You are not alone.
Every home, no matter how small, is still a complex setting filled with multiple activities and spaces. Busy households with active children often struggle with bottlenecks in the highly congested areas. Hallways can be hard to maneuver without stepping or tripping over things.
If your house is really clogged up, it might be that you have too much incoming and not enough outgoing. Or, it might be as simple as stepping up your organization skills. Consider these suggestions.
Assess the damage. Are any of these scenarios the culprits in your home?
- If your mail lands on a counter that is in a very active hub in your home, chances are it will be knocked over, mislaid, or even disappear.
- If sweaters, jackets and coats, and scarves are not put away, chances are they will get mixed in with a pile of other unattended clutter. This is a perfect storm for misplacing or losing important items.
- Too often, items like keys, glasses and cell phones are notoriously misplaced or buried because we put them somewhere or anywhere without a conscious effort to put them in a consistent and exclusive place.
- You are consistently tripping over abandoned shoes, sneakers, and unclaimed apparel.
If your household is a particular hectic one with multiple activities and busy children, the mess could get uglier. New toys, new clothing, and new technology commonly invade the home before the old items exit. Household clutter creates chaos and negative consequences for everybody in the home. For adults, it could mean a missing document or an important bill. For the kids, it’s a team uniform, a missing piece to a favorite toy, board game or puzzle.
Find your busy intersection in your home and control it. Create specific zones in your home for items to land and set up individual spaces (bins, containers, hooks, etc) for each member of the family to organize their own things. Imagine a natural flow when entering your home at the end of a typical day; hanging up the jacket in the coat closet, then placing the keys in a bowl or on a hook, dropping the mail in a designated basket or tray, and thereafter returning your phone, glasses, briefcase or handbag back to its consistent resting place. Now you’re ready to move through your home without a messy trail. Pretty easy, huh? As a result, you won’t need to put anything away later, and you also know where to find them when you need them. You’ve just cut your “losses”, literally.
If the kitchen is the most popular hub in your home, design the space so it can accommodate the heavy traffic. Be creative and make your spaces work for you. Avoid clogging the areas near the fridge with frequently used appliances. Keep counter tops clear so that more than one person can utilize an adjacent area without vying for the same spot. Encourage traffic to flow away from the crowded areas, creating more of a one-way traffic pattern into the more open spaces.
If you find yourself walking in circles to look for something, maybe you should rethink its location and accessibility. A simple change can alter the flow of your home and impact the common spaces significantly.
A busy life doesn’t need to mean a chaotic one. On the contrary, a busy life needs to be managed that much more acutely. A little more attention to organization can promote family harmony and help balance the busy effectively.
Invite yourself into your home. Now take a moment, stroll with a more objective eye, is your busy household flowing smoothly?