How to Successfully Complete Your Next Home Project

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by a home improvement project not knowing where to start, the steps to take, or even having a realistic timeframe for actually completing the project? I hear from readers all the time, that just don’t know where to begin.  I’m going to share a project planning tool with you that will put an end to this overwhelm and help you easily tackle your next home project.

Have a Successful Project

For over 15 years, I’ve used project management tools to help me get my professional work done on time and within budget.  As a homeowner, wife, and mom I’ve found these same tools are necessary in my personal life too if I want to successfully complete my home projects.  This FREE Home Project Planner can help with a DIY project, Home Improvement initiative, planning a move, or even trying to delclutter your entire home.

Home Renovation Project Success

My first home was a fixer upper.  We had a long list of projects including replacing all of the electrical outlets, painting every wall, installing new flooring and crown molding.  It was a floor to ceiling job.

The goal, get it all done within a month and for about $15,000.  This required a lot of late nights, a few contractors, and a ton of sweat equity.

My role was to serve as the general contractor.   Materials needed to be ordered, activities needed to be sequenced properly, and costs had to be tracked and managed.  The approach I’m going to share with you helped us achieve our goals and save our sanity!

Woman thinking bout her next home improvement project. Working on a project plan to reduce overwhelm and actually complete the project. Woman sitting at a desk with a smile on her face with text how to successfully complet Your Next Home Project with free printable.

What is a Project Planner

In its most basic form, a Project Planner is a tool for creating a step by step plan to accomplish a goal.  It helps you to take a big project and break it down into manageable activities.  In advance, you consider the timing of each step…how long it will take and how much it will cost.  You can also think about if you need outside help for the work or if you can do it yourself.

This approach is magical for DIY projects, moving homes, home renovation, or even trying to declutter your entire house.

Project Management Reduces Overwhelm

So, think about it, you feel overwhelmed because you’re moving and you need to pack…you don’t even know where to start.   It just feels like a dark cloud over your head.  You’re anxious because you don’t know how much time it will take or how far in advance of your move date you should begin packing.

Get Clarity on Your Home Project

By following a project management process, you take the guesswork out of the move.  Think of it like bringing a camera lens into focus.  The associated activities become less fuzzy (ambiguous and overwhelming) and much clearer.  You can actually see with clarity what you’re looking at and the overwhelm goes away.

In truth, much of our overwhelm is there because we feel like we’re facing some giant thing we can’t do.  When you pause to break down the steps one piece at a time, the project feels much more doable.

Quote when eating an elephant take one bite at a time

 

6 Things to include in your Home Project Plan

1) Project Objective

Either the name of the project or what you’re trying to accomplish.    This is important if you have several projects going on at the same time or if you want to look back at a project you did in the past so that you can recall the steps.

2) Action Steps

This is a list of the smaller steps you need to do in order to complete the project.  Check out this example:

Preparing for a move:

  1. Declutter home and get rid of things you don’t want to take with you
  2. Buy packing materials (boxes, tape, bubble wrap)
  3. Create labels for boxes
  4. Pack*
  5. Schedule movers or secure moving van
  6. Moving day

*Note, you need to determine how detailed you want your action steps.  Something like “Pack” may be too broad, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by ambiguity.  I find that breaking things down into smaller parts gives me more peace of mind.  So, instead of “Pack” – I would have something more detailed like:

  1. Pack Master bedroom
  2. Pack Kids bedrooms
  3. Pack Kitchen, Etc.

Woman holding boxes and smiling after decluttering and preparing for a move.

3) Start & End Dates

Next, you want to assign a timeline to each activity.  You’ll need to consider how many hours the step will require and what your schedule permits.  For example, if you are decluttering your home you might have these action steps.

  1. Set up bins for Keep, Donate, Sell, Discard.
  2. Declutter Master bedroom closet
  3. Declutter Basement storage area
  4. Take things to the donation center
  5. Sell items on Facebook, Etc.

You’d estimate that the first step would take less than an hour and you could start and finish it on the same day, so you’d assign the same start and end date.  Decluttering your Master bedroom closet however, is a much bigger task.  You know that you have boxes in there of old maternity clothes, suits you used to wear to work when you were a smaller size, and vacation wear that you haven’t worn in 8 years. 

