If you’re like me, it can be hard to keep your home under control. Between the constant activity and needs of the family, the messes and disorder are literally unending.
However, this frustrating cycle is changing for me. That’s because I’ve discovered an extremely liberating concept to make my home more manageable.
It goes something like this:
If you can’t keep up with your stuff, you have too much stuff.
You see, there are two ways of living (really three):
- Have too much stuff, and always be one step behind in the organization, care and maintenance of said stuff
- OR, Have less stuff and be on top of it.
(…the thrid way of living is to have a lot of stuff and pay people to take care of it for you. I don’t know much about that one.)
So what’s the trick? You may have guessed it.
Get rid of excess stuff. Keep only what you can manage well.
Believe me when I say, I am applying this trick to my home and life. It has changed things for us in such a great way. I am much happier, ecstatic really, with the results and more confident as a housewife.
My stress has decreased and I’m more productive. Our quality of life is definitely higher.
How to Determine “Manageable”
So what’s manageable for you? Are you content with your home’s current average state of cleanliness and order? If not, I firmly believe you have too much.
So start getting rid of stuff. Keep at it ruthlessly until you find your “happy place,” or until you start feeling empowered, capable, and in control of the affairs of your home.
Where to Start
What bothers you the most?
For me, it was my kids toys. My two-year-old daughter was constantly stringing out about a bizillion various toy-set-pieces all over our home many times a day. After reading a blog post about a mom who took all her kids toys away and why, I felt motivated to make a change.
One day while Clara was napping, I took about 2/3 of her toys and stuck them in the corner of our unfinished basement. I thoughtfully left out a small variety of toys I knew she loved.
And you know what? She never batted an eye. She simply played with the toys available to her. Since then I’ve rotated a few baskets in and out, but the quantity of toys available has stayed about the same. As a result, the mess is much less. This has made all the difference for me.
Due to the huge success of “operation toy-reduction,” we’ve applied the same concept to other areas of our home. For example, we’ve all decreased our wardrobes, which somehow means less laundry (I don’t get it, but it’s true), and certainly closets are easier to keep neat and organized.
We have one set of plates. We have one set of pots and pans. We have basic utensils. We have cleared out cabinets of mismatched coffee mugs that we never liked, etc. All of these things make the kitchen much simpler to keep clean. If you need a pan, you wash it, because we don’t have two of the same size. Same for a spatula. See how dirty dishes just can’t pile up quite as much?
Our counters are mostly empty, besides a few pre-meditated items (…my coffee pot is a non-negotiable…), making them a snap to wipe clean. The result is a pristine, sparkling surface in a short period of time. People who come over think we really cleaned for them, when in reality, we “cheat” and keep it that way more-or-less all the time.
We’ve cleared off most spaces where figurines or candles used to sit. Instead we have open surfaces with a few, well-place frames or decorations. This is actually quite visually appealing, and much easier to dust and keep looking clean.
So, how will you apply this trick to your home today? In what area of your life do you have too much stuff?
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