One of the things I have discovered with decluttering is that house chores are not all that hard and donâ€™t take that much time. You might laugh and say I am lying and a couple of years ago I would think that myself, but it is not so.
First of all we always have to consider, with house chores, the amount of stuff that we have to a) put away; and b) clean on shelves. That is the key. If you have 3 full wardrobes of clothing your laundry day (or days) will be nightmarish. If you pair down your clothing and that of your family there is a lot less to use, but there is also a lot less to clean.
In the kitchen I have also found that rule to be true. I used to have so many plates that our family could eat for 2/3 weeks without doing the dishes. Of course that is not hygienic nor it is advisable, but with too much of something it gets hard to keep a clean sink, for instance, because the excess in cutlery, china, glasses, cups will end up out of place and cluttering up the sink (even if they are washed) or on your table. As I have a small kitchen, any clutter screams out at me because it robs me of precious space.
As I have two small children I had struggled a lot with toys. Toys in the spare room, toys in the living room, toys everywhere. Sometimes I had the urge of just walking away from the toysâ€¦ However the toy mess was my fault. The kids had no proper place to store the toys, no system. You see, even young children will learn to use a simple system. Set an easy place for them to store their stuff. A box under the bed, a shelf on the lowest part of the closet or wardrobe accessible to them and make it easy for them to take the toys out and put them away. If one system does not work, try another. Donâ€™t fret about small stuff, get one or 2 boxes and sort by general type of toy. As long as it put away, donâ€™t concern yourself with details (like arranging minuscule lego pieces into order â€“ it is not going to happen!), just get it organized. Set an example and they will follow (not everyday â€“ it is not perfect, but for the most part). My room is always tidy, my shoes are in place and I donâ€™t have stuff strewn on the floor, so they follow my lead.Â
I learned that sometimes we see good ideas on TV shows and sometimes we donâ€™t. About 7 years ago I saw a Peter Walsh show where he suggested a box for shoes under the bed. I bought the box, but it did not work for me. I am visual and I like things easy and it was hard to remember what shoes I had and to put them away at the end of the day. Now I have an open closet, I can see all my shoes I paired them down a lot and put them away as soon as I get home.
I do a little everyday. My kids put away their toys, I donâ€™t leave clothing lying around the house and the messiest we get here now is when I donâ€™t do laundry for 3 days (with children laundry is everyday to keep on top of it). At its worst it takes me 3 hours to get the house in order. At its best, about 30 minutes. I am thankful that I have a housecleaner that comes once a week, but that is for bathrooms and heavier cleaning. However, if I could not have that luxury, my husband and I are pretty confident that we could take care of the house ourselves. And declutter a lot more to make it even easier.
Today’s Mini Mission
While watching something on commercial television jump up in the ad time and find something to declutter in your living room. Perhaps go grab a handful of DVDs, go through a coffee or side table drawer or perhaps you have a pile of magazines near your chair that you could sort through and find something to declutter.
â€œIf we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think weâ€™d beÂ happy withÂ more?â€ â€” Unknown