Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! During this holiday, I know how common it is to show the people that you care, but have you ever thought about doing the same for your surroundings? Ok, hear me out.
I can’t think of a situation where a client has come to me and said that they are perfectly happy with the current state of their home. Instead, they have the room that always remains shut so that when guests come over they don’t peek in the room and see the mess. Or the annoyance that comes with not being able to find a top sheet in the linen closet even though there are dozens of sheets spilling off of the shelves. Or the embarrassment of not knowing where to begin to declutter, but they have finally “given in” and know they need some help from an outsider.
You have invested time and money into your home and it ideally should be the place where you love to spend time and not a home where you find yourself avoiding areas just to stay sane. So, this Valentine’s Day I’m going to help you fall back in love with your home by focusing on four areas that could probably use a little extra love. Sure, there could be bigger issues at hand, like mismatched furniture that is annoying you or home repairs that keep getting pushed down your to-do list, but I’ll bet that focusing some energy to visit and organize the next couple of areas will inspire you to pour some extra love in your home in the near future.
4 Areas of Your Home to Give Some Extra Love
- Under the Sink. Cleaning supplies are often tucked away in small, awkward spaces (i.e. under the sink) but regardless of the cramped quarters, the same basic organizing principles apply. First and foremost, categorize your options. This means that the “specialty cleaners” like granite and stainless steel spray should be grouped together in the kitchen, and the toilet bowl cleaner and shower spray can grouped together in the bathroom. Maximize the space under the sink by adding stackable storage like bins and drawers to make the most out of the open space, but shallow items like low bins or turntables are helpful for corralling items when vertical space is not in your favor.
- Extra Supplies. If you have multiple bathrooms and/or a linen closet in your home, grab everything that falls within each category and started sorting through the items to identify what you have, what you want to keep, and where it should be stored. Keep the excess toilet paper, body wash, shampoos, and other bathroom-related items in a separate (but central location) area in the house so that you know where to find those items when in need. For example, dedicate a shelf in the linen closet to all of the extras so that you can quickly find and grab what you need (and know when it's time to buy more) rather than divvying up these items across your bathrooms.
- Garage & Storage Space. Clear out everything (yes, everything!) so that you are back to the blank canvas that once was. Trust me, it will look so much worse before it gets better. But, once you have your storage systems in place you will only have to worry about maintenance, so consider this step your “one and done” investment. Once the space is cleared out, give it a good cleaning, and get the space ready for everything to be loaded back in. Similar to getting organized in other areas of your home, you want to sort like items together and declutter anything that is broken, no longer used, or no longer needed.. This exercise will help you see exactly what you own, how much of it, and what to account for when you are deciding where it should go in the garage.
- Paper. Whether it's the monthly statements, kids artwork, or the daily mail, paper accumulates quickly. The good news is that you don't need to hang on to much of it. About 80% of what gets filed never gets looked at again! Categories like bank statements and pay stubs are good to hang on to for a year, but you don't need to keep storing your taxes from 2000 (just hang on to the ones 7 years from the filing date). And remember: manuals, contracts, and credit card records are all available online and do not need to take up valuable filing space! So, start sorting, shredding, and filing to get through that dreaded paper pile once and for all.
I’m curious: Which area in your home could use a little extra love? Let us know in the comments section so we can focus on that area in a future post!