This past weekend, actually this past Lent, was all about learning to get my act together when it comes to picking up after myself. Upon googling “how to learn to pick up after yourself” and getting a ton of answers about how to teach your kids to pick up after themselves, I finally found a book for adults called the minimalist living and purchased it on audible immediately. It seems like over the last few weeks my life has transformed from one messy basket where I could never find my keys to smooth sailing. I hope by sharing a few things I’ve learned you can make your spring cleaning more productive!
Change Your Mindset
Instead of thinking about the stuff you are losing, think about the space you are gaining when you clear things out. Is space something we are always after right? It’s the elusiveness of a new bigger apartment or house. It’s what makes a model home seem so inviting. It is what creates a sense of calm. It gives us room to breathe, relax, and for activities!
Once I started thinking of the goal of any behavior change I made as gaining more space, it’s like my entire world shifted.
Take Everything Out
When you tackle an area, take everything out of that area. I think this is a great tip because there were many times I was tempted to leave something just because I knew I would keep it. However, I forced myself to take everything out of whatever it was: closet, drawer, room, etc. and usually, I found a better spot for it or ended up realizing I didn’t need it after all!
Categorize: Trash, Treasure, or Transfer
This one is kind obvious, when you clean something out you either give it away, throw it away, or keep it. Something was only classified as treasure if it was worth the space it was taking up. I also asked myself the following questions:
- Why was I keeping it?
- When would I use it?
- Would I be able to find it when I needed it?
- When would I need it?
- Do I already have one? Why do I need two?
Use Amazon Dash Buttons
Recently, I got a chance to try out a few Amazon Dash Buttons. At first, I was worried. Would these little buttons add to the clutter I was trying so hard to get rid of? Actually, NO, just the opposite! I found that by having these little buttons, I could order just enough of the essentials, whenever I needed them.
Now instead of storing enough product to last ten years, I can store a little a button, and I just order when I’m getting low at prime pricing. It was easy enough to set up too, just connect it to wifi on your Amazon App, and it’s done! After you press the button, you get a notification on your phone verifying your order! Easy peasy!
The only criticism I have is that the sticky part didn’t stay stuck so I fixed that with my two-sided tape, or just put it in a drawer. You guys know I’m already obsessed with Amazon Prime, this just makes it EVEN BETTER! Convenience meets my decluttering dreams, pretty much for free. There are more than 250 Dash Buttons, ranging from household essentials to beverages & grocery to pets, and beyond. The buttons cost 4.99, but you are given a 4.99 credit, so they are virtually free. BONUS, I just found out that in celebration of the two-year anniversary of the Amazon Dash Button, from March 31 – April 7, you will be able to buy an Amazon Dash Button for $0.99 and still receive a $4.99 credit back after their first press of the button! Get on it people! (Find out more about Amazon Dash Buttons here!)
One In, One Out Rule
This one is simple: in with the new, out with the old. Why did I have five pairs of running shoes? I don’t know because I just never got rid of the old ones when I bought new ones, you know, just in case. Mr. Hungry is magnificent at this, he buys new clothes and immediately gets rid of old to make room for the new. Why is he so good at EVERYTHING?!?
Everything Has A Place & Everything In Its Place
Okay, so this one seems obvious again. I started thinking of areas of the house as modules. I began to question why I kept my heart rate monitor upstairs, but my headphones and running gear downstairs. For some stuff, there was just no method to the madness of where it went. Now that everything has a designated spot with like items, it is SO much easier to return them to that place continually every time. Enter my label making fun cleaning the pantry this weekend.
The pantry was always a mess, some things were grouped together, but in my haste, I often just stuck things near their location, but now they HAVE a location. Since we host our family from out of town on a regular basis, this will help keep order when there is more than just me putting away groceries. I think I might be addicted to labels; it’s exactly what I needed to keep it all straight. Labels make it harder to be messy.
All Horizontal Surfaces Clear
This one makes the world of difference, keeping all horizontal surfaces clear creates that calm, relaxed environment everyone is after. The thing is, I realized quickly it’s impossible if you don’t follow the tip above.
Clean Up At The End of Every Night
I now stay on top of mess daily, quickly returning things to their rightful spots (because they have a proper place) even if I’m dog tired falling asleep. I think of how she describes in the book, one out of place item multiplies quickly, and I get on it.
Hope these tips help you as much as they have changed my world!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.