By Marilen Faustino-Montenegro of Marilen.ph

It usually takes a month for the New Year to sink in when you’re a busy working mom.  Wow! I checked the date today and can’t believe it’s February. It’s still the beginning of the year, though!

When it comes to keeping our home you’ll find that you are either of the following types:

1. The woman who goes by her day constantly organizing or re-arranging things around the home as she manages to do a million things at the same time. She makes a meal while answering emailing and clears the buffet table of clutter that has accumulated from the day before.

2. The woman who goes about her day unloading her papers, and belongings in different parts of the house while doing a million things at the same time. She comes home from work, removes her shoes as she enters the house, leaves her bag on the living room sofa and maybe picks up a pile of bills and mail leaving it on the kitchen counter before she makes a meal. She is never bothered by toys around the house or a stack of old DVDs piled around a surface in the living room.

No matter which type you fall under, I have come to conclude that it is not so much about the organizing but the need to simplify.  Of course there is a need for some to make life- changing habits and resolve to be a neater person but I’m not here to talk about that.

Photo from realsimple.com

Photo from realsimple.com

I’m here to hopefully encourage you all to live a more relaxed and blissful life by having a clutter-free and pretty home.  We can all try to hide the clutter but soon you will come to realize that you just don’t have enough space.  It’s not too late and because the first month of the year flew by, it only means we have another new month and that month is always the perfect time to begin your home purge.

Start by gathering 4 large bins or boxes and labeling each box: donate, trash, garage sale, organize.  As soon as you have these boxes labelled you are now ready to work through one area of your home at a time.  Before anything else read my tips on how to let go of things you don’t need here. Next, wear some comfortable clothes, put on some music, pour yourself a glass of wine, and maybe wear a dust mask. (You might want to do this when your husband is not around.. I mean, I am imaging how silly I must look sipping wine with a dust mask on.)

Next, go through one room at a time and give yourself lots of time to do your home purge. You can even consider doing one area a day and in no time you’ll be living a simple and blissful life by the end of the month! The key is to go through each area and sort your items into these 4 bins.

Here’s a list of the different areas you can take on which are parts of the house that usually need a good cleaning.

1. The master bedroom 

I like to start with this because I feel that once you are waking up to a neater and more organized room, you’ll be more motivated to clean the rest of the house.  Things to purge include: Your expired makeup, bottles of nail polish, lipsticks, that collection of DVDs, books, the stacks of paper in one corner, old clothes, shoes, magazines, bags, almost empty bottles of perfume and toiletries that are never used anymore and more importantly expired medicine! Countless stuff you can do away with! Don’t hesitate, it can only get better.

2. The kitchen and dining area

The kitchen — my favorite space to organize! Before you can actually get to organizing get ready to go through every part of your kitchen and part with a lot of things! Go through your refrigerator and pantry; discard anything expired.  Dig in deep into that freezer and discard any meat that has not been used in 3 months. Sniff through your spices; they change in smell and quality, too. Open that cabinet under the sink and go through your cleaning agents, I’m sure you’ll find some bottles you don’t use.  Go through your “collection” of Tupperware and get rid of anything tacky like those re-used ice cream tubs and bottles of mayonnaise with faded labels on them. Look for old cooking pans with broken handles and eroded surfaces.  (Fact: Did you know that Teflon is not a safe choice now a days?) Go through you plates and dishes, donate the ones that no longer belong to a set.  Get rid of those you hardly every use and part with those melamine ware that are no longer deemed safe for ones health.

3. The living room 

Chances are if things in the living room are not decorative and not organized inside a drawer or box, they are junk and you don’t need them.  Things to purge might include your excessive pile of magazines, DVDs and books, old newspapers, those encyclopedias on the book case and perhaps a collection of small figurines or jars.  Look out for things that you have too many of but are not pretty and simple. Remember when styling your home, less is always more.

4. The kids room

Toys, toys and more toys! If you have two little kids like me, you’ll know that the toys find themselves in every part of the house even if the kids are taught to pack away.  I make it a habit to constantly give away toys.  Clean that toy bin and throw away those lose little toys, cheap toys and anything broken.  Go through the children’s books as well and you are sure to find a couple of books your kids have outgrown. When was the last time you checked their clothes and cleaned their wardrobe out? Anything torn, faded, and small should be donated.

5. The garage and service area 

This is my least favorite place to clean out because it’s simply a man’s space.  If your husband or housekeeper doesn’t keep it clean then you should step in.  Look out for empty bottles of car maintenance fluid, broken tools, empty water and soda bottles, lose nuts, bolts, and screws, ugly cleaning brushes, lose clothes pins lying anywhere and everywhere. Organize these and label, giving clear instructions to house help on how to keep this area clean.

6. The home office 

There can be so much to trash in this space! Look for old receipts, old bills, a pile of magazines and newspaper, pieces of paper clips lying inside the drawers, broken or 1980’s old office supplies like tape dispensers, rusty staplers, etc.  While you’re at the office purge your email inbox, too! Keep only what will make your work life blissful and inspired. Go the extra mile and style this area with pretty things to lift your spirit.

I hope you all get motivated to simplify your life and do a home purge!

To get you in the groove of things I’d like to invite you all to join the home purge movement on Instagram by adding the hashtags #blissfulhomepurge and #inspiredhomelivinghomepurge  I believe that we could all use some motivation and encouragement from each other. Seeing each others posts is a great way to inspire you to make your home blissful.