It’s the start of a new school year in my home and I’m determined to make sure we have a smooth, clutter-free and positive school year.
As an avid believer in and the positive impact of having a decluttered and organized home, I believe having an organization system and clutter and junk free home are essential for ensuring positive energy flow and clear thought.
I highly recommend that parents use the beginning of a school year as another excuse to get organized, not just for the school routine, but the family home in general. So even if you did Spring or New Year cleaning, use the late summer/early fall to re-organize your life and priorities as well.
Even if your kids have already gone back, you can still get started. Here are some declutter and home organization tips that I’ve put together that I hope can help get you through the year.
Clean and DeClutter
Clean and Declutter the Kids Play, Work Rooms and Nursery. Limit the number of toys and books in the kids room. Get rid of old broken toys. Give away old books and toys to the Salvation Army, Good Will or another family member with children younger than yours. Keep only a few of the favorite story books and the toys your child or children play with regularly. Don’t let them know you’re getting rid of the stuff they don’t even play with. They likely won’t even know it and you don’t need the headache of having them plea for you to keep it.
Infuse Calming Scents in the Home. I’m a also a big believer in aromatheraphy and that scents guide the mood. Buy Glade or some other brand’s plugins to keep the air fresh and clean smelling. You can burn candles when you’re home or if you’re an incense type of person, those work too. Consider using those with essential oils or scents such as chamomile, rose, vanilla and lavender. They are calming scents.
Thoroughly Clean the Room. Wash and Wipe down the walls, baseboards, windows and floors — with natural cleaners. Repair wall holes, cracks, squeaky windows, peeling paint. A clean home is great for fostering clear thoughts and just clarity, in general.
Set up Calendar and Chore Lists. Even if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you shouldn’t be doing all of the cleaning and upkeep. Set up a chore sheet for the refrigerator for after school chores. Also, start a new family calendar for keeping up with back to school nights, upcoming field trips, sports activities and other events so everyone knows what’s going on. If you’re the family manager as mom, you shouldn’t be the only one aware of what days are soccer practice. Sitters, your spouse and house guests should too. Also, a chore list is great for keeping up the principles of feng shui which are all about clean spaces.
Keep Toys Dedicated to ONE area of the home (or maybe two) Avoid the chaotic mind that comes when you have toys and other things sprinkled in every nook and cranny of the home. Toys should be kept only to the play room, the kids room or one area of the apartment that is quartered off and situated with a toy chest, storage bin or some place where you can quickly toss all the toys hanging out all over the house. The tough part may be to stick to this one simple rule.
When the kids are not playing with a toy, there is really no need for it to be taking up space on the kitchen table or creating a tripping hazard for you or a guest. Either you, your partner or trained kids if they are old enough should make a concerted effort to gather all errant toys and keep them in the designated area.
It seems pretty intuitive, huh?
Over time, it will become a habit or second nature and you will find toys are not strewn about as much anymore. I do this with other areas of my home and life. All papers, books, newspapers, invoices, magazines are usually put away in our home office. All clothes go in a hamper, closet or bedroom. Dishes, cups and silverware discovered anywhere in the house are picked up and taken in the kitchen
Think of this mantra: “There is a place for Everything and Everything in its place.”
Organize the Paper Trails. Each year, families accumulate reports, information from school, permission slips and the such. It will get mixed in with bills, receipts, warranties and other paper that come into your life.
This Home Organization plan will make it easy for you: Get a binder or two and dividers or one of those mega accordion file folders with tabs and divide them in the following categories:
- Car maintenance schedule/Receipts
- School schedules and holiday list
- Lunch menus
- School information page
- School reading lists
- Summer Camp and programs information
- Medical information sheet for each family member
- Emergency directory
- House-sitter information sheet
- PTA newsletters and rosters
- Prescription drug record
- Health insurance information
- Travel packing checklist
- Before-we-leave checklist
- Vacation idea list
- Home renovation contractor lists
- Contracts and Bids
- Warranty information
- Utilities/services directory
- Home decorating ideas
- Business records
- Tax Documents for Business
- Consultants and Independent Contractor records
- Liability Insurance
- Business & Office Equipment registry
- Tax Documents for Personal
- Big Ticket Items receipts
- Life insurance information
- Budget/spending record
- Bills to pay
Hope these Declutter and Home Organization Tips are helpful to you as you get yourself and your family organized for the season! Good luck!