Getting the Junk Drawer Less Junky

Watch the news segment on this topic!

We all know the junk drawer. The drawer filled with everything from random public transportation passes and expired coupons to pens that have definitely run out of ink. So how can you tackle the scariest drawer in town?

1. Schedule

Figure out when you carve out some time to tackle this project? 

Divide it into chunks if you have to. You’d be amazed and what you can do in 30 min. 

2. Imagine

What’s your goal?

Try to picture how you’d like this to turn out. Do you want counters clear or do you not mind having a few things out?

3. Make Space 

Gather different categories together to make sure you have a complete picture of how much you have of certain items -- all the papers, all the pens, all the scissors, all the notepads, all the tape! 

Create a drop drawer spot to empty purse and pockets, avoid dropping off items on the counter!

Decide what you need. Does this spark joy or is this something you love, need, or value?

Graciously let go of anything you don’t need/love/value!

4. Play

Having fun with it is important! 

Be open to playing with it until you feel you’ve got the right stuff and the right amount of stuff

5. Layout

Tweak the layout until it fits so you can see everything at a glance. Try not to stack things and group little items together, so they don’t scatter.

Give everything a home. This includes pens, notepads, paper clips, wallet, keys, spare change. You should know exactly where each of these things go!

Keep categories together (so you don’t over buy later on).

Keep papers all in one spot, instead of scattered throughout the house. One folder that serves as an inbox for papers to deal with helps until you can find the time to sort, handle, and/or file.

6. Enjoy! 

Celebrate saving time by having a space where you can find exactly what you need when you need it.

Save money by no longer over-buying or buying duplicates of items.

Feel less stress by keeping counters free of clutter!

Interested in learning more? Watch below to see how you can incorporate the KonMari method in your home. 

So it's the End of Summer... Now What?

Watch us discuss this topic on Channel 2!

The end of summer is fast approaching (or, depending on where you are, has already ended!) With that comes new stressors as you work to keep your home tidy. You may have just started the KonMari method this summer, or this may be your first big life adjustment since starting, or maybe you’ve gone through the start of school before but could still use some pointers. Either way, this is a time of excitement (from parents at least) and a time of change, and I’ve got three tips to hopefully make this adjustment easier!

Tip #1: Clean out what you don’t need. You may have wanted to do this at the beginning of summer, or you could’ve been so busy that you’re just now getting to this part. But wherever you are, that’s okay! Before school starts, make sure to throw out old papers from last year that are no longer applicable or needed, clothes that don’t fit/aren’t wanted by your child, and to throw out supplies that is broken or no longer good. Doing all of this not only helps you to get rid of items that no longer serve a purpose, but also help you identify what you need and what you can go ahead and cross off of the school supply list. 

Tip #2: Give everything a home. Don’t keep backpacks on the floor or on a table/desk. Get a hook and hang it wherever is better for your family, whether that’s the entry, an office, or a bedroom. Command Hooks are a great and affordable option, and super easy to install and take off! For papers that will quickly start accumulating, have a system in place that is easy for everyone involved. Create an inbox where papers parent’s need to look at and an inbox for kid’s homework goes, a file for quick reference, a file for each kid’s important documents (immunization records, report cards, etc.), a box or file for artwork (and go through this at the end of each semester), and a box or dedicated shelf for treasures, whatever those may be (go through that when it gets full!). Also make sure to have a solid system of recycling. This paper system should make life easier, and hopefully take away some of the panicked scrambles when a document seems to go missing. 

Also make sure to have a dedicated place for snacks that is easy to access. This can allow them to help pack their own lunch, and to also allow them some independence afterschool. For clothes, teach them the KonMari folding method, which will, again, give them some more independence when it comes to picking out their own outfits. 

Tip #3: Be a good example. Be the gatekeeper of your own space. Kids learn from their parents, so if you are employing the habits that you hope them to develop, they will see and mimic your actions. And remember that it’s okay to not be perfect. If anything, that’s better to show your kids. It shows them that even when mistakes are made or life gets hectic, you still try your best. And as you help them develop these habits that will benefit them for the rest of their life, they’ll start to feel the same joy as you.

  Is this something you’re ready to undertake? We have a lot of fantastic options that you can undertake that will allow us to help you on this journey. For some, our new Online Home Detox Program might be the best bet! You receive on-call help and self-paced videos to guide you through the program. For others, our one-on-one lessons might be more beneficial. Look through our various options and see which one might fit you best. We can’t wait to help you!

