Small Steps to an Organized Home

organizing your home

The holidays are winding down, the calendar has flipped to a new year, and there is no better time to spend a few moments here and there organizing your home. Whenever I pack up the holiday decorations, I try to remember that I may be PCSing before they come out again, so I take a little extra care to ensure they are packed up just right. It’s always nice to have that fresh slate feel in the home.

I don’t know about you, but I live with little squirrels. They manage to tuck things into their rooms’ nooks and crannies. After Halloween, I did a toy organization in their rooms, and lo and behold, I found where all the candy wrappers and dead glow sticks were stashed. Bleh! I get the yearly itch to clean specific areas deep and organize other spots in my home right around the holidays.

Is anyone still Marie Kondoing their homes? I never got into that craze, but there are a few people I like to get organizing and cleaning tips from.

I read Allie Casazza’s book Declutter Like a Mother a few years ago and did her DLAM challenge that January. It was a good starting point to declutter my house and assess what we used and needed. I liked that the challenge took you room through a room or even part of a room at a time. For example, take 10 minutes to clean out and organize your nightstand. Making small changes like that produced significant differences over a month.

Kendra Adachi, author of The Lazy Genius and The Lazy Genius Kitchen, is another person who is not necessarily writing organizational content, but her “Lazy Genius” principles can integrate into the organization process. Her book The Lazy Genius Kitchen made me assess how my kitchen was working for me. I was holding on to a set of pots and pans that my husband gave me, but I did not like. I burned the food every time I cooked, creating a stressful dinnertime. Daily. I felt guilty for not wanting to keep them, and I held on to them for a long time before admitting that they were taking up valuable cabinet space and creating a lot of tension for me at mealtime. I finally talked with him and got myself some new pots and pans, which I love.

Many people jumped on the organization train with The Home Edit. More containers and rainbow bookshelves aren’t my styles, but that doesn’t matter because organizing is what works for you and your home. It can be challenging to fight the battles of sentimentality versus practicality, especially as military spouses who have to pick up many things every few years to move. What worked in one house may not work in the next.

Is it time for a declutter? Check out these tips.  

If your house needs a good scrub, and you are not following Sophie Hinchliffe (@mrshinchhome) or Sarah (@GoCleanCo), you are missing out! Not only are they entertaining, but their cleaning tips have changed how I clean my home.

Remember, it doesn’t all have to be done at once, but a new year is a great time to start decluttering, organizing, and cleaning your home for a fresh start.

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Ellen Kehs
Ellen Kehs was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois where she met and later married her high school sweetheart, Mason. Together they’ve traveled the world, most recently touching down in Florida in June 2022. She’s a mom to three little boys, Theodore (eleven), Woodrow (nine) and Maximus (six). Life is never boring with her boys! Ellen loves being a military spouse and she embodies the “bloom where you are planted” mentality. In addition to soaking up whatever current city she’s living in, she is passionate about reading and getting books in the hands of children, as well as helping other mamas connect with each other. She has a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education, a master’s degree in adolescent literacy and technology, and she teaches full-time online, in addition to being a stay-at-home mom. Her hobbies include, exploring, reading, swimming, napping, snapping pictures, playing games, baking, and loving on the little men in her life.


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