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How to Get Your Home Organized to Reduce Clutter.
Let's Start at the Bottom.
Ready, Set, Simplify...
One room, one closet, one shelf at a time.
The method that I've followed for years has helped me simplify everything that I touch. I can come and go everyday, without wondering where something is, or if the house is respectable enough for unannounced visitors.
Let the Journey Begin...
Most of my organizing takes place in the long winter months. If you do some organizing in the winter it will greatly cut down on spring cleaning. Instead of complaining about the bad and cold winter, I take advantage of it. It's amazing what you can do in a weekend or snow day.
1. Figure out how many weekends there are in the winter where you don't have plans for vacation, weddings, etc. Most weddings and vacations are usually in the spring or summer anyway, so I'm sure you can find some down time to fit your needs. Next, make a list of what you want to accomplish. You don't even have to do the whole house or apartment in one season. Just peck away at it until you are satisfied. There are no deadlines. Go at your own pace. If the Spring, Summer or Fall seasons work better for you then use one of those seasons for your starting point.
2. Make a separate list for each room that you want to organize. Break the room down into bite size projects. By keeping a to do list for each room, you won't become overwhelmed by the idea of the whole process.
3. Purchase, or better yet, when friends or relatives ask you what you can use as a gift for your anniversary or other occasion... ask for various sized containers. Be specific, nobody is a mind reader. If you don't give exact requests, you'll be making trips to return items. Who wants to spend $4.00 on gasoline to return anything! You can also request hooks, shelves, jars, whatever it takes to keep you on the organizing path. Better yet, you can request gift cards. Remember, you have to prepare ahead of time to get organized, in order to be organized. If there are no gifts that will be coming your way anytime in the near future, just make a list of supplies that you'll need and buy them. Consider it an investment... because it is.
4. Shelving, glorious shelving! My motto is... "If it doesn't fit, add a shelf." I'm not saying to stack it high and heavy. What I mean is, if your desk is cluttered, see what can be safely put on a shelf, above or to the side of the desk. What good is a shelf that is too high or not easy to reach?
5. Throw Out Cardboard Boxes! Boxes can invite bugs, rodents and mold or mildew into your home. If you must store things then purchase plastic storage containers. I store all grains, dried herbs, cereal, pasta, etc. in glass jars. Out of season clothing is stored in plastic containers. You can also use the empty boxes to organize a room with a three box method.
One box for Garbage, one for things that you will be Keeping and one for Donations.
I stopped having yard and garage sales a few years ago. I figured out that if you take a picture of what you are donating, make a list of the items and take it to Goodwill, you get a receipt for your taxes. Who wants to price things, get up early, bring the stuff outside, then bring it back inside after the sale? If you want to have a yard or garage sale, by all means have one. I've done it for many years... but that's another hub, I'll be writing about soon. One more thing. Don't give your stuff to friends or relatives. Trust me, they don't want your stuff. I've seen my stuff in a friends yard sale and in her garbage.
6. Day One, Room One... Take a good look around the room. Start with every pile on the floor that doesn't have a place to call its own. Go through the pile with a critical eye and a decluttering frame of mind. Use the 3 box method mentioned in step 5. Now, start purging. After all piles are gone, start on surface tops. Take everything off ALL surface tops. Once again, use the 3 box method. Note: Putting on some music that you like, will help move the project forward.
7. Put the items that you will be keeping back into your dresser, night table or onto a freshly installed Shelf! Remember to put only the items that you will be using... ALL THE TIME. Everything else is... CLUTTER!
Alas, the Dreaded Closets...
8. I felt that this project needed a special step of it's own, so to speak. We all have a closet or two in each room. Now is the time to make good use of your closet space.
A. Take everything out of the closet.
B. Purge into the 3 Box method. Put the clothing from the closet on the bed. Try on everything. Do you really need to keep that jump suit from the 1970's?
C. Clean the closet from top to bottom. Vacuum, sweep and wash the floor, walls, bar where you hang the clothes, etc.
D. Add shelves, hooks, over the door shoe caddies, extra lighting, and purchase same size hangers. You can bring those wire hangers that you don't want to any dry cleaning store. We put a few round battery operated touch lights inside our closets where it was too dark. Some closets had lighting, some did not. I like to see it all!
E. Don't you think that this would be a good time to paint the closet? Only use white paint. When we moved into this house the closets were all painted brown! The first thing we did before we moved in was to paint the interior of the closets bright white.
YOU CAN DO THIS! After you get organized by accomplishing this project you will benefit from all the time you put into... "Getting Organized, to simplify your life."
Until we meet again... Francesca27
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