This is the post where I officially give you permission to break the rules that don’t work for you and your family. There are a lot of things that “they” say you should do if you want to stay organized…organizing “rules.” A lot of those things are really good advice, but it’s more important to find what really works for YOU.
Here are three organizing rules that I regularly break:
Make everything super quick and easy to put away. When creating organizational systems, the rule is that you should make everything as quick and easy as possible to put away. There is definitely a lot of merit to that principle, and when it comes to things like toys that I expect my 19 month old to put away (or that we’re running around 5 times a day putting away), I definitely follow this rule.
However, I’ve found that what works for me and my personality is to create systems that look very neat and tidy even if it requires a bit more effort to maintain. I’ve found that once I have a system where everything has a clear home with a pretty label, I tend to keep it that way. However, even if it’s super easy to put away, but it doesn’t look super neat and tidy, I have a harder time staying motivated to stick with it.
For example, take a look at my linen closet organization. Those little bins do require a little extra effort to put things away, but this closet has stayed this organized since I first set it up 3 years ago!
Get rid of one item for each new thing your bring in. Again, I do think this is great advice in a lot of ways, but it’s not something I do regularly. It’s a lot of trouble to keep up with doing that, and I find that sometimes I like to have more of something than at other times. For example, when I worked a full time outside the home day job, I needed more outfits than I do now that I work from home. There may be a season of life again where I need more than I have now, so I don’t necessarily want to remove one thing for every new item. Instead, I prefer to just declutter regularly. Anytime I’m in my closet and notice something that I don’t love anymore, I toss it in the donate pile. Every so often, I go through everything more carefully and choose things to get rid of.
Don’t try to organize a space or spaces all at once. Take it a little at a time. Now, I really do think this is fantastic advice, and I do this a lot. I try to spend a few minutes every day cleaning up so I don’t have to do too much in any given day. For my spring cleaning this year, I’m trying to do just a few minutes a day. However, I think marathon cleaning and organizing sessions get a bad rap that they just don’t deserve. I LOVE dedicating a few focused hours to organizing. By doing that I get on a roll, it’s more efficient, and I see progress a lot faster. So I prefer a hybrid approach. For some things I do a little most days, and for others, I like to dive in and just get it done!
For example, my little boy is due in LESS THAN 3 months, and his nursery still looks like this:
It’s going to stay that way for a little while. Instead of working on it a little a time, I plan to get it all set up in one weekend next month.
So what do you think? Are these 3 “rules” of organizing that you keep or do you break them too? What works best for you and your family?
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