When you first move into your home it seems like you have so much space. As the years pass, you might find yourself becoming a pack rat. What are you going to do with all the stuff you have accumulated? Perhaps it’s time to weed out the unnecessary items and organize your home.
I have to admit – this is a huge area of opportunity for me. I do not like getting rid of things – especially momentos from special family moments or my children (art work, clothing, toys, sigh….). I have made a commitment this year to do better and become better with home organization and de-cluttering.
I am learning that home organization is a step-by-step process. It will take more than a day or even a week to get everything to a manageable level, but once you do staying organized is an easier task. If you have a family, enlist their help. They can pitch in and learn a thing or two about controlling clutter in their life.
Some tips that are helping me in my quest to having a clutter free home:
1. Start with the high traffic areas. The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house. Everything gets dropped on a counter or the couch in these two places. Concentrate on getting everything set up the way that you like it before moving on to another room.
2. Use storage containers. Over the years, the style of storage containers has upgraded to be pretty as well as functional. Instead of storing containers in stacks in the garage, purchase ones that match your décor in each room and integrate them so that no one would even notice they were being used for storage. As a Thirty-One Gifts consultant, this is an easy step for me! It, also, helps me to provide personal suggestions to my customers on what products work for home organization and how I use them.
3. Divide items into categories. You can use heavy duty trash bags for this part. Everything that you find can go into a pile: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE. Items that will stay in that room are to keep. Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away. Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated and scheduled for pickup by the Veteran’s association or Goodwill. Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.
4. Remove everything from drawers and cabinets. This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around. If you line things up on the counter, someone else can help by putting the items in some type of order.
5. Make use of all of your available space. In the kitchen, for example, appliances or extra containers can be stored on top of the cabinets provided they don’t extend all the way to the ceiling. That’s extra storage space without benefit of a storage container. Also use the top of the refrigerator for cereal boxes and breakfast food like boxes of instant oatmeal or grits. In the bedroom, shoes and winter clothes can go into flat storage bins that slide easily under the bed or the dresser.
6. Label your containers. Use tape and a permanent marker to identify the contents of your storage containers. Avoid writing on the actual container in case they are reused and the contents are changed. Labeling also makes for easy identification if you decide to sell or give away a container of books or something. You won’t have to open each container to locate them.
Organizing your entire house takes time. But, once it is done, returning everything you use to its proper place will maintain that same level of organization.