Although it seems like a battle with no end in sight, I continue to put hours of effort into keeping my home clean and organized. Except I feel like all I am doing is picking up before I ever get to cleaning, or I end up moving something from one part of the house to another. As in the clutter tends to migrate to different parts of the house. If the kitchen is sparkling, there are piles of unfolded laundry taking over the master bedroom, or if the toys are cleaned up there are art supplies covering the table. I know a good number of you are nodding your heads right now. How can we feel like we’re a step ahead of our game or set ourselves up to successfully keeping our home clean and organized?
I cannot promise to change your life around, but I can share with you a few of the efforts I am taking as I fight this battle! I organize and reorganize on a regular basis and feel like I am always cleaning and picking up after my family. Yes I have some expectations for my three-year-old and husband to help, but my daughter can only do so much and my husband is gone so much that it ends up being: me.
One thing that has worked well for me is by using baskets for toys and other parts of the house. If you get ones that are cute in the nursery or look stylish on a bookshelf, you can still have your piles they just look neater. It is also easier to clean up, since you just toss it in a basket. I have a number of these in the kids’ rooms, since it makes it easy for kids to pick up their rooms.
Another big lesson I have learned over the past couple of years, which takes ongoing effort, is learning to de-clutter. You will not make sufficient progress by organizing clutter. If you don’t need it, love it or haven’t used it in months or years, get rid of it. Have a garage sale, sell it, give it to a friend or donate it! If it’s something you need later (for another child, for example) take it out of your living space and store it.
I bought a small hand-held label maker this past year and felt like superwoman as I labeled and organized my pantry, files and some craft supplies. I have found that this can be a great tool to make things look neat, organized, help you to remember where to put things and make it easy for other family members or friends to figure out where things go. The disappointments I had were that the label maker I purchased only fit one width of label tape and the labels didn’t make it through the dishwasher when I used them on plastic food containers.
With my previous experience with a label maker, I can see the time it can save you in clean up when it is clearly marked where things go. You lose some time and money, however, if you have to continue to print labels over again, so I was up for the challenge of putting the Brother P-Touch labels to the test! They boast the ability to be used indoors or out, which I was excited about since you could use a label maker to label garden markers, storage tubs, or in the kitchen or bathrooms that are subject to water or cleaning agents.
But can a label really make it through the dishwasher, pouring rain, harsh cleaners, detergents and abuse? This is the first of a number of posts that will follow my journey using the Brother P-Touch label maker and my big project to organize all of my craft supplies that once had their home in the nursery. Now my master bedroom is taken over by tubs, piles and bags full of sewing and craft supplies and I am not productive when everything is all over the place.
They still look the same after a good week of regular use and abuse (see pictures above and to the left). I am excited to organize my craft supplies knowing I will only need to do this once and these labels won’t need to be replaced over and over again. Plus I really need to organize them before I start my holiday projects!