Let me tell you a secret – there are no secrets to getting organized. Organizing is a learnable skill. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Tell yourself that no matter what, some level of clutter with a child is going to happen.
- Begin with messes and clutter that you see every day. Get organize your kitchen, garage, and family room before your hallway closet.
- Use drawer dividers for socks, underwear, lingerie, and tiny items, to keep them separated and organized.
- Use this same principle to organize your silverware, with clearly defined places for every fork and knife, or drawers for ties and socks or, underwear. Think in this same way for every aspect of your home. This will save many hours of searching for things. It will dramatically cut down on the clutter of items left out “for now” or “until I find a place for it.” Develop a new mantra: everything has its place and a place for everything!
- Allocate everything in your house a place. This way your family will know exactly where to find it and where to put it away, when they searches for something they need.
- Keep items that are used frequently in places where you can reach them without stooping or bending, and store them close to the place they will be needed.
- Establish one defined place in your house for storing library books, and end a house-wide hunt when it is time to read or return them.
- Hang hooks for your keys and purse at the entry to your home, so each time you walk in, you can hang them up.
- Get rid of all junk drawers, or allow yourself just one that you clear out once a week or more. When you establish certain items are being used repeatedly, designate a drawer for those.
- Enlist a new rule: throw out one old thing for every new purchase that enters your home.
- Make a mental note to observe what things pile up in your house and where they cluster, and then come up with a place nearby that becomes the official home where those things will reside. For this purpose baskets, shelves, and folders will work well. Set aside one basket for you and your partner for incoming mail, bills, and receipts and letters.
- Never go up or down empty-handed when using stairs. Always grab some items that belong to upstairs rooms and quickly put it away while you are there.
- Create a number of brightly marked folders for discount coupons, invitations and directions, and other time-sensitive papers that just clutter your counters.
- Things you don’t need any longer:
∑ Expired medications.
∑ Clothes you no longer wear.
∑ Extra paper or plastic grocery bags.
∑ Makeup and samples you have never worn.
∑ Sunscreen that’s expired or more than one year old.
∑ Organize your coupons and throw out all that have expired.
∑ Cookbooks you rarely use. Cut out your favourite recipes only.
∑ Magazines you meant to read but have never taken the time for.
∑ Stuff your crumpled plastic bags from your grocer inside a cardboard roll like a hand towel roll. Keep under your sink.
You will free your mind to remember your daily chores by getting rid of your clutter and organizing your home top to bottom. Be vigilant about cleaning about once a month and you will find it much easier to keep up, week-by-week.