Home organization is a challenge for most of us. Let’s face it – most of us struggle to keep the clutter at a minimum, the fridge science experiment-free, and the laundry from becoming Mt. Everest while getting everyone fed, clothed, and where they should be when they should be there. But there are those – and you know who you are – who succeed at it and succeed very well. The rest of us want to know how. I could quote from a recent bestseller or put a link to a social media expert with a bazillion followers who I’m sure knows their stuff, but I haven’t been in their house. Have you? Lucky for those of us who want to be better at home organization, I know a young woman who excels at it and she is an everyday person with everyday chal
lenges just like you and me. April Aiken is a mom who wears multiple hats and has multiple jobs like most do. She has a very energetic 6 year-old son and a husband who is a moving target, too, with work, coaching little people, and yes, helping at home. They are a family who loves sports and stays on the go with family and friends. Yet, I can personally say, I have never been in their home when it wasn’t neat as a pin, everything in place, and she and her peeps are ready for the day. How does she do it? Because she has mastered home organization, she had time to answer a few questions for DCI. Read on to find out her secrets!
What steps do you take to maintain organization in your home? What does your process look like?
My “process” is simply keeping an eye out for what needs to be put away or dealt with and doing it. I live by the motto, “A place for every thing, and everything its place.” So if that pencil laying on the table has a pencil holder on the desk, then let’s do what we can to ensure it gets where it needs to go. Same thing for toys or clothes or bags. And living in a two-story house can make constant up-and-down trips cumbersome, so you’ll sometimes see small piles at the top or bottom of the stairs that need to go up or down on my next trip. Bins and baskets and drawers are my organizational dream, and I naturally flock to that section of any store!
Good home organization is an ongoing process, much like a habit, rather than a one-time thing. How have you made it an ongoing part of your family’s home?
I try to stay on top of the clutter rather than letting the clutter get ahead of me. I don’t function well when I’m surrounded by a mess, so I need things in order before I move forward with anything. I try to set small goals (cleaning one spot, organizing a few bins, putting all the toys away, etc.) before I allow myself to do something else. That way I stay focused on what needs to be done. Another motto we live by is, “A happy home is a helping home.” It’s not just one person’s job to keep things straight – we all work together and do what we can to keep the house clean and orderly for a happy Momma.
Clutter is a problem for most families. What strategies do you use to help keep it at a minimum?
It’s a work in progress, and takes help from everyone. We help put things away before we leave the house, or before we go to bed, etc. There are certain bins or baskets for everything. I try to group things by type or size to make it easier for us all. Shopping bags are emptied and things put away immediately. Mail gets sorted and handled as soon as we get home. Essentially, I deal with what’s right in front of me.
If you could give one piece of home organization advice to those striving to be better at it, what would it be?
Start with one small area first and stick with it. Forming a habit takes time (sometimes months or more), but do your best to stay focused on the goal of getting organized. Try sorting through toys first or clothes and grouping them together in a way that makes sense to you and your family. If it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try another strategy. But find something and enforce it. And don’t be afraid to get rid of things. If it doesn’t work or doesn’t fit or just simply doesn’t make sense to keep it, then don’t. Once you’ve mastered one particular area, move on to the next.