The big concept we are breaking down this week is minimalism vs. maximalism!
Minimalism and maximalism are two completely opposite views on how your home should feel and look, but both are a lifestyle.
Minimalism is the idea that less is more. The idea is that you only need to keep things that you truly need and are essential. Maximalism is the idea that more is more and that you should love all your things, which should be out on display.
Both of these ideas have wonderful strengths and some blindspots that could hinder you.
Minimalism has recently become an aesthetic where you will see more beige, white, and black. There are very minimal decorations. There is definitely a spectrum when it comes to minimalism. Maximalism highlights collections and the idea that your home should reflect you.
Minimalism can be very restrictive if you feel that you have sentimental items that are viewed as clutter in the framework of minimalism. Not all collections need to be parted with. With maximalism, your home can quickly become cluttered and overwhelming.
These examples are extreme situations, of course.
Figuring out how you want your home to feel is the basis of organizing. Remember to ask yourself, what does organized look like to you? Know that there are so many communities for support, no matter your chosen design.
Also, and very importantly, it isn’t all or nothing! Which one of these styles resonates the most with you?
In this week’s episode, we are covering a topic related to kids and adults alike – executive skills.
Before The Organized Mama came to be and I was still in the classroom, we would have to work on “life skills.” The skills covered various tasks, including organizing your binder, writing in a notebook, making sure you showered, etc. Over the years, these skills started being referred to as executive skills. There are seven executive skills that we focus on for everyone!
The seven executive skills are planning, organizing, cognitive flexibility, working memory, impulse control, social understanding, and time management. Some others may group the skills slightly differently, but this is based on what I have learned in my continuing education programs.
Research shows a link between these skills and kids’ success in school. Kids who display these skills will have stronger reading comprehension, make more cohesive essays, and make more logical connections.
What I’ve found over the years is that adults realize they never learned how actually to perform some of these skills. This is why I believe in teaching, learning, and growing your executive skills.
How does this fit in with organizing? All of these skills play a role in organizing!
Skills either build on each other or go hand-in-hand with each other. For example, time management and planning go hand-in-hand. You can plan your day perfectly, but your planning will go nowhere if you aren’t managing your time.
Today, we will focus on three big topics: planning, organizing, and time management. Let’s work together with our kids to grow our executive skills!
Organizing: The basis of organizing is grouping and sequencing. You group like items together and sequence them. Start with an easy area. I like to start with clothes! Have your kid group their clothes together and store them in either a drawer or closet.
Planning: Everyone can benefit from better planning! With kids, it is great to list what is being planned. This especially helps those who are neurodivergent.
Time Management: We really want to focus on using the time you set for yourself. Time blocking is a wonderful strategy that I use! The timers are also great. Visual timers are great to use for kids. We have so much technology to help manage our time. Let’s start working smarter to help keep us organized and on time.
I strongly encourage you to try out one of these skills, and let me know how it helps you!
Executive Skills For Kids Workbook
This episode is sponsored by the Executive Skills For Kids Workbook. This workbook walks you through setting up each skill in your home based on how your child could benefit from building on previous skills.
The Executive Skills For Kids Workbook includes everything you need to start the journey to developing the skills your kids need.
Use the strategies to build skills like organization, planning, and time management. Access tools to support impulse control and working memory. Gain insight into supporting social understanding and cognitive flexibility.
Included in the Workbook:
Basic assessment for what executive skills your child already has and where you can support
Strategies for each of the 7 executive skills you can do in your home, right now
Checklists and guides to support you and your child as you build executive skills.
Are you short on time? In this week’s episode, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite one-minute organizing hacks!
I love a good organizing hack. They can truly be life-changing, which is why I always try to share my favorites!
Hack #1: This can be somewhat controversial. If you are in the overwhelmed/stressed mindset, take everything off the counter and put it into a bin to organize later. BUT you have to organize it later. If you already use a maybe basket, this is a great option to use!
Hack #2: Invest some time before you start to get stressed out, and label ALL THE THINGS. Seriously, put labels on everything. When everything is labeled, you don’t have to think about where something goes.
Hack #3: If your counters are completely messy and you can never keep them clean, use a tray! I use trays for everything. They keep things contained and help to reduce visible clutter.
