Your Home with Robyn ReynoldsFeb 01, 2023
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In this episode we’re talking about your relationship with your home. My special guest, Robyn Reynolds, is a certified professional organizer, and she's talking with me all about how to take really good care of our homes, so that we can take good care of ourselves and our families.
Through her company, Organize 2 Harmonize, Robyn helps people organize anything and everything related to their homes. She is also a mom to her teenage daughter.
We spend a lot of time in our homes, especially if you have small kids. And if you have a negative relationship with your house, then you might not feel fantastic about being there.
Robyn is here addressing common struggles with organizing and offers some really great tips to help us enjoy being in our homes.
The power of an organized home
Robyn says, “a cluttered space is a cluttered mind.” When there are messes all around you, it is distracting and makes it hard to focus.
Decluttering and organizing areas of your home opens up mental space for what’s really important.
Organizing also often creates more family harmony because you’re not constantly asking and reminding people to clean up. When your kids know where to find things, you’re asked for help less often, saving you time and energy.
And getting organized can even save you money. When everything has a place, you won’t go out and buy an unnecessary replacement item (think screwdrivers, etc.) just because you thought you lost the one you had.
Common obstacles to organizing your home
One common struggle is our emotional attachment to the items in our home, especially when we received them as gifts.
Robyn explains that, “organizing is more than fitting a round peg in a square hole because there is such a huge psychological component to it. People have a hard time letting go of things. And a lot of times, they just need the permission from a neutral third party to say it's okay.”
Once somebody gives you something, it is yours. And you get to choose what you do with it and whether you keep it or not.
There is a different level of mess for every age of kid. All the baby gear, toys, school papers, sports equipment…every stage has its challenges.
Robyn says that once kids start school, the clutter often really starts. They’re bringing home so many projects and paperwork it can be overwhelming. And the emotional piece plays a huge role there, too.
Kid clothing can feel a little out of control, too. They grow so fast, and you might also be saving clothing for a younger child or have other hand-me-downs coming in.
When it comes to saving clothing, baby gear or other bulky items that you think you’ll want to use again later, it’s important to be realistic when it comes to your storage space. If you don’t have the space to save baby items for a second child, sometimes it makes more sense to donate and re-buy them later than to pay for a storage space for those bulky items.
Sometimes, moms feel so overwhelmed by the clutter that they just have no idea where to start. And there are usually some other thoughts and feelings tied up with that overwhelm.
As I often talk about with my own coaching clients, a good place to start is by thinking about what is bothering you the most. What is the area of your house that would bring you the most peace if it was cleaned up?
Robyn recommends starting with one small area and completing it before moving on to another.
When you jump from room to room doing a little bit here and there, you don’t notice a significant change and it can be discouraging. Finishing even a small area will feel like an accomplishment and allow you to see clear progress.
Tips for getting organized
Cut down on the number of toys
Robyn says, “Kids don't care about toys. That's what I found out with my daughter. When she was little, if I gave her a cardboard box, she was a happy camper.”
Ask grandparents or others who want to give gifts to contribute to a college savings account instead.
Create a keepsake from your kid’s artwork
Pick the best of the best - your favorite kid creations. Keep one box or bin per child and make decisions about what to keep and what to toss as new items come in.
After you have a collection built up, you can take pictures of your kid’s artwork and create a photo book that keeps the memories in a smaller space.
Create systems for everything in your home
The first step is designating an area for a certain type of item (e.g. school supplies, toys, shoes, paperwork). Then, figure out where the items in that area will actually belong - a home for everything.
Throw out junk mail right away, rather than letting it pile up. Do the same with delivery boxes. Once they’re empty, break them down and get rid of them.
Keep things that you often take out of the house, like reusable shopping bags or backpacks, near the door so they’re easy to find and grab when it’s time to go.
Have a maintenance plan
Organizing isn’t a one-time project. You need a plan to maintain the systems you’ve put in place for the long-term.
The same systems and organizational strategies don’t work for everyone. We are all different and so are our homes.
Start by thinking about what is overwhelming to you. Then, you can dig into the work of finding and implementing a solution, whether on your own or with the help of a pro like Robyn.
As always, be kind to yourself. Organization doesn’t come easily to everyone, and it’s okay to reach out for the support you need.
- How we ended up with so much stuff in the first place
- What might be standing in the way of the organized home you want
- Questions to ask yourself when you feel too overwhelmed to start
Connect with Robyn:
- Learn how to work with Robyn on her website
- Follow Robyn on Facebook and Instagram @organize2harmonize
Connect With Darlynn:
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