We’re staunch believers that step 1 of making your home feel and look clean is to first organize and simplify. Before we get down to the scrubbing, mopping and sweeping, we like to begin with clear surfaces and orderly supplies. Pick up and put away anything cluttering the countertops, get rid of lingering junk mail, straighten cabinets and closets, and tackle areas that seem to be a catch-all. We’re looking at you, “the drawer.” We know you all know exactly what which drawer we’re referring to. We’re guessing it’s some kind of oddly shaped drawer in your kitchen, too small for utensils and too shallow to hold anything of actual value. Let us make one more assumption, you struggle to open it every time you think something you’re missing is in there because the drawer itself gets caught on a rogue pair of scissors, an empty tape roll or a stack of expired coupon catalogs. Nailed it, didn’t we?
We teamed up with Jan and Amy from Dwell Happy, a professional organizing service in Pennsylvania, who were kind enough to provide some really great guidance on how to get started and why it’s so important to simplify your living spaces:
1. Spend time working on your vision before you get started. This isn’t just a vision for your home, it’s more of a vision for your life. What makes you happy? Start a Pinterest board of inspirational quotes, things you enjoy doing (or would like to enjoy doing if you had the time), and spaces that appeal to you. This will keep you motivated as you start making important decisions about what items bring you joy and which items will only get in the way of making your vision a reality.
2. Working on one category at a time instead of organizing by room is much less overwhelming and much more efficient. It will put an end to the constant shuffling of your things (just moving things around in a room so it looks more organized) and help you to eliminate the clutter and only keep the things you love and need. Starting in your wardrobe yields a very gratifying win right off the bat. Having a wardrobe full of only the clothes that you love and wear makes getting dressed each day feel so good that you will want that feeling everywhere. It’s addictive.
3. Some people may feel lost when it comes to the best way to store things but it’s actually pretty simple. Store like things together and when possible, store vertically instead of stacking. Storing vertically, like books on a bookshelf, makes items much easier to access and put away.
4. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter you will be able to decorate with sentimental items that might have been hidden away, but that bring you joy. Clear the way for the good stuff – It’s what makes a home unique and beautiful. It tells YOUR story instead of looking like a West Elm catalog. (This is our favorite piece of advice. Family pieces > Pottery Barn)
5. A home should be lived in and get messy, but if everything has a place, those messes are a breeze to clean up.
For more great ideas and advice to get you motivated to organize and simplify your home, visit their website, dwellhappy.co, and be sure to follow them on Instagram. Their photos alone will have you ready to take on your pantry and linen closets!
Don’t forget to check back in with us tomorrow for a whole post on our favorite DIY and store bought cleaning products.