Hack #4: Add a hook to where you see a pile of stuff on the floor. For example, if you see a backpack on the floor, hang a hook at the kid’s height! Now there is a designated spot for the item that isn’t on the floor. My favorite are 3M hooks!
Hack #5: Give everyone a tall laundry basket for their stuff. This is great if you don’t have room for hooks, or a designated mudroom.
Which is your favorite hack? I would love to hear from you!
In this week’s episode, I’m going to break down the best ways of organizing your storage area with the full clean-out method.
How many of you have a pile of clutter in your storage area? We do! Even after decluttering for our move, we still have so much clutter that I need to work through. I’ll be taking my own advice and walking through these steps as well.
This is a huge project. When you have a big project, you will need to prep for some time. This can be a great weekend project!
Step 1: Remove all the items from your storage area. I know this isn’t always feasible, but try your best to clean it out completely.
Step 2: Sort the items and group like items together. Some great categories are seasonal, holiday, sentimental items, pictures, etc. Grouping items together will make it easier for you to decide what to keep.
Step 3: Go through each category and make the decision on what is staying and what is going.
Step 4: Contain the items you are keeping in bins. The fewer bins, the better! Once everything is in their containers. Label them!
Step 5: If something isn’t in one of the bins or doesn’t fit in the categories, ask yourself why you are keeping that item. Why aren’t you using it now? If you can’t answer that question, you probably don’t need it anymore.
Tip: Schedule a garage sale before you start the decluttering. It will help you set a deadline for your project.
Step 6: Group all the similar bins together.
If you have extra paint or other housing supplies, you have a few options. Paints can be recycled at some local paint stores. Think out of the box for donations, such as a children’s museum! Tiles and other items can be donated to Restore Home. Check with a home improvement expert for even more options!
In today’s episode, we are discussing what to do with Grandma’s China! You know, the fancy plates, platters, and dishes that only come out for special occasions. Learn how to declutter china plates, platters, and other fancy dishware.
We get this question A LOT. What should I do with my grandmother’s china?
Can you be sentimental but also a minimalist? Contrary to what some people say, I truly believe you can.
Controversial opinion: I’m a firm believer that you DO NOT have to keep all of your grandmother’s china. I know. I know. There are a lot of people who will disagree with me on that.
When it comes to sentimental items, you don’t have to keep all of them. This allows you to still have sentimental items without having an entire collection of those items. There is a difference between sentimental items and sentimental clutter.
Some questions to ask yourself to figure out if the sentimental item is necessary to keep:
If you aren’t using the item, why not?
If it isn’t out on display, why not?
Do you have a specific place to display the item?
What is the worst thing that could happen if you used this every day.
Fun fact about my family: we use our wedding china every single day. It is very sentimental to us so we want to use it. Instead of using the items instead of saving them for “one day,” you will be able to honor the sentimental feelings.
Focus your attention on using those special things because someday may not come.
Organizing Freebie To Help Declutter China Plates + Platters
Today, we are talking about organizing hacks you have to try!
Show Notes On Organizing Hacks
These are my top four hacks that I love to share! Sometimes, out-of-the-box thinking is exactly what we need to organize your home!
Hack #1: Use a bar cart in the bathroom. Bar carts are a very easy option for creating storage and organizing!
Hack #2: Store bikes vertically! Bikes take up so much space in the garage (or wherever you keep them). By storing them vertically, it frees up space while also making them easy to get to when needed.
Hack #3: Use thin, narrow bins that stack on top of each other for under-sink storage. These make such a difference since they fit around the pipes!
Hack #4: Use hooks to organize! Hooks are an amazing tool for so many different areas. From kid’s rooms to mudrooms, hooks can keep all those hanging items organized. After all these years, 3M hooks are still one of my favorite options!
Bonus Hack: Line all of your shelves with shelf liner!
Now it’s your turn. Take a hack or two that works for you and take action!
Join the Clear The Clutter Challenge to declutter for good!
In today’s episode, we are going to talk about my favorite strategy to stay productive as a mom – time blocking!
Yes, with the right strategies, you can have a productive day no matter the age of your kids! When my kids were younger, I had a difficult time finding a rhythm to my day (Don’t we all!)
After a little research, I found tips about time blocking. The majority of the content I found was written by men. Let’s be honest; men and women are productive in separate ways. So, when I was following their advice, I was failing. Finally, I found an article written by a mom that changed my life!
