Hey Mama. I’m about to keep it all the way real with you. When I first started seeing the Marie Kondo craze also known as the KonMari Method, it drove me nuts. I mean, I’m all for being organized, but that level of “get your sh*t together is beyond me, with four kids, a husband, and a chaotic schedule.
I have to admit, I haven’t watched her Netflix special, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, but I’ve seen the photos and read all the hoopla and I’m taking a hard pass.
I promise I’m not a hater. I think it’s great for people who can pull it off, but my experience with massive home organization projects have never been that good.
Here’s what usually happens:
- I start off fired up and determined.
- I pull everything out and start sorting and throwing stuff away.
- I take a break. Feed a kid. Maybe break up a fight between my teen and tween.
- I look at the pile and realized it’s going to take more time and work than I originally planned.
- I take another break.
- My enthusiasm is fading.
- I move whatever is left of the pile to my office, where no one will see it.
I always have the best intentions, and I’m sure you do too, but it’s tough to get it done and maintain it.
On the rare occasion where I actually finish the job, I find it hard to maintain. We start falling back into our old patterns, and I honestly just don’t have the time or patience to spend every day that way. Especially with a bunch of kids, who either can put things back where they find them, but don’t — or are too young to fully grasp it.
What Can You Do
We I’m not suggesting that you keep your house a complete wreck, but it’s okay to save yourself from the headache and pressure of trying to make it look like and episode of your favorite HGTV show.
There are a ton of things you can do to keep your home tidyish, but here are three tips to get you started.
1. “Everything” Bins
It goes without saying that storage is key, and whether you have a big house or a tiny apartment, chances are that you don’t feel like you have enough.
I’m home with a toddler and an infant everyday, so I’m constantly stepping over toys and books in my living room and office.
I like to use storage containers strategically placed in those rooms, where I can dump my kids stuff, and tidy up quickly. After dinner or anytime we’re expecting visitors, I gather all the toys strewn across the house, and I drop them in a bin. It takes less than 15 minutes per room, and when my toddler is in a good mood, I can usually get him to play “Hide-A-Toy”.
I like to pick storage solutions that are inconspicuous in rooms accessible to visitors, but I have clear storage totes in my closet, because it’s my personal space.
For your own “everything” box, you can use plastic storage bins, decorative trunks, or baskets to stash your junk. There are tons of options in every price range, but here are a few of my favorite.
2. Get a Robot
No, seriously, get a robot…or an iRobot. The Roomba by iRobot is the greatest invention on earth.
I can’t adequately express in words, how much the Roomba has changed my life, but I’ll try.
I hate dirty floors. That’s a pretty common thing to hate, right?
Between a dog and my kids, and sometimes my husband, I used to freak out daily about the piles of crumbs that were left behind when someone misses their mouth, or flat out ignores the schmutz they drop on the floor. I’d vacuum everyday.
Not because I like to clean, because any lie detector would confirm that that’s a lie. I hate cleaning. But I hate crumbs being tracked all over my house more. Before Ruby (that’s what we named our Roomba), I’d have to sweep, then vacuum (I also hate brooms…they just seem so unsanitary, and never pick up every single crumb) several times a day….EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Now, I schedule Ruby to vacuum during the day, and when everyone goes to bed at night.
She’s amazing and she picks up everything.
3. Schedule a Dump Day
If I was a betting girl, I’d bet that you have a junk drawer somewhere in your kitchen. It’s probably filled with old ketchup packets, last year’s school lunch menus, miscellaneous batteries, and pens from a strange bank in a different city.
Am I right?
Don’t answer that.
If that sounds like you, you need to hear this: Get rid of it. All of it.
I have a policy that everything in the junk drawer gets tossed on the first of every month. To take it a step further, I keep a large laundry basket in every bedroom or closet, that we fill with stuff we can’t fit or don’t wear anymore, and on the first Saturday of the month, we sort and get rid of it — by donating and selling what we can.
Simple enough, right?!
My house isn’t pristine and often looks like we have four kids, because we do. Sometimes it’s messy, and I’m okay with that, but I also like to have some order to the chaos, and I’ve created a system that gives my family that.
This isn’t the answer to all your problems, but it’s a realistic place to start. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do it all at once. It’s okay if your pantry isn’t organized alphabetically.
Kudos to you if you can KonMari your house, and feel free to come do mine, but don’t feel bad if that’s not your thing. There are plenty of us regular girls out here just like you.