Clutter attracts clutter.

You’ve probably heard this one before. That pile of papers by the computer or those clothes on your dresser sure make it easy to just toss one more thing on top. Okay, I shouldn’t say easy, because it’s actually a little painful, but it happens just the same. PUTTING BACK is an important part of keeping a decluttered, minimalist and peaceful space, however it just isn’t always possible! Having a system in place and the right organizers can surely help, but again, this takes time. Reminding yourself that the mess didn’t happen overnight – so the decluttering process isn’t going to either – is important to keep your head up and not get discouraged. Is there ONE perpetually cluttered spot in your home that’s attracting clutter that you can address today? this week? this month? What typically lands here? Do you need to create an official landing spot for these items? Where can this exist so it will realistically be used? None of this needs to be fancy, just doable. My trouble spot is a counter that shouldn’t have anything on it but our alarm tower and our ‘bar’ when we entertain. Instead it holds mail, kids’ papers, random tools, rings, matchbox cars, etc. I mean… ugh. Join me in mapping out a new spot (and an accompanying routine) for each one of these items so that this space no longer has to suffer. The poor counter deserves better…..

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Motivation is doing.

 

My mom always had this three word phrase taped above her kitchen sink. Every time I washed my hands I would read it. It never really resonated until years later… I cannot tell you how true this is. So many of us WAIT for the motivation to get started on whatever it is we need to get done. Have you ever noticed that once you begin (with or without the motivation) you start to FEEL motivated!? This is a very simple concept yet a difficult one to apply. A tried and true method that I’ve used with my family for several years is the 5-minute clean up. We identify the space that needs tidying, set the timer and MOVE. The limited time provides the motivation because we all know there’s an end! Oftentimes, however, once we see how quickly we were able to declutter and PUT BACK, we finish up the loose ends after the timer goes off. That said- the rule is- everyone can stop after five if they want to. The next time you’re feeling unmotivated, remind yourself that DOING might just be the necessary step to get you going. Try it. And, if that’s not enough to nudge you toward action, set the timer ; )

Morning routines

Do you have one? If so, do you stick to it? Have you been living reactively vs. proactively? We were in the former category before we created a routine. I knew we all had to wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast (DRINK COFFEE), brush our teeth, and gear up to leave, however we had yet to sit down and truly create a routine. Some mornings we would literally have two hours (my kids wake up early!) to prepare for the day and yet would STILL leave the house with one minute to spare… if that ;/

The challenge is having kids at different stages that are CONSTANTLY evolving. As they grow older we count on them to be more independent, but this can also mean it takes longer to get out the door. My family and I have started having family “meetings” on Sunday nights to discuss what’s working, what’s not… and decided it was time to iron out this part of our day. My daughter suggested we create a list of the things that need to be done every morning before we leave for school. (Sheesh. Why do I have such a blindspot for the obvious? I knew this.) Alas, we set it out during breakfast as a (gentle, and hopefully more peaceful than me repeating myself over and over) reminder each morning. The kids really respond to having a visual to keep them on task. For the pre-readers images work well, so I hear.

Take a look at your day and really examine its pace. Sometimes it’s easier just to go along with the status quo because it doesn’t feel like there’s sufficient time to truly problem solve. Rather than approach this in a perfectionistic, there’s only one way approach – just begin. Identify the bumps in your day (at least the predictable ones) and begin to identify new ways to navigate them. Release some of the control and invite your family to help you create new solutions in the interest of a more peaceful home. When given the chance my kids can bring it! I bet yours will too. There’s nothing like a new perspective. Here’s to problem solving, working together and remembering to be more “loveabal”💕 at the breakfast table.

It bears repeating. Take. Five.

Organized storage is everything. This drawer of containers is a space that we wrestle with regularly… mainly because we haven’t taken the time to prioritize putting this space/ corner/ pocket in order. Upon reflection, this drawer is never completely empty which means we’re never actually using ALL of the containers in here. A few minutes of intentional focus and I have a donate pile filled with the items we no longer use. Here’s the result. Sexy, right?  ; )

Find the pocket(s) in your day.

The space under our sink can become a catchall for miscellany, resulting in stressors on the regular. Why do we do this to ourselves!? We live with things a certain way when they could be easily (and swiftly) remedied in just five minutes. Today I noticed this area could use a refresher -because life- so I decided to test this theory and find that pocket in my day to eliminate this daily stressor, once and for all.

To no surprise, it worked. Successfully… and it will make my day to day So. Much. BETTER! Yes, I can take it one step further and spruce up the space but organizing always has to happen first. Five minutes = Done! (Ps: those rubber gloves are hanging from a command clip that I bought for my daughter’s room. I might be a little too excited by the outcome 😉

The minimalistish amount of storage in my midcentury kitchen ;)

Do you ever open your pantry/cupboards and realize that you have nothing for dinner? I honestly ask myself how it’s possible that my pantry is spilling over and yet we’ll probably need to order in…. Pathetic. Today I vow to take back the very little space that I have to begin with! It might mean a few marshmallow curry casseroles to get through what I’ve got, but I. Am. Cleaning House! Here’s to going to the grocery store with a plan and saying no to shopping the shelves with a hungry belly. Yes, I’ve been doing this for years. Yes, I should have it figured out by now. No, I haven’t. Thankfully, today’s a new day. Try and try again? Stay tuned…..

Update: Done. Nothing major except now I know what I have… and what I need… AND something to prepare for dinner tonight! Hooray! #itsthelittlethings