So, at this point, you’d estimate that your closet is a 4-5 hour job.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I dedicate the specified amount of time in one day?
  • If I can’t, how much time can I dedicate each day I work on it?
  • Do I have that specified amount of time available in consecutive days, or is my schedule already filled and I’ll need to spread the work over a time period?

Your thought process might go something like this. 

“Let’s see, I need 4-5 hours for this project.  I can’t do that all at once, but I can work on it for 2-3 hours at a time.  I usually have a 2-3 hour window on Sunday afternoons.  I’ll block Sunday to Sunday to accomplish this step in my project.”

4) Necessary Resources

The next thing to consider is who owns the job.  Often in home DIY projects, you are the owner, but a project plan may involve a spouse or one of your kids.  Also, sometimes you need expert help, so the action step may involve a contractor. 

5) Cost  / Budget

Last but not least, you’ll want to consider if the action step will cost money.  I find this especially important in Home Renovations or DIY projects.

Example Home Project Planner with an arrow to the Budget Section FREE Home Project Planner

6) Status

If you have a really big project, like repairing your home after a flood, it’s helpful to have a column where you indicate the status of the action item.  Common terms used to define the status include:

  • Not Started
  • In Progress
  • Delayed
  • Complete

I find this information isn’t as important on smaller projects that have 10 action steps are less. In the example Home Project Planner above, the check box next to each action step is a simplified version of a status tracker.

Don’t Slip Into Old Habits

Recently, I was working on a project and I was feeling uneasy about it.  I had this nagging feeling that it was too big and I didn’t have enough time to complete it in my desired timeframe.  I was starting to feel stressed.  So, I reminded myself to write out the steps.  Almost immediately the overwhelm lifted.  I could visually see that the project was totally realistic for the time I had to give to it.

As someone who is very organized, I can slip into the habit of just relying on my memory and not writing each step down.  The challenge with this approach is that it’s hard to share the work with anyone else e.g. my husband.  And, it’s easy to slip into overwhelm.  I find that by writing down each step, I’m reminded of what I’ve already accomplished (which is highly motivating to me).  I can also see how much is left before the project is complete.  It helps keep my emotions in check and gives me a dose of reality.

Example Home Projects that would benefit from a Project Plan

Here are a few examples of home projects that could benefit from a Project Plan:

  • House Renovation
  • Landscaping Project
  • DIY Projects
  • Decluttering your Entire Home
  • Packing for a Move

If you’re ready to get started, but feel overwhelmed, then a Project Planner is a tool for you.  Maybe you’re great at getting started, but stall before you finish, a project planner will benefit you too.  If you have a project in mind but are unclear on how long it will take or how much it will cost, a Project Planner will help de-mistify the numbers.

Don’t let your next home improvement project, DIY endeavor, decluttering effort, or move to feel overwhelming or impossible.  If you want a successful project that you actually complete, then commit to using a project planner.  You can download my FREE Home Project Planner at the end of this post.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Reduce Clutter In Your Home

Often, despite your best efforts to declutter, your house gets out of control.  You’ve tried your best, but just don’t seem to keep up.  It’s time to look at the root problem and understand the source of clutter in your home.  And why, despite your decluttering efforts, the clutter problem persists.

For the fifth time today, you’ve shifted a pile of paper in your kitchen.  Earlier you dug through three piles in your bedroom to find the shirt you could have sworn you hung up yesterday.  The kid’s games are everywhere and you’ve had it!  The clutter is out of control! 

As a seasoned declutterer, you are puzzled by this recurring problem.  How does it get this way?  Read on to discover 5 sources of clutter.

Disguised Clutter

Clutter is disguised.  It rarely comes into our houses labeled as “clutter.”  It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and is usually loved…at the time.  Sometimes, it can take less than a week, for the disguise to come off while other times it can take months to years to realize it’s become clutter in your home. 

The Clutter Meltdown

Because clutter comes in disguised, we usually don’t realize there’s a problem until we have an “event.”  What do I mean by an event?  Here are a few examples:

  • You’re late for an important meeting because you couldn’t find…you name it, your shoes, your papers, the kid’s backpack.
  • Unexpected guests show up and you panic
  • You feel like you are constantly moving piles around the house, and you’ve had it!

