End of Summer Challenge

Last week my oldest kiddo started Kindergarten, as well as two of my daycare babies. My house has been rowdy {that’s probably an understatement of all understatements} all summer. It comes with the territory of kids, of course. But my house {specifically my kids’ bedrooms} took a backseat to entertaining and having fun this summer. Friday my load was lighter with school starting back and a couple of others being absent. I decided to tackle the bedrooms {all four} as quickly as possible because it can be hard to find the time to whip them all into shape {ya know, with kids running in and out while I’m Cinderella-ing}.

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Tidbit about me: clutter stresses me out. After I had Bella, all of the extra things really bothered me. Is that weird? I felt like my house looked like Babies ‘R Us and it drove me nuts. It only got worse with two more kids and a daycare. If you’re my Facebook friend you already know how often I’m pawning my junk off on everyone else. It just takes NO time for crap to accumulate. With that being said, do not expect to walk into my house and it be clean. It won’t be, I promise. Just know that it stresses me out but it’s the price you pay for three jerks  darling babies plus a bunch of daycare kiddos making messes memories 18 hours a day/7 days a week and I’ve learned how to keep a balance with it. However, everything does have a place and at the end of the day {most days} it’s there. Except for Waylon’s shoes. They’re always everywhere.

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This is a struggle for lots of families but I know many women just don’t know how to get it under control. Getting your house organized can be so overwhelming. The clothes that are outgrown or not yet grown into, the toys…ohhhh the toys…shoes with or without matches, baby gear, out of season accessories, etc. It adds up quickly and before you know it, you’re shoving everything in a closet, squeezing the door shut and praying no one opens it at Christmas dinner.

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Eliminating clutter can seriously be one of the biggest weights lifted off your shoulders, especially for Mommas because we’re the ones who have to find the things, clean the things and do the things. I am by no means a minimalist, but I have learned that I don’t need as much as I thought I did a few years ago. Here are some strategies I’ve taken to keep my house {and mind} under control in regards to simplifying our lives.

Stop buying things you don’t need! No seriously, stop. I’m talking to myself, too. I’ve not mastered this completely, especially when it comes to clothes. But if you looked at Bella’s closet when she was born compared to now, you’d see I’ve come a looooong way. Same for my own closet. There was a time when I had to switch my clothes each season because all of my clothes would not fit into my closet.  And I had approximately 14 pair of Old Navy flip flops..that I never wore. Which brings me to my next point…

Periodically go through your closet and get rid of the items you do not wear {same goes for everyone else in your house}. Some women do this once a year, some do it each season, and some do it every single time they buy a new clothing item. One in, one out rule. With all the online boutiques, Instagram ads and Amazon’s one swipe purchase process, it’s so easy to buy something on a whim without actually thinking about “do I really need this?” And I’m not saying never buy yourself something you love. I’m saying be mindful of your purchases and don’t just continue adding to your closets without eliminating the unused pieces.

Toys are one our biggest issues. Three kids, three birthdays {we don’t even party for them all!}, and Christmas. A daycare. Lots of grandmas. You see where I’m going with this and chances are you’re in the same boat full of toys as we are. Every couple of months I go through each bedroom and the daycare with a trash bag. If it’s broken, a choking hazard or part of a family that it’ll never meet again, it’s trash. Then I go through the same process for donating. If my kids have three Doc McStuffins stethoscopes, two other kids about to learn how to listen to some stuffed animal heart beats. There are always families, other daycare centers or local schools in need. Give, give, give away those toys. Or if you need the money {don’t we all?}, sell, sell, sell.

Okay, so I hear a lot of women say they have a hard time staying on task when they go to tackle these chores. Trust me, I get it. I’ve found if I stay in one room until it’s completely finished, I’m much more accomplished.

When you go into that dark room of gloom {your child’s bedroom}, take with you a trash bag, a container of your choice for selling and one for donating, and a *Does Not Belong* basket for the crap your kids dragged from all over the house into their room {your own shoes, sippy cups, etc}.

  1. Make the bed. The world is divided into bed makers and non-bed makers. I’m a bed maker. The whole room immediately looks more put together and less cluttered the minute you make the bed… and it’s motivating to keep going with the rest of the room.
  2. Get rid of all trash first but keep the bag handy because as you continue to clean, there will be more.
  3. Load up anything that doesn’t belong in your child’s room into the basket.
  4. Gather all toys you don’t want to keep.
  5. All toys that you’re keeping, put them away. My kids each have a basket/toy box in their closet but the majority of our toys are kept in the daycare.
  6. If your child doesn’t have a laundry basket in his/her room, get one and teach them to always put their clothes in the basket when they take them off. I started this as soon as my kids could walk. I mean, they haven’t mastered it but their dad is almost 34 so it’s a learning process for everyone. Fold and put away any clean clothes that never made it back to the closet or drawers.
  7. Sweep/vacuum.
  8. Get rid of trash, move the donation basket to the car and that becomes your husband’s problem {if you’re me}.
  9. Distribute items in *Does not belong* basket to their proper places.
  10. Repeat for each room.

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The more ya do it, the faster it goes. If you have any specific questions on how I do certain things, comment or message me. Or if there is a certain area you struggle with more than others, I’d be glad to help. I love bouncing ideas off other moms on how we all manage different areas of life. I don’t claim to know it all. But I do know keeping your house under control is one of the best ways to ensure your day-to-day life goes as smoothly as possible.

So as summer is coming to an end, school is starting back and the holidays are {quickly} approaching, challenge yourself to decrease your clutter and eliminate some of that unnecessary stress. You’ll be so glad ya did!

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