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I am not a very naturally organized person. If you asked the question, “is Sam an organized person?”, to any of my family and (I think) most friends, they would probably laugh in your face. But, I have learned a few things along the way in my personal journey to get organized that I would like to share with you. Because, maybe you are like me, and you just need some ideas of where to start (and maybe (like me) you just need to get a dumpster and get rid of all the things!!)
When I start researching things, I usually (surprise, surprise) start with a book or two.
Several years ago when my youngest was a baby, I had a little daycare in our home and although we had a large house to spread out (a 3,000 sq. ft log house you can see here). There were five people living in our home (2 adults, a 5 yr old, a 3 yr old, and a six month old) and then we had little daycare people coming and going all the time. I was always feeling like the house was a cluttered, messy, disaster. I mean it wasn’t like we were hoarders or anything, but the beds were never made, dirty dishes all over the kitchen etc.
I really didn’t want to spend my time every weekend bringing the house back to order, I wanted to spend it with my own family doing fun stuff.
Anyways, I can’t honestly remember how I found it, but I stumbled upon the Flylady website. At that time I remember the website was a bit (ok a lot) confusing to me, but a few things she said resonated with me, namely, living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and I saw that she had a book.
The next time I went to town by myself (a real luxury in those days!) I searched the local books stores for that book. None of them had it in stock, but I was able to order it in at Coles. I think I read that whole book through in one day. everything resonated with me and I vowed to start the routines the next day. (Oh and by the way, the flylady website is a lot less confusing now)
Everything went well for about a week, and then things slowly started slipping. See, my problem was, I tried to do too many new things at once! So, I dialed it back and just focused on one new routine for a few weeks and tried to slowly add one every few weeks or the next month.
I wish I could say I kept that up to this day, 10 years later, but no I didn’t keep up every new thing I learned (but I did stay in the routine of making my bed almost every morning!)
You may be thinking to yourself, “Sam, What’s the point of that little story?” The point is, I love that book to this day! It is my top favorite that I go back to, time and time again and especially each January.
I have a few other favorite organizing books and I`ll list them here:
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo. (Official website HERE)
- Home Comforts: The art and science of Keeping House By Cheryl Mendelson
- Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson (you can also check out her website HERE)
- The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley (her website is HERE )
- House Works by Cynthia Townley Ewer (her website HERE)
And I discovered this amazing library of resources for a very affordable price!
- My Favorite Homesteading/Farming/Gardening Books
- My Top 5 Favorite Cookbooks
- 8 Best Books and Blogs for inspired School lunches.
- Favorite Kids Christmas Books
Another important part of getting organized for me is getting inspired! I have a few favorite websites that I frequent quite often in order to get inspired by their lovely clean and organized homes and they include:
You might notice on the list of places above, the last two are families with a lot of kids. I love getting inspiration from large families cause you know that they have to have some systems that work! (In particular, Erika and Bob from Large families on purpose, their family of 11 lives in a 1,100 sq ft house!)
I’ll be honest, this is the largest stumbling block for me. We have moved 8 times in 14 years (including a 150 sq ft travel trailer and a 3000 sq ft log house!) and I still haven’t got this decluttering thing figured out.
Last year I read Marie Kondo’s books and I was super motivated and pumped and got to step 3 “Papers” (there are 5 steps total) and then life got crazy busy and I stalled. I have to say it felt soooooo good going through all the clothes of all 5 of us and getting rid of everything too small or not liked, all at once. The hardest part for me? Culling books!
Anyways, this year I have started out by taking inspiration from The Nester’s post “How to give your home a fresh start without Joy-spark testing everything you own”
So, I chose our living room to completely empty and declutter. Our living room/family room is the only gathering area in our house (we don’t have a basement or a rec room or den etc) so there is a lot of living that happens in this room. This is what it looked like last week:
And then there’s the rest of the living area:
Yes that is still Christmas stuff out, I finally took the time to go through it and pare down and organize. The rest of the house might be a mess but I have our serene living room to relax in.
I have a lot more tips to share, but this post really is getting a bit long don’t you think? So, I will be sharing more with you in the next bit. Stay tuned for part 2 where I’ll share how I organize paperwork and homesteading stuff! If you really don’t want to miss it, you can subscribe to our newsletter or you can pin this image for later.
I hope this helps inspire and encourage all you other unorganized people like me that we can declutter and organize together in solidarity and free ourselves of the clutter once and for all!!
Who’s with me?!
We are linked up:
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