Streamlining vs. organizing.
Organizing is put your things in order...however in about two weeks the house once again looks cluttered and messy. Streamlining is going through every single item in your house that is yours or you are in charge of and asking your self....do I need, want, use, like, or have room for this? Have bins/bags/boxes with you to help sort through your things. Have a garbage, DI/other charity/yard sale, file later (for all of those important papers you find in odd places), and doesn't belong in this room bins. Work in a clockwise pattern in each room. Go through EVERYTHING, touch EVERYTHING.
Tips for children: 7 (+1 extra incase something gets dirty) shirts, pants, socks, underwear (depending on the stage of potty training you may need more); and 2 Sunday outfits. To make the closet practically empty, fold the shirt, socks, underwear inside the pants to make a outfit pack and store in dresser. This way clothes match and you don't have a sock drawer, a underwear drawer, a pants drawer, etc.
The motto: LESS IS BEST!
You don't want clutter you want empty spaces. Our homes should look and feel like the temple. You should feel at peace! By clearing out the things that we don't need, want, like, use or have room for we give ourselves more time (we aren't spending so much time looking for things we can't find or spending money on something we already have because we are tired for looking for it), energy (not searching for lost items, easy to find an outfit with the outfit pack, etc.).
A tip from Opera...if you aren't sure which clothes you wear turn all the hangers backwards on the rod and when you wear something put the hanger the correct way in a few months you can tell which clothes you wear and which ones you don't.
You only need 2 pairs of sheets (get rid of the linen closet: store sheets and extra blankets between mattress and box-frame), one towel (if you want one hand towel and wash cloth as well) per person in your family (we don't really work with the cows everyday an more, so we really are bathing clean bodies).
Going through clothes is the hardest thing; remember you only wear about 25% of your clothes: they are your favorites so you know which ones I am talking about. Get ride of the other 75%. A lot of room was just made in your closet! Get ride of the clothes that aren't in style, are old and warn out, have holes in the knees, have frayed edges, stained (arm pits, oil) etc. Be careful though, if you are like me and on a budget don't get rid of every pair of pants because you have had them since high school and they are fraying...you won't be able to replace them. Perhaps you could set aside a few dollars each month in your clothes budget to buy some more down the road. Store winter/summer clothes under your bed/couch.
When you are getting ready to start your streamlining you may want to let someone babysit your younger children...this can take a long time and it will be hard to give your attention to them. Shut your teenagers door...don't touch their stuff. Don't touch your spouses stuff...let everyone know that you are only going to be streamlining your things and the things you are in charge of (which is basically the whole house). Let the older children help; they are more than willing to help. Children love to clean and be helpful...use them! A smart mom does less chores!!!
It is time for the embarrassment to stop when you have unexpected guests show up...streamline!
GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY!!!! HAVE FUN!!!!