Ever wonder how a professional organizer organizes their home?
I have decided to let you take a look into my humble little home and share with you some of the strategies I use to keep my small spaces from becoming cluttered and disorganized. The first thing you will realize is that my home does not look like picture out of HGTV magazine. With my hubby being a full-time student, my family is on a tight budget which requires me to improvise and be extra creative. I kinda enjoy the challenge of using what I have or making something instead of going to the store and buying what I need. Second, I’m not perfect. As a recovering perfectionist, this is hard to admit but there is always room for improvement in my home (and in my life!). Lastly, I don’t claim to be an interior designer and, since having kids, I no longer try really hard to have the most chic interiors. Those are my disclaimers!
The main principles that I follow in my home are:
1) Everything has a home and is contained.
2) Try to label as much as possible.
3) Maintain- Take 5-10 min. each day to tidy up.
I have mentioned these principles in a previous post and they are the foundation of what I implement when I help my clients organize a space.
Here is my living room:
I tend to feel like less is more in most spaces in my home. I despise clutter and feel more at peace in a space that is generally clutter free with things in their designated place. When a space is well organized it brings about an inner calm that helps you to deal with the mental clutter we juggle every day.
There are three things I want to highlight in my living room. First, it’s pretty small so I only allow two large totes of toys on our first floor.
The rest are in the “toy library” in our unfinished basement. A toy library is where you only keep a small portion of toys out for free play and store the rest out of sight and reach. This keeps the toy clutter at a minimum but, most importantly, it helps kids actually play with their toys. When kids have too many toy choices, they struggle to play with any of them. It’s simply overwhelming. This way, they get to choose the toys they have out. Stored toys are often met with the same excitement as new toys. It’s pretty awesome! In our home, I switch toys out every 4-6 weeks. The rest of their toys stay in the “library”. If they request a specific toy, they have to return one of equal size to get the toy(s) of choice.
Second, I store many of our living room items in our coat closet.
I use the over the door shoe organizer to hold various things: Diapers, wipes, sunscreen for the boys, flash cards, and my workout stuff. In the winter, it’s full of the hats and gloves we use most frequently. The totes above store additional hats, gloves, scares, and blankets.
You will notice that I installed hooks for coats instead of hanging them on hangers. This is one strategy that I take full credit for and LOVE.
It sounds silly but it is so much faster and easier to hang something on a hook than on a hanger. I have a total of 7 double hooks up top and one double hook lower so the boys can hang up and retrieve their coats without assistance. My hubby is addicted to coats so there are a few too many in there for my liking but marriage is all about compromise!
On the floor I have a shelf to store a few books downstairs for the boys. The rest of their books are in their room. I also have my dumbbells and mat stored beside the shelf for easy access.
The last space I want to highlight is the TV area. This nook kinda drives me nuts because of all the cords to different gaming systems. I have yet to implement a strategy to make all the cords look neatly wrapped and in place. Frankly, I may never do anything about it because I don’t see my husband wanting to maintain something so nit picky. I will admit- it is nit picky of me!
To reduce the visual clutter of video games and DVD’s, we put an old check mark IKEA shelf behind the TV. I keep the video games in their cases because my hubby likes to play and then trade in games often. The kids DVD’s are stored in a small zippered storage case and all my workout related DVD are in a larger zippered storage case.
There you have it! Probably not as exciting as one would think, but hopefully I have given you a few ideas and strategies to help you de-clutter and organize your living spaces. I will share more pictures of my home in my next post.
What are you favorite living room organizing strategies? Do share!