Wow, what a year this has been! I don't think that anyone could have predicted how much our world would change in just a few weeks. But here we are. Did you ever think that you would spend so much time in your home, your sanctuary? Spending more time in your home makes you see how functional it really is or isn't. Since most of us will still be at home the majority of the time for the next few weeks, let's look at ways to make your home function better for you and for your family.
1. Maximize vertical space. Tall shelves where space allows are a great way to maximize the space between the floors and the ceilings. Placing desks in front of windows to get maximum light in addition to not taking up valuable wall space.
2. Have clear paths through your home. This does not mean just keeping floors clutter free, but also arranging furniture so that there are clear and defined paths through a room.
3. Clutter control. It is easy to make piles that you intend to get to later. Soon, one pile becomes two, two becomes three and the clutter is out-of-control. Setting up designated spaces for tasks such as online schooling can help reduce the piles. Utilizing bins and baskets where like items can be stored and easily retrieved and put away again is a great way to control the piles. Taking 10-15 minutes per night to go room to room and put things away is a great way to control the clutter. Assign each family member a room or two. For younger kids make a game out of it. See who can put away 15 items the fastest, put away all of the blue things, etc.
4. Along with clutter control is using each room for its intended purpose. Play room for play, family room for family time. Try to avoid common traps like officing out of the kitchen. If you do not have the needed space try using a corner of the room to create a nook for a specific purpose.
5. Make sure to store things correctly and to utilize storage tools. Remember to label bins and such clearly. If everything has a designated spot it is more likely to end up in the right place.
6. Try to store items where they are used. If you are putting away your winter clothes find a way to store them in your room rather than the garage or basement. It makes things easier to find when you need them.
7. Make sure that everyone in the home has a little space all their own. This can be a bedroom or use the nook idea. When everyone is home all (or the majority) of the time it's easy to feel overwhelmed with near constant contact.
During this time please remember to exercise good self care and establish a routine. Be gentle on yourself and others. This helps everyone deal with the additional stress. Use this time to make your living space work better for you. It will benefit everyone in the long run. Until next time, be well and stay safe!