I don’t know about you but my Instagram feed has been full of content about purging, cleaning, simplifying and organizing. There’s just something about letting go of all the old and starting new that really get’s people excited!
I am a natural organizer, I mean, I am a teacher by day so organizing is kind of in my blood. However, even the best of the organizers can glean insight from the professionals. I am so excited to get to share with you some of the information Laura from I Heart Bins shared with me to help you in your new year purge!
Laura is a local KC gal, passionate about organizing AND doing it with style. She’s got a great eye for a clean, simple look and offers her services for home organization AND she’s got an Etsy shop (linked here) for adorable labels to help you organize in style!
I’ve compiled her advice and insight into a few main points to help keep it simple and easy for you.
Start With Paper
So maybe you’re not the natural organizer, or you just aren’t really sure where to get started. Laura says to start with paper. “It’s the one thing that continues to grow daily in every home with mail, school papers, reminders, etc.” She suggests using a laundry basket to round up ALL of the paper in your home and sort it into three piles.
Toss – Throw it away immediately
Keep – This applies to kids school papers too! Make the kids take ownership for storing papers they want to keep by creating a spot for them to store them in their room or tucked away. Then when the space gets full, its time to decide what to keep and what goes! (I personally love this idea because it gives kids the opportunity to learn how to make decisions about clutter.)
Action – Items that need to be returned to school or need your attention
“Be ruthless,” she states. If you can find or access the document digitally then ditch the paper copy.
Keeping track of the school papers can be an entire chore in and of itself, but Laura suggested a streamlined system that we actually already do in our home.
She says a command center is essential in dealing with paper that comes home with the kids. Designate a spot for everything to go (Think: toss, keep, action) and get the kids in the habit of emptying backpacks right when they come in. Hang the backpacks on hooks and keep the hooks close to the command center so that it’s quick and easy to get papers that need to go back to school, back in the backpacks when they need to be.
Create Play “Zones” for Toys
Like many parents after Christmas, you’re probably feeling a bit frustrated with the amount of toys overflowing the toy bin. And it totally can be, especially when you feel like the kids don’t ever play with the toys that fall to the bottom of the bin.
So here’s what Laura says about toys, ” For me it’s not so much what I put toys in but how I store them. Create play ‘zones’ by grouping like items together in one location. For example, store play food and utensils with the kitchen set, baby dolls with accessories, and Barbies with the house (can you tell I have girls??”
In our house, we group the Hot Wheels cars, legos, and little people all grouped together.
Grouping these things together will allow you to contain the mess a bit. It will also provide for clean up to move quickly because everyone will know where the toys go.
“Have you ever noticed how kids are drawn to the nice and tidy playroom? It’s like the toys are new again. They can see what they have and their little creative minds start going,” she says.
Organize in Style
Creating visually pleasing storage is just as important as having a system. Laura says, “mismatched colors and styles can create visual clutter which makes a space feel messy, even if it’s organized and put away.” She also adds, “If it looks aesthetically pleasing, you’ll be much more likely to maintain it.” I couldn’t agree more. This does not mean you have to spend lots of money on nice bins/tubs. There are many affordable, stylish options!
Walmart has several options of baskets, bins, and tubs for storage under $20.
Like this herringbone basket from Walmart that comes in different sizes.
Or this sleek, clear bin from Walmart. This is actually from a line that is for bathroom storage but these can be used anywhere!
You can even find options at your local Dollar Tree, and of course Amazon has a wide selection of organizational options as well.
Organizing has become a key part of home decor, so it isn’t just hidden away in cabinets and closets. It’s more about simplifying and minimizing your space so that the items you do own have more importance and use and therefore can be stored out in the open.
Once you get your home organized, how do you keep it that way? Especially if you’re not an organizer by nature. Well, Laura says that, “organization requires daily maintenance and periodic updates.” She adds that you should adopt the mindset that you are creating new habits rather than just rearranging your home. Commit yourself to working on organizing your home for the month of January and you will, “not only cut the clutter but the stress that goes along with it.”H
It feels GOOD to get organized and stay organized. If you just still need help, hire a professional! Laura offers in home consultations and DIY organization consultations for clients outside of the Kansas City area.
Happy Organizing, friends!