Detoxification doesn’t have to end with your body, you can detoxify the stress in your home as well. So many things in life tend to slow us down, get in the way, and cause stress; our homes being one of those things. When we enjoy the space we live in, our brains can calm down and relax more than if you’re staring at a kitchen full of dirty dishes and tons of paper taking up half of your countertop. I asked my friend Andrea, a professional organizer, to help us detox our houses!
As a professional organizer, the first things that come to mind when I think about detoxing a home are:
· getting organized
· clearing the clutter
· making more space
· purging all unnecessary objects
What about you?
I like to think our home is always a de-cluttered space, but I know that’s not true. Life happens, things get crazy, stuff accumulates, piles grow, and before we know it, we’re ready for another “detox”. However, there are two areas in our home that I religiously keep clean and organized — mainly to protect my sanity, but also because I NEED these spaces to be organized in order to enjoy living in my home.
1. The Entry Way
The entryway is the first thing we see when we walk in the door and the last thing we see as we leave our house…and I hate walking in the door only to trip over piles of shoes, coats, boots, etc. It just puts me in a bad mood the moment I enter our home.
Detoxify the stress in your entryway:
1. Pull Everything Out: You’ll be making a bigger mess initially, but it’s important to know what you’re starting with and to see EVERYTHING you have.
2. Purge: Remove anything that doesn’t belong in the entryway. Throw out any items that are stained, ripped, or just past their prime. Donate any items that you don’t use, need, want, or love.
3. Prepare a Space: If you have a big entryway, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. But for those of us with small, cramped entryways, the key is to get creative. Maybe you can’t store everything you want to in the entryway. You might have to store your children’s coats in their bedroom closets, put your purse in a kitchen cabinet, or store shoes and boots in the garage.
4. Practical Storage Ideas: Find storage ideas that will work for your space. I’m a huge fan of hooks because they’re user-friendly. Even a small child can hang their coat or backpack on a hook. I also like using double-duty items like a bench that doubles as shoe storage, or an over-the-door shoe organizer that can house gloves, hats, scarves, wallets, pet leashes, etc. I put many of these items to work in our small, but organized entryway.
2. The Master Bedroom
It’s the very first thing we see when we wake up and the last thing we see before we go to bed…so I want it to be a calming, relaxing, organized, “detoxified” space.
A Few Simple Tips to Detox Your Bedroom:
1. Make Your Bed: Making your bed should take you less than 5 minutes and it’s a great way to instantly declutter your room.
2. Remove Excess “Stuff”: A bedroom should only contain bedroom stuff — bed, dressers, vanity, mirror, etc. This means you probably shouldn’t take up valuable space in your bedroom with exercise equipment, office supplies, camping gear, kitchen gadgets, or holiday decorations (yup, I’ve seen it all!).
3. Clear Closet Clutter: I clear the clutter from our closets the same way I do in our entryway. I can usually get the job done in about 30 minutes, but if your closets are really bad, it might take you an afternoon. However, the time you spend is well worth it! No more clothes piles on the floor, no more wrinkled clothing crammed into your closet, no more wondering “what to wear” every morning.
4. Create a Calming Atmosphere: Our master bedroom is my favorite room! I love our bedding, I love our furniture, I love the pictures on the wall, and I love waking up in our bedroom every day. If you can’t say the same thing about your bedroom, sit back and think about how to create a calming space you can enjoy. I like using neutral colors and small table lamps instead of harsh overhead lighting. I also keep the surfaces in our room clutter-free…except for the books on our bedside table!
If you think about it, detoxing your home is very similar to detoxing your body. Those of you who followed Donielle’s 8-week Sugar Detox Challenge or read her book Cleansing for Conception realize that detoxing your body is not something that happens in a day or two. It’s a process that takes several weeks of discipline and hard work. It won’t always be easy…but the end results will far out-weight the work you put in.
So, as you set out to detox your home, keep in mind that it will NOT happen overnight (just like the clutter didn’t appear overnight either!)
My best advice = START SMALL
Start with one drawer in your dresser, one shelf in your closet, one area of your home — and work at it for 15 or 20 minutes. Then stop.
Do 15-20 minutes again tomorrow, and the next day, and before you know it, your entryway will be welcoming, your bedroom will be peaceful, and your home will be a clutter-free place you actually enjoy spending time in.
Andrea Dekker is a professional organizer and founder of SimpleOrganizedLiving.com. Her goal is to motive and encourage others to create their best life through simplicity and organization. If she’s not working with her clients or blogging about clutter, she’s probably ripping out carpet or tearing down walls in their “new” 120-year-old farmhouse. You can follow Andrea on Facebook and on Twitter @LivingOrganized.