I am excited to bring your our second Inspiration Spotlight, with Ashley Durso.
Ashley is known for her organizational skills and although we share a name, this trait is one that we do not share. :) Her tips in this spotlight are excellent to getting us who aren't prone to neatness inspired to get on the right track through simple and practical techniques. I even found myself perusing the organization closet isle at Target today, and that is saying something for me!
Ashley, her husband Eric and their precious baby girl, Emma!
EM: Introduce us to YOU, who are you? What are a few things you love to do? What are some of your passions? What inspires you?
AD: I’m Ashley Durso. I grew up in a wonderful Christian home, met the man of my dreams in college (Eric Durso), married him two and a half years ago, had our first child (little Emma Grace Durso) 6 months ago and I am now a wife and mom fulltime and loving every second of it! Of course it is way more work than I ever thought it would be, but still absolutely a dream come true to me that I get to take care of my husband, child and home daily! My husband is an associate Pastor at a church in the LA area, focusing on music and youth, he also recently began going to seminary. All these things keep our life pretty busy!
I pray everyday that our home a place that overflows with God’s love, joy and peace day in and day out, so that anyone who enters our home can feel the difference right away. One of the ways I work on making and keeping our home a restful haven is by keeping our home orderly and organized. I even admit to possibly being on the border of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) when it comes to organizing!
EM: Have you always been interested in organization? Is it a part of your personality?
AD: I would say organizing is definitely a part of my personality. Every once in while I have to be reminded that organizing is not quite as fun and exciting for everyone else as it is for me. I just love it and have so much fun getting things in order!
EM: For all the mothers and wives out there who struggle with keeping an organized home, what would you say the benefits are? How does “keeping a home” benefit the family as a whole?
AD: The benefits of having an organized home really are endless. The two most obvious and immediate benefits are: time saved and money saved. I am able to save on groceries because things don’t get lost in the pantry, fridge and freezer. I can make an adequate list of things I need at the grocery store so we make the most of our budget, not buying unnecessary items and overstocking our food, only to throw half of it away from going bad in the back of our fridge. I am able to save us money on bills by keeping things organized so we don’t end up with late fees, etc.
The seemingly simple tasks of keeping the home (dishes, laundry, feeding/changing baby, making meals, running errands) make a huge and priceless impact on the feel of a home. My husband and I are able to spend time together each night because I have taken time during the day to do these tasks. When everything has its place it is less overwhelming and less time consuming to put things away. They are simple tasks but when you take the ten minutes to do extra little pick ups and clean up throughout the day it saves you hours of work later on, leaving more time for you to enjoy as a family.
Keeping a home benefits the family as a whole by allowing the home to run smoothly The time and money saved then filters order into the rest of your home, making it a place you and your family love to be because it feels peaceful, calm, clean and restful instead of a place that feels chaotic, messy, and out of control.
EM: What are some key things every home should incorporate?
AD: Every home should have two “landing pads”; one for keys, wallet, phone, etc. close to the front door is great, just a simple bowl or basket on a desk, console table or end table, saves tons of time looking for those items each morning and keeps unnecessary clutter from other areas of the home. The other “landing pad” would be for your mail, just a simple basket to hold the mail till you have a chance to look through it. Keep the basket for incoming mail small so you are forced to go through it every day or every other day to keep from unnecessary papers piling up. Take just five minutes a day to sort through your mail, saves lots of time later on.
Ashley's landing pad (entry way)
Organized clothes closets are also huge helps, it helps keep your clothes looking fresh longer, you are able to see what you have and make the most of your wardrobe. Also makes doing laundry easier and more enjoyable because everything has its place when it comes time to fold and put away clean clothes.
Organized kitchen cabinets are similar in helping daily tasks become more enjoyable in your home. When everything has its place it is easier to unload the dishwasher, find ingredients for cooking and keep things circulating in the always hard-working kitchen.
EM: What are some of your best tips and tricks?
AD: 1) Adopt the motto, “do it now” when it comes to putting things away, you will be amazed at how much time this will save you. Have a place for everything in your home and take the time to always put things away in its certain designated place right away. It really takes just an extra minute to put it away and it will save you hours of cleaning or looking for something in the long run.
*A few examples of things we like to not “do now” but should: make the bed even though you know its just going to have to be made again tomorrow, clean the dishes now even though you’ll be doing another sink load in about two hours, put your clothes away now before you go to bed it’ll make it much nicer in the morning not having those clothes lying on the floor.
2)Keep it simple. Only work on one organizing project at a time, do not move onto another room until you have completed your first project, it will get to overwhelming and never get done if you take on more than one organizing project at a time.
* The best room to start with when getting your home organized is the kitchen, it will be the place where you will see the biggest savings both money and time wise almost immediately. This will then hopefully motivate you to move on to other rooms in your home, now that you have extra time your not spending looking for things in your newly organized kitchen! ;)
3) Invest a little into organizing your home. You can very rarely have to many baskets, bins, and other organizing tools, but be sure you have a purpose or idea of where and what you will use them for before you buy it. Don’t be afraid to invest a little bit of money on getting your home organized. Also, do not buy any organizing tools until you have already sorted through the room and you know what things will be circulating back into that room, keeps you from buying necessary bins, baskets, hangers, etc.
*My favorite stores for great organizing deals are Target, Ikea, Wal-Mart, and Homegoods.
There are so many other tips and tricks for easy organizing, but dumping them all on you at once would go against my #2 tip of keeping it simple. So, when you’re ready for your next tip feel free to check out my new blog at www.simplejoysofhome.wordpress.com
Hope this helps motivate some major organization in your homes!