Organize Little by Little

Have you been known to put things off until “the kids go back to school” or “after the holidays”?  Well, guess what?  The kids ARE back to school and sadly, the holidays ARE over.  Looks like you are out of excuses.  Get busy and schedule time this year to tackle some neglected areas in need of organizing.

  1. Photos/Scrapbooking:  Develop all undeveloped film.  Step 1: Sort photos into groups by theme/event, label accordingly and store in an accordion file.  Step 2:  Decide which photos will be stored in albums and which will be scrapbooked.  Step 3:  Schedule time weekly/monthly to complete this task.
  2. Junk Drawers:  I cringe to think you might have more than one.  First goal is to clean “them” out.  Dump drawers on a table or the floor and quickly sort through deciding what you need to keep.  Measure the drawer and purchase drawer organizers to categorize items and keep neat.  Second goal is to stop calling any drawer a “junk” drawer.
  3. Recipes:  You have been tearing recipes out of magazines for a year and leaving them everywhere.  Gather them, clip them, sort them and store them in a binder or recipe organizer.
  4. Kitchen Cabinets:  Open all cabinets, stand back, take a look and scream.  Now, take inventory of all items.  Toss away chipped plates/bowls.  Keep only one complete set of matched glasses.  Replenish tarnished silverware.  Relocate or donate appliances stored way in the back that you do not use or do not know how to use.  Toss Tupperware without matching lids.  You got it!  Keep going!
  5. Birthdays:  Record birthdays for the year on your calendar.  A filled Greeting Card Organizer is a great way to have cards on hand and reduce the last-minute (often expensive) trips to the Hallmark store.
  6. Kids’ Bedrooms:  When the kids are in school, assess room clutter.  If you fear tossing, create a pile outside of the bedroom to discuss next steps with your child.  When taken outside of their domain, kids are more willing to part with items because they do not see the need in their space.
  7. Art ‘n Crafts:  Gather all art items from throughout the house and toss broken crayons, dry markers, crusty glues, empty paper pads, etc.  Create a “replenish” list and purchase an appropriate sized bin to house supplies and store in one location.
  8. Linens:  Raid those linen closets!  Ensure sheets are in complete sets and toss unmatched pieces.  Gather all towels and rid of those with loose threads, stains and minimal absorbancy.  A linen closet should contain “linen” related items:  sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, tablecloths, etc.
  9. Basement:  Start this process early in the year to prepare for the Spring garage sale.
  10. Underwear/Socks:  Toss ’em in a pile and go to town! Say good-bye to those with holes or unmatched pairs.  Compile a list of what you need.  Freshen drawers with a scented bar of soap.

These projects are sure to keep you busy throughout the year.  And trust me, there are so many more to add to the list. But remember, do not try to tackle everything at once.  Create realistic goals and a plan to achieve them little by little.

Next month:  Simple steps for effective organizing.

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