A New Year means new. New chances, new opportunities, and a fresh start. A chance to once again get back on the horse and make healthy changes to our health, bodies, and life in general. And though it’s the middle of winter here in the U.S., when it comes to “spring cleaning” and organizing, there is no better time than the present.
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I took the New Year as an opportunity to get organizing on many levels, and I started with my closet. My closet happens to be not just a home for my wardrobe, but my files as well since I prefer to keep them out of sight and out of mind (of my children). But as so happens with paper copies, they multiply, so much so that when I began organizing my closet, and going through piles and piles of records and papers, I ended up with three trash bags full of unnecessary paper.
Happy recycling day, sanitation company. You’re welcome.
But the organizing didn’t stop there, nor should it. I also went through my actual clothes, my children’s clothes, and their *gasp* toy bins.
Following a very generous Christmas, which blessed my children with more belongings than they needed, it was a perfect time to go through what they already had and take inventory.
If a toy was broken or missing parts, it automatically went into the trash or the donate pile.
If clothing was worn beyond what could be worn to school or no longer fit properly, it went to the donate pile, too.
Organizing what was left into bins and boxes and bags came next. Needless to say we had several Lego sets that needed to be bagged.
We’re currently in the market for a Lego table for our playroom and being a frugal family, we’ve been searching the local Goodwill stores and the online yard sale sites. I refuse to pay more for a toy table than I absolutely have to, and since we’ve yet to find one that we consider a good buy, we’ve taken it as an exercise in patience building. It’s a virtue, after all.
Drawers, Nooks, and Crannies
After going through the big areas, like the children’s rooms and my closet/filing area, I started going through drawers. We had more than one jump drawer in the kitchen that needed organizing, so I completed that task and went straight to the top of the fridge and into the pantry. These are two areas that my husband likes to stick anything and everything, be it extra Legos, tools, papers, unused toys- really anything.
Bless him, my OCD tendencies and need to organize clash so very strongly with my husband’s need to just stick everything out of reach and out of sight immediately. It’s been an area of conflict for some time, so me cleaning all these areas within the first week of the New Year was a blessing for the both of us. Less clutter means I’m happier, and with everything back in its place, he can actually (hopefully) find things without my help for a while, which will make him happier. Win-win.
It was no secret to me, but it became apparent after the first day of organizing and cleaning that two things needed to happen.
One, we needed more places for things. Specifically for my daughters’ room. My oldest has been needed a desk for some time to give her space to dedicate to her amazing artwork, and while I’d known that was the case, we hadn’t had the money in our budget- not with Christmas coming up, having followed two other major holidays during which we’d traveled out of state to see family.
But with the holidays coming to a close, and having been gifted art supplies for Christmas, a desk with plenty of space was absolutely necessary. And if you’re in need of a really awesome one, you can get one similar to ours here. It really has been a lifesaver.
Sticking to our budget and being frugal, we shopped around before settling on a used desk (but again, you can get a new one here). We just happen to have found the perfect desk from Goodwill that suited our needs to a t.
Not only does my oldest daughter now have a desk to do art on, she has made use of the top shelves to store her Lego Friends, keep make up out of reach of her youngest sibling, and she now has more places to put family photos. Like I said, the desk is absolutely perfect. And although we got ours used, you can get a new one here if you’re in need of some extra art space.
Organizing Boys Rooms
My boys’ rooms were the most difficult, I’ll admit. All four of my boys wearing different sized clothing means the closet is stuffed. And with their various belongings tossed together, it was a bit of a challenge finding a place for every thing. Organizing their room wasn’t so much about purging, believe it or not, as it was about literally finding the space.
Fortunately, we were able to decrease the clutter in the playroom considerably, which emptied up several bins. In fact, we were able to move several cubby holders into their room. Since only two of my boys have dressers, it works out. The other two use bins and the closet.
After four days of really working through our entire home, garage, and even outdoor space, everything finally feels cleaner. Clearer. More organized. And although it took a lot of hours shifting, sorting, and mostly shuffling papers (in terms of my office area) I’m so glad we did. Less clutter is healthier and less clutter means less stress. And if you don’t believe me, check out a post I wrote a couple of years ago after reading Ruth Soukup’s book, 31 Days to a Clutter Free Life.
In it, she describes how Clutter is Killing All Of us and in some ways, you could say this entire piece, and another I did last year, were inspired by that book.
After all, with fewer items in the toy room, it means less to pick up. Even if they get all dumped out together, right?
What are some of your favorite storage and organization tools? Did you find the tips above helpful? Comment below and let us know your favorite way to organize. Or let us know how you purge during your spring- er, New Year’s cleaning regime.
*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click them, I may receive a small compensation at no cost to you.*