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Maintaining your organized home

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Getting your home organized in only half of the battle – maintaining your organized space is another challenge altogether. Following organizing methods like the KonMari method require a change of your daily habits in order for them to work long-term. However, life can get busy, plans change, new opportunities arise, and you and your family can return to your previous routine. To maintain your organized space, it’s important to take the process seriously and find key methods that work best with your lifestyle.

Following an organization method closely will not work for everyone long term. Many of the suggestions work great to help people eliminate a large amount of clutter, but some steps, like treasuring every item, might not be realistic for each member of your family. Instead, identify the important lessons and find a way to make them work with your life. For example, the method for folding clothes might work best to keep your clothing organized in your wardrobe and suitcases, but your children have difficulty keeping their clothes folded that way. While the folding method may not work for them, the idea of only keeping items that are important to them and being able to let old clothing and toys go might work better.

In order to maintain organization, you and your family need to be able to make organizing a part of your routine. Depending on your schedule, it may make more sense to do quick decluttering sessions on a regular basis by sorting through items by type instead of by room. However, you may instead prefer to do larger organizing projects on a less frequent basis. By encouraging your whole family to get involved with the process and adopt these life changes, you will have an easier time maintaining organization throughout your home.  

To make organization a regular part of your routine, you need to follow methods that you and your family can easily pick up. For example, getting in the habit of putting things away once you’re finished with them, instead of leaving them to put away later, is a simple action that can have a significant impact on the organization of your home.

Staying organized and changing your usual habits takes time and commitment, but it can be accomplished. Make sure you implement organizational methods that are practical and work with your family’s lifestyle. If you’ve gotten your house organized following a specific organizing method, it may be unrealistic to maintain all of the strategies you used going forward. However, you shouldn’t feel the need to follow the guidelines closely. Instead, find out what works best for you and your family, and use those key strategies to maintain your organized state in the future.

Attachments - what are they, and how can you let them go?

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Many people have items that we have inherited from family members or collected from personal experiences. Whether they are old books, souvenirs from past vacations, or antique furniture, these items can take up a significant amount of space in a home. Why are they still around? Most of these items are unnecessary, but people find themselves unable to part with them.  

These items can be classified into two categories: keep sakes and familiar objects. Sentimental keep sakes are items that have memories associated with them. For example, it may be a special tea cup that you remember your grandmother drinking out of when you went to visit her as a child. That item has a sentimental memory attached to it.

However, if the item has no memory but was touched or owned by someone, it is not a sentimental attachment. For example, if your grandmother had another tea cup that she always kept tucked in a cabinet, you do not have a sentimental attachment to it because you have no memories of it. There is a familiar relationship there, but no attachment.

In order to eliminate these items, people must determine if they are keepsakes or if they are just being held onto. If you have items that are just familiar, but have no real meaning attached to them, then there is no reason why you should keep them.

Keep sakes are difficult to deal with, because you must be willing to disassociate your memories with the items. It is important to not assign memories to one single object. These items are temporary and should not have the responsibility of holding a lifetime of memories. The experiences you remember and treasure from the past and present are your own, and you do not need to hold onto an object in order to honour and remember them.

If one of your objects were to break, you risk losing the connection you had with your memories, and as a result, risk losing the memories all together. It is better to hold onto these memories on your own, so you can ensure they will be with you always.

Pack for Organization - Moving in after marriage!

Once you've actually packed, another large task begins: unpacking them into your new home.  This is made easier when you organize your belongings before you pack them, but it is still a complex task for you and your new partner to undertake! Below, we’ve got some tips to help make the process smoother:

-       Coordinate schedules

If you’re moving in together, it stands to reason you should unpack your new home together. Getting married, unpacking your belongings, and moving them can take up a lot of time, but make sure you have enough time set aside to dedicate yourselves to the task of unpacking. Typically, at least one or two days are needed to set up the main items in your most used living spaces, like the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. However, it is common to take up to a week or more depending on how many items you have, how long it takes to move them to your new home, and how much free time you have. Make sure that you are both able to take time together to plan what rooms should be unpacked first, and where you’re going to place your items. This can be flexible, as furniture may need to be arranged as you get acquainted with your new space. However, it’s important to plan what rooms you will unpack first, and where you will put your belongings before you start opening boxes.

-       Tackle one room at a time

An empty house full of boxes can be overwhelming – but remember that they don’t need to be unpacked all at once! Pick one room, and stick to it. Your most used rooms should be the ones unpacked first, like the kitchen and bedroom. Remember that moving and unpacking is a process and will take time – don’t feel like you must have everything done at once! Unpack your items the right way from the start. Moving from one room to another can leave you feeling stressed, and leave your house in a half-moved state. Focusing on one room will allow you and your partner to properly unpack, organize, and arrange the items you have in each room.

-       Don’t unpack all boxes at once

Just like the rooms in your house, don’t unpack all the boxes in each room all at once! Open one box at a time and determine what you have packed, and where it can go in your new space. If your other items are still packed away and not cluttered on the floor, you will be able to visualize your space better and determine where everything should be placed. Placing furniture, appliances, electronics, and other larger items is easier if you don’t have small clutter in the way. Focus your attention on one box at a time to make sure that everything is put in its place. Moving is a process that should be handled one step at a time, so don’t make it more overwhelming than it needs to be!

-       Leave nothing packed!

Moving doesn’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean it should last forever. Often, people can get tired out from moving and end up leaving boxes still packed in the basement or other storage area, and eventually, they are forgotten. Avoid letting this happen to you and make sure that every box is unpacked within the first two weeks of you moving. By following a moving plan as mentioned above, you can make sure that time is set aside for every room and every box in your house. This should help keep you on track. Moving is like organizing – once something is used or brought into your home, it should be immediately put into its “home” or designated space as soon as it is not in use. Once a box is brought into a room, the items inside should be unpacked and put where they are supposed to go. No one wants to live with their belongings still packed away, so plan your move and stick to it!

-       Ask for help if you need it

Life is always busy and stressful, and sometimes, unpacking all their belongings is too big of a task for people to handle on their own. If you both can’t get enough time off work, or are physically unable to complete your move, always know that we can be there to help! At Calm Order, we offer our clients an “Unpacked to Organize” service that takes care of everything – whether you need one space, a single room, or an entire house unpacked. We focus on the big picture details and pay attention to the finer ones to make sure your house is set up the way you want it, with clothes stored in your new closet, beds made and ready to be slept in, and food waiting in your pantry. Moving can be time consuming and stressful, so don’t be afraid to ask for help!