We are starting a new year, which means the end of a season, the closing of a chapter as we open a new one. I’ve found that getting my life in order is the best way to transition from one stage into the next. When I say order, in this sense I’m being very literal, at the end of the year I encourage myself and my family to go through everything we’ve accumulated and to really sort out what we should keep and what we should donate. Being a family of six, I am sure you can imagine how much stuff we can acquire in a years time. Even in our open spaces, stepping into the new season with tidied shelves and sorted items gives our space actual space… a breath of fresh air.
Here are the simple steps my family and I take to get ourselves in a good place, so we are starting the new year cleansed and organized.
1. Make it a game
If you don’t have little ones, this step may not be as necessary but for me and my crew it’s definitely key to keeping everyone focused on their mission. And I take the word mission literally here! Call clean up duty a ‘mission’. For example, tell your kids they have to complete three challenges to complete the mission… ‘For the first part of this challenge you need to find all your shoes and put them away. For the second part make sure all your dirty clothes are in the hamper. And the final part of the challenge is to gather your toys from every room and make sure they are all in your room. Let’s see how quickly you can complete your challenge!’ Then set a timer with some music and run around completing your own ‘mission’… your house will be sorted before you know it!
2. Make A Plan
Go at your items with a plan in mind. Before you even start, make sure you have a clear idea of what you are wanting to end up with.
3. Create a Grouping System
Set everyone up with their very own sorting baskets. We have a separate basket for our keep items, our donate items and our throw away items.
4. Tackle Each Group Individually
Once all of your items are sorted its time to organize. Have everyone collect their donate items and throw away items and place them in bags near your front door. I find it best to have a different color bag for throw away items, so that you know which ones are meant to be recycled and which are meant to be donated. You could also make signs to hang on your wall and have everyone place their respective bags under each sign. Once all of the items that aren’t staying in your home are out of the way, it’s time to organize the items that are staying. Bins, baskets, and sorting containers are going to help keep items organized… and I find that it’s easier for both kids and adults to put things away once everything has a place. Bins are perfect for this and keep that “open” storage look while over-the-door options are great for keeping and sorting your small items and great spot for everything you need to get kids ready and out the door in the morning too!