For anyone who knows me or who has read any of my blog posts; knows that I have a very type-A personality. I thrive on planning, order, and structure. When I started having children I had to learn a whole new way of living. I’d much rather have my children than the cleanest, most organized home, but there are some bonuses to preferring a systematic way of handling life. I find that life just works so much better when our home is organized.
The scriptures tell us that even God prefers life to be handled with order and decency. Should order be achieved in lieu of serving God and our families, no, but the two should work harmoniously together. When our lives are organized it allow us to think and work more effectively. We must first acknowledge and accept our need for organization and structure.
Second, organizing our homes must be a family effort. Mom cannot be the sole proprietor of keeping a home organized. Husbands and children play important roles for maintaining an organized home. Getting every family member involved as active participants makes organization easily achievable.
After acknowledging a need for an organized home and convincing family members of their vital role in keeping a home organized, the most important key to organization is STOP BUYING! Before I buy something I pray about it and wait for God’s answer, no impulse buying for this family. You might be surprised at how God answers when you start praying about your spending habits. I often find that after a week or two I really didn’t need the stuff I thought was essential. It’s amazing how much of the clutter starts disappearing when you stop buying unnecessary products.
3 Easy Steps to Ditch the Clutter
- Simplify, consolidate, and eliminate: This pertains mostly to the kitchen and bathroom, but it could easily be applied to any room. Many products can be combined to do the same job. Such as using one all-purpose cleaner or using a bar soap to wash and shave with. The mainstream media and marketing gurus have convinced us to use a different product for every task which promotes unnecessary and excessive spending. When in reality many homemade, non-toxic products can be used for multiple jobs and work just as well. Many utensils and tools can be consolidated.
- Baskets, totes, and uniformity: Loose objects go perfect in baskets and totes. My cabinets are organized with baskets holding an assortment of loose items, such as lids, canning supplies, toilet paper, essential oils, medicine, etc. My basket system is purely a time-saving necessity. Everything has a specific location which allows me to spend my time actually doing the tasks at hand as opposed to searching for the tools required. Uniformity works great too. When things are done in a specific yet simple way, children can easily learn to be willing participants in keeping their home organized. For instance, we have an array of different blocks. Each type of block is kept in a tote and all totes are stored in one specific location. Yes, they can play with the blocks, but when they are finished playing, they know where and how to put them away.
- Purge: Before Christmas and all birthdays toys are purged. My reasoning with the children is; “To get new toys they must get rid of some of the old”. We cannot keep every toy they receive. Any broken toys are thrown away immediately. Books and homeschooling materials are kept in one location and purged yearly too. As for clothes and shoes, we keep a pretty simple variety. Each child has an average of four sets of ‘play clothes’, three sets of ‘good clothes’, 2 pairs of night clothes, and a weeks worth of under clothes. Shoes are kind of iffy, truthfully each chid has one good and one play, but somehow there are always seems to be strays that need to be put away in storage.
Organizing a home should not be a burdensome task, it should be done as an extension from a desire to create a peaceful home environment. From my personal experience our home operates much better when everything is in its place. The heart of organization begins with Christ and ends with families joyfully working together to keep a home running in decency and in order.