Hey there. Welcome back to the Finding Organisation blog, where we’re all about turning your house into a haven of functionality and good vibes. Today, we’re diving into the art of mindful storage because, believe it or not, your house has some ingenious ideas about where things should go. So if you’re one of the many people wondering why your house gets messy so fast – I might be able to help. So, kick back, grab a cuppa, and let’s explore how your humble abode can guide you in creating a space that’s as practical as it is beautiful.
What… in the Marie Kondo?
I know, it sounds a bit woo-woo. Especially as I’m not really into chatting to your things, or holding them to see how they make you feel. I honestly believe this sort of thinking gives ‘stuff’ too much power, and makes it harder to let go of. It also unnecessarily slows down the process. My clients are busy people – they don’t have time for that shit. But I digress.
When I say, your home will tell you where to store things – I mean literally.
I want you to take a moment the next time your home is messy as hell to look around. Where are the dirty socks? (Bad example, because chances are they’re bloody everywhere.)
Where are the school bags, where are your keys, where are the shoes? What about the craft supplies or the damp towels?
Believe it or not, your house is practically yelling at you about where things should go. So, don’t get overwhelmed by a messy house, use it as a guide for mindful organising.
Lol, I just told you not to get overwhelmed by a messy house when we know that mess literally triggers cortisol in women. So I probably should say, while you’re overwhelmed, also take a look around. You can read more about that here.
Are you trying to swim against the tide?
I was recently at a friend’s new home, and she was asking me about shoe and bag storage, and if it made sense to create a ‘mudroom’ sort of situation in the laundry.
My initial thoughts were, probably not as the laundry is in the middle of the house and you might be swimming against the tide trying to get these things there.
It’s probably better to live in the place for a while, figure out what door you actually use the most and see where things land.
What do I mean? My kids’ shoes usually end up on our front deck. (As do their dirty socks)
So I could create shoe storage somewhere inside, but we don’t really wear shoes inside.
If my kids had to come home and take off their shoes, and then carry them into the shoe storage area, that would be an example of swimming against the tide.
It’s also an example of a fairy story – because come on? What child (or adult) is actually going to do that?
So when you find yourself looking around thinking, my house is dirty where do I start? Start by observing what has ended up where.
- If the wet towels are always on the floor in the bedroom, pop a towel hook on the wall of each bedroom.
- If your keys are always on the kitchen bench, put a bowl or a hook there.
- If the craft supplies always end up all over the dining table, make some storage space for them in the dining room.
- And if you enter the house through the garage, put a giant basket in there for shoes.
Also, have you noticed that all of these storage examples are super simple? Most can be effectively used with one hand. That’s what I like to aim for when it comes to hacking homes, a mindful approach to common issues.
There are lots of reasons homes get messy fast
Gah, my house gets messy so fast! It would be crazy of me not to add that, yes, swimming against the tide can contribute to this. But it’s not the only thing. Most homes also have too much stuff in them.
So if your main issue is that your house gets messy too fast, I encourage you to chuck out about 50% of everything you own. Yep – 50%.
And then choose mindful organising solutions.
I have created this declutter challenge and a declutter your home checklist if you need a hand getting started. But you can also find an organiser or decluttering service to help you out.
Your home is meant to serve you, not the other way around
The reason we have homes is simple, it’s to house and protect us from the elements. It’s to safely store us and the things we need to live. And the things that make us happy. It’s supposed to be a retreat that provides us with what we need.
Not the other way around.
But somehow, in the world of perfect Instagram homes, this all got messed up. And women (mostly) are bearing the grunt of too-much-stuff, crazy-high-standards and unrealistic parenting goals. Mostly, without a village.
So we are working 24/ for our kids, our jobs and our homes.
That’s why I’m so passionate about hacking spaces to make organisation easy.
Create function for the every day, not the special days
So, you might be thinking. Well, I don’t really want a basket of shoes on my deck, or the school bags hanging in the kitchen where they always end up. I’m already overwhelmed by my messy house.
And yep – I get it, we can’t always store things exactly where they end up. Because if that were the case, I would have a basket for dirty socks in every room of the house and one next to the trampoline.
But within reason, why can’t the schoolbags hang in the kitchen? Why can’t the craft supplies live in a trolley next to the dining table? The key to calming your home isn’t hiding things, it’s getting rid of things. And when you only keep the items that you love, you don’t need to hide them all away.
When your kids only have one backpack each, and your kitchen is calm and decluttered, having them hanging on the wall isn’t a big deal. More to the point, the likelihood that the bags will be put away in their spot increases when the spot is easily accessible and logical.
Let’s normalise family homes that look like family homes. When it’s a special occasion or you’re hosting, the bags can get chucked in the bedrooms, the (routinely decluttered) craft trolley can be rolled away.
I encourage all my clients to approach organising from an everyday perspective, not a special-occasion angle. Thinking about what it will look like when you’re hosting is a trap that makes us try to hide our everyday things in complicated storage solutions that don’t get used. Because they’re…complicated storage solutions.
Embrace the season you’re in
If you’re in your raising babies era, or your just-learing-how-to-run-a-home season, you home will look different. My kids are 10 and 12 and I actually love looking at old pictures with cluttered backgrounds.
Seeing the long-since donated toys and decor brings so many beautiful glimmers. It’s nostalgia at its finest. I’m so happy we don’t have high chairs, prams, walkers and plastic plates anymore – because that stuff was literally EVERYWHERE in our tiny apartment and first home. But I blinked and it was all replaced with a few switches, iPads and soccer boots.
I encourage you to lean into whatever season your home is in and create solutions that serve that season. whether that means baskets of shoes on the deck or a Bumbo that lives on the kitchen counter. Because one day there will be nothing but a walker and a knitted throw rug in your lounge room. And things will be eerily tidy. Take it from a professional organiser who works in different homes every day