Its seven thirty, and you are already running late for the morning commute. Your daughter has been looking for her left shoe for the past 15 minutes, your son can’t find the science report he worked on for weeks, and you have looked high and low for your car keys with no success. Instantly you are imagining yourself relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Back to reality! If only you were organized! Well there’s no time like the present to brush up on your organizational skills. You’ll save money, be happier, less stressed, more efficient, and might actually make it to an appointment on time! Read on to find out how to get started.
1) Dump the Drawers – Everyone has a junk drawer, and some of us might even have more than one 😉 Dump out each of your drawers and sort through the items. Throw away obvious trash and separate any items that need to be saved. Items that you search for on a frequent basis such as scissors, pens/pencils, and keys should be stored elsewhere in a dedicated place.
2) Paper Boy – Throw out the paper! Better yet, recycle it. If your family is like mine, you are probably inundated with paper on a regular basis. School handouts, children’s artwork, business presentations, take out menus, and the like can easily take over your home. In fact, paper waste is typically the number one biggest cause of clutter in the home. Recycle any unnecessary paper by placing it in a box or approved recycling container. You may want to consider shredding financial documents and other documents with personal information.
3) Grand Central Station – Create a family command center. Find a central location in your home and set up a communication base for your family. It can be as simple as a space on your kitchen counter or you can go so far as to set up a small portable office space in a hallway or closet. At a minimum your space should include a calendar, note pad, mail sorter, and any necessary writing instruments. However, the most effective family command centers also include a place to organize things like electronics, charging cables, and keys. Organization can be the key to getting your family out of the house on time each morning.
4) De-clutter the closets – What’s hiding in your closets? No matter how organized the rooms in your home may be, if you can’t find anything because it’s been thrown in the closet, then you’re likely to be wasting precious time and energy searching for necessities. Organize your closets by pulling everything out and separating it into 3 boxes (or sections) – keep, discard, and move. I typically prefer to start by first moving out anything that needs to be discarded. Once you’ve done that, separate the remaining items between what is to be kept and items that are to be stored elsewhere. Pack away any seasonal clothing to maximize space. And add shelving and rods where necessary to add more functionality to your closet.
5) Bathroom Blues – Does your bathroom look like the sales counter for a cosmetic store? Bathroom shelves, cabinets, and counters are often a magnet for the multitude of make-up, soaps, lotions, and hair products that we use on a regular basis. To keep this organization task under control, I recommend that toiletries and hygiene products are rotated at the beginning of each season (or approximately every three months). This will not only help you save space but will help keep your products up to date since you’ll be discarding them on a regular basis. Be sure to remember to store seasonal products in a cool, dry location.
6) Basement Burnout – Does the thought of organizing your basement make you want to cry? Basements are like black holes; things go in but they almost never come out! The best way to tackle a large project, like a basement organization, is to break it into several smaller jobs. Create a list of all the tasks that need to be completed and break them into categories. Try to complete one category of tasks per week or per month. Or if you would like to see more immediate results, divide your basement into four equal sections. Clean and organize one section per week. Within 30 days you will have regained your basement and you will most likely discover tons of items to donate, give away, or sell.
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