There are a million reasons why right now is the right time to declutter your house – planning an upcoming move, adding a new family member (or sending one off to college!), having a hard time finding your … well, anything – and almost as many excuses why not to do it.
But if you can feel the impending avalanche of that piled-all-too-high closet, there’s no more putting it off. And you don’t have to spend a fortune on organizing supplies. You can repurpose a lot of items already around your house.
Today’s the day to tidy up, and we’re here with tips to help you do it.
For Starters – Start Purging
The saying may be “out with the old and in with the new,” but let’s just focus on the out part. A great method is to create piles or bins, grouping your items into containers to keep, purge/donate or sell to streamline the process and get the excess out of your sight.
Starting with your mailbox and entryway, here are some more tips for a less cluttered, more organized home.
Go (a Little) Postal
If it seems like every flat surface of your home becomes a landing zone for mail, it’s time for a new strategy. Sort the mail immediately – rather than simply stacking it – the day it arrives. Make sure bills have a designated place so you’ll remember to pay them, then once you do, toss the notice. When you add a new magazine, discard another to keep the stack to a minimum. And junk mail? Shred or recycle it the day it arrives.
Clear the Entryway
Ah, the entryway. Where everyone wants to drop and go. Backpacks, lunchboxes, work bags, workout bags, keys and of course, shoes! So many shoes. The key for this space is order. Try low shelves with cubbies where everyone can take off their shoes and store them, hang pegs for coat and bag storage, and above all, try to keep the endless trail of bags up off of the floor.
An Office that Works
A clean workspace lets you actually – gasp! – work. Loose papers should be sorted, stacked and filed regularly. Establish an inbox for unread mail and keep only key supplies (pens, paper, stapler) in sight. Everything else should be kept in a drawer or on a shelf and put back after each use. Sounds tough, but it’s definitely worth the effort!
Given the amount of family foot traffic, the bathroom’s organization can fall apart pretty quickly. First, grab a trash bag and throw out expired cosmetics, medications, and nearly empty bottles of shampoo. Next, stash bins under the sink or in the linen closet for storing hair elastics, bobby pins, brushes and the like. Consider giving everyone one a personal shower caddy to help minimize mess (and squabbles over conditioner).
Free the Family Room
There’s no way to relax in the family room if it’s littered with clutter. Keep your coffee table clear of homework, mail and outdated magazines by creating a filing system – simply assign each person their own folder! You can establish a designated spot for electronics and things like the TV remote control – perhaps a small tray that can also hold coasters and eyeglasses.
Refresh the Refrigerator
How does the fridge get so packed so quickly? Do a weekly weed-out to get rid of old leftovers, nearly empty jars of salsa or anything that hasn’t been used in six months – opened or not. Don’t forget about the freezer! Anything hanging around for nine months or more should be tossed.
Prioritize the Pantry
Keep order in your cupboards by separating long-term dry goods (flour, rice, pasta) from short-term items like cereal, cookies and crackers. Keep the most-used items at eye level and store specialty items or appliances that you only use once in a while (like that waffle maker) on the top shelf.
Keeping your home clean is easier when everything has its place – just run a quick Swiffer duster across your surfaces and you’re done!
Have ideas about how to purge the junk and get more organized? Share them below!