I’m brand-new to being a SAHM. I recently quit my job to stay at home with my three daughters and blog full-time. It’s been a lot of fun and a wild ride, but so far I am loving it!
Luckily, my blog really isn’t a full-time job. I started my blog 2 1/2 years ago and slowly built it up to where it’s making a relatively passive income each month. I post once a week, send a newsletter out once a week (it’s full of fun blogging tips plus a peak into my life – sign up here!) and promote older posts on social media. The rest of my time I’m at home and with my girls.
So, what exactly have I been doing with my newfound “free time?” My older girls are in preschool M-F for four hours per day. The baby is always with me, but she usually takes a two hour nap in the mornings. During this time, I blog or get my house in order. It’s been a longggg time coming, but I’m finally getting to the point where my house is exactly how I want it!
One of my huge goals has been making my home more functional. We have a relatively large house, and I didn’t want any wasted space. Here are my tips to make your home more functional.
Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Functional
Give every space a purpose
This has been my favorite thing thus far! Like I said above, our home is pretty big. We do have five of us living here, but it still could be pretty easy to waste space if I didn’t purposefully give every single area a function.
We have four bedrooms upstairs which are all being used (the master, plus one room for each girl). Downstairs, we have a formal living area which I’ve made into a reading/relaxing room. And yes, we use it!! My husband and I enjoy coffee in the afternoon in there while catching up, and I use the space to nurse my baby. We also have a home office downstairs which was unused until recently. Last week, we went to IKEA to purchase a double-desk for my husband and I (he also works for himself and has gobs of paperwork each day). Prior to our office set up, we both just worked in the dining room, ha.
I will admit that we do have one area in our home that has no purpose. In our master bedroom, we have a “sanctuary” which is basically a huge room attached to it. I don’t know what to do with it!! Friends have suggested a playroom but I don’t like the idea of the girls having to pass through our room to get there. Other ideas include a workout room and a media room, but right now we don’t want to spend the money on that. Hmmmm. Any ideas?!
Declutter every area of your home
I thought I was a pretty clutter-free person until I started seriously looking at closets, cabinets, drawers and shelves. Oh my. We had a lot more stuff than I would have guessed.
Decluttering takes time, so don’t rush this step. Currently, I’m choosing one area per morning to declutter and working my way through our home. I see this as a continual process, not something I do once and am done. This week I tackled our hall shoe/coat closet, my closet, and the girls toys. Next on the agenda is kitchen cabinets and drawers, which will probably be a two-day process.
I’m pretty good at decluttering because I’m not super sentimental when it comes to possessions (I got rid of my wedding shoes this week, for example). But really, if you don’t need it, use it or love it, get rid of it!!! If you’re scared you “might” need it one day, put the item away in storage and remind yourself in six months to see if you’ve needed it. If not, toss it!
I cannot tell you how good it feels to haul away unused items in our home multiple times per week!
We do have a big house, but I still consider myself a minimalist when it comes to possessions. It is so much easier to keep our home clean simply because we do not have a lot of “stuff” sitting around.
Tackle one room at a time. Ask yourself what items are needed, and which ones can go. Our dining room, for example, strictly has a table/chairs and two pieces of wall art. We don’t have a fancy china cabinet (nor do we have china to put in it, ha), a bar cart or any of those “fun” items. I know we won’t use them, so why have them?
Think about a model home. They are all very well-decorated, yet very minimal! The homes all look big and spacious because they aren’t filled with furniture and other items. While we definitely don’t have expensive, designer furniture in every room (or any room, for that matter), we do have lots of floor space and our home appears even bigger than it is because of this.
Keep your home clean
I’ve always considered myself to be a relatively clean person. When I worked full-time, I was more of a “surface-level” cleaner. Dishes and laundry were done daily, but I wasn’t cleaning baseboards or washing towels, for example, as often as I should have been.
Now that I’m not working and have more time to devote to cleaning, I’m choosing one area per day (or every other day) to focus on. This has made SUCH a difference in our home!! I really do believe that a clean, clutter-free home provides a more relaxed and calm environment for kids.
In the past two weeks, I’ve tackled all the baseboards, vacuumed twice, cleaned bathrooms, scrubbed floors and more. I’m pretty quick, so don’t think I’m spending 8-hour days on this. Try setting a timer for 30 minutes and getting done as much as you can in that time. You’d be surprised!!
Minimize paper clutter
I’m a list-maker and my husband has so much paperwork for his job. That in addition to bills, the mail, my daughter’s art work, and more, paper can become pretty overwhelming.
Here’s how I tackle it:
- I bought a planner and only write stuff down in there, or I use my phone for notes
- My husband has file folders for every receipt and invoice he needs to save
- Children’s artwork gets tossed when they aren’t around (with the exception of a few items)
- Bills are thrown away once paid
- All other mail is tossed once we review it and assuming we don’t need it
Is your home a place you love to be? Does every room serve a purpose?
I love pruning things, either throwing stuff away or giving it away (or selling stuff). I think too often we focus on things we need, instead of eliminating what we don’t need. I read the book the Toyota Way and they talked about how important it was to get rid of unneeded stuff in order to become efficient. What happens is the things you need and used can then be found quickly. Sometimes people make fun of me for only having one pen at a time, or one highlighter, or such a clean desk, but I’m convicted this makes me more efficient.
At home, I don’t agree with you a clean home is more relaxed. My wife puts tons of pressure on the kids to always be picture perfect clean and I think this takes away from the fun of their childhood. No, they shouldn’t be slobs, but they should be allowed to be kids and be messy and have fun. I grew up in a pig sty and our house always felt relaxed.