Simplified Living and Organized Spaces

Simplified Living and Organizing

This week a friend mentioned that she was going to tackle organizing her entire house in the next few weeks. She jokingly asked if I wanted to help her? YES, YES, YES, pick me, pick me!!!

 She was joking, I was not. I LOVE organizing spaces.

 My hubby laughs at me because I tend to “nest” (purge, simplify and reorganize our home) pregnant or not every couple of months or so.

 There are two reasons I “nest”. The first reason is out of necessity because of our living situation. Most of our living (except for laundry and a little storage) for 6 people happens on 1,100sq. ft. Not small and not big. But we do have to be selective in what we keep. If we had kept everything we’ve ever owned or been given…well…have you seen the show hoarders? I’m pretty sure our home would look like that.

 The second reason I simplify and reorganize is because I LOVE it!! Yes, I am one of those strange people who really enjoys LOVES the process, as well as the finished results and the benefits.

Believe me there are benefits and I will list my favourites :)

Being organized…

  • brings peace…to me and my environment, but order/organization is hard with too much stuff
  • saves time…time looking for things, spend less time tidying
  • saves money…you can find things that have a place instead of purchasing items you already own, but can’t find.
  • reduces stress
  • creates a more attractive environment
  • increases valuable space for those living in small spaces
  • helps with focus…I can not focus on cooking if my kitchen is a disaster

See!? Don't those benefits sound great!?

As a disclaimer, even though I am passionate about it, my home is not always organized or tidy (there is a difference), but that’s because we actually live here ;)…unlike a highly stylized magazine photo ;)

 There is always some area that needs to be retackled, BUT because I keep on top of the organizing and simplifying, everything has a place. When it comes time to tidy and clean, or reorganize an area, everything gets ship-shape fast because the organizing and simplifying have already been done. The day-to-day is less overwhelming when you are organized.

 I am not saying I am a minimalist…I like to think of it as simplified living. I really don’t like having a lot of stuff. Why? Because I find stuff = clutter and clutter = messes and messes=stress/more work for me. The more you have, the more chance of mess and clutter…and the more you have to keep tidy, organized and clean. More stuff complicates things. Phew! Just talking about stuff is exhausting!

 When purchasing anything to add to my home, I tend to think about whether it’s needed, useful and practical or if it’s something I really love. There’s not a lot of “fluff” whether it be in the kitchen, storage or bedroom. I do have a little more grace for the kid’s items…just a little…because if I could, I would get rid of many more toys, but they have some that are special to them.

When kids have 100’s of toys…even if they only play with ¼ of them, the potential for a larger mess is more likely then if they just have a few favourite toys. Again more stuff=more clutter/messes. When the mess is greater, THEY find it more overwhelming when it comes time to cleaning and it takes longer to clean up. So mine have their favourite toys and maybe a few extras.

 The same is true for clothes. Most people very rarely wear ALL of the clothing they own. It seems that in my home, even if all of the clothes ARE NOT getting worn…but are still in the closet…these items still end up on the floor or in the laundry, thus again making more work for something that’s not even being used. My 3 year olds super power is changing into as many outfits as possible in a day. GAH, I find that so frustrating!!!

 The kitchen has containers that are missing lids, broken kitchen gadgets or gadgets that never get used.

 Bathrooms tend to have half used bottles of beauty products and random personal items that never get used.

You get the idea. Every room has items that you don't need to keep. 

 Having a simplified/organized home will look different for everyone. At time this seems impossible with 4 kids, homeschool supplies, business misc., etc.  BUT it is so worth it to make the effort to revaluate, purge items and reorganize 2-4 times a year.   

 There are many ways to simplify your life, but the one I want to tackle this time around is the home, your living space.

 When my friend asked me if I would help her, she also asked if I had any tips for her as she tackles simplifying and organizing her home.

I do have some tips, but I'll save those for the next post :) 

Read part 2 here.