These events, lead to high tension and frustration.  Once meltdown happens, your eyes are opened and the disguise has been removed from the once beloved items.

a pile of papers and books that has become clutter
Book mess

Sources of Clutter

In order for you to reduce clutter in your home, you have to slow down the rate things enter your home. The accumulation of too many things is the beginning of clutter.

Here are 5 primary ways disguised clutter makes theire way into your home.

Clutter Source #1 – Celebration Clutter

Every holiday or celebration is a pivotal point for the clutter level in your home.  I get it.  You love to give and receive gifts. You love seeing your kids and other family members excited about the perfect gift, which they will quickly forget about in about 10 days. 

Dealing with Celebration Clutter can be tough because you are not the sole source of it.  It can come from guests, friends, and well-meaning family members.  But there are alternatives.  Check them out below!

Clutter Free Solutions to Celebration Clutter

  • Encourage gift giving around an experience instead of stuff. g. Grandma takes the kids to the Science Museum and out to lunch for a date, or the whole family agrees to go on vacation instead of giving physical gifts.
  • Set a limit…no more than 5 gifts per child, or everyone chips in to buy one big gift.
  • Now, I love this one…a couple of my friends did it for their kids birthday parties this year and I thought it was brilliant!!! On their invitation, it said something like this,

“Please, no presents!  Your presence at the party is all Johnny needs.  If you really would like to bring something, he is saving up for a new tennis racket, so a maximum of $5 towards that is more than enough.”

Clutter Source #2 – Boredom Shopping

I am so guilty of this one and I know I’m not alone.  You feel trapped and just want to get out of the house.  You need something to break a monotonous pattern of the day to day…so, you go shopping.  And of course, you buy stuff.  Stuff you think you need, but in reality, you probably wouldn’t have bought it if you didn’t go boredom shopping.  Before you know it, this treasured item has become clutter in your home.

Clutter Free Solution to Boredom Shopping

  • Replace shopping with another satisfying activity. Go for a walk.  Grab a cup of coffee with a friend.  Get your nails done.  You’d probably spend less than you would have if you went shopping and you’re not bringing future clutter into your home that you’d ultimately have to declutter!

Clutter Source #3 – Auto-ship / Membership

We live in a subscription economy.  You get sucked in thinking, “I’ll save money”, “This will be more convenient.” “I need this!”  before you know it you have boxes of things you don’t need or have a surplus of. 

Amazon can fall into this category, especially if you’re on their subscription service.  Maybe you’ve joined the razor-club, where they send you a new razor to shave with every month or the Sock-a-month membership where you receive new cute, colorful socks every month.  Before long you either get too much or stop using the item all together and you’ve got a clutter accumulation problem.

Clutter Free Solution to Auto-ship / Memberships

  • Assess how much you’re really saving through the membership. If you receive 1 extra shipment (that you don’t need or use) what’s the cost.  Then do a calculation: Savings – Extra Item Cost = $.  In the end, are you really saving money?
  • If you’re going to do an Auto-shipping or subscription service, make sure it’s for things that you really need. For us, that’s things like paper towels, cat food, and diapers.  Consumable products that don’t stay around for long. 
  • If you can specify how frequently the items are sent, err on the side of a longer time frame vs. shorter. This reduces the chance of a stock pile.
  • Where possible, unsubscribe from memberships and auto-shop.  You’ll be happier in the long run by saving money on useless products, and saving time by not having to declutter!!!

Clutter Source #4 – Kids Crafts

The struggle is real folks!!! If you have young kids, you could have between 5-10 pieces of paper coming into your home from kid crafts.  If you’re sentimental or if your kid is, it could be very difficult to get rid of these items.  Also, if you don’t have a storage plan, then it will definitely go from a cute craft to clutter in your home.

Clutter Free Solution for Kids Crafts

  • Download an App like Artkive and take a picture of the craft to save for the future.
  • Each year, create a binder for your child to put flat paper crafts in. At the end of the year, store the binder in a plastic bin dedicated to the child’s sentimental items.
  • Agree with your child to a process for crafts. Here are a few examples of how this can be done.
    1. Appreciate the item when she brings it home, then throw it away. Harsh I know, but it does work for some families.
    2. Agree to keep the items for a week, then choose your favorite one and have a dedicated space to display it until the next week
    3. Have a gallery wall, with something like this from IKEA. It could have 5-7 places for kid’s crafts to be displayed.  Each time your child brings something home, decide if it should go on the display wall, if not, agree to chuck it!  This helps them learn to prioritize!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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#KidsDrawings displayed at #IKEA #Dignitet

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Clutter Source #5 – Emotional Shopping

Last but not least, there are psychological reasons things enter our home.  Just like emotional eating, you shop to feel a void.  You’re depressed.  You feel frumpy.  You just want to be happy, your house to look better, or your kids to behave.  Shopping is an emotional getaway and provides a momentary lift.

