Today I wanted to try a mini makeover that gives the things you love ‘a home’ within your home. Somewhere they can go back to when we’re not using them.
When things come into our homes that don’t have an ‘away’ for us to put them, they start to move from flat surface to flat surface and sometimes even to the couch, like a pass the parcel that just won’t end. This isn’t just me, right?! Eventually, this will drive you mad, as you just want it out of the way.
Because this drives me a bit batty, I decided to do some research about storage and I found this fabulous book called Storage: Get Organized by Terrence Conan. Terrance had this crazy idea that you should put all your possessions on the front lawn and only bring back in the things you truly need and/or love.
The idea of putting everything on the front lawn scares me for two reasons: 1. Argh!! the stuff!! And 2. What if people think it’s hard rubbish and steal it whilst I’m inside?! So I came up with something that’s just a little bit kinder and slightly less scary:
Choose one room that you’re going to organise and clear a space in the middle of your living room and put everything from the room you’re organising in there.
To do this you will first need:
- a bottle of water to keep you hydrated;
- a snack for rumbly tummies;
- good tunes playing;
- and have your patience hat on.
Warning: do not attempt if patience is low, it could all end in tears, or everything in the bin! Danger, Will Robinson!!
Make 4 separate piles:
- To Keep – (two sub piles: need and love) These are the things you need and the things you love.
- To bin/recycle – anything that is broken, anything that you haven’t used in 2 years and don’t plan on using anytime soon (people will say one year, but some things are used but only on a special occasion), anything that where the expiry date has passed, and even anything that has so much dust that you can’t work out what it is (special mementos and expensive wine excluded – though dusting them now might be a good idea)
- To donate/give away – If the items are still in great condition and you just don’t want them anymore donate them to a charity or offer them to family or friends who may just be looking for that item. Especially if it’s a family item that you’ve been given, sometimes other family members may love to make it part of their home. Please don’t donate broken or stained things, they go in the bin pile.
- Unsure – If you’re sentimental, like me, this pile may have a few things in it. Once you’ve put everything from your chosen room into the three other piles, take another look at this pile and see if you can re-sort through this into the other 3. If they are really sentimental, think about if you have a safe way that you can store them for another time and add them to pile 1. Try to think of how much you’d miss it if it was really gone for good, if it’s easily replaceable and you’re lukewarm maybe it’s meant for pile 3.
Now comes the fun part:
Take everything from the keep pile back to the room it belongs and give it a permanent home. If you’re only putting the things back that you need and love, it’s a great time for you to think about how they look and work best. Put the things you use most often in easy reach and the others, further back. It doesn’t have to go back exactly where you originally put it, it’s a chance for you to mix things up. Have a think about how you use it, and put the things you love on display! Yay!! for finally having a spot for the things we love!
Once everything has a home, you can (more easily) see if you need more storage for some things or if they just don’t really work in the room now you’ve put them there. It’s okay, you can change your mind. Take a moment to stand back and admire how great the room now looks and maybe even how good it makes you feel! Even if they don’t fit in that room, they may be meant for somewhere else in the house.
Now you’ve finished that room and it looks fantastic, it’s time for you to go back into the living room with some garbage bags for the bin pile, remembering that you can also recycle, and organise the donate/give away pile so that it will be out of your home as quickly as possible. You don’t want to end up with the donate/give away pile, slowly finding it’s way back into your things. (This happens to me, like those odd socks you seem to throw out 3 or 4 times but just keep appearing!)
Do just one room at a time (and give yourself a treat afterwards) and remember that it’s okay to love the things you own, you bought them for a reason. I think the first time for each room will be the hardest, but if we try it once a quarter, maybe as each season starts or after birthdays and Christmas, we might have a better chance on staying on top of the things we don’t love that find their sneaky way into our homes.
Do you have a method for making sure that the things you love have a spot that’s just for them in your home? I’d love to hear about it!