Since organization is not one of my strengths, I like doing things as simply and quickly as possible. I have had to come up with some simple, sure-fire ways to keep things basically organized, and keep the house looking nice too. I would like to share some of the things I have learned about decorating on a budget, as well as a few “rules” I have made about staying organized.
This is absolutely rule #1….Clean it before it gets dirty….
When I was a child, I would go visit Valerie, my best friend and as a child I couldn’t figure out how come their house and their car were always clean. I would scratch my head and puzzle about it, and later figured out that it was always clean because they cleaned it while it was still clean. They cleaned the car every Saturday, and because it was already clean it seemed easy, and didn’t seem to take very long.
Throw things away!
I’m divorced, and this is probably why. If things start piling up, and I have nowhere to put it I assess its need, and if I don’t see a need within the next few months I toss it. I might take it to the thrift store, but either way its not mine anymore. My hoarder husband hated this trait about me, but he never seemed to notice that the stuff was gone and so everything was okay (until I got caught!)
A “key” to success: Keep the area at the front door tidy and nice looking
Most people never come further into your house than the entrance, so make it look nice. This can fool anyone into believing you are a neatnik, even if you are really a slob! You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so having the first room look nice is always a good idea!
Put baskets into the pantry:
You will be able to put bags of cookies, crackers and chips in the baskets keeping it looking nice. This helps keep it organized as well, so you can reach for what you want rather than having to hunt.
I tell the kids that if its on the floor after a reasonable amount of time, it belongs to me.
Ha ha! Then I get to throw it away, but usually they will rescue it before such drastic measures have to be taken.
Make a “honey-do” basket:
As you go through the house, pick up your husband’s things that he has strewn all through the house, so when he asks where something is, you can just point to the basket. Consider it an act of love.
I file everything! I have a file for bills paid and bills to pay, and I have a file for coupons and recipes. If you know where everything is, it is much easier and less time consuming because you know right where to go to find whatever you need
Have a place for everything
This is the same principle as keeping files, except it is for everything else. For example, if you know where your scissors, tape and wrapping paper are, you don’t have to search for them the next time you want them and you don’t have to run to the store to buy more.
Don’t keep beautiful heirlooms stored away!
Life is to be lived, and beautiful things are to be enjoyed! As those who have experienced house fires know, if you don’t use it you might lose it.
Learning a few simple organizational skills goes far in simplifying your life, as well incorporating a few simple decorating tips will make you seem like a domestic pro.
*Plants add life to any room and they filter out pollutants too. The easiest plants to care for are spider plants and succulents, which do well year round.
*experiment! Move furniture around from time to time to add flavor and variety. A couch doesn’t always have to be against the wall, try putting it in the middle of the room and placing objects next to, and behind it like a narrow table along the back.
*Use an outdoor rug indoors, they are easier to clean and don’t cost as much.
*Instead of getting new carpet, get them professionally cleaned. A freshly cleaned carpet looks great, and is a big savings compared to a new one.
*Wall decals add personality and spirit to your home! Then when your tired of them take them off, and add something new. They can be fun, especially in the children’s rooms.
*Add a wall in the living room just for family pictures, they will be a big hit with guests and visiting family members.
*Underneath the photos place a modest bookshelf, it adds an impressive look.
*Throw pillows are the simplest and quickest way to add color to your living room.
*Different and interesting vases which hold wild-flowers, make for a colorful and versatile kitchen setting.
*Cloth shower curtains make good window curtains. No one will know they are shower curtains, and that you spent half the price.
*Is the couch getting old? Not quite ready to buy a new one? Slip on couch covers, and no one will be able to tell the difference.
*Got a new couch, but don’t want Fido on it? Bring outside furniture inside so Fido has a place to sit on a couch too. Outdoor furniture can often look very chic. If you want to cuddle with Fido, sit on the outdoor furniture with him. This will save the new couch from a lot of dog hair.
There are many things you can do to organize and decorate your home, so that it feels like a home and not just a house. We share many memories with the people we love most in our homes, and we want to leave a good impression. Pleasant memories will be remembered by those who had opportunity to share your home with you. A few minor changes here and there are sometimes all it takes to be a domestic diva!
The biggest change can happen just by taking a good, honest look around and think about what you really need, then discard, donate or store. I dislike cutter because when my home is cluttered, my heart feels cluttered too. Our surroundings have an impact on how we feel on the inside.