Clutter Free Solution to Emotional Shopping

  • Commit to not being an impulse buyer.
  • Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you really need the item. If you already have something like it.  If you’re buying it for the right reasons.
  • Reflect, try to understand the root of your Emotional Shopping. Is there a better solution to address the underlying feeling?

 

Love Your Home Again

If you’re tired of wasting time decluttering and want to end the clutter, then it’s time to consider the source!  From auto-ship to kid’s crafts, to emotional shopping, clutter is disguised when it comes into your home.  To see real results and lasting decluttering change, you’ll need to stop the influx of clutter.  Once you do, you’ll be less frustrated, gain time back, save money, and love your home again!

 

 

 

 

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Woman who loves her clutter free home after decluttering with text 5 ways to reduce clutter so that you love your home again.

Motivation to Declutter

Where To Begin When Overwhelmed & Paralyzed by a Messy House

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Common Decluttering Barriers and Solutions

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How To Deal With Decluttering Guilt

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5 Options for Getting Rid of Unwanted Stuff After Decluttering

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How to Get Motivated To Clean Your House When You're Overwhelmed

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5 Tips for How To Get Kids Decluttering

It’s time, you know it is.  You can feel it!  You are ready to get your house in order.  The piles of paper on the counter have to go.  The outgrown shoes in the mudroom need to leave.  The excessive amounts of toys, crafts, and trinkets in your kids’ rooms need to be decluttered.  This isn’t a job (or responsibility) just for you, it’s one to be shared.  How do you get your kids involved in decluttering?

How Can You Get Your Child To Declutter

Let’s face it, our kids are not exact carbon copies of us.  They think differently, can be more sentimental, and have different priorities. 

I am all about getting things I don’t use or love out of my house.  My daughter is all about keeping every little thing.  The tiny carved turtle from Mexico is special because her cousin gave it to her.  A star made of folded paper is important because she made it at camp. Finding Nemo Crocs that no longer fit her need to stay because “she loves them so much.”  She associates her stuff with memories of a time, place, or person.

Barriers & Solutions To Get Kids Decluttering

We all have barriers to decluttering, adults and kids alike.  If you want to get your kids on board with decluttering, figure out why it’s important to them.   Are they tired of moving stuff around their room?  Maybe they hate the feeling of their favorite t-shirt or beloved toy being “lost.”  Maybe they want to have to clean their room less often or spend less time cleaning it in general.  Identify what matters to them and explain how decluttering will help them achieve it.

Here are a few barriers that might hold your kid back from decluttering and the solutions to fix them!

Barrier Solution
Overwhelmed – child doesn’t know where or how to start
  • Partner with your child and figure it out together.
  • Break down the work into kid-friendly tasks e.g. identify 5 pair of shoes that no longer fit you, are worn out, or you don’t wear
Emotional Attachment – child is sentimental and wants to keep everything
  • Provide a dedicated container e.g. plastic bin for your child to store their keepsakes.  Once the container is filled, they will need to prioritize what to keep and what to discard.
Someday Syndrome – child wants to keep just in case they need it in the future
  • Ask your child questions like: When was the last time you used it? How frequently did you use it? What would happen if you didn’t have it? Is there something else you could use in its place or is it easily replaceable? Do you like it?
  • Give your child a deadline. If he doesn’t use the item by  X date, then it’s time to discard.

5 Tips To Get Kids Decluttering

Model the Process

One of the best ways to inspire your kids to keep a tidy space is to be an example to them. Model the process by discarding clothes you don’t wear, shoes you don’t use, or items that you no longer love or enjoy.

Talk to your kids about it as you are decluttering a space.

  • “Do you know why mom declutters?”
  • “Keeping our home tidy is important to me because…”
  • “I love the feeling after I’ve decluttered and organized a space because …” (I have more time, I can find things I need, I only have the things I really like in my space, etc.”

