June 14, 2016 | The Inspired Home, organization + design
With "Spring Cleaning" checked off of the list (or not, we won't judge), it’s the perfect time to transition into "summer organizing." The phrase might not have quite the same ring to it, but here at the Inspired Home we think its always a great time to get organized.
For most of us, summer brings with it a big shift in work and family life. With the kids home from school, beach days, and more hours of sunlight— our schedules change, foot traffic in and out of the house picks up, and so does the clutter and messes. We'd like to help you prepare for this busy season by sharing a few of our favorite organizing tips and tricks to inspire your "summer organizing."
1) One in, one out.
This is a rule of thumb you may have heard before. But it can't be said much better than this. When you purchase a new shirt, or 5— donate an old shirt, or 5. For every item that comes in, take a few minutes to take out an equal amount. We won't tell if you give away just 4 shirts. But, this concept is fundamental to staying organized life-long.
This principle is even more valuable if you have small kids... and a mountain of plastic crap that seems to multiply from out of nowhere.
My daughter celebrated her 3rd birthday last weekend. She received some great gifts, but while she was opening them I couldn't help but wonder where we'd put it all. After the guests left and the tired birthday girl went down for a nap, I grabbed my mimosa and headed up to the playroom with a trash bag. Out with the old, and in with the new. I even got bonus points for donating more toys than we put back in (I’m not sure if my daughter would agree with that being a bonus, but she still hasn’t noticed).
We all know kids don't need 800 toys, they end up play with 3 toys and a box. Keeping on top of kid clutter not only prevents your home from becoming a plastic rainbow nightmare, but is also good for kids: an organized and limited number of toys will help foster learning, imaginative play, and focus while playing with one toy at a time.
2) A donation box
Working as a professional organizer, the #1 thing we see preventing people from staying on top of clutter is simply not having a donation box.
We recommend keeping a "donate" box in most rooms of your home. Then, when you hang up a new shirt, it takes 2 seconds to drop an old one in the box. Once the boxes are full, toss everything in the car to drop off at a donation center. We could go on (and on, and on) about all the ways having a box helps with clutter control, but we'll let you find out for yourself. Seriously, get a box. Thank us later.
3) Put together a "beach and boat go-tote."
For those of us with kids, it's easy to feel spent before ever stepping foot out the door for a day out. Grabbing all the things the kids need, and herding children out the door is no easy task. One way to make beach days and play days less stressful is to put together a "go-tote."
You may already have a bag for day to day outings, but we don't recommend switching outdoor play gear in and out with everyday necessities. Designate a separate tote just for summer outdoor/beach/pool days. Sunscreen, sunhats, water bottles/snacks, a change of clothes for each child, bluetooth speaker (we won't tell if a little wine cooler finds its way in there ;). You get the idea. Gather your stuff, and store your tote next to where you keep beach towels if possible. Grab, go, enjoy!
Following a few simple organizational principles can truly be life-changing. That’s what organizing is all about: freeing up your space and simplifying your life so that you can enjoy more of what you love most in life. Follow our blog this summer for more tips, and check out our website to find out more about our professional organizing services: theinspiredhomedesign.com.