Have you ever noticed that most of our self-improvement resolutions are action oriented? We’re going to join a yoga class. We’re going to clean out the garage. We’re going to reorganize our pantry. Simply setting a goal to “get organized” is too broad and you may find you’re not sure what action to take first.
So here are some steps that will take less than an hour a day and will result in a more organized home:
Do that Project
Start with a space that’s been annoying you. Maybe it’s the clutter at your front door. Or a closet teeming with clothes and shoes. Maybe a linen closet with blankets teetering on every shelf. Just spend one hour clearing the clutter. This will get you started and will motivate you to continue your mission to get organized.
Create a “Go Away” Box
Gather items you’ve been planning to donate or take to recycle. Put them in a “Go Away” box by your front door so you can grab it on your way out the next time you’re leaving.
Deal with Decorations
When the holidays are over, put away the decorations. Donate the items you didn’t use or didn’t bring out for the season. Separate decorations by holiday.
Create a “Command Center” for your Entryway
Don’t let your front door be overrun by accessories – especially during the winter months. Add hooks for coats, and bins for shoes, hats, gloves, etc. Maybe even add a mail sorter.
Centralize Pet Supplies
Don’t scramble trying to find pet supplies when your puppy is desperate for a walk or eager for a meal. Hang hooks near the door for leashes, and place cubbies for kibble, bowls and toys in a convenient location.
Take some time to organize your spices alphabetically, by brand or by cuisine. Organize them in whatever way makes them easiest to find when cooking.
If you’ve accumulated dozens of kitchen utensils, purge your collection. Select your favorites and use drawer dividers to keep them organized.
Reconfigure Pots and Pans
Donate pots and pans you don’t use and install cupboard organizers to manage the rest.
Get Rid of Expired Foods
Clean out your refrigerator and pantry. Get rid of expired foods and condiments you never use.
Manage Pantry Staples
Free up space and make better use of your pantry by sorting through your dry goods. Put flour, sugar, pasta, oatmeal, etc. in airtight, stackable containers.
Downsize Kitchen Gadgets
Never use that Blender or Crockpot? Donate them and free up space.
Say “No” to Coffee Mug Overload
Don’t saturate your cupboards with coffee mugs. Keep one or two mugs for every coffee/tea drinker and donate the rest.
Sort Food Containers
Toss the containers with no mates (tops or bottoms).
Reevaluate Display Shelves
If your shelves are crammed with trinkets, books you’ll never read, and items you’ve accumulated over the years, discard the junk. Donate books to the library and arrange what’s left in a new way.
Take Control of Cables
With so much technology, it’s no surprise that cables and chargers for all your devices have become quite unruly. Create ID tags for each plug and bundle the clutter with Velcro strips or cable ties.
Invest in New Hangers
Discard clothes you never wear. Place the clothes you keep on new, slimmer hangers. They use less space and keep your clothes from falling to the closet floor.
We all know accessories that don’t have a drawer or a spot in the closet often end up everywhere. Buy a hanger or install hooks in your closet to give your belts, scarves, purses, etc. a home.
Under the Bed
Under-bed storage is a great place to store seasonal clothing. Clear out the clothes you don’t wear and utilize this storage space.
Tidy Up the Desk
If your desk is drowning in staplers, Post-it notes, or collectibles, tidy up the space and get rid of the excess. Paring down will help keep you focused when you need to use the space.
Shred, Shred, Shred
You don’t have to keep every bank statement and power bill. Make sure you’re not wasting space by shredding documents. This will also help prevent identity theft.
Clean Up Files
Once you’ve shredded excess paperwork, put the rest in colorful folders and label them clearly. Organize the folders by home, work, taxes, etc.
We’ve all got a drawer with mystery cords and/or random electronics. Get rid of the ones you know are “dead” and free up the drawer for better uses.
Throw away expired toiletries, hair products and medications.
Under the Sink
You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find when you clean under the sink. Put the items you’re keeping in bins you can easily pull out.
Incorporate a Wall Shelf
Wall storage is often overlooked. Hang a shelf in the bathroom for toiletries or in your children’s room for toys.
Towels & Linens
Donate unused towels and linens to the animal shelter. Or convert torn towels, linens, and napkins to rags.
Use a Shoe Organizer
Hang shoe organizers and store scarves, mittens, cleaning supplies and craft supplies.
Maximize the Junk Drawer
Use drawer dividers to keep items in their own space.
Gather up your hammers and screwdrivers and arrange them in one easy-to-access spot. Maybe try using a pegboard.
Look how much you’ve accomplished! Look around your freshly organized home and make note of any spaces you might have missed. Now it’s time to give some thought to your next home project. Maybe spruce up your front porch?