We have made it through January, but the weather is still too cold for outdoor projects. Now is the perfect time to get organized. This is especially true if you are preparing for a spring move. This letter includes Part 1 of the journey towards an organized home. When organizing, most of us are tempted to go out and buy new bins, shelves, boxes, and baskets. While these can be necessary to provide needed storage space, sometimes buying expensive organizers only makes the problem worse. We tend to juggle things around without addressing the root problem—most of us have too much stuff. Instead, decrease clutter before you even think about where to put it. This will give you the room you need to keep the things you really Love.
Paper and Books — Go around and collect all the paper items that can be immediately recycled—newspapers, magazines, flyers, old letters, cards. Keep important documents in a safe place. Shred and recycle bills and papers from longer than 7 years ago. Make it a daily habit to deal with the paper that comes into your home immediately. If you need to keep it or deal with it at a later time, put it in a dedicated space—where it won’t get lost or forgotten. Did you know you can recycle books? Just remove and throw away the hard cover and place the rest in the recycle bin. Donate books to a second hand store where others can enjoy the things your family no longer needs.
Bedding and Linens — If you have a linen closet, keep it organized by storing only what you actually use. Most of us can pare down the amount of bedding and linens we store. Think about donating items you never use to a homeless shelter or some-where that helps families set up households. Old towels can be donated to the Humane Society.
Games, Toys, Electronics — Decide what needs to be thrown away or given away. Broken items, or games and puzzles with missing pieces can be tossed. Donate items in good condition to charity.
Furniture, Dishes, Decorations — If you have furniture or other large items taking up precious storage space in your home, decide if you really need to keep them. In the kitchen sort through all your dishes, cutlery and kitchen gadgets. Get rid of anything that is broken, that you haven’t used in the last year, or that you have duplicates of.
Once you have decided what you are actually keeping, find a dedicated space for each item. Not having enough space to put things away contributes to clutter. More about organizing next time!