Three basic steps for de-cluttering and organizing

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Three basic steps for de-cluttering and organizing

What I suggest in my book, Organize Simplicity, it's to take three basic steps and to do them all over your home, and I have found that most people's homes have about 10 areas where they can concentrate on once a day. The three steps are to (1) de-clutter, (2) clean, and (3) organize, and those sound pretty simple, but to me the most important stuff is to de-clutter. To me, we all have more stuff than we could possibly need, or use and we think that we need it all, but really, we honestly don't. I like this quote from an architect in the 19th century, named William Morris, and he said, "Have nothing in your home that you do not believe to be useful or know to be beautiful." So I encourage people to think through as they de-clutter; is this thing useful? And is this thing beautiful? What that means is just to think about whether your family really does use it, and whether your family really values that item, and if you don't, there's a pretty good chance you don't need it. It feels a little scary and feels a little different to get rid of the thing that you think you just absolutely have to have, but when you stop and take the effort to think about whether you really need it, and you realize you don't, it's actually pretty freeing to get rid of the stuff. I think once you've gone through that effort of de-cluttering, then the cleaning and the organizing is just basically giving your home a good scrub and then putting it back together. As long as you put it back in a way that makes sense, where everything has a home, then the de-cluttering is the hardest part, because by then you have room for the things you really do love, and those things shine so much more because now you've made the space for them. The 10 steps really have to do with what your home is like, so really, some people can take 12, some people might need only eight, it just depends on your home and the rooms, and what you use your home for.
ALL PARENTS, Family Life

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Tsh Oxenreider

Author & Blogger,

Tsh Oxenreider is the full-time blogger behind Simple Mom and the founder and creative director of Simple Living Media, a blog network dedicated to helping people live intentionally (while throwing perfection out the window). She thinks a library card, a Netflix subscription, and a passport are some of the greatest parenting tools in the universe. She’s a wife to Kyle, mama to Tate, Reed, and Finn, and is the author of Organized Simplicity and One Bite at a Time: 52 Bites for Making Life Simpler. She is currently working on her next book. Tsh and her nomadic family currently live in Bend, Oregon, but several dots around the globe have also been called home (her 7-year-old has been on 60 airplanes and counting). Together, they love to travel, read books, go camping, and make homemade pizza for Friday Family Movie Night.

Tsh writes about living simply and intentionally at Simple Mom, which was named one of the Top 100 Mom Blogs of 2012. She was also number 2 in the top 50 Twitter Moms of 2011, was named one of the Top 100 Mom Blogs of 2011, her blog was nominated for Best New Blog of 2008, and has been mentioned on Apartment Therapy, HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Food Network, CNBC, CNN, NPR, Parents Magazine, and more. She speaks frequently about blogging, writing, living intentionally, and motherhood in between changing diapers and hitting the 'publish' button. She is also an advocate for Compassion International, serving as one of their bloggers, and is a regular contributor at (in)courage. Tsh also records a podcast with Homefries called The Simple Mom Podcast, which during one week ranked second under NPR’s This American Life in most listened-to podcasts.

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