I started to get my days back. I was able to create a system that worked for me, and I love sharing that with you!
Time blocking, simply put, is scheduling your time to focus on one task and completing it within a set time.
Block off your day in 15, 30, 45, or 60-minute increments. I love 15-minute increments because that makes sense to me. Focus on a single task during that time. But what about multitasking, right? Research shows we don’t do two things well at the same time. Focus on the one task for that timeframe, then move on.
The 15-minute strategy works really well with babies and toddlers. As your kids get older, you can start lengthening your time-blocking windows.
I love to use a physical tracker when time blocking. I start with non-negotiable times. Breakfast, school dropoffs, etc., in red. Then I block off any travel to and from activities. After this is noted, I make my list of things I would like to get accomplished. From here, I plan the rest of my day in the blocks!
This provided me with a level of structure I had not had until that point, and it felt so freeing. Make sure to have some buffer time in there as well! Let me know how time blocking works for you!
Time-blocking has been a proven method for getting more things done without distractions. But doing that as a mom can be tricky.
The Time Blocking For Moms Workbook walks you through how to time-block your day, the tools you need to stick to your time-blocking plan, along with planners to help you take action on blocking your time for productivity.
Do you still keep paper copies of things lying around your house? It’s time to go digital! Learn how to go digital with paper clutter.
A lot of people have asked me recently if they should go digital and what I recommend. Unfortunately, I can’t give you that answer, but I can help guide you by giving you questions to ask yourself to make that decision.
The big question: How technologically savvy are you? Advanced? Go all in. Not at all? Don’t do it unless you are willing to learn new skills! Keep in mind you can always start slow.
Great ways digitizing your documents can help you:
Manuals – Find the online product manual for all your appliances or items which you need to keep the manual and download them to your e-reader. The majority of companies have their product manuals online. If it has been a while since you purchased your item, keep the original.
Receipts/Medical Bills and Documents – These items can easily be created and saved as digital. This comes in handy when you can pull up the documents so you can send them to your doctor even while you are in their office!
Never digitize the following items: Passports, Social Security Cards, and Birth Certificates.
If you are ready to dive in, start with manuals and work your way through all the clutter!
On today’s episode, we are going to talk about motivation to organize.
Have you ever felt like this – you know you need to organize, but you have zero motivation whatsoever to do work? I’m here to give you motivation and inspire you to take action and get started!
In order to take action, you need to start. Give yourself a deadline to start. Start with tiny things. Start small and do little bits at a time. Those little bits will add up! Do you respond better to a shock? Then, do the BIG project. Take everything out of your kitchen or any other room, and get started!
Next, make a plan. Don’t overthink it! Just a basic plan to help you get started. When you accomplish something, no matter how small, celebrate! What is the tiny reward you have been waiting for? Making it is a special treat. Take this time to treat yourself!
Use music to help motivate you. Pick a tempo that helps you be productive.
If you are still struggling, make quick decisions!
Finally, use a “maybe” box to help you make decisions.
Let’s take some small action, make a plan, and don’t forget those rewards!
On the first episode of Organizing Tune-Ups of season two, I’m sharing my favorite questions to ask yourself to help with the decluttering process!
Show Notes On Declutter Questions To Ask Yourself
One of my favorite things to do is to ask questions while we are decluttering. Declutter questions are to be used on items that we are not sure if we should keep or not. Items that you know 100% that you will use, you won’t use these questions. If you know you don’t use something and want to get rid of it, these questions are not for those. These are for the questionable items – the “I don’t know,” and “Maybe” items. These questions will be able to help you decide if you should or shouldn’t keep an item.
Question 1: Have you admired this item within the last year?
Question 2: Can you replace this item for $20 or less?
Question 3: Do I have an item that I am keeping that can replace this item?
Question 4: Do you want to handle this item again?
Question 5: Am I keeping this item out of guilt?
Question 6: Do I actually wear this or do I like the idea of this item?
These questions, and more, will help you to identify what needs to go. You should showcase the things you love, you should use the things you have in your house, and you should feel good about your stuff! What is the point of an item if it doesn’t make you feel good? The end goal of your home is to feel cozy and loved. You can part with items that someone else will truly appreciate. I want you to feel good about getting rid of items that are no longer serving you.
Podcast Episode On Declutter Questions To Ask Yourself