Meeting Recap 10/10/14 - Be Honest...

Do you really need all that stuff?

Kids come with their own load of gear. Even parents who practice a minimalist style of parenting can easily become overwhelmed with toys and the ever revolving wardrobe of tiny clothes. Guest speaker Kelly Gaines joined us this past Friday to talk about organizing and regaining control of our stuff.

The creative team inspired our creativity to make bedazzled pumpkins with this fall display. 
Our ladies trying their hand at decorating pumpkins.

The first question Kelly asked was, "Why organize?" Having an organized home doesn't mean every room is pristine and magazine worthy. An organized home creates a more peaceful place that allows more time to focus on what your family finds really important. Sometimes even the most organized home can become a disaster. That's just part of living in a home with kids. Most of your family life will happen somewhere in between. 

Kelly outlined four steps to help on the path to organization. 

Step 1: Make a Plan
How do you want to use your space? For example: if you are working on organizing your guest room, it is obvious that you want to use it as a place for your guests to sleep. Do you also want to use it as a play room, office or area to retreat from the kids? Consider all the uses of a room and keep them in mind for future steps.

Step 2: Sort and Purge
This is the hard part, going through all the items currently in the room and evaluating whether they stay or go. A few tips you can use during this stage include:
  • Limit your cleaning time. Don't try to tackle an entire room in one sitting. 
  • Choose a small area to work on first.
  • Limit the time you hold onto any one item. 
  • Sort into piles of Love It, Donate It and Unknown/Revisit
  • Only keep items that you find useful, beautiful, or are strongly sentimentally attached to. 
  • Get your Donate It pile out of the house as soon as possible.  
Step 3: Create Your New Space
Now it is time to remember the plan you made in Step 1. How do you want to use the room? Look at your empty, or mostly empty room, and decide how to best structure the space to meet the needs you outlined earlier. Occasionally, you may need to buy a piece of furniture or two, but often you can be creative and re-purpose items you already own to fulfill your goals. Once the basic furniture is where you want it, you can start putting everything else back into the room. 

Step 4: Maintain the Space
Once your space is clean and finished, it is important to keep it as clean as possible. Kelly shared some tips on how she maintains her home.
  • Do a 10 minute tidy at the end of each day.
  • Don't outgrow the space you allocated. As Marie Nelson said "No chubby tubbies!" For example, if you allotted a bin to hold blankets and the bin is full, no more blankets.
  • Out with the old, in with the new. In other words, when you bring something new into your home, it is often time to remove something. Buy a new shirt, get ride of an old shirt. This is especially important if you dealing with the "chubby tubbies" mentioned above.
Need more organizing inspiration? Kelly recommended the book Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider (available in print or ebook at Kitsap Regional Library). The library also has tons of other organizing and cleaning books available to help you achieve you cleaning and organizing goals. 

What are your tips for keeping your home organized?