By Mandy Yang | @amongallofthis
As we kick off the school year, we start to think about all of the things that we’ll bring into our homes: school supplies, lunch bags, clothing, shoes, etc. And let’s not forget about all of the open house papers and folders that will eventually cover your tabletop and counters.
As a decluttering coach, I teach my clients not only how to declutter their space, but how to maintain it. Maintenance is the key to tidiness. To maintain a tidy space, I teach my clients to let go of something before bringing in something new.
So as the school year begins, here are the top three areas to declutter to make an impact in your home:
If you thought the snack area was messy when the kids were home over the summer, wait until the school year when everyone is hungry and pressed for time. My decluttering tip: Instantly create a tidier look by decanting snacks into uniform containers with uniform labels (packing labels create visual clutter). Not ready for that level of commitment? Remove the lid from snack boxes for easy access. Less rummaging, less mess.
Craft supply (markers, crayons, drawing paper, etc.) storage comes in a close second to the family junk drawer in its messiness level. My decluttering tip: Use spatial limitations as a filter to decide what and how much to keep. It’s easy to keep a crayon because its “perfectly good,” but when you only have so much space, that crayon might be better kept elsewhere.
No matter your children’s ages, everyone (and all their stuff) will pass by this space at least twice a day. My decluttering tip: If an item needs to leave the next day, find a home for it here. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t belong here. When you use your entryway like a dam rather than a gateway, it can hold back clutter.
Notice I left out closets and drawers. This one is a given! Kids grow so fast, and you’ll definitely need to evaluate clothing often throughout the year. Depending on where you live and the climate, my recommendation is to give it some time before you put away or let go of those summer pieces. Decluttering is mental work; don’t do more than necessary.
This maintenance practice of removing before adding will help you set up your home for a new school year. But mom to mom: if your kids are dressed, fed, and loved on the first day of school, that’s all you really need to do.
Mandy Yang | @amongallofthis
Mandy Yang lives with her husband and their three girls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a parenting social worker by day and decluttering coach…the rest of the time. Trained by Marie Kondo, Mandy helps others tidy up and rediscover what brings them joy among all of this. You can find tips and inspiration for the clutter-free journey at amongallofthis.com.
Featured image by ConvertKit on Unsplash