If you’re constantly feeling stressed in your home and like you’re overwhelmed with bits and pieces, then you’re probably in need of a good decluttering. Clutter builds up quickly, and most people don’t even know how it happens. One piece of dirty clothing becomes 10, junk mail finds its way into every room of your house, and your basement has more unlabeled boxes than you can even count.
Disorganization in your home can cause anxiety and make you unable to relax. Home is expected to be a haven for you to feel at peace, but the constant need to clean and put things away makes it the opposite. Decluttering can have amazing effects on your mental health and allow you to enjoy your time at home to the fullest. Even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a hoarder, these tips will help you take back control over your stuff.
Identify the “clutter zones.”
The first step is to note which areas of your home seem to gather up clutter. Are there certain shelves or drawers where you tend to throw items that have no other home? Do you have a chair in your bedroom that you never sit in, but instead is home to an ever-growing pile of clothes? Are you tripping over 20 pairs of shoes and toys in your hallway? Identifying the areas of your home that build-up the most clutter will allow you to target those areas first.
Keep, store, donate
Next is the hard part, sorting through everything. Take it one room at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of work. It will be worth it in the end. Create piles of all your stuff. These piles are “keep,” “store,” and “donate.” If you don’t use the item and haven’t in years, it might be time to donate. If you have items of sentimental value, that you use a few times a year, or that you need to keep for legal reason, they can go into storage. Anything you need constant access to can stay.
Get a storage unit
There are many items in the home that you may not use but that you hold on to for a specific reason. People also have things that are used seasonally, such as Christmas decorations or camping gear. These items do not need to be cluttering up your space, and you can instead store them offsite. A storage unit provides a secure place to keep anything you’re attached to without it just taking up valuable space in your home.
Find creative storage solutions
If you have a lot of stuff that you always need on-site, find creative ways to store them. For example, if your hallway is building up with shoes, get a hanging shoe rack for the closet or a storage bench in the hall. If you find you’re continually piling clothes on a chair in your room, then remove the chair, so it’s not an option. Instead, make it easy to store your clothes with a bed frame with built-in storage underneath.
When it comes to decluttering, getting rid of as much, you can is always a good first step. Minimalism doesn’t always work for everyone, and that’s ok, but keeping your home organized will give you peace of mind.
If you have a large outside space that you’re not sure what to do with, perhaps you want to optimize it for your family so that everyone can enjoy it together. A family-friendly garden can truly transform a house into a home, and it’ll be well received during the warm months when playing indoors just won’t cut it.
Here are 6 great tips for creating a more family-friendly garden.
1. Implement a Divider
Having a family-friendly garden doesn’t mean that you have tocompromise on a kid-free zone. Instead of having the entirety of the garden taken over by your kids and their play, think about installing a form of divider so that you can separate the family area from a tranquil garden area. This could be a flower bed, bushes, or maybe even a small wall. This way, you can have a clear separation between where your children can have free reign to play and make as much mess as they want, while also maintaining a piece of garden you can keep for planting flowers, relaxing in, installing a water feature or whatever else you would like to do with your kid-free zone of the garden.
2. Have a Fun Feature
For a family-friendly garden, you need something which will mean that your children will actually want to spend time out there. Although the creativity of kids means that they can easily have fun even on just a bare piece of lawn, there’s no reason you can’t step it up a notch. Having a rectangular trampoline for the garden is a great source of play for the warmer months (and also great exercise to boot), or you could have a net set up for ball games, for example.
3. Think About Safety
You don’t want to be worrying constantly about your children hurting themselves whenever you turn your back. The feature of a good family-friendly garden is knowing that it is safe for your children to play outside by themselves if you have to keep wandering back into the house. Therefore think about safety features you could install; if you do have a garden feature like a trampoline, make sure it’s installed correctly with safety netting.
If you have a garden pond, make sure that it is closed off or can’t easily be fallen into by young children when you’re not looking. You could also transform any hard stone or decking into more cushioned grass if that is your preference; that way, if falls do occur, they will be less of a problem.
4. Set Up a Dining Area
The luxury of having a large garden means that you can easily host garden parties, barbeques, or even just family meals outside during the hotter months, which means you’re going to need a table and chairs and some form of outside means to cook. This is great for a family garden, as you can then enjoy important mealtimes together outside, and your children can easily play while you’re arranging the food. Best of all, you still able to keep an eye on them by simply being nearby.
5. Think Cheap
You don’t have to spend a fortune to create the ideal family-friendly garden. Children are easily amused, which means they won’t know the difference between high-end quality items for outdoors, or items which you have got second-hand. Take the time to shop around and look for any garden items other people may be selling, especially online.
You could also upcycle old furniture to create new items for the garden, such as outside seating. You can easily find old benches or chairs at second-hand furniture markets, which are easy to do up yourself to match your garden’s theme. You can even get the whole family to chip in to update items so that it can a family bonding experience, too, if you want.
If you’re looking for a little DIY for the garden, children’s play areas and equipment can easily be built by hand using wood and other materials. But it is important that you have the skills and patience to do so.
6. Don’t Get Rid of All the Natural Features
Spending time in the garden with your children is the perfect opportunity to teach them about their natural environment. As well as play equipment and other features, think about installing flower beds or a vegetable patch so that your growing children can learn more about caring for plants and develop new gardening skills. If you have a pond, you could also have children help you feed and take care of the fish, which, in turn, is letting them learn more responsibility, too.
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National Autism Centre
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