Tuesday, July 29, 2008

simplify your home

My clients will often tell me that they always seem to be busier during the summer months than during the school year... and they don't see how this is possible. Part of the busyness is because the weather is so nice and we spend more time outside, on vacation or with neighbors, friends and family than we do cleaning and organizing our homes, our offices and our lives.

Never-the-less, I've put together a list of ways to simplify everything from your trips to the grocery store to your filing system and I will share them with you over the next 3 days. Day 1 will focus on simplifying your home and home activities. Day 2 will shed some light on how to simplify your office space. And day 3 will give you some much-need advice on how to simplify your life and your family's life. Keep reading for more tips!

DAY 1: Simply Your Home & Home Activities

simplify cleaning

Keep a large tub, bin, basket or even a cardboard box in each bathroom, in the kitchen and in the laundry room; fill the containers with cleaning supplies for each room. Cleaning will go much faster when your cleaning supplies are easy to find and in a convenient location.
Also, if you take a few minutes to de-clutter your home prior to the cleaning process, you'll be amazed at how much faster it will go since you will only have to focus on one activity at a time!

simplify your kitchen
Keep a list of quick recipes that you can make without much prep work or fancy ingredients --we've listed several meal planning sites right here on our blog! Also, keep the items you use on a daily basis in easy-to-reach places and store seasonal items on higher shelves or in the back of deep cabinets. Store like items together: put the dishes, silverware and glasses by the dishwasher for easy unloading or by the table for easy access during meals. Keep all the items and ingredients you use for baking in one location and those you use for cooking in a separate location. Keep the counters free from clutter...this will give you a whole new outlook on your kitchen!

simplify shopping

Rule number one: ALWAYS shop with a list! This will help you get in and get out without forgetting one item or overspending on something you didn't need. Also, keep a well-stocked pantry or closet with regularly used items on hand to avoid last minute trips to the store. This works for everything from non-perishable food, paper products, toiletries and even gifts or gift cards for the last minute gifts you don't have time to buy!

simplify your environment
Eliminate clutter in your home and you will immediately feel more relaxed; not-to-mention your house will radiate a sense of calm rather than chaos. Although it could be a long process, just remember to start small and take it a little at a time. Clear out your closets, dressers, pantry, cabinets, garage and basement. Ask yourself if you use it, if you need it, if you love it and if loves you back! If you answer "NO" to any of the above questions, chances are you can probably get rid of it!

start today

If you are serious about starting a new, simplified life, there is no better time to start than right now! It takes at least 21 days to change an old habit or create a new one so if you start creating a more simplified home environment today, you will be in great shape by the time school and the
Holiday season begins. Pick one idea from the list above and get started today! Once that item is complete or has become a habit, come back and try something else.

For more ideas on how to simplify your home or for help with your organizing endeavors,
contact us directly or visit our website at http://www.andreadekker.com/. We would love to help!

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