The kindness of a friend today inspired me to pickup the pen (ehhh…keyboard) and write this post. She asked simply for my tips on how to stay organized, tidy, and decorated while chasing around three kids, a husband, and a big ole dog. Let me humbly say it’s not easy. It’s work just like anything else, but for me it is a priority and something I, personally, place a lot of importance in. I’d also preface this blog by saying though I appreciate the kind words, I am not educated in interior design. In fact, I have several close friends that truly have this gift. Me? I’m over here in amateur-hour compared to their keen design eyes.
That said, these are the things that work for ME. Maybe there’s a nugget here that may work for you, too. If so, great! And if not? Well, that’s ok, too! I’m a strong advocate for the “you do you” philosophy.
So here goes…
Consistent Look and Feel- this one is the basis of all I put into decorating and organizing my home. Here’s the most basic advice I can give: pick a style and stick to it! When you mix modern, industrial, shabby chic, contemporary, rustic, etc. I believe it interrupts flow in your space. For me, I adore the farmhouse feel, minus the roosters. I love the simplicity, the warmth, the homeyness. I also am passionately committed to two colors: white and grey. Every room of my house has a consistent neutral look at its core. If you stripped all decor out of my rooms the canvas would be the same: white and grey.
Swap with the Seasons- I’m not even kidding this makes my life so easy. In my basement there are totes labeled with different seasons and different holidays. Literally, I just grab the totes and swap out key pieces to keep my rooms seasonally relevant. Christmas transitions to winter, winter transitions to Valentine’s and so forth and so on. And here’s my big secret…throw pillows. You all, I have the same throw pillows on my couches year round. You heard me. They are the same all year. With a twist…I buy throw pillow covers and swap them as I swap the season. So simple. And easy to store away in the totes!
Everything has a Home- this one is easier said than done with kids but I live by it. My #1 tip? NO TOYS IN BEDROOMS! Honestly- it’s a game changer. All toys are stowed away in their bins when not in use. I love the nine box shelving units you can get at IKEA or Target. This is not to say we don’t play toys on the living room floor or pull out a board game on the kitchen table, it just means when we’re done they go back where they belong. It’s the same for shoes, lunch boxes, books. Everything has a home.
That kind of leads me to the next pointer which is Don’t Put off Til Tomorrow. Here’s the deal. I am fully aware that I have CDO, (that’s OCD but put in alphabetical order, people) but it keeps my chaos in check. That means beds are made and dishes done. When you let things pile up you then have double work and nobody has time for that! So make your daily non- negotiable list and don’t compromise on it.
Communication- this is a big one. Taking care of a home is hard work! For me and Andrew, it’s a partnership. Outside of daily responsibilities and chores (read: laundry, cooking, caring for our kids, etc.), I take care of the bigger stuff inside and he takes care of the big stuff outside. We’ve agreed upon this and it keeps expectations in check. We also communicate expectations with your kids and hold them to it. My 10 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old know that dirty clothes go in the hamper. They know dishes are brought to the sink when done eating. They know that shoes go in their bins under the mud room bench when they come inside. Oh, and I remind them when needed. I’m a mom- not a miracle worker people!
Love It or Lose It– it’s kinda a minimalist mentality but, truthfully, if it doesn’t bring you joy get rid of it. We purge toys, clothes, household items regularly, donating them to those that need them or could use them. This is easy for me and not so much for my collector of a husband. Together though, we balance each other out. He talks sense into our wallets by making sure I don’t toss things that have another use and I convince him to balance want and need.
See it Through- For. Real. If someone started something for you at work and never saw it through to completion you’d be ticked. And if you’re their manager I’d venture to say a change in their output would be expected or they would no longer be employed. Am I right? So why do we settle for half-baked projects all around the house? If you start something, finish it. For me I’d rather have one or two things 100% than a whole bunch of things only 10% done.
Investment in Universal Pieces- this one is probably my favorite style tip. You all know I love the grey and white canvas, but here’s another thing I am equally as passionate about: selecting pieces that can flex within your space. For example: I have this turquoise accent chair that I adore. It’s been in my bedroom, in the living room, in the office. I use it universally throughout the house and love the pop of color that it brings to whatever room it’s in at the moment. I have other pieces like this, too; wall hangings, tables, books, vases. I move them all around to create freshness in a room. Have fun with it!
Uniquely Yours- another styling tip that is important to my overall home decor is having distinguishing pieces of great personal meaning. Maybe an heirloom, maybe a memory of an experience, maybe something made by your kids, maybe something that is from a local artisan, or a gift from your wedding. I incorporate all of these things into my home decor and display them proudly. Who doesn’t love a great conversation piece! When something has such meaning there’s no way to walk by it without it putting a smile on your face and that’s what I strive for by not tucking these things away but instead bringing them into the decorating fold.
Here’s to hoping some of these tips were helpful (or at least moderately entertaining). Leave me a comment to share your own tips; I’d love to hear from you!