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If you’re like me, you are trying to “Marie Kondo” your life by decluttering and simplifying. I think it’s something that is pretty biblical, too, when you think about how we are supposed to throw off “everything that hinders” (Hebrews 12:1). I would say that is the perfect word to describe a messy home — hindering!
That’s where Melissa Michaels can help! She has a fantastic blog called The Inspired Room, and has written many helpful books, including Simple Organizing: 50 Ways to Clear the Clutter (Inspired Ideas).
When I asked Melissa where people like me should start when our whole house feels out of control, she said to clean the Dining Room table. She talks more about why that space is so important:
See your table as a sacred family gathering space where you offer nourishment to those you love. Clearing the clutter, wiping down the table, and sweeping the floor as you prepare the table for the next meal can become a soothing ritual every day rather than an ongoing annoyance. […]
Declare your dining table a clutter-free zone! Anything that is brought to the table should be taken aaway when the activity is completed or by mealtime. (58)
Speaking of mealtime, if you sometimes struggle with the question of “what should we eat?”, Melissa has some advice that could save you time and energy.
Make a list of five go-to meals that your family loves and are easy to prepare in a hurry. Post your standard meal list inside a cupboard.
Plan to grocery shop just once a week instead of giving it your first thought at six p.m. and then running out feeling frazzled as you try to decide what to prepare.
Prep and plan breakfasts and lunches the day before. (60)
Now if you have a family where everyone has different schedules and it is hard to keep everyone on the same page, you might benefit from a “Family Command Center.” Here’s how Melissa describes hers:
Our command center is a simple magnetic blackboard we use for our most urgent papers. We locate it in the hub of our house so we don’t miss the important info posted on it. […] Include timely papers, calendars, invitations, to-do lists, and activity and school schedules. Use it only for urgent items that have a deadline, and get in the habit of clearing out old papers weekly. (109)