By talking it through with them, as you’re working on your space, you are able to teach and not preach!

Use the Container Method

I gave an example of this in the Solutions and Barriers section.  You provide a container e.g. a plastic bin, a basket, drawer, etc,  and communicate that when the container is full, it’s time to prioritize what to keep and what to discard.

This approach works with:

  • stuffed animals in a basket
  • clothing in drawers
  • boxed games in a cabinet or plastic bin
  • even school artwork that you file in a binder.

Number Game

Specify the number of one particular thing your child needs to get rid of.  For example, “Find 5 books we can get rid of today.”  This works great if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to a decluttering project or if you have a young child that needs to start with an easy task.

One Thing In One Thing Out

This is another easy way to involve your kids in decluttering.  It doesn’t take much time and helps keep stuff from accumulating in their rooms.  When they bring something new home, they need to identify something to get rid of. 

The other day, my daughter asked me if she could keep a stuffed animal from her grandmother’s house.  I said, “Sure, but you’ll need to get rid of one of the stuffed animals you already have.”

She thought about it and then decided to leave the new one at her grandmother’s for our next visit.  There were no arguments or drama, she was in control.  I just set the guideline.

One Final Decluttering Tip

One last way to encourage your children to get on the decluttering bandwagon is to talk about the benefits your things can be to another person.  Your kids may have an excess of some things e.g. clothing, toys, books, you name it.  There are other kids, that don’t have those types of things.  Share how this “toy” may just be sitting in his room, not being played with by him when it could be greatly enjoyed by another boy who doesn’t have many toys. 

Here are some other options of ways to get rid of unwanted stuff after decluttering.

Keeping Your Kid’s Toys, Crafts, and Stuff Organized

Often, decluttering and home organization goes hand in hand.  If you want your kids to keep their space decluttered and tidy, a few simple guidelines can help them.

  • Everything Has A Home – Make sure there’s a home for everything
Quote from Mrs. Beeton " A place for everything and everything in its place."
from 24 Home Organization and Decluttering Motivational Quotes

If their stuff doesn’t have a designated place like, books go in this cubby, socks in this drawer, trinkets in this box, then clutter will accumulate quickly.  By designating a home for each item in their bedroom or play area they have a better chance of keeping their room free of clutter.

  • Put It Back Rule – Encourage your kids not to set things down but to put them back where they belong. Reinforce this practice regularly. 
  • Build their Clean Up Muscle – Establish routines that train your kids to pick up after

Examples include:

  • taking their plate to the sink after a meal
  • putting up their toothbrush and toothpaste after brushing their teeth
  • picking up toys after they pulled them out

Build times into the schedule to have them put things back before moving onto the next activity.

Pin Me For Later!

Kid finished decluttering and has a box of things to donate. With text 5 tips for Getting Your Kids to Declutter

Decluttering doesn’t need to be something you do by yourself.  You can train your kids to be part of the process.  As the saying goes, “many hands make light work.”  Kids may be more sentimental than you and have a hard time letting go.  Use containers and break tasks down to smaller more manageable pieces to help them not get overwhelmed.  Get your kids on board and in the routine of decluttering to save time, end the struggles of trying to find things, and keep your home tidier.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to School Organization Hacks

Back to school is a busy time of year. You may have mixed emotions about your kids starting school. On one hand, you can’t wait for life to return to “normal” and are excited to get the kids out of the house. But the one thousand things to do is overwhelming. It can be a complete shock to the system! These back to school organization hacks will help you have an easy transition for you and your family.
 
young child getting on a bus to head back to school with text Back To School Organization Hacks that'll save your sanity
 
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School Supplies and Easy Stuff

These first few items are easier to do than things like implementing a new system or routine for your family.  If you enjoy shopping, you may even find these steps fun.

New School Clothes

Determine what new outfits your child needs for school. 

Uniforms

Do you need to purchase new uniforms or will they have one that’s passed down from a sibling?  Tip: if you need to buy uniforms, there are many schools that have a second-hand shop where you can buy gently used uniforms.

School Specified Clothing

Does the school specify any additional sets of clothing that will remain in the school?  For example, in Canada, people wear different shoes indoors than they do outside.  My daughter’s school specifies that she has a pair of “indoor shoes” she keeps at the school.  Check your school’s website or manual for their specifics!

