Organization

tiny tidy tips

My house is on the smaller side as far as houses go. As you’ll see in the pictures below, my couch and love seat take up more than half of the living room. When space is limited, it’s all the more important to keep things neat and tidy – clutter can happen in the blink of an eye! In order to have, keep, and maintain a tidy house, you need to change behaviors.

  • Have a place for everything – If everything within your home has a home, then tidying and cleaning up become way less stressful!

 

  • Be in a constant state of tidying – Take a moment every day to put things away such as clothes, shoes, mail, etc. If you “have a place for everything” then this shouldn’t be rocket science. I understand that this is easier to accomplish if you do not live with small humans – and even easier to accomplish if you live alone. Small efforts every day keep you from spending your entire week cleaning up before you have guests.

 

  • Don’t keep things on the floor – I have two items in my home that belong on the floor other than furniture, rugs, and standing lamps. Those things are both baskets/bins. One for shoes by the front door and one that holds the dog bones and toys. Keeping your floor clear is a major key to keeping your home tidy. It also helps when it is time to sweep/vacuum.

 

  • Storage – storage must be respected. Do not allow any storage in your house to be so completely full of items that you are not even sure what is inside. Storage is your friend when it comes to keeping a tidy house, so be sure to treat it as one. Pictured below: we keep blankets in the chest that also serves as a coffee table. We keep puzzles, games, and electronics in the hanging shelves. Also pictured: peep the bin near the front door that is literally labeled “storage”. This is used by my husband for keys, wallets, pocket knives, etc.

 

  • Routinely downsize and donate – Know when it is time to let things go. Walk around your home and really take a look at what you have stored in your home. Does that item still serve a purpose? Do you use it? Does it bring you joy? If not, donate it so someone else can enjoy it. Is it something you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of? Re-purpose it! Pictured below, I have a giraffe figurine from my mission trip to Kenya and my wooden elephant that my best friend sent me from Thailand living their best lives as bookends on my mantle. Learn to let go and enjoy items as they serve their purpose. Things will come and go in this lifetime, and some things need to go sooner rather than later. Isn’t this true in many aspects of our lives?

 

  • Keep decorations minimal – or they will become clutter. I am a firm believer that less is actually more. Pick a few key pieces and decorate. Don’t go overboard. May I remind you that empty space is a decorative statement as well.

 

Leading a tidy lifestyle will not happen overnight. It comes when you respect your home and your belongings. Respecting inanimate objects may seem silly, but it will carry into other aspects of your life as well, and will even make the atmosphere of your home and heart lighter.

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Food, Organization

How to keep your kitchen feeling fresh, calm, and clean

The kitchen is a sacred place. Food is a necessity, so shouldn’t your kitchen be a peaceful and inviting space? Whether you are the one doing the cooking, the eating, helping with the dishes, or all of the above, an ample amount of kitchen time is coming up with the holidays being just around the corner. So, here are some tips for keeping your kitchen feeling fresh, calm, and clean.

  • Tip #1: Keep the counters and table tops clear

The less you have sitting on the counter, the better. Put as much as you can away in cabinets. Leave out just a few necessary or decorative items along with any snacks or food. If you are someone who keeps mail, keys,wallets, etc. on the counter- stop! Find a drawer or cubby for these items and stop cluttering your precious counter space. What did it ever do to you?!

  • Tip #2: You can never have too much white

There is something about a white kitchen that just screams CLEAN (Or CLEAN ME depending on the day of the week). But when it is clean, there is no place I’d rather be. There is a freshness and pureness that comes along with the color white that you simply can’t replicate with other colors.

  • Tip #3: Plants!

Plants keep your kitchen feeling fresh. And literally freshen the air with oxygen – shout out to photosynthesis. Some plants even get rid of toxins! I am terribly poor at keeping plants alive, and as you can see in the pictures below, even I have plants! I have an orchid on my table and a hanging plant above my sink called philodendron. There is hope for everyone! You just have to find the easy, low maintenance plants if you’re anything like me.

  • Tip #4: Candles

I have a candle on the corner of my kitchen bench and on my kitchen counter at all times. I light them if I’m having company over or if I’m doing dishes/cleaning the kitchen. Candles can make even the craziest of atmospheres feel calm and fresh.

  • Tip #5: Bake, bake, bake

Nothing makes a kitchen as warm and relaxing as fresh baked cookies. Don’t know how to bake or don’t like to bake? Buy the cookie dough that is already made and throw it on a pan and into the oven. Set the timer, then watch and smell your kitchen transform!

  • Tip #6: The most obvious – clean up

Wipe down your counters as much as you can. I’m convinced that little elves live in my cabinets and spill sticky stuff on my counters every night. I’m sure they have friends at your house too. Take a second to wipe down your counters every day or two (depending on how the elves are feeling). Once the counters are clear, tell Alexa to tell your robot to clean the floors. If no robots show up to vacuum, use an old school broom and dust pan. Throw in some dance moves here and there. You’ll feel awesome and you’ll look great doing it. Side note – Swiffers and Swiffer wet jets are sent from heaven.

Remember, time spent preparing and sharing meals is of great value, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Having a clean and tidy kitchen is not more important than making memories with your loved ones. However, I find that keeping a clean kitchen helps relieve my stress when it’s time to cook. I’ve also found that I enjoy being in my kitchen when it is fresh and calm rather than avoiding it and grabbing takeout. So follow these tips and surprise yourself by inviting friends over for dinner and card games. Or, follow these tips and make your kitchen the place to be this holiday season even when it’s packed with uninvited extended family members and in-laws.

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