Why ringing in the new year with a clean and organized home could make a whole lot of difference
When you have a family as big as mine, a constant accumulation of stuff is inevitable. I used to be on top of all the clutter when my kids were younger, but the older they got, I learned to choose my battles — aka close my eyes and look away. How’s that working out for me? It’s not!
Why I’m ready to declutter
I don’t know about you guys, but after everything that has happened this 2020, I am so ready to welcome 2021 not just with open arms, but with an open mind, an open heart, and an open space — that means declutter and make space for more blessings.
In spirituality, they say that the universe wants to give us everything we could ever want and more. But when our closets are bursting with clothes and shoes we will never use, if we mindlessly shove things wherever we can find space, if we never clean out our cupboards, pantries, cabinets, how can those blessings make their way into our lives?
I am 101% guilty on all accounts, so I sought the advice of Issa Guico Reyes, founder and author of Neat Obsessions to help me get the ball rolling.
How to get started
In Issa’s book, she shares a technique that is suited for Filipino homes. She calls it the homeward technique and there are only 3 steps that we need to follow: Sort, Detach and Rehome. Here are some of Issa’s life-changing tips that will hopefully help us moms and dads get our families and our homes ready for the New Year:
Tip #1: There’s no such thing as “too many” for a determined homemaker!
Know that every big task can be broken down into bite-sized pieces. When it comes to organizing, we have to focus on one area at a time. So when you want to organize your bedroom, maybe you can start with your bedside table first, one drawer at a time, then move on to other parts of the room.
Tip #2: What exactly do you do with the area that you choose to organize first? You SORT.
When you sort, you create categories, and you simply place your things in their respective categories – similar to how you play sungka.
- Avoid attaching an emotion to an object. That will slow you down and overwhelm you.
- Treat your things at face value: a white shirt is a shirt, and not a clothing item you wore on your first date.
- At the end of sorting, all of your things should belong in a respective category. This way, you will have an inventory of the things that you own.
Tip #3: Set goals and make sure they are doable tasks in a specific amount of time that works for you, so it will be easier to accomplish.
Set goals. Finishing a small task within the time frame you’ve set will encourage you to do another small task. Before you know it, you’re done with your room, and you’ve already tackled what you first thought as a “mountain of things.”
Tip #4: Organizing is a personal journey.
There is no right or wrong way to organize, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Do it at your own pace and don’t compare your journey with others. Organizing not only means putting things together so that they look great on social media, it means that you are creating a system that will help you become a more efficient and happier homemaker
Tip #5: Understand what you own in relation to who you are. Then, DETACH.
Why do I have what I have? When did I last see these items? When did I last use these items? How did these items get into my house? How come they are buried at the back part of the closet? What roles do I currently fulfill? Will these things help me perform my tasks and roles everyday?
Asking yourself these questions will help you let go of things that no longer serve their purpose in your life. At the same time, this is when you decide to keep everything that helps you become you!
Tip #6: Evaluate your buying habits and assess your everyday routine.
Your system should be based on your preferences, needs and wants. The things you buy should ideally play a part in your everyday routine. If not, then you might consider that you don’t need it.
Tip #7: Organizing begins with you.
Only you fully understand the things you own, how they made it inside your house, how you and your family members are moving inside your house. Take all these things into consideration and organize your home according to what you need.
Tip #8: Be intentional with your space.
What do you intend your space to be? If you want your space to be a home office area, then make it a home office area, and not a laundry area. Create zones your house. This way, it will be clearer to you and to your entire household where to go in case they need to perform a specific task.
Tip #9: Buying storage bins doesn’t mean you will be organized. To REHOME has a much deeper meaning.
Storage bins will help you make your things organized, but using them won’t automatically establish a system. Rehoming means creating more storage or being satisfied with what you already have.
For example, if you put your everyday items in storage bins and place them somewhere that’s inaccessible for you, then the storage bins wouldn’t help you become more efficient. You will just fall back into the trap of having a disorganized area. Figure out which items are used daily, occasionally, and seasonally. Place them in areas that make sense: everyday items should be within arm’s reach and items used only occasionally and seasonally may be put away in storage bins, properly labelled, so that they can easily be located.
Remember that a system comes from your own understanding of the things that you own and the way you move inside your house.
Tip #10: You know when it feels right for you. Trust your gut.
If your current system does not work, it’s not wrong to re-evaluate your space and your priorities. And that could change depending on your current needs and setup. Accept what is left. Accept the space you have. Accept who you are.
The end result is so worth it
At the end of your organizing journey, the greatest reward is feeling happy and right at home. There is no other way to explain it. With any organising project, just keep these three simple things in mind: SORT, DETACH, REHOME.
In SORTING, you know what you have.
In DETACHING, you understand what you need.
In REHOMING, you accept what is left.
And there you have it. Thank you so much, Issa, for guiding me and all our readers through such an important process. Visit @neatobessions on Instagram for some serious inspo.
Please standby for Part 2 of Modern Parenting’s getting your home ready for 2021 series. And this time, we will talk about cleaning and disinfecting our homes.