New Outfits

If your child doesn’t wear a uniform, how many and what type of clothing items does he or she need.  Review their current wardrobe.  Do their clothes fit?  Are there holes in the knees or elsewhere?  Do their clothes meet the school’s standards?  Many schools have regulations about how much shoulder needs to be covered or the length of shorts or skirts. 

Once you’ve reviewed your child’s existing wardrobe and their school’s specific guidelines, now it’s time to make a list of what you need to purchase BEFORE you go shopping. 

Involving Kids

If your child is like mine, she may have STRONG OPINIONS about what she wears. EVERY piece of clothing you buy may have to have a unicorn on it!!!! (sigh) Decide if you’re going to take your kid shopping with you. If you have several school-age children, consider making it a one on one date (if you can swing it!).
 
One last thing, some states, and stores offer tax-free back-to-school shopping weekends. If you want to save some money, look into your area to find the big sales and if there are any tax-free days.

Mom holding child's hand taking him to the first day of school

School Supplies

Next on the list is school supplies.  Many schools make this easy for you and they pre-package the supplies you need by grade.  You can purchase your child’s supplies through the school with one simple transaction. 

The majority of schools provide a detailed list of what each grade needs.  Target, Walmart, Staples are great places to purchase school supplies but don’t forget to check out online options like Amazon as well. You may be able to save more money than the brick and mortar options.


 

Other Optional Supplies

Labels

One option we love is the custom labels for all of your child’s gear.  They are machine washable and dishwasher safe.  You can pick out designs that reflect your kid’s interests.  They come big and small for clothes, lunch boxes, shoes, backpacks…you name it!

First Day Picture Poster

It’s always fun to do the first day and last day of school pics.  I love the posters that you can write on with an erasable chalk marker.  They are a fun way to remind yourself later about your child’s interest, age, height, school, etc.

Spare Supplies

Now for one last tip about school gear – including clothes and supplies.  Have spares!  It’s nice to make a go-to-bag in your car.  You can include things like extra socks, water bottles, hoodie, etc.  You may also want to create a schools supply stash at home for those late-night school projects that you learn about at the dinner table!

Back to school back packs filled with school supplies.

Organization Ideas

Let’s turn our focus now to things that can make a real difference in taming the morning chaos.  I’m a big believer in having systems in place to make life easier.  Here are a few helpful organization ideas to make your school mornings easy.

Lunchbox prep station

If you’re making lunches every day,  a dedicated space for your lunch supplies is helpful.  Prepackaged food like raisins, apple sauce, or goldfish place in a designated snack bin in the pantry or cabinet.  For refrigerated items like string cheese or a yogurt drink, dedicate an acrylic bin in your refrigerator.    Consider washing and prepping fresh fruit and vegetables on the weekend and then dividing into smaller containers so that you can quickly throw one into the lunch box.

Mudroom

Get the mudroom ready to quickly and easily make your morning exit.  A mudroom is always a chaotic place for us…especially when the seasons change.  We’ll have winter boots littering the floor when it’s starting to warm up and then flip flops taking over when Fall is around the corner.  Before school starts, get your Mudroom in order. 

  • Remove any items that are not appropriate for the season e.g. summer pool floats.
  • Eliminate shoes, coats, hats, or gloves that no longer fit.
  • Clean out any cubbies, shoe racks, or baskets. There’s a good chance they’ve collected dust and debris from the previous season.
  • Designate a space for each child to keep their gear e.g. backpack, jacket, outdoor shoes.
  • Remove duplicates – in the spirit of decluttering, if you have multiple backpacks or lunch bags for one kid, choose just one to keep in this busy space.

Closets

Similar to the mudroom, it’s also helpful to clean out the kid’s closets.  Remove any items they’ve outgrown, worn out, or don’t wear including clothing, shoes, socks, belts, even play clothes like costumes.  You may want to get a hanging divider to plan out your child’s clothes for the week ahead.  This will help with no-fuss mornings!

Command Center

With the start of school and extracurricular activities, there is always a lot of moving parts.  A command center is a helpful area to keep your family on the same page. 

