The New Year for me always evokes feelings of newness, freshness with bright new beginnings and that’s not just in my life but in my home too.
Last year I wrote about ‘A New Year State of Mind’ which you can about read here.I realised then that there’s actually nothing ‘new’ about the year, what’s new is the positive and fundamental changes you make to your outlook on life.
“The world won’t be changed by your opinion but by your example”, I recently stumbled across this quote, it’s one of the most powerful paragraphs I’ve ever read. It got me thinking about our way of living, not just how we live our life and strive to be good, kind, considerate people but how we conduct ourselves around our home.
Our home for me is my ultimate comfort. It’s the place where I reside with the most beautiful human beings who make my life so full, the place where I can shut out the world if I need to and surround myself in sheer soft furnished heaven. Our home truly is my happy place.
I strive everyday (mainly at the end of the day) to make it a clean and calm space for my family to unwind in.
I often get asked how I manage to keep such a tidy home with a toddler. I’ve always been a tidy person but I have to admit remaining a tidy person and having a tidy home whilst juggling all the joys of Motherhood does take a little more determination, effort and will power!
I’ve whittled it down to five simple steps that I believe help me have a tidier, happier home.
Step 1 – Declutter and De-Stress
“Keep only things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle” – Marie Kondo
You wouldn’t keep someone in your life who kept causing you unnecessary hassle would you? Of course not, so why would you keep that unused vase that’s sat unmoved, untouched and unloved in the back of the cupboard for last two years?
Declutter your draws, cupboards and whatever storage you may have with a ruthless frame of mind. Get rid of absolutely anything you haven’t used in the last six months as chances are this probably means you won’t use it in the next six months! This will allow you to create homes for items you wish to keep but you currently don’t have a home of their own.
Organise everything and anything you can. Once complete your cupboards will thank you for it, they’ll function better as everything will be stored neatly making it a tidier, cleaner more efficient space to use.
Last week I cleared out our kitchen cupboards and managed to create a whole new space for Amelie’s arts and crafts just by getting rid and reorganising a few old things.
Step 2- Everything has a home, (and if it doesn’t, find one!)
I believe that absolutely nothing should be left out on show that isn’t adding beauty to your home. We have our home accessories proudly positioned just as we like them, but absolutely everything else is stored neatly away. This includes Amelie’s many toys!
Styling storage keeps unsightly toys hidden away!
During our days together Amelie and I will have arts and crafts time, reading time and of course make as much mess as we can time! This normally consists of Amelie tipping out all of her toys before getting lost in the world of her imagination. But once the princess has been saved or she’s finished teaching her class we begin our Mary Poppins style game of “Tidy Up It”.
Every toy goes back into it’s home within beautiful storage baskets that compliment our living room’s decor.
One basket homes dolls, make up and dressing up pieces, there’s one for figures and soft toys and one for all her creative toys such as Lego and puzzles. Keeping to this simple but effective structure helps us tidy away so much quicker! Click hereto read more of my handy tips on toy storage.
Being the girl after my own heart like she is, this is a game that I’ve somehow managed to get her to really enjoy. After everything’s back in it’s original home she says ‘Ah nice and fresh, I love our home!’. She absolutely melts my heart, honestly this girl was so meant to be mine!
Step 3 – Create the time to tidy
The first thing I do when I get up is make the beds. By doing this I’m starting as I mean to go on by creating a fresh sense of tidy tranquil throughout the home.
It sets me up for the day and puts a spring in my step knowing that our beds are all neat and cosy ready for us to retire to at the end of the day.
Finding the time to clean a little everyday can be challenging but even if all the time you can spare is just a quick ten minutes to clean the kitchen sides or doing the washing up then take it. Sacrifice that cup of tea and get going! The cuppa can be your well deserved reward once your finished.
I create moments throughout my day where I can do a little bit of tidying or dusting. I like to think of myself as an ‘opportunist cleaner’ it’s a term I’ve coined which simply describes those of us who put our little ones down for a nap and instantly begin tiptoeing round the home, tidying as we go. Yes I’d love to be doing other things like read a book or indulge in a spot of online shopping but I prioritise, that can wait the dirty dishes for me simply can’t.
Step 4 – Resetting your home
For the first 18 months of Amelie’s life she would only nap for a maximum of 30 minutes when being driven around in the car! She suffered from colic, a milk allergy and reflux so getting her to keep milk down was more of a focus for us then getting her to nap.
During this time I still managed to maintain a tidy household by doing a little task we call “Resetting The House”. Ever seen the scene from Disney’s Wreck it Ralph where all the players return to their home after each game? Well it’s exactly like that.
Every evening when Amelie went to bed I’d set about returning everything to it’s rightful home. Books would go back on their shelf, toys back in their baskets and the cushions would get their daily fluffing! I’d quietly run around each room returning it to it’s show home standard before relaxing and unwinding from the day in our neat and tidy surroundings.
I still do this every evening, sometimes before Scott gets home from work as it gives me such a sense of achievement to have him walk into to our home exactly how we envisioned it when designing each room, after all there were absolutely no toys or piles of washing up featured on our moods boards!
Step 5 – Make tidy a way of life
Remember when you saved for ages and finally purchased that beautiful handbag you’d lusted over for weeks? Remember that feeling you experienced of being able to call it your own? I remember owning my first piece of proper arm candy like it was yesterday. Everyday I’d polish it with the leather spray it came with and place it back into it’s dust bag with such pride and joy. I vowed for as long as this bag was in my life that I’d take care of it to my best ability. A bit over the top for a bag I know, but the point I’m getting at is that this is exactly how I feel about our home and you should do too.
You endured hours of shopping around before you found your happy home, spent weeks imaging your family in their newly decorated bedrooms whilst nail biting waiting for the paperwork to go through and now each and every month your hard earned money goes on paying for your humble abode. Either towards your mortgage or by paying the rent, one way or another you are paying towards the roof over your head and why should you not be proud of it?
Why should you not want to polish your home everyday and return it to it’s ‘dust bag’ standard every night?
Absolutely live, laugh and love within those four walls until your hearts content, but take care of what’s within those four walls too.
Give your home the TLC it deserves, get the whole family involved in taking pride of their home. Lead by example and show that yes some days it may just be either you or the home that gets to look pretty, but on most days by following these easy steps it can be both, it CAN always be both!