Start 2019 as you mean to go on: clutter-free and in control. Even easier if you follow our step-by-step guide!
How many times have you kicked off the year determined to whip your home into shape, only to find things sliding back to normal by February? We hear you. Living an organized life can feel like a lofty goal, but it’s 100% achievable with the right system in place. The key is to identify your organizing style and build a system around it. Break it down into manageable goals. Rather than ‘I want to organize my house’, which feels vague and unwieldy, switch it to: ‘I will create a system that makes my pantry work’. Or ‘I will create the space my entryway needs to function’. Take it a room at a time. Make it specific. Give yourself a fighting chance to stick to the system. Read on to discover the five resolutions that will overhaul any space, and transform it for good. Let’s do this!
I vow to….create space
Skip this step at your peril. Take one room at a time and make a ruthless choice to trash/donate/consign all the things you don't need. Some people advise starting small with an easy-to-tackle spot in your room. We say: go big or go home. Nothing will give you a greater sense of achievement than overhauling your most lived-in area. Once you’ve nailed the kitchen - or playroom, or whichever space makes you scream - the rest of the house will seem like small fry. Don’t believe us? Fun fact: look at the photograph above. Our client was struggling to part with her excess clothes, so we pulled out a third of her closet and photographed what was left. She was blown away by how much better her closet looked. Not only was there space for her clothes to breathe, it was much easier to create outfits because everything was visible. She vowed to adopt the ‘one in one out’ rule and remove one item from her wardrobe any time she was adding to it. Remember, sometimes you need a visual kickstart. Also remember: space is your friend.
I vow to…transform my entryway
There’s a reason we spend time getting clients’ entry points right. The way you enter your home sets the tone for the rest of the house. If your entryway is a car-crash of coats, shoes, bags and other paraphernalia, then shoot this zone to the top of your to-do list. Design a drop zone that works for you. Short on space? Your system could be as simple as a standalone coat rack or hooks behind a door. Got drawers? Invest in some dividers. Finally, adopt our ‘60-second rule’. When you arrive home, spend 60 seconds putting things in their place. Not only does it clear your head but it makes it easier to leave the house, too.
I vow to…make the effort
Yes, we’ll share our decluttering secrets, cheerlead the hell out of you, and help you design a system that works. But maintaining your system? That’s up to you. Be honest with yourself. If you truly want a home that works hard - a home that looks and feel great - then repeat after us: I will make the effort. There are no shortcuts. Once the system is in place, STICK TO IT. Did you know that 80% of cleaning is picking stuff up and putting it away? Utter madness. Tidy a room before you leave it. Return items to their place. Don’t leave a mess to fester. Get into the habit of doing it as you go along. Trust us, the pay-off is worth it.
I vow to…live smart
Organizing your home shouldn’t break the bank. Tweak your mindset with these steps…
I will use what I have. Finish the last inch of toothpaste, the last drops of olive oil, the last roll of kitchen paper. Don’t buy multiples of things. You’ll waste less, consume less, and bring less clutter into your home.
I will adopt the one-in-one-out rule. Make a pact with yourself to donate/consign an item each time you buy something new. This will be EXCRUCIATING in the beginning. But once the habit is formed, you’ll wonder what took you so long. Keep a container handy in each zone for items to purge. Then do it (this is very important).
I will Shop My Home. Anything can be used to contain your things. At HAVEN we love to think outside the (storage) box. We’ve used everything from vintage hampers to upcycled shoe boxes. Look for things that can be repurposed. Take the bar cart in the photo above. With a few simple tweaks we transformed it into bathroom storage. We used a cake stand to corral beauty products, acrylic magazine holders for hair tools, and an old cookie jar for nail polish. It doesn’t have to be expensive to work.
I vow to…make it pretty
One of our best-kept secrets? We make a visual statement with the way we organize. We color-code. We use stylish storage. We go the extra mile. Why? There are real psychological benefits to maintaining this kind of visual order. Dr. Sally Augustin, PhD, an environmental psychologist says it’s possible that an organized and visually stimulating space can make its owner feel calmer and less stressed. She says: “Bring the complexity in your refrigerator down to a moderate level, and when you open the door, you would have a positive response.” That positive response means you’re more likely to keep it that way. Amen to that!
Haven’s 2019 toolkit
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Corrie & Jennifer