by SARAH DEGRIM
When I started my home organizing business in 2018, I was emerging out of the fog of having two children just 16 months apart. My life had changed dramatically in a relatively short period of time. Like most new parents, I was surprised by the amount of work they required and the ever-growing sleep deficit that I was facing, but more than anything I was shocked by how many new things were now in my home as a result of these tiny humans.
I realized that I’d need to find a way to juggle an enormous amount of responsibility without any additional resources. I was spending countless hours keeping up with the kids’ mess, looking for things, taking care of cleaning and laundry, and even when I had some “down time” I spent it doing housework or stressing about the house being a mess. This left me feeling like I had no time for the things that were most important to me.
Then one day, while picking up the house, it dawned on me that the source of my frustration and stress was right in front of me; the daily routine of tidying and cleaning up was preventing me from being able to focus on what mattered most to me. If I could somehow reclaim my home, I could reclaim my life balance. I would be able to spend my time and energy nurturing my relationship with my husband, enjoying these priceless moments with my kids, and pursuing a career that I’m passionate about.
I started creating systems to organize my home, while being mindful of my family’s needs and lifestyle. The changes I was making had immediate effects on our lives. I saw a significant reduction in the amount of time and effort I was spending on general housework. As a result, I was less stressed — I had reclaimed my time and started spending it with intention. I was able to enjoy kicking my feet up at the end of the night because my home wasn’t requiring my constant attention.
As I explored my newfound appreciation for organizing, I realized that the benefits extended far beyond simply having a tidy home. It was the ripple effects that were so surprising: I fell in love with the sense of control I had over my time, my relationships, and my stress levels. These small changes were incredibly impactful!
Take a moment to consider the following statistics:
- In the average home, getting rid of clutter would eliminate approximately 40% of housework. (Soap and Detergent Association study)
- Worrying their home isn’t clean or organized enough is the 5th most common stress trigger for Americans. 47% say this caused stress within the past month. (Huffington Post survey)
- The average American spends one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items at home and in the office (US News and World Report)
As we launch into a new year full of possibilities, I ask you to take a moment to think about your goals going into the next season. Some of the classic resolutions might include working out, reading more, working less, or being more present in our relationships. But most resolutions require some kind of resource, whether it be time, energy or money. So, if you knew that organizing your home could give you all of these things in some way or another, why wouldn’t you tap into this resource? The answer I get from most people is that they don’t know HOW to get started.
I’ve made a living out of organizing people’s homes so they don’t have to, and while I think hiring a professional organizer is one of the best investments anyone can make, organizing is a skill that anyone can master!
Organizing our homes and lives does not need to be a complicated process and it doesn’t have to happen overnight. Start by organizing one space at a time. With a simple plan you can apply the following steps to organize almost any space:
- Remove all items from the space and sort like with like
- Donate or get rid of anything you no longer need or use
- Measure the space – purchase or repurpose products around your home that can contain your grouped items and fit in the given space
- Place grouped items used the most frequently in locations that are most easily accessible. It’s very important that everyone in your home who needs to access these items is able to reach (and replace) them.
- Always put items back where they belong, it only takes a few moments and it ensures that you’ll be able to successfully maintain the simple solutions you’ve put in place.
Sarah DeGrim is the founder of Stylish Spaces, a full-service luxury professional home organizing company. She splits her time between New York City and Lake Norman – accepting home projects in both areas. Through Stylish Spaces, she helps simplify your life by creating stylish & functional organizing systems that meet your individual needs. For more organizing tips or to receive a complimentary proposal visit: www.stylishspacesny.com