Do you have a dumping zone in your house? The spot near the front door, perhaps? Your dining table? Your kitchen bench?
In my house, the major dumping zones are right near the front door and the kitchen bench.
Not that long ago, I got so fed up with that spot near the door that I had figure out a way to solve the problem immediately. I was tripping over bags and shoes, and felt like I was constantly nagging about the bits and pieces lying around. I was completely over it. So I went through some steps to figure it all out. That might make me sound a bit dumb, thinking before doing, but I’m going to share it anyway.
Here’s how I got to eliminating the dumping zone in my house.
1. Work out what the problem is and what you really want to change.
What is that dumping ground that’s driving you mad? What are you constantly nagging about? What are you tired of dealing with on a day to day basis?
I wrote down the things that were bothering me the most. Here’s what I wrote down:
“Things that annoy me: drink bottles, socks, shoes everywhere, bags hanging around”. Really. I did.
2. Work out why it’s driving you mad.
In this case, it was tripping over things; feeling like it was my fault that other people’s things were getting ruined by toddlers; feeling like I was nagging over and over again to get the job done (or pretending that it didn’t bother me, to avoid nagging); and the expectation that “mum will do it” when I know that the kids are capable of doing some of these tasks on their own.
3. Figure out how you’re going to fix the problem.
Sometimes the solution is a quick fix; other times it’s a bit more complex than that.
In this case, the solution was to make sure there was a dedicated space for shoes and bags to go, and that was neat and tidy and accessible. We do have a spot, under the stairs, but it seems to get out of hand really fast and then the dumping happens again. I gave it a clean out and a tidy up, and shifted all the bits and pieces that didn’t have to be there to another home. Longer term, I need to make sure that it stays clean and tidy.
The solution to me feeling that ‘expectation’ was to change when things are put away. When Beanie gets home from school, he has a set of tasks to complete, and that includes putting his bag and shoes away. This is a long term habit that needs to be formed, and I’m the one who will have to instigate and model it. It’s so easy to get caught up looking after the kids that my shoes and bag don’t always make it into the cupboard, but it’s something I’m really going to make an effort to change.
Where to from here?
Having sorted out one dumping zone make me feel so much better. That dumping zone near the door is one of the first things I see when I walk in or out the door, and up or down the stairs. Visually, it was a massive eyesore. It always made me cranky seeing it and the clutter was making my mind feel cluttered, too. It was overwhelming. Now that it has been cleaned it up, and a system put in place to keep it from becoming a dump zone, I feel that little bit lighter, and that makes me more motivated to keep it tidy and work on other areas that are prone to clutter.
// What are your major dumping zones? What are your solutions? Let me know in the comments. //
Inspired? Check out Ruth Soukup’s new book, Unstuffed for more inspiration on decluttering your home and your mind.
This post is written as part of the Unstuffed Blog Tour, which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more about the blog tour and join us, click here.