When you have a large family it is easy to get quickly overwhelmed if things in your home are not in order. I have always been a very visual person and I don't function very well if there is clutter or too many things out of place.
This can also true of smaller homes. The more that clutter gets a chance to reign the more chaos and disorganization there is. We need to take control of the situation quickly before it can get out of hand!
Our family was going to move this past year so we had everything in boxes ready to go. But through a series of circumstances God kept us here. With most of our house in boxes we really realized what we truly needed to live with and what we could live without.
It was quite an eye opener to see what little we needed and everyone was still very happy. Now we are going through the boxes one by one and getting rid of tons of things that we had packed. We didn't really need them to begin with and we just needed to get rid of it. I don't like to clutter up our space with more things that don't need to be there. Our family runs better if our living spaces are more efficient!
So today we are sharing some tips to help you simplify your home once and for all:
1. Get rid of clutter - Make sure everything you own has a home, In our home we are able to put things away quickly when we know where they are supposed to go. Get rid of those things you don't need or have more than one of. Throw away broken items, trash, and clothes that are damaged. Be shrewd. I usually have to be in the mood to do this or I can get soft and try to start keeping things. It is good to have someone with you when you are declutter who can remind you that you don't need those items. My son is good at that and will say, "Mom, you don't need that. We never use it, just throw it away! "
2. Simplify everything--drawers, closets,cabinets, you name it. Go through it and ask yourself hard questions. Have you used it in the past year? Do you love it? Will you really use it again? Are you keeping it just out of obligation? I don't let things sit in my hands very long--I try to make quick decisions about an item (just a few seconds) and it either gets tossed or saved. I have gotten better at it over the years and really love seeing our old items being taken away to the thrift store, given away to someone in need, or in the trash. There is such a satisfying feeling when our living spaces are updated and functional!
3. Less is More - America has an infatuation with collecting more and more stuff. But we lose something in that process and that is the time it takes to maintain all of it. We need to remember that less is more. More time to play with the kids, more time to love our husbands, more time with God and towards the things that really matter--like really living life. Each minute that gets sucked away from really living life diminishes our quality of life and robs us of the time of doing what really matters. We weren't put on this earth to just care for our material possessions!
4. Just Say No - Now if you have children who are always wanting a new toy or this or that, learn how to firmly yet lovingly say "no". Keep children's toys under control in designated areas. It has been proven that children are more thankful and more responsible of their things when this is done and they also learn contentment by not getting everything they ask for.
5. Don't let more things in - If you have a habit of hitting the sales and bringing back a bunch of things that you don't need back to your home just remember all the work you had to do to get your house under control. Remember how HARD it was and how it wasn't fun. Be vigilant and guard your home of unnecessary items!
6. Do Quick Clean Ups - Now when you get most of the home simplified and decluttered--add into your day an easy routine where you straighten up the rooms that need it. We do a quick clean up at intervals during the day (which only take a few minutes when everyone pitches in). Once in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, before Dad comes home and right before going to bed. This helps to maintains our home on a daily basis.
7. Get the Whole Family on Board - Make sure you aren't tackling all of this on your own. Be sure to include the children in the cleaning process. I assign all of my children chores and jurisdictions (areas they need to clean). It helps give them life skills and helps them to be responsible. I like giving my kids jobs around the house because it helps them to not be lazy and helps them to be better problem solvers. As they have gotten older I have become more of a manager than doing most of the hands on cleaning. I assign jobs and they do it. It keeps them busy, productive, and learning how to serve others.
I should mention that we also have a new addition to our family this past year---little Isabella has been a weakness for me and we have a ton of baby items she has grown out of collecting that really need to go. I am planning on selling most of her baby items to earn some extra side cash for our homeschool. Just beware of keeping too many things for a garage sale-- sometimes I will just donate to the thrift store to get the clutter up and out of the way as soon as possible especially if I am too busy to pull a sale together.
My favorite go-to books to get inspired on decluttering are always these---I highly recommend them!
Now off I go to tackle more boxes...:)
We hope these tips will help you to get serious and simplify your home for good!
**WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU**
Do you struggle with simplifying your home?
What other tips would you add?
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