Our current times are different than what we had anticipated 2020 would bring. I was expecting more business growth, dance recitals and soccer and baseball tournaments, girl trips to Palm Springs, and a fun summer at the beach with my kids. Things have taken an interesting turn, and we are all doing the best we can to hunker down and stay positive and safe for the future.
My kids are considered high risk, so we are taking quarantine life much more seriously than how some families may be living. It has been a challenging time, and while my husband and I are trying to work from home, we are also doing distant learning for our nine year olds, which has proven to be an entire new challenge and concept in itself. Our patience is often tried, but our perseverance keeps us afloat as we revisit lessons of geometry and math facts. Our home seems crowded at times, and we push our spaces to become more multi-functional that ever before. Even in nooks and crannies that normally didn’t get much use. We are adjusting, we are determined to make it work every single day. We know our challenges are not only ours and most people in the planet are having to adapt while working and living in their spaces.
Reconsidering our spaces means we are having to make room for more than one function. The dining table is now an office, or a study space for the kids. The guest bedroom has become an added office, if one or more adult in the home needs to work with limited interruptions. The kids are needing more room to move around the house, so now your house is constantly cluttered with toys and books- even when the kids have their own rooms, or a play space area.
During this time, allow your home to become multi-functional. Allow each room to have a dual purpose. My daughter likes to crawl into my bed after her homework is done every day. She watches a show under my covers. I think she’s looking for comfort during this crazy time. Let’s be honest, the rug was just pulled under their feet. Their entire world has been turned upside down. Kids don’t say much, but it is what they do that gives us clues to what’s really going on. Let them be. Don’t go crazy trying to maintain a perfect space. Allow your home to have multipurpose rooms. Think how your furniture can help you in this mission, do you have one of those handy ottomans or benches with storage underneath, so you can hide things in a pinch? What about a buffet table where you can organize your office papers and school work at the end of the day. Be resourceful during time, and more importantly stay flexible with your space.
With organization in mind. I interviewed a friend of mine, who also happens to be a wonderful home organizer. Here are some tips for keeping your space organized during hectic time. Rochelle Harris, is a fabulous home organizer, and owner of Decluttering on Demand. I wanted he to give us some direction and ideas for keeping our spaces organized during this crazy time. Check out my interview with her below.
Where do you start organizing your home?
When organizing with a client I ask which area they wish to see progress on first. If the answer is ‘everything’. I like to start where we can find the most stuff to toss out or donate. It is important to declutter as much as possible as a first step. Like a personal trainer helps train your muscles, I train my clients’ thoughts and emotions to see their overabundance of items as an energy block. I work with them to recognize the flow coming back as they let go.
What areas are the most problematic?
A couple spaces seems to be popular dumping-grounds for clutter: the garage, the closets and a spare bedroom. While those areas fill up, re-usable grocery bags seem to be where a lot of folks toss mail and other paperwork ‘to be looked at later’. Often later never comes.
How to maintain clutter at a minimum?
After working through a series of areas over several sessions you will start to look at purchases in a new light. Every new item becomes a mixed blessing. Both a joy and something to manage. If you’re not willing to put in the time and energy to manage a new item; then either take a pass on it or let something else go to keep a balance.
Now that everyone is working and studying from home, what are some tips for staying organized in multi-functional spaces?
I like to create homes for everything. When school work or business takes over the dining table, for instance, have a decorative box or a shelf where it can be neatly stored the minute you plan to walk away from it for the day.
What is one thing we can do on a daily basis to keep our space organized?
I follow the practice I call ‘starting with a clean slate’. Before making a meal make sure every dish and counter space is cleared and clean. Before selecting your outfit for the day make sure everything is hung up or in the hamper. This way clutter doesn’t become many layers deep.
Spring is a busy time to declutter and organize, what can we do throughout the year to keep organized?
Pre social distancing, I used to host frequent casual dinners where I would make sure to have everything it it’s place. Now I set a date on the calendar every month when I go through my house documenting my organization, or lack thereof, with photos. This includes drawers and closets. I don’t show them to anyone but, if it helps you stay motivated, you could have an accountability partner with whom you could share photos.
You can reach Rochelle at (619) 518-1015, or at www.DeclutteringOnDemand.com
Follow her on Instagram at @declutteringondemand, or Facebook at Decluttering On Demand
Claudia Davis | Owner, Interior Designer | House and Harmony Design Studio
Claudia Davis is a native of San Diego, California, and longtime resident of the beautiful coastal community of Carlsbad. She created House and Harmony with the desire to make interior design services more accessible. She loves to create functional and stylish, practical and luxurious spaces.