style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
Of all the things that I allow myself to become overwhelmed by… a messy house is high on the list. When my home feels like a tornado blew through, I find it difficult to focus on anything. Regardless of what I ‘should’ be doing, I become distracted by the mess and the piles and the unfinished jobs.
If I’m not intentional with choosing my thoughts, clutter will completely stress me out!
Full disclosure: I have yet to find a way to live a clutter-free lifestyle 24/7. While in many ways this sounds like Utopia, it’s unrealistic to think that we can participate in full, fabulous lives and never experience a mess. How would we ever have a dinner party or a bake a cake?
Messes mean we’re living.
Even if everything we own has a proper home and is something that we love, want and regularly use… (which I believe is the ultimate goal with regards to our belongings) there are times when that ‘stuff’ clutters our space.
I’m part of a family of five and we’ve decluttered and purged to a place that feels pretty good when everything is properly put away:-) But there are lots of moving parts in our home on any given day.
Usually that ‘clutter’ is a result of one of the following…
1. Too little time. Despite our best efforts to slow down, sometimes we are frantically dashing off to the next thing. We leave the house in a rush without putting things away first. Ideally, we make time to straighten up before we leave the house. Coming home is much nicer that way!
2. No designated home. Clutter can be the result of random or newly acquired things that haven’t been assigned a specific place to live. If every ‘thing’ has a spot where it can easily be ‘put away’, then the item no longer contributes to the mess. Note: When organizing, make it easier to put something away than to take it out. This is a game-changer in controlling clutter.
3. Laziness. We all have moments when we just don’t feel like putting something away or finishing a task. Guilty! Some teenagers have these moments more than others:-) The result… stuff where it doesn’t belong! This is fine when it’s temporary. Not so fine when it amounts to layers of junk covering the flat surfaces in every room!
Luckily, there is a very simple and extraordinarily effective solution for the ‘bomb went off’ effect ….
Enter the Ten Minute Tidy.
If you’ve already done the work of decluttering and tidying, then this touch-up method never fails to restore order to your space. If not, start here.
Here's a Ten Minute Tidy How-To:
- Enlist help, if possible and/or desired. Sometimes I prefer to take on the TMT alone, with great tunes blasting or a podcast in my earbuds.
- Get ready. I usually grab a few empty laundry baskets. I use them to separate what needs to be returned to each floor in my house. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Go!
- Move swiftly to gather up everything that’s out of place. Return all the ‘stuff’ to its proper home.
Dirty, wet dish towels : laundry room
Random papers: recycling, file, in-box
Fifty-seven mugs and glasses: into the dishwasher (Please tell me this isn’t only in my house!)
Messy bedroom : make the bed, clean off the nightstand, put away abandoned clothing
The stuff of errands : put library books and items to be returned in your car
Kitchen disaster : dishes in the dishwasher, wipe the counters, rinse the sink, put out a fresh towel.
- If you’re so inclined, reset the timer and go for another 10 minutes!
This method is genius because it demands quick, focused action and the results are immediate.
I’m always a better person after a Ten Minute Tidy. Ahhh. I might have to start one right now!!
Tell me... how do you restore order when your house is messy?
We're counting down to the start of another school year. Thanks for being here with me.