Organizing Your Home

Battling clutter can lead to frustration and confusion. A simple plan and motivation can go a long way to winning the war on the clutter in your home. If the task seems to large to tackle by yourself enlist friends and family to help out! Getting organized isn’t just a one time task it’s a habit. One must first get organized, then actually live organized. Going to the gym once a month isn’t going to help your health much, but regular exercise is very rewarding. It’s the same with organizing!

Some advice in organization is to break up a large project into small ones. This way you are likely to maintain a natural flow, and not become overloaded. Be realistic about what you need versus what you want. Organizing small areas, like the junk drawer, only takes minutes to do daily. Establish goals and take inventory of what you have before you buy organizational products. Otherwise, the mess will just grow. Make small, frequent, consistent changes. They are more power and last longer then sporadic cleaning. Don’t move from one project to another. Focus on one organization project using consistency and control. Saving items because you might need them one day isn’t beneficial to organization. Things always get worse before they get better, so don’t give up. As you clean the house might look worse, but in the end it will shine!

In the kitchen, put things where you use them. Pots and pans should be around the stove. Recycle old plastic containers that have missing lids. Throw away old dish towels and pot holders. Old socks are good dish towel replacements! Place pullout shelves in blind-corners to maximize space. Adding tension rods enables easy access to cookie sheets and cutting boards. Get rid of dull kitchen knives and the butcher block. Wooden blocks can harbor bacteria and pests. Instead, place knives in plastic sleeves and store them in a drawer near the stove. Using spice and can racks in the pantry can help create extra space. Decorative wooden baskets or clear plastic containers are great to store food and kitchen appliances in. These can be found at the Container Store. Pare down excessive amounts of coffee mugs, glasses, and other items that naturally build up. Take everything out the silverware drawer, and put back spoons, knives, and forks. All other extras in the silverware drawer should be considered for giving away, selling, or trash. The junk drawer should be emptied of useless coupons, papers, and other junk. Group similar items with rubber bands, plastic bags, or dividers.

In the bathroom, give each family member a draw or water proof bag for personal items. Different colored towels are great, if everyone wants a specific towel to call their own. If you have deep cabinets under the sink, install or put shelving for more space and easy access. Use decorative jars for cotton balls, cotton swabs, hair accessories, toothbrush’s, ect. Throw out expired medication, cosmetics, tattered towels, and duplicate hair styling appliances.

In the bedroom, use the space under the bed. It’s a good area for plastic containers filled with toys, seasonal clothes, or shoes. The guest room is an excellent storage place for blankets and pillows. Hang shoe bags inside the closet door to hold shoes and other small items. Shelves or containers under hanging clothes is a superb way to get organized! When purchasing bedroom furniture make sure it has adequate storage space. When hanging seasonal clothes hang them facing hook out. Once you wear the item turn the hanger around. After the season is over consider giving away all the clothes on hangers that still face out. Organize the clothes in the closet by type and color. This makes finding what you need much easier.

In the family room, keep attractive baskets with lids filled with toys, movies, books, or games. Reorganize your bookshelf and make a pile of books to give away or store some in a box. Stuffed book selves can make a room appear cluttered. Be vigilant with catalogs and magazines. Keep only you love and read regularly. Ask local schools or doctor’s offices if they’d be interested in taking them off your hands. The recycling center is another good choice for old magazines. Use commercial breaks during your favorite TV show to clean out a drawer or pick up a few items laying around.

Some other items in the house that might need a cleaning are the vacuum. Replace the bag and give it a good wipe down. Change air filters every 2 months. Shampoo the carpet at least once a year. Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans. Don’t forget the cobwebs on the ceiling. Pull out all large appliances and clean behind them. Vacuum the refrigerator coils and the intake grate too. Vacuum all curtains, mattresses, and floor behind large furniture. Clean blinds and shutters. Aluminum and vinyl blinds can be washed in the bathtub with warm, soapy water, then placed outside to dry.

“I almost always find something valuable that can still be used,” says Allison Carter of The Professional Organizer. Be ready for some surprises as you organize your home! Nanette Duffey of Organized Instincts LLC came across a major find while in the process of organizing. She found an uncashed check for 4,000 dollars! Cash, gift certificates, and priceless family heirlooms are some great surprises to uncover! On the downside, organizing can lead to old food, piles of dishes, and the occasional dead rodent. Take the challenge of clutter and organize you home today!

SOURCE: Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine

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