DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME
“When your environment is pleasant, you’re more likely to be” – Emilie Tolley
1. GET RID OF IT!
-Ask yourself if it is really worth my time and the space it is taking up in my home. “Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” – Henry David Thoreau
• Attack one closet a day
• Set timer for 15 minutes and work until it goes off
• Set up 3 large bags – garbage, D.I., and storage – get rid of bags quickly before family members start going through them or you change your mind.
2. EVERYTHING NEEDS A SPACE
-A place for everything and everything in its place helps cleaning up become a simple task. (It should be easy enough for children or husbands!)
• Plastic bins and inexpensive banker’s boxes are beautiful things. Assign one category of toy, game, (those flimsy cardboard boxes are worthless) food item, craft item, etc. to each box. Use these in my toy closet, pantry, linen closet. Use inexpensive disposable Tupperware containers to organize bobby pins, elastics, and hair bows in the bathroom; batteries, screwdrivers and nails in the miscellaneous drawer. They come in any size and you can get them to fit snug in your drawers.
• Label each box. The labeler is my favorite toy, but of course a marker works just as well.
• After throwing away all those unnecessary items in step 1, there should be plenty of room in your closets and cupboards. If you are still cramped on space, use creative solutions like under-bed boxes, space bas, or hand closet organizers.
-Don’t get depressed and overwhelmed first thing in the morning by waking to a messy home.
• Enlist help from your family and spend 15 minutes getting everything back in its place before bed.
• Do not deep clean each night – save that for once a week. Concentrate on each member of the family putting his or her stuff away.
• Assign each member of the family a “zone” (a room or area of the home). Each night remind about checking to make sure their zone is clean before bed until it becomes a habit like brushing teeth and saying prayers. We like to choose new zones each week at family night to mix things up. If zones are not done each night, the full allowance is not paid.
4. MAKE HOUSE CLEANING AS EASY AS POSSIBLE
Put a wastebasket in each room including bedrooms.
Have window cleaner and disinfecting wipes in each bathroom for quick clean-ups. Teach boys to use the disinfecting wipes if they miss.
Have a vacuum on each floor of the home. If you have to go all the way to the basement to retrieve the vacuum, you are less likely to clean up little messes before they get big.
Restrict deep cleaning to once a week. Knowing that I don’t have to scrub the toilet each day gives me freedom to play and do the things I want instead of feeling guilty for not cleaning. That does not mean you have to live in a mess. Use your wipes and spend 30 seconds cleaning down the counter and then be off.
Have set jobs for each member of the family. Small children are great with little jobs. Give your four year old the responsibility for using the rechargeable hand vacuum under the table after dinner. Give kids a sock and let them put it on their hand and dust in small areas that you can’t reach . Every one is responsible for cleaning their place setting off the table after dinner and put in dishwasher. Husbands and teenagers can empty the trash or do dishes. The key is to make it clear what you expect from them. Example: let your teenager know they are in charge of the trash. It has to be emptied on Wed. and Sat. and taken to the road on Thurs. Turn the responsibility over to them and let them suffer the consequences.
DE-CLUTTER YOUR FAMILY
“The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduced yourself to , had life not done it for you” – Kendall Hailey
EVERYONE NEEDS A PLACE
-Let each member of the family have a designated spot for their belongings.
• Keep a separate container for school or paper work. Go through it once a week and keep only the best of the best. Put these items in their designated file or scan into the computer. Scanning is a great alternative to saving every scrap of paper. If it is in your computer it is probably a lot safer than in a box hidden in the attic.
• Lockers or designated hooks for coats, back packs and shoes. Give them the responsibility of keeping their locker/hooks in order.
• Over the door shoe holders work great for small items. Put these organizers on the inside of coat closet for mittens, earmuffs, sunglasses and keys, or on the inside of bedroom doors for markers, crayons, card games and other small treasures.
ENJOY THE PEACE
“…A true Mormon home is one in which if Christ should chance to enter, he would be pleased to linger and to rest.” David O McKay
“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” D&C 88:119
The Lord gave man instructions in the Garden of Eden “to dress it, and it keep it” Moses 3:15. The Lord requires this of us today as He did then. We are expected and required to care for and beautify whatever space we occupy on this earth.
President Kimball often reminded members of the Church of the need to clean, repair, and beautify their homes. “Now we ask you to clean up your homes…. We urge each of you to dress and keep in a beautiful state the property that is in your hands” “Whatever your circumstance, let your premises reflect orderliness, beauty, and happiness”.
Doctrine & Covenants 132: 8 “Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.
As you can see, there are many things that can be done randomly to help end clutter and save time. You will have a few of your own items that you can add to this list. It is always best when everything has a proper place and then is kept there. One cupboard, drawer, or shelf at a time and you will be humming before you know it. When it comes to clutter, and ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure! It’s a constant chore, but always easier when you are on the upside of this task instead of on the downside. You need much less than what you think. The important thing is that you keep trying and have confidence in your progress! If we allow it, the world can dull our senses and drown out the peace in our lives. Joy is created, not found.