Helpful Suggestions for Organizing Your Home
Are you drowning in clutter? Most of us automatically hang on to old sports equipment we don't use anymore, clothing we've 'outgrown', and mismatched dinnerware and glasses in the kitchen. It's hard to keep a spotless house when you're always trying to figure out where to put things to get them out of the way. The habit of accumulating unnecessary possessions will continue until you do two things. First, you have to make a conscious decision to break the pattern. Second, you have to set aside time to de-clutter and organize your home.
Break it Down
It will overwhelm you if you think about the big picture, so don't try to clean and declutter your entire home over one weekend. You'll have a head start if you decide to give up one thing every time you bring a new item home. Once you're committed to making a change, tackle one part of the house at a time. Most home organization gurus will tell you to start in the kitchen because that's one place that your family congregates daily. After that, take it room by room until you've whittled down unneeded belongings and can enjoy relaxing in your uncluttered home.
Marla Cilley, also known as 'FlyLady', is a homemaker who has offered advice for years on getting out of the trap of a continually cluttered home. According to her, you have to start somewhere, and it should be in front of the kitchen sink. Once you've cleared away dirty dishes and scrubbed your sink, the counters will look dingy by comparison. So off you go, cleaning and decluttering them. It's a short step from there to pulling old cups and plates from the cabinets and stacking them on your newly cleared countertops while you decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
It helps keep the main living area clutter free if you have a basket just for items that need to be moved elsewhere. Check the basket daily so that things don't pile up. Even after you eliminate everything from the living room or den that doesn't belong, you'll still have to find a place for a few necessities. Magazines, TV remotes, games and other items you want to keep at your fingertips can be cleverly concealed in decorative baskets on the shelves or in a cabinet-style end table. Many ottomans are designed with hinged lids, and you can conceal board games or extra throw blankets in them.
In bedrooms, opt for a dresser with several small and medium-sized drawers rather than a few large ones. Part of getting organized is having "everything in its place and a place for everything", and a dresser or chest with many drawers lets you divide your clothing into categories. This help keeps the drawers from getting messy, and it's easier to put away the laundry, too.
For items you use often, invest in an attractive organizer for the top of the dresser. You can also keep excess makeup, hair scrunchies, tie tacks and jewelry out of sight in an easily accessed top drawer. For infrequently used accessories like dress shoes, you can find covered shallow plastic bins that slide right under the bed.
The bathroom is a fun room to organize because it involves some decorating, too. Match some painted baskets to your shower curtain and line them up on a shelf. Fill them according to category, such as cotton swabs and makeup puffs in one, shaving supplies in another, etc. One sure way to make space under the sink and in the medicine cabinet is to throw out any hair products, sunscreen and medicines that have been around for more than a few months.
The weather's usually starting to warm up outside when thoughts turn to cleaning out the garage. That's why this decluttering chore is best done in the early morning. Make sure you have plenty of cold water or sports drinks to help you stay hydrated when tackling the job. It also helps to do your homework ahead of time and find out where to dispose of toxic materials like old oil, paint and insecticides.
Throw out the junk, gather old sporting equipment to donate to charity, and give the garage a good sweeping. If you don't already have it, a railing on each wall for hanging gardening equipment will get a lot of things off the floor and make your garage look and feel a lot roomier.
One Step at a Time
If you clean and declutter one room each weekend, it won't seem like such an arduous task. Also, every project you complete will give you a sense of accomplishment. It's better to do a thorough job on one small part of a home decluttering campaign than to try and take it all on at once. As time passes, your home will become cleaner and less cluttered, allowing you and your family to enjoy living there more each day!