Before I talk to you about organization, I thought I’d share a little blurb from today’s instagram encouragement:
I had GRAND plans for January! I was ready to take on this new decade with so much intentionality and anticipation! But somehow, the first month is already over and it kind of ended up feeling more like a 31 day long daze. Maybe for you too?
I planned to Marie Condo EVERYTHING, blog more, stay active as ever, start off our list of intentions super strong… instead we hid from the rain a lot and recovered from colds, rearranged and online shopped for baby clothes and randomly nested when I had the energy… we barely made it out on our 1st hike this weekend before our runny noses got the better of us!
I’ve fought feeling discouraged about how our “fresh start” has started! But I’m learning that’s the difference of living with intention all year VS. holding ourselves to New Year’s Resolutions! Instead of failing by February, I’m working on giving myself grace and understanding that different seasons require different things! And that doesn’t make your intentions less valuable, just because they look different!
I’m counting down the days until the clouds and the calendar clears up! But until then, I’m working on embracing the plans that have turned out differently than my hopes and cutting myself some slack when this season calls for something different then the expectations I hold myself to. I don’t know how you’re feeling as we kick of the second month of the year, but I hope you’ll join me in this! Because you can’t predict the weather… or much else! But you CAN choose your tude towards it! 😉
Let’s let January just be and turn our focus forward friends! February’s just as good for fresh starts! ❤
One of the ways I’m leaning into grace and setting myself up for success through the changing seasons this year holds for our family is to set up practical systems and create habits that will keep our lives organized throughout the months instead of relying on one big refresh to start the year.
A few ways I’m doing this so far:
- End each day by looking ahead at what the calendar holds – I especially recommend this on Sunday nights to get a vision for your upcoming week! This used to stress me out because I’d rather avoid what was ahead when it made me anxious! As I’ve started to do it more though, it’s actually become something that takes away stress! During this time I’ll usually do a brain dump of things that I feel are weighing on me or need to be accomplished the next day. Lists are our friends! Once I know it’s down on paper and I won’t forget it in the morning, I can let it go for the night! This also reminds me to connect with my husband about what we have coming up so that we can start off on the same page and communicating well.
- Do the dishes/wipe down the kitchen right after dinner – I don’t love this one, but I love how the mornings feel when I do it! It always takes less time than I imagine it will and it’s one less thing I feel like needs to be accomplished in a day when I wake up!
- Reset our home each night – This has been one of the most game changing for me! Instead of just letting our house be in whatever state it ends up in that day… I won’t go to bed before I tidy up and “reset” it for the new day. I started doing this because I was feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks I felt a day required. This way, I can get the whole family in on the tidying, it goes way faster, and feels like one less thing that’s only on me.
- Run one load of laundry each morning – Instead of letting house cleaning all pile up until it requires me devoting an entire day to it, I’m working on finding ways I can spread it out and tackle it a little at a time. This has been one of the easiest ways to implement this method and when I stay on top of it, the clothes in that load are much more likely to end up folded and put away immediately!
- Walking around the house with a trash bag once a week – Empty garbages in bathrooms, throw away piles of paper on counters, bottles on nightstands… any clutter that somehow finds a home on all the surfaces throughout the week goes! I just started doing this one and it’s shocking how quickly a bag can fill up!
- Put toys away in each room when we’re done playing/before we move on to another toy/room – Not only is this one keeping our home more manageable, it’s teaching my son to clean up after himself! And I’m not going to lie, it’s reminding me to form good habits for myself… like hanging up my clothes instead of piling them on the empty dresser… my weakness!
- Empty house toy baskets into their appropriate bins at the end of each week – Less toys everywhere is really the bottom line here! More on that below!
Let’s Talk Toys!
This is one of the biggest changes I’ve made so far – LESS toys in general, less in each room of the house, less out at a time!
I took the post Christmas influx of new toys as an opportunity to organize alllll the toys. I’ve been wanting to do a better job rotating toys to encourage more interest and engagement as well as making less toys accessible at a time to promote creativity and attention span… My lovely assistant and I started by getting everything out and in one space:
Then I assessed what are currently the favorites, age appropriate, and might encourage further learning. From there, everything either got donated, put away for later, or it got organized in bins by like kind that live in the closet and are only taken down when we mean to play with the contents of that specific bin!
It isn’t the prettiest, but it’s VERY functional and inexpensive (these bins are only $2.47 at Walmart)! I even used name tags as labels for now because it’s what we had! It isn’t about keeping up with the pantries on Pinterest. It’s about doing what is practical and sustainable and makes sense for your family!
We use these three baskets (now a lot less cluttered) and a couple others to house a small amount of toys in several rooms of the house. When they aren’t being played with, it’s an easy way to toss them all back in the basket and feel like the room is tidy and not taken over by toys.
About once a week I’ll go through the house with the baskets and return the items to the places they belong! I noticed an immediate difference with how interesting our toys seemed to my son and how much better I felt about managing all the clutter! HIGHLY recommend investing in a few baskets for your home!
For more tidying tips and links to resources/tools that have helped us, click here!
For more encouragement on intentional living and the tool that keeps us on track, click here!
I so hope these tips encouraged you! We’re all figuring out what works best for us and often that looks different in different seasons of life. These practical disciplines have been so impactful for us lately and my prayer is that they might lighten the load just a little for you too! So pin and post away my friends! Your shares mean the world and so do your reads! ❤ happy happy February!