Now’s the time for home projects — they’ll help you get organized, and feel better being at home.
Amanda Alberts and her husband, Dave, are both working from their Huntington Woods home while waiting out the coronavirus pandemic. Though it’s a bit chaotic with two young children ages 6 and 3, they’re making the best of it, starting with organizing their spaces.
“We always want to do this, but never have the time,” Alberts said. “We finally do, so we’re trying to make good use of our nights and free time away from kids and work. Plus, we like having a nice space for our family.”
Fluffing your nest can be a productive project — whether that means organizing, decluttering or plain-old prettying your spaces up. If it seems overwhelming or you don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Professionals’ No. 1 tip is to start small.
Corinne Morahan owns Grid + Glam (gridandglam.com), a Boston-based full-service organizing company that also offers a virtual platform for step-by-step coaching. She suggests starting by making your bed every morning. “It seems so simple, yet it’s extremely powerful,” Morahan said.
“We’ll be spending lots of time in our homes, and making our beds is a marker for us and the kids that it’s time to start the day even if you stay in your jammies all day long.”
Morahan also is telling clients to create zones. If you’ve got the space, each person, including kids, can be in their own separate work zone. “For younger kiddos, or if you have a smaller space, pick your clean zones and your work zones,” she said. “For example, decide that the kitchen will always stay clean, and set up school in the dining room.
“We will all have to be OK with areas of our home not being perfect. And this is so much easier when we know we have clean spaces we can retreat to — a nightly reset will also be extremely important so you can start each day fresh.”
Sara Kalish, whose home organization business, Let’s Start Here (firstname.lastname@example.org), is based in West Bloomfield, suggests using this time to declutter.
“Organizing without purging is just rearranging your things,” she said. “Start small — a bathroom drawer, a nightstand. Organizing takes time, but ultimately it saves time. Enjoy the process, get rid of things that no longer serve you, reminisce and appreciate the things you keep.”
Alberts started out by cleaning out the entire kitchen pantry — she removed the old contact paper, scrubbed down and sorted through the food and organized the shelves. Next, she moved on to office spaces.
“I set up desks for both of my kids in our office so they have a work space,” Alberts said.
“Then I organized my son’s desk so he can clearly understand what needs to be worked on and what was completed. I’m actually proud of that desk!”
The biggest change that Julie Rosenbaum and husband, Eric, made in their Novi home was to her dining room, which was once reserved for larger groups and holidays, and was seldom used.
“We moved the rectangular table up against a windowed wall and that now serves as the puzzle table,” she said. “I also use that space for ‘official’ Zoom calls, and it allows me to still keep an eye on the little ones.”
The open space she created is now used for more gross motor play for her 3- and 4-year old, including tunnels, forts, tent hideouts and nap time for her daughter’s baby dolls.
Rosenbaum also had impeccable timing in ordering an art table before the pandemic began.
“We do coloring, writing practice, journaling, Playdough and slime,” she said. “It’s also been so nice to see my kids sitting there working together and collaborating on whatever plans they’ve imagined.”