I'm always caught off guard when mid-August rolls around and the school buses start lumbering down the roads. Is it really that time of year again already?
This is the first year in the last 20 that I don't have a child heading off to school in the mornings. My youngest graduated from high school in May, and now all three of my children are in college. I'm officially an empty-nester.
Even with my new stage of life, the back-to-school season marks the time of year when I want to get my house in order. When my kids were younger, this meant cleaning out backpacks, organizing closets and switching out clothes, getting the pantry and fridge prepared, and creating systems for all the papers and artwork coming in the house.
As summer comes to a close, I still find myself wanting to put on my "house cleaning hat" to get things in order. I recently moved from our family home in Atlanta to a much smaller house in Asheville, North Carolina. During the move, I streamlined all of my possessions and let go of a lot of furniture. But still I underestimated how much stuff I was bringing with me and how much less room I have in my new place.
We've shoved things in closets, under counters, behind doors, and underneath beds just to quickly find space to throw all of the extra stuff. Now I'm ready to tackle this spillover clutter and streamline my house even further. I plan to use the 10-minute declutter system I used when preparing to move from Atlanta. This is a system my co-author, Steve Scott, and I outline in our bestselling book 10-Minute Declutter: The Stress-Free Habit for Simplifying Your Home.