Where are all my military spouses (or members) at? I see you all out there! This post is for everyone but it will really hit home for military families since we move every couple of years and constantly feel like we are in transition.
It’s hard to believe that in around a year from now my family will be getting news on our next duty station. While it’s exciting, since I actually love moving to different places, it also kind of freaks me out. So many thoughts run through my mind. What is our max weight allowance now that my husband made rank and will we be over it? I wonder where we will be going and if we will need all the winter stuff we have here? Should we download furniture here and just buy new stuff when we get back in the states? Should I buy the new furniture here so it’s less for me to worry about at a new duty station? I know that I am not the only one who thinks about all these things. For our family, each move is an opportunity to organize and get rid of stuff we don’t need. That will be a big task for this move since when we came to Europe we had an 11-month-old and a 2-year-old. We have moved from a crib and toddler bed to now both girls being in twin sized beds. I manage to keep up on transitioning out clothes that don’t fit anymore but I know the attic has a ton of stuff that needs to find a new home. The problem with trying to organize and get rid of old items is that we often wait until a couple months or even weeks before the movers arrive. It causes so much undo stress makes the moving process so much harder. I have vowed not to experience that this time. Since we are about a year out from finding out our next assignment, I made the decision to tackle one room a month. I’m going to go through that room during the month and not only organize it but also donate or sell items that we aren’t using or don’t need.
I though this might be something that some of you would be interested in doing so I came up with a calendar for the year. (You can download it in PDF version here.) Here’s a breakdown of what I will be doing in each room.
Go through all the cabinets and get rid of items no longer wanted or needed. Transition out all the old silverware and replace if needed. I will be rearranging our cabinets to better suit this season of our lives. I am also going to organize my spices. I bought glass bottles to put my spices in and I will be adding a chalkboard sticker to the top so that I can see what spices I have. This is the perfect opportunity to wash down the refrigerator as well.
I listed the pantry separately because we have our pantry area in a separate “room” from the kitchen. I also think that this can be a big task on its own. I have already bought baskets and glass jars to help organize it better. I will be going through all the food in there and getting rid of anything expired and donating anything that isn’t within our nutrition goals. I’m starting a fitness challenge beginning in February so I will need to rid my house of any temptations. It’s a good opportunity for you to do the same!
This month is the attic. Now, I will likely take the whole month for this one. We have two attic spaces and this is where the majority of the “unwanted” or “unneeded” items end up. Getting rid of big ticket items can be a bit difficult here (we have to transport it to the container park for recycling) so we end up just throwing stuff in the attic. Out of sight, out of mind if you know what I mean. I will split the two attic spaces between the weeks. Each day the kids are in school I will go up into the attic and grab a few things, bring it down, go through it and then put back what needs to be put back. I have to do these things while the kids are in school because of their ages and neediness but if they weren’t in school then I would be utilizing nap-time and probably an hour or two when my husband got home. It’s important to find the time now so you are stressing about finding time a week before the movers come.
The common bathroom is an easier task but if you are anything like me, then there are some old beauty products that could use to be thrown out. I can even get replace some towels. Plus, I will be organizing. I love using clear plastic bins (in different sizes) because not only does it keep your stuff organized but when the movers come they just put them in a box or slap a label on the bin and it’s ready to go. Here are my favorite bins to use for organizing. I know they sell the bins at Target but since I am overseas, I pick them up at the Base Exchange.
When you are going through the master bedroom, you should be going through everything! Your clothes, your spouse’s clothes, your master bathroom (if you have one)…we even have our linen closet in our master so I will be going through that as well. Organize as much as you can and since we are in Europe this is around the time I will be switching my winter clothes to my summer ones. We only get about two hot months a year but it should be warm enough around this time to pull out the tanks with a light cardigan. Put up your winter clothes. Get them out of the way. Again, I use plastic bins and store them in the garage or attic until I need them. Less clutter in my home and that makes for a happy me.
Our kids are in school until the end of June so this is my opportunity to plant some flowers, clean up the lawn furniture, pressure wash the house and patio. You will be spending longer hours outside since the sun will be up longer so make it look nice and clutter free.
July & August
Our kids are off school during this time (like most of you) so I put this down as summer break from the year of organizing. If you have more rooms than what is listed on the calendar, then this is your opportunity to tackle those. If not then enjoy some family time and that nice, clean and clutter free outside area.
The garage can be a huge task for us. We never park in there because we laid workout flooring down and made it our home gym. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to use it because the garage is one of our dumping grounds. The kids throw their outside toys in there. We have two power wheels in there along with all my husband’s tools. I will be tasking my husband with a lot of the garage clean up but I will be doing my part. The kid’s toys will get a good cleaning and I will go through them to see what they still play with. I will go through any boxes or open items to get rid of unwanted items and of course do an overall good wipe down. We utilize foot lockers in the garage for items we need to access easily so if you are trying to decide on what to use to organize your stuff but is sturdy enough the garage then head to Walmart and pick up some of these foot lockers. They are inexpensive and really are a great way to keep things together.
Our second bedroom is our kid’s bedroom. Our girls like to share a room so their toys will be gone through and then just do a good clean up.
If you have a third bedroom, then this is the month to clean that. I turned ours into my home office so I will be going through those items along with the kid’s clothing items because their wardrobe closets are in my office. (Europe doesn’t do closets, they use wardrobes.) I’m pretty good at keeping my office space organized but this is the month I will go through every basket/bin and really decide to keep or get rid of items.
The last room is the living room. You may be wondering what there is to go through in the living but it can actually be a lot. Go through your TV stand and get rid of movies if you don’t watch them. We have a bookcase with books and some of the kid’s toys that I will be going through. They also have a toy box that will get a good clean out. Go through any drawer or shelf. If you don’t like it anymore or don’t use it then get rid of it. Christmas is this month so you (and your kids) will be getting new stuff so out with the old!
Please understand that these monthly organizing tasks are on top of my weekly cleaning schedule.. It’s important to me that I get my daily/weekly cleaning done first then I tackle the room of the month. That’s why I made sure to only schedule one room a month. You have 30 or 31 days to organize and clean one room. It’s a manageable task. I know that I am posting this in the middle of January so if you fall behind on your kitchen clean out then you can lump it in with your pantry clean out to give yourself more time. I will try to post my clean out of each room by the end of the month so you can see an idea of what I am doing and how I am organizing it. Also, this is just an idea of the order in which to tackle each room. You may feel like it would be easier to do certain rooms in certain months. Switch it up as you see fit for you and your family.
I’d love to see your before and after photos too! Please feel free to share them on here or on my blog Facebook page or tag me on Instagram. Have fun and remember, doing these tasks now will make your move MUCH easier. <3