How does your house look after the holidays? Are you still walking around gift boxes piled on the floor? New Christmas toys scattered everywhere? Stuffing new clothes you got as gifts into a closet that could barely fit what was already in there? You are in luck! January is National Get Organized Month, and we are excited to say the least!
Take this month to consider if you are organized.
Maybe you keep your stuff in its place, but can’t seem to get a hold of your calendar and are always forgetting dates and appointments. Maybe you are organized for the most part, but have one drawer, cabinet, or closet that gets designated as a “toss all” space and has become so overwhelming that you don’t know where to start with it. Don’t worry, we have a whole month to get a game plan.
Start with the first step in any organizing project: take it all out.
Find a space where you can spread things out in order to categorize them. A great place to do this may be a kitchen island, workspace in the basement, or maybe on a bed. It depends what you are working on organizing, but the area should be close to what you are trying to get in control.
Follow our tried and true system: edit, categorize, contain, and label!
Look through the contents of the area you are cleaning out, and see if there are things in there that should have a different home, or maybe things you don’t really need in that area. Put like things together. In a closet, you want all your sweaters to be in one place. In a junk drawer, you want all the pencils to be in one divider. For drawers, put each category in a divider. Cabinets or closets, make sure everything has a bin! Finally, label. This helps you keep everything in its home and remember where things are. Labeling things allows for you to know what you have, where it is, and keep things orderly.
Feel like you are pretty organized, but that things somehow seem to always get out of place? Here are our tips to help!
1. Family Meeting
Have a family meeting and establish a rule for everyone in the home – if you take it out, put it back. If you open it, close it. If you make a mess, clean it up! It is likely that everyone will initially agree to this, but keeping things going will be more difficult. It is always easy to push these things off by saying that you will pick up your mess later, or re-organize at a different time. Make your kids (or your husband) go right away and clean up their things to get them in the habit of picking up after themselves.
2. Meal Plan
Make a weekly meal plan and corresponding grocery list each Sunday for the entire week. This will cut down on impromptu, frequent trips to the grocery store and last-minute drive-thru dinners. It can also help you to better stick to a food budget!
3. Clean Out Your Fridge
Each week, before you go to the grocery store, clean out your fridge. Throw out food that has expired and any leftovers that no one is going to eat. This keeps things tidy, keeps food from rotting in the back of your fridge, makes room for new food, and allows you to see what you already have so less food (and money) will go to waste.
Two-compartment hampers can be a life saver when it comes to doing multiple people’s laundry. Place these in designated spots for each family member and teach each person how to sort their own laundry right away when putting it in the hamper. This will save you the time and hassle of having to sort through piles of laundry and just jump right to throwing them in the washer!
5. Cleaning Supplies
A plastic caddy with a handle for your cleaning supplies. Rather than having cleaners scattered in cabinets throughout the house, put all necessary cleaners in the caddy to carry from room to room when cleaning day comes around.
6. Everyones Clothes
Set aside a time to go through each closet in your home with the respective family member. Remove all the clothing items that no longer fit, are no longer in fashion, or haven’t been worn in a year. They can be donated or taken to a local consignment store.
7. Save your countertop space for items that are used on a daily basis. A good rule of thumb is to only have two appliances out at one time. Consider storing items that are used less (like mixers, food processors, waffle irons etc.) in the pantry instead. Remember to use the space you have wisely! If you have a lot of cabinets but a small pantry, maybe that is a better solution to keep your counters clutter free.
8. Have a place for mail to go.
Sort through your mail next to a trash can or shredder and deal with it right away. Throwing mail in a holder next to the garage door is what causes bills to go unpaid or letters unread. By sorting through things next to a trash can, it allows you to keep this from taking up valuable brain space (and counter space) by dealing with junk mail right on the spot instead of letting it clutter your desk or countertops.
9. One in, One Out
Just found an amazing new winter coat? Pick an old one to donate or sell. Just bought a fabulous new Christmas cake plate? Get rid of another Christmas kitchen item! By following the one in, one out rule, you can keep your home from slowly becoming overflowing. This keeps you loving everything in your home, and maybe even allows you to make some money back on old things you no longer use.
10. Pick the right calendar for you.
Maybe you are a digital person, or maybe you like pen and paper better. We have got you covered regardless! Follow us on instagram @organizing_etc for our digital and paper planner review! Having a planner that works for you can make all the difference!
*** Still need help? Contact us at [email protected] or 913-353-5753. We can get you organized and teach you methods for long-term success!