  • Monthly Calendar – Include a family monthly calendar for all to see. It also helps to use an online solution like Cozi or iCloud where family members can see each other’s schedules and family commitments on their smartphone or tablet.  If you want to go high-tech, try to tet your family in sync with an online calendar like Cozi or iCloud.
  • Meal Plan Chalk Board – Designate an area to write your weekly meal plan. A chalkboard can be attractive, but you can also have a place to pin a sheet of paper with your meal plan.
  • Basket – Create an area for family members to set their keys or sunglasses
  • File – Designate a place for papers that need to be signed
  • School Binder – Some schools do this for their students, but if yours doesn’t this is a good option for keeping their craft projects. Create a binder for each child.  When your kid brings home a new piece of art that you want to save, file it away in chronological order in the binder. By the end of the year, you’ll have everything neatly saved in one pile.

Routines

Last but not least, make sure your family has strong morning and evening routines.  Start in late summer to reacclimate your kids to the routine, getting them to bed on time, waking up earlier than you did in the summer.

Have them take on as much of the responsibility for getting ready as possible.  Grab a copy of my morning routine chart to help your kids remember each step.

Back to school can be a stressful time, but planning and organization will help your family make a smoothe transition.  Planning what supplies and clothes you need to buy will help you save money and stay within budget.  Organizing key places in your home will reduce morning chaos.  Establishing morning and evening routines will help each person to do their part and minimize and chance for confusion and frustration.  Make this year a great year!

24 Home Organization & Decluttering Motivational Quotes

Need a little inspiration to start or finish tidying up?  Find out what Marie Kondo, Martha Stewart, and Benjamin Franklin have to say.  Check out these home organizing and decluttering quotes!  They will motivate you to conquer your clutter!

24 Home Organizing quotes that will inspire you, with pictures of pinnable images
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Quotes about the Benefits of Home Organization & Decluttering

Before you get started, think about what you’ll gain from all of your hard work!

Imagine yourself living in a space that only contains things that spark joy. - Marie Kondo

Imagine yourself living in a space that only contains things that spark joy. – Marie Kondo

Good order is the foundation of all things. - Edmund Burke

Good order is the foundation of all things. – Edmund Burke

Outer order contributes to inner calm. - Gretchen Rubin

Outer order contributes to inner calm. – Gretchen Rubin

For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned. - Benjamin Franklin

For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned. – Benjamin Franklin

 A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming. - Marie Kondo

A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life transforming. – Marie Kondo

Life is too complicated not to be orderly. - Martha Stewart

Life is too complicated not to be orderly. – Martha Stewart

Happiness is a place between too little and too much. - Finnish Proverb

Happiness is a place between too little and too much. – Finnish Proverb

Quotes about Clutter

Is clutter part of the problem?

The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don't. - Joshua Becker

The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t. – Joshua Becker

Later is the best friend of clutter. - Peter Walsh

Later is the best friend of clutter. – Peter Walsh

If you have debt I'm willing to bet that general clutter is a problem for you too. Suze Orman

If you have debt I’m willing to bet that general clutter is a problem for you too. Suze Orman

Quotes About Tips for Organizing

Keep these things in mind on your home organization and decluttering journey!

A place for everything and everything in its place.  - Mrs. Beeton

A place for everything and everything in its place.  – Mrs. Beeton

Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity ~ Albert Einstein …. Out of clutter find simplicity. – Albert Einstein

Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity ~ Albert Einstein …. Out of clutter find simplicity. – Albert Einstein

Strive for progress not perfection. - Unknown

Strive for progress not perfection. – Unknown

Organizing is a journey, not a destination.  - unknown

Organizing is a journey, not a destination.  – unknown

Owning less is better than organizing more. - Joshua Becker

Owning less is better than organizing more. – Joshua Becker

Worker smarter not harder

Worker smarter not harder

Quotes about Getting Started with Home Organization & Decluttering

Now it’s time to get started, what’s holding you back!  Thisequotes will help with motivation!

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. - Walt Disney

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. - Eleanor Roosevelt

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. – Eleanor Roosevelt

The scariest moment is always just before you start.  - Stephen King

The scariest moment is always just before you start.  – Stephen King

The best way to get something done is to begin. - Anonymous

The best way to get something done is to begin. – Anonymous

A little progress each day leads to big results.  - Unknown

A little progress each day leads to big results.  – Unknown

A year from now you may wish you had started today. - Karen Lamb

A year from now you may wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs -Henry Ford

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs -Henry Ford

Final Thoughts

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  - Leonardo DaVinci

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  – Leonardo DaVinci

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