Top 20 ways to get organized at home
Who wouldn’t want a home where there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place? Sound too good to be true? It’s not only possible but may be easier than you think.
Organizing a home and keeping it that way may seem overwhelming. However, if taken in small steps, it can be so easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
Where do you start? Follow these tips and you cannot go wrong:
1. Pick one room to clean. Imagining tackling your entire messy house can be discouraging, and tempt you to skip cleaning entirely. But don’t give in to temptation. Choose the room that is the worst, or the one most people see when they come to your house.
2. Get three boxes or bags and designate one for items you will “Throw Away,” one for items to “Keep,” and the last one to “Donate.”
3. Pick up every item and deposit in one of the three boxes. Be ruthless. If you haven’t used it or looked at it in over a year, you probably won’t miss it. Sentimental items such as your grandmother’s candy dish should be kept only if you – or someone you live with – truly has some sentimental feeling associated with it. Don’t just keep it because you feel you have to.
4. Stay the course. In other words, don’t get distracted moving items to another room and then sorting items in there – stay with your room until finished.
5. Be thorough but sensible. If you come upon a box of 100 photos, do not waste time looking at each photo. For now, just decide which box the entire collection will go in.
6. Sort items alone. Believe me, this is a solitary undertaking. If your kids or husband share the task, they will talk you into keeping everything. If you stumble upon your husband’s old yearbook, put it safely aside so he can look at it later.
7. Avoid the garage sale temptation. Usually whatever does not sell ends up back in your closet or garage.
8. Do not travel down memory lane. Sure it may be nice to look at all those outgrown baby clothes you’ve stashed away, but now is not the time.
9. Do not announce to the world that you are cleaning. If you have been a pack rat all of your life, they won’t believe you anyway. Some people may try to talk you out of it or discourage you.
10. Decide how to store those items you will keep. Do you have shelves or drawers in the room, and can you better organize the items according to how often they are used?
11. Look at the room with a new “eye.” Just because you have always had that book shelf in the corner doesn’t mean it has to stay there. Now that your room is more organized, perhaps you may want to move it near the easy chair or in a different spot just for a change.
12. Take the “Throw Away” items to the garbage immediately. Do not peek inside and second guess yourself about keeping Aunt Jane’s gravy boat.
13. Call an organization that accepts gently used clothing or furnishings and place them in the garage until they can be picked up.
14. Step back and admire what you’ve done. It is very important to pat yourself on the back and feel good about what you have accomplished.
15. Do not be tempted to tackle another room. Save that for another day when your energy level is high and you are fresh.
16. Vow to keep your room organized by remembering how it looked when it was cluttered. Think about taking a “before” and “after” snapshot.
17. Every day pick up items that get “deposited” in the room – magazines, empty cups, etc.
18. Enlist the help of all family members to pick up after themselves. This is critical so you do not end up feeling like the maid.
19. Periodically do heavy duty cleaning in the room such as carpet shampooing, drapery cleaning, etc. Surprisingly these tasks may not need to be done as often if the clutter is controlled.
20. Lightly dust about once every two weeks. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to run a cloth over a tabletop when it’s not piled with junk!