 

Tidying Is NOT Cleaning

Some of you may have been weighing with the option for going through the KonMari tidying method, and something that may have been a worry-point for you is time. That precious commodity that always seems to be lacking. And going through all of your belongings, sorting them, putting them back in a proper spot, donating some, recycling others… you're right to think that this is a time consuming task. If something holding you back from following Marie Kondo's teachings is the daunting task ahead of you, take a deep breath and hear this: you only have to do this once. Yes, you heard me: ONCE. No, this isn't going to make your house permanently neat and perfect for the rest of your life, but it sets the base of an environment that sparks joy, productivity, and peace. Unfortunately, it doesn't set the base for a house that is forever clean. We've yet to crack that code.

So what exactly is the difference between cleaning and tidying? Well, once your house is tidied, it's tidied. You've gone through your items, and you've developed the skill set that will last you for life. Of course you're going to continue to need to get rid of stuff or reorganize, but never on the same scale as the first time. Cleaning, though, will always be a weekly habit. The floors always need to be swept, the ceiling fan dusted, the mirrors washed. It's a constant. But when your house is TIDY, cleaning becomes ridiculously easy. Putting stuff back is easy when you know where it goes, wiping surfaces is easier when there's nothing on it, noticing mess is easier when items aren't scattered… you're following the trend. 

With that, you also get to minimize the help you need. Maybe you can cut down on the hours your housekeeper visits per week, or just have them come every other week. You can definitely create more free time for you, your partner and your kids, who will most definitely appreciate the easier chores. With the shorter cleaning time, you have more time to explore the activities that bring joy into your life, and you will feel your home also grow with that same feeling. 

Don't let time be the setback for tidying up, especially considering that you will really just be rewarding future you with more time! Remember, you don't have to go through this process alone. We can help, along with your family or support system! It's okay to be a little scared, and it IS a big thing! But once you finish tidying, the space you've created will be full of peace and joy, even if it's a little dirty. 

P.S.: If you follow us on Instagram (and you should!), you may have heard about our new Online Home Detox program! This would be a great program for you, so make sure to check out the program by clicking the link above.

Tidying Up the End of the School Year

The school year is over! Whether you have elementary aged kids, graduating seniors, or you yourself just finished the semester, you may find yourself in a tricky situation: what do you do with all of your stuff? There’s the papers, the books, the art supplies, and the other miscellaneous objects that have been living in your child’s desk, locker, or backpack for the past ten months, and you probably don’t want it just lying around the house for the next two to three months, especially since some of it might not even be reusable. So with all of this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of some ideas for how to deal with this sudden increase of stuff, and how to stop it from becoming a headache inducing mess.

Ok, this might be obvious, but to start with, the most important thing is to go through everything. Empty the bags and have your kids work with you. Sort the items into things that could be reusable, things that could be donated, and trash. Depending on where your child is school-wise, these piles could look very different, and each of your children’s piles could be in varying sizes. Let’s touch on what each pile might look like though.

Throw away

Anything paper that has been filled to capacity, anything broken or damaged (beyond repair), and, since they’re kids, anything that’s just flat out gross. This is up to your judgement (and your kids judgement). There could be some projects brought home that both you and your child don’t feel the need to hold onto anymore. This is a good time to teach your kids about keeping what only sparks joy. There’s a big chance that one art assignment they did in October doesn’t really spark anything in them, but you never know!

Donate

Or, pass down to one of your only children who might need this item next year. This could be any books (and for college aged kids, make sure to sell those textbooks!), backpacks that kids no longer want, workbooks that they may have not used, or anything else that is still in good shape but that has run its course in your child’s life. I’ve compiled a list of donation sites here (insert link), but you can also ask your child’s school if there’s any good places that they know in your community. Again, this is a good activity to do with your child so that they can learn the importance of donating, and also how to part with items that they no longer need.

Keep.

To keep, this would be things like pencil bags, backpacks, lunch boxes, scissors, and other supplies that is still in good condition and is always useful no matter the age. I’ve found that binders are usually good to be used for the next year as well, as long as they didn’t get beat up. If there’s a class name written on a binder, you can always put a label over it so that way it isn’t confusing in the next school year. For storage solutions, you can keep the items in the area you have dedicated to your child’s homework or studying, or find a shelf in their room. Work with your child to find a place that is out of the way, but still in an accessible area and not shoved in a corner of the room, where it might get dented as the summer festivities go on.

Hopefully as this final step to the school year comes to an end, you and your child can feel ready for summer, and also feel a little more prepared for the new school year in the fall.


P.S. if you need some storage options, check out https://www.simplymavenhtx.com/shop for some of my personal favorite storage solutions. There's some especially good ideas for any paper items and some great bins to hide some of the supplies away. As much as you should reuse the storage solutions you have, it's important to also know if you might need some extra help.