’s eliminating what’s preventing you from accomplishing your goals.
💙 It’s for both physical AND mental “clutter”.
It’s family-friendly, foundation-setting and efficiency focused - perfect for ANYONE who wants to bring what really matters to them to the forefront, but it’s especially valuable for busy, growing families. Spend less time on the mundane and more time on making memories.
Interested in minimalish living? Head to my Instagram at @thetidytot for easy-to-implement home hacks, and tips that you can try TODAY to take back control at home and gain back your valuable time.
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?
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!
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.