Bring Space and Order To Your Living Space With These Simple Tips

Disorder in your home can make it seem like you’re living a mini nightmare. Not only can it be difficult to find things you need, whether it be when you’re cooking, cleaning, or otherwise, but it can also be a subtle source of anxiety that you might not even be aware of. With a little bit of mindfulness, some basic routines, and an ounce of effort you can make sure that your home is well organized on an ongoing basis. You’ll be able to find the things you need when you need them, enjoy the extra space that it brings to your home, and relish in the peace of mind that your home is sufficiently put together. Here are some top tips for getting started.

First, Focus On The Highly-Traveled Areas

For my family, without a doubt the room that sees the highest amount of use is the kitchen. We cook there, we eat there, and we often watch TV there when we’re relaxing throughout the day. I would estimate that aside from the 8 hours we spend sleeping in our bedrooms, the vast majority of our time is spent in the kitchen. It makes sense then that this should be the room that we focus on first, as our efforts will there will have the most impact. This very well may be different for your family. Just take a quick look around at your every day lives and see where you spend the most time. That is where you’ll want to get started. Once you see which techniques work and are worth your time, you can start focusing on the other less-travelled areas in your home.

Remove Items That Are Unnecessary

This is the step that everyone hates, and with good reason. We all love the items that we’ve brought into our lives, and getting rid of them can be painful for any number of reasons. Maybe an item is something that you though would be really cool, or maybe it’s something you spent a lot of money on. The hardest items to get rid of are those that were given to you by someone special. I get it, I’ve been there. Please try to keep those thoughts aside while I explain why this step is so important.

We live in a world full of things, and it’s so easy to accumulate them at a rapid rate. It’s what gets us into the habit of needing more space and needing to bring order to our homes in the first place. So often we think the answer is “more”. A bigger closet, a bigger kitchen, a bigger house. If we keep going down that path it will always spiral out of control. We can’t all afford a huge mansion for our family and all of our things. The simple answer is to cut down on the things that we bring into our home, and to cut down on the things that are already in our home that we simply don’t use or need.

Here’s what I do. I look at each and every item in the area I’m organizing and analyze two things. First, have I used it in the past year? If not, it’s time to remove that item from the area – with one exception. Does that item bring me joy? Perhaps it was given to you by your mother, or a close friend. If so, you can make a case that it’s worth keeping around. If you’re really getting stuck on this part it can be extremely helpful to work with a set of outside eyes. I once hired a team of professional organizers in northern VA, and the results were astounding. If you find yourself having trouble getting rid of your low-use items, I’d recommend that you do they same.

Put Items Where They Are Most Useful

With the unnecessary items removed from the area you’re working on, it’s time to think about where you’re going to put the items that remain. I’ll continue with the kitchen example. Pots and pans belong near the stove. Better yet, they should be within an arm’s reach of where you’ll be using them – the stove top. Similarly, spices and cooking implements should be nearby. Tableware such as glasses and plates should not be in the cooking area, they should be somewhere between the sink and the and the table.

Try to make flow paths with the items in your house. You want to make it easy to do any particular job that is done there. If you’re cooking while your spouse is cleaning, you want to make sure that your items are situated such that you’re not always bumping into each other while you’re working.

I’ve spoken mainly about the kitchen, but these simple steps translate to all areas of your home. With a little planning and effort you can really make your home a comfortable, organized, and functional place to live.

Best Practices for Maintaining Vibrant Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is beautiful and durable, there’s no doubt about it. Your floors take a lot of wear and tear though, so much so that you might not even realize it. If you don’t stay on top of it, your floors can become dull and worn faster than you think. Let’s discuss the important things to take care of if you want to extend their life as much as possible.

Sweep or Vacuum Daily

First and foremost it’s a good idea to keep the floors broom-swept clean. Small pieces of dirt are not even noticeable, but as you walk on the floors you are driving these particles into the hardwood. The effect is similar to that of sandpaper over the long run. If you keep the floors broom-swept clean you’ll avoid this type of wear over the long haul.

It’s understandable if you simply don’t have the time to do this to your entire floor every day. I’ll be the first to admit – I don’t. What can you do to make sure this chore is taken care of? First, focus on the floors that see the most use. Next, get help. The old-fashioned way would be to assign this daily chore to a kid. The new and cool way is to get a vacuum robot. I go with the latter. It’s actually amazing how well they work.

Mop Weekly

With the dirt cleaned up it’s important to keep stains cleaned up on a regular basis. Liquid from drinks or otherwise and food will inevitably make it to the floor, and as they dry they won’t be picked up with a broom or vacuum. These stains can intermingle with the finish on the floors, and if they aren’t removed the effect can be permanent.

Even a cursory clean with plain water on a weekly basis can be enough to make the difference. Once a month on a full clean with detergent can be entirely sufficient. Just make sure you include this step in your routines.

Make Your Furniture Floor-Friendly

Aside from keeping your floors clean to prevent wear and tear from daily use, the next biggest thing that can damage your floors is wear from furniture. Pay particular attention to chairs, and make sure that the feet are properly protected with good-quality felt or something similar. All too often we see gouges in flooring from unprotected chairs, and this could so easily have been prevented.

Remember, your hardwood flooring is incredibly valuable. Just think of how much it would cost to replace it. Sure, you’ll have to get it polished over the course of years, but if you can make sure the wood itself stays in decent shape you’ll save yourself some expenses over the long haul. Plus it will look great as you enjoy your home for the years to come.

Moreover, when you finally go to sell your home it will be one less thing that a potential buyer would be unhappy with. If you have floors that look like they need to be upgraded, a potential buyer will be inclined to offer less money on your house. On the other hand, if your floors look shining and perfect it will give the buyers an impression that you’ve really taken care of the home and they’ll be inclined to trust that you have done so in other ways as well. Keeping your floors clean and vibrant can go a long way in bringing joy to your every-day life, and also maintaining the value of your home over the years that you use it.