Does it have a Place and/or a Purpose?

The following post is not sponsored. This is a personal blog and I am simply sharing a few things I love as a mama. 

Does anyone else get overwhelmed when the New Year rolls around? I mean hello, all the stuff? Those of you who have multiple people living in your home you get what I mean. All the new toys that were so thoughtfully given combined with all the little people who do not know how to put things away is a recipe for chaos. Not a good combo.

The truth is STUFF is a burden. Yes, I said it because I believe it. Scripture warns us against stuff (Matt. 6:19-21). The truth is all the stuff steals our affection and attention. As a mama of three I do not have time to be cleaning up toy after toy after toy. I do not have time to dig around for this and that under piles of STUFF. I just don’t. Not to mention I just feel crazy when my house is crazy. Anyone else?

Currently I am reading “A Simplified Life” by Emily Ley and I am screaming YES at the end of each page. She starts the book off by helping you DECLUTTER! I love this process. I love throwing things away and I love getting rid of stuff.

Strange? Maybe!

I do not like a house full of stuff that does not have a purpose and a place.

This past year we moved into a home with very little storage space and felt smaller than our last home. We live in an older home that is a work in progress. We love it and are slowly making it our own. The lack of storage space has caused me to get even more organized.  

As I organize and put things away I always ask myself, “Does this object have a place and/or purpose?” If it is not yes to one or both of those it gets put in the garage sale box (yes I have a box 24/7 that lives in my garage for the next sale.) I do a toy sweep every few months and get rid of things the kids don’t play with. I also have a rule with my kids that if a toy breaks it gets put in the dumpster. We DO NOT keep broken toys. This rule has also helped my kids take better care of the toys they really love.

I am going to show case a few areas of our home that I typically work hard at keeping organized.

The Pantry

We have one little pantry in our kitchen. I have a little store room in the basement that holds extra toilet paper and extra cans of beans but the majority of our food items are in one tiny little pantry. Oxo containers are some of my favorite! I buy mine at HomeGoods or Marshalls when they are discounted. They hold up so well and get rid of all those extra boxes. We have a place for snacks that are easy to grab and go for the kids.  You can see here some reusable containers I put labels on. I simply washed lunchmeat containers and repurposed them for the pantry! Didn’t spend anything extra. A great way to be resourceful!  

The Playroom

We have a basic place for books that is hung a little high so the kids can’t just yank them down all the time. Our little cubbies are where the toys they play with daily live. We have a couple other bins of toys tucked away in a closet that they have to ask to play with. This helps me monitor how many toys are on the floor. I do not give them a new box of toys unless the playroom is totally cleaned.  This also helps with toy rotation. It is fun to get a box down they have not played with for a while because the toys feel “new”. We have not been doing this long but I wish I had this method from the start.

Hall Closet

We only have one hall closet with shelves. I store our linens, medicines and extra bathroom essentials all in the hall closet. I wish I had taken a before picture to show you how terrible this closet was. Once I organized it, labeled everything there ended up being plenty of room to store. One of the biggest changes was the bed sheets. I folded everything and then placed the set inside one of the pillowcases. You’ve probably seen this on Pinterest. It made a huge difference. Now when I need to change a bed, everything I need is right there in the pillowcase and I can quickly grab and go. No more digging for matching sets! You can also see here the toy bins I was talking about. They are labeled and live at the bottom of this little hall closet. 

Art Caddy

I love this little caddy from IKEA. The wheels are good and sturdy and this takes up such little space. It lives in our small closet where we store winter jackets, the broom and vacuum. All the basic art supplies live here. I love this cart! We can roll it into the kitchen when we are using it and then roll it right back into the closet so the baby doesn’t eat all the crayons!

These are just a few ways I have organized pieces of our home that have helped me. Now, when I find a random crayon I know where it goes because it has a specific place. When someone needs a band-aid, I know where to get one really fast. Organizing makes my life simpler and less chaotic.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times our house looks like a bomb went off. But the difference now is that it takes less time to get things back in order when everything has a place.

Chances are if it doesn’t have a place and it is not daily used, you probably don’t need it. There is so much freedom in getting rid of the junk. Just do it. Fill up that box and drop it off. You really won’t miss it, I promise. 

AJ