3 Ways to Simplify Your Home

Simplify your life...if Julie can do it (with six kids in her house!), so can you.


Spring is upon us, and it’s time to get organized for the season. I have a very busy household. As a mom of six kids, I need to keep them and all their stuff very well organized. In spring, I follow a few simple plans that help keep my crazy life in order:

Say goodbye to winter.

I take all the winter gear out of the mud room and put it in bins in the basement. With six snow suits and pairs of boots, I lose a lot of valuable real estate all winter long. Each of my children have a special drawer for their hats and mitts. Those also go in a bin in the basement (which can be easily labeled with contents and sizes) and I swap in their sun hats and summery things to put in their drawers.

Get rid of whatever doesn’t fit.

I look at all the snow and ski gear in our house and assess what still needs to be around next year. If some things have been outgrown, I assess the condition to see if it will be a good hand-me-down for a younger sibling. Don’t hoard stuff you think you might use. If it’s outgrown or the kid will no longer wear it, donate it, sell it on kijiji, give it to a neighbour… anything you want. Just be sure that it’s gone.

Hold a garage sale.

Preparing for a garage sale is a great activity for kids and families. Have the kids go through their old books and toys and decide what has got to go. Set up some pretty big expectations around clearing out old belongings. We have big rules around getting new belongings – it means purging several old ones before a new one enters the house. Garage sales allow your kids to flex their entrepreneurial muscles and make a bit of money. They’re happy with that, and you’re happy that the pile of old toys that no one touches is finally GONE! Oh, and anything that doesn’t sell gets donated. Don’t let any garage sale items back into your house!

I think you get my point: junk and clutter = bad. Organization and de-cluttering = good. Following these few simple steps and involving your kids will make your house a lot more pleasant to be in this spring.


Mabel’s Labels’ Co-creator Julie Cole is a mother of six and a company spokesperson. After her eldest son was diagnosed with autism, she shelved her legal career to monitor his therapy and launch a business that would strike a better work/life balance. In addition to Mabel’s Labels, Julie is a renowned blogger, “Mama of Many,” and is well known among North American mom entrepreneurs. She is also an in-demand speaker, with engagements from university business classes to TV and radio shows, including a regular spot as parenting contributor on CH Morning Live. In addition to interviews and articles in major print publications, as a syndicated blogger, her writing has appeared in Chicken Soup For the Soul – Power Moms and numerous websites.

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