Pop Quiz: Name two places in your home that are always cluttered.
I bet you passed! It wasn’t that hard, was it?? LOL. If you’re like me, you were easily able to rattle off at least a couple of spots (and most likely a few more than that) that gather stuff as if they were coated with Krazy Glue. (Or “The Kragle,” as we say around here these days!)
These are called “hotspots,” and they are the subject of today’s organization tip.
Let’s face it; we all have those places in our home where everybody seems to put their stuff. They are usually horizontal surfaces right along a useful traffic zone, such as when you are coming into the house and have a bunch of items that you are carrying in. You need to take off your coat, so you put them all down — and then you don’t get around to picking them back up again.
In my house, a common hotspot is the dining room table, since we often use that for school. The books and papers get piled up and then left there, day after day. And it’s also a convenient spot to lay a coat down when I want to stay on the kitchen end of the house rather than traipsing all. the. way. over to the coat closet. Um.
Then there is the top of my dresser. It can easily become a repository of clothes I’ve worn but am not ready to wash yet, clean laundry that needs to be hung up, books I am in the middle of, pens, hair spray (when I have to use the mirror there rather than the one in the bathroom), etc. etc. etc. (If you are a fan of Yul Brynner in The King and I, you know exactly how you’re saying that in your head.)
So let’s cut to the chase: today’s tip is to keep your hotspots clear.
(“Keep your station clean — or I will kill you!” — Colette in Ratatouille)
(Yes, if you didn’t know it already, you’ve realized by now that we are a movie family. Although three references in one blog post is a record for me, I think. :-) )
Sometimes, especially as homeschool moms, there is only so much we can concentrate on. Keeping the entire house clean can be pretty much impossible. We are ALL there, ALL day, EVERY day.
It is much more doable to just keep an eye on the hotspots. Don’t let them get cluttered. Instead of dumping stuff and leaving it there, put it away where it belongs.
DON’T don’t DON’T just find a new place to dump it. That would only create a new hotspot, hello.
Instead, put it away. If there is a place for everything (more about that on Day 28), then this should only be as hard as going a few steps further to put it there.
One of my prime hotspots used to be the counter in the kitchen next to the stovetop. I dealt with that by turning it into my Home Management Center. Sometimes seeing which items are typically left on a certain surface can spark the solution for how to deal with it.
When you concentrate on those few places that attract all the stuff, the entire house seems magically more clean and less cluttered.
It’s a quick fix without a lot of effort.
One great way to motivate yourself to keep these areas clear is to turn them into a decorative asset. Of course, the sight of a clean, clear surface is pretty nice in and of itself; but if you place a candle or flower arrangement or some other decorative item on the spot that used to be covered with clutter, it will dissuade you from wanting to pile anything else on there.
This is one of those tips that is a small change that yields big results. Keep your hotspots cleared off, and enjoy how free you feel!