Decluttering Your Space

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Decluttering Your SpaceAs moms, we are in a constant state of go. We juggle schedules, appointments, meals, carpools, sibling fights, and so much more. Sometimes, life can seem so chaotic and full of clutter, and it can sometimes become so overwhelming, at least for me. I know I have a harder time focusing if my surrounding area is disorganized. Full disclosure: I am writing this post surrounded by a messy desk — YIKES!

Here are some ways you can declutter your physical space:

Everything has its own space

Everything in your house should have its own home and it should make sense. Obviously, silverware should be in the kitchen and not the office. If you have to cram something into a space, it doesn’t belong and should be moved or donated. 

Baskets and organizers

When you have many things in one space, baskets and organizers are a great way to keep things looking neat and tidy. I could keep the Container Store in business with the amount of baskets and containers I have. 

Go through clothes frequently

I know we all have certain items of clothing in our closet that we are holding onto. To truly keep a space organized, it’s time to let go. If you end up getting down to the size you want to be at, celebrate by buying yourself something new. By the way, you are beautiful no matter what size clothes you fit into! 

When you put on an item of clothing you don’t enjoy anymore and don’t think you’ll wear again, don’t put it back in your closet. Pass it onto the next person who can find joy wearing it. 

Make your bed

There is something about a made bed that makes everything seem so clean and orderly. A successful day starts with a made bed.

Make sure your kitchen counter is clean

I can speak from experience when I say a clean kitchen counter makes even the messiest of houses feel cleaner. I don’t know what kind of sorcery it is, but it really works. 

Limit toys and material gifts

Of course we always want our children to enjoy birthdays and holiday celebrations, but toys can really pile up and take up a lot of space. I try to limit them when I can. Check out the Knoxville Moms Non-Toy Gift Guide for ideas.

Decluttering your mental space is definitely easier said than done, but arguably the most important decluttering you’ll do. Here are some suggestions on doing so:

Keep your physical space clean

I suppose I should start off with this one, right? As I said before, I truly feel more at ease when my space is clear. It seems whatever state my surroundings are in directly reflects the condition of my mental state. Please tell me I am not the only one.

Get outside

Sunlight and fresh air have been proven to increase serotonin levels. This helps limit anxiety and boosts mood. 

Take a minute

Taking a moment just to be with yourself is so important. I know it is hard to find time, but even if it’s just for a short time, give it a try. Do something you know calms you, like yoga, meditation, listening to your favorite song, sitting still, breathing, etc.

Get exercise

Who has seen Legally Blonde? Thanks to Elle Woods, we know exercise gives you endorphins, that endorphins make you happy, and that happy people don’t…well, you know the rest. Sometimes, it can be really hard to find the motivation or time to exercise, but try to carve out time. There are so many benefits, both physical and mental. 

Manage schedules

I really wasn’t sure where to put this one. Schedules don’t keep your physical space clear, but they do help keep your mental space clear, right? Having to keep track of a family’s schedules is daunting. Appointments, practices, games, meetings, school events, so on and so on. Not to mention: the bigger the family, the more to keep track of. In my house, we have a giant wall calendar in the main room with each person’s events in their own designated color. I also take full advantage of my phone’s calendar with reminders.  

From my point of view

Much to my husband’s annoyance, I have always strived for organization in my life because it is very calming for me to have everything in its place and it very much helps keep my anxiety in check. I am a mother of a medically complex child, which means I now have medical supplies and mobility equipment that take up a great deal of space and a traditional home is not designed to have a place for these things. I also have an overwhelming amount of appointments to keep track of. It has taken me a while to understand things cannot ALWAYS have a place. That doesn’t mean I don’t try however. I purchased and assembled a designated bookshelf in our kitchen for all of our son’s feeding supplies and medication including his own mini fridge to keep medication cold. We have had to get used to walking around his mobility equipment because there is not a place for it. 

I hope these tips help you feel more organized and at ease. Things will not always have a perfect place, because motherhood is not perfect — wouldn’t it be nice if it were? Life is messy, right? Find what makes you feel the most comfortable and stick with that!

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Growing up in the Midwest, then living a short time in Florida, I have never felt more at home and cared for by people than I do here. We love calling Knoxville our home. After my son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy our lives and priorities changed completely. We spend our days driving around the many areas of Knoxville going to different appointments. I also spend my time trying to advocate, educate, and inspire moms with children with special needs. (This can be found at Moagg.org) We love finding fun activities to do where my son can enjoy and feel included.

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