Happy New Year!
If you’re like most, you’ve probably made a resolution or two for goals you’d like to achieve in 2014. While some of the most common ones are things like “Eat healthier” and “Work out regularly,” another popular resolution is to get more organized around the house.
Fortunately, a few hours and a trip to your local hardware store or home center for some supplies can help. Read on for some ideas of how to make organizing a little easier.
- Throw it away. First, clear out the clutter. Go through the closets, the garages, the kitchen, or wherever else you feel you have too much “stuff,” and make piles of things to keep, to throw away, to donate, and to sell. Get a box of large contractor-strength trash bags from your local store if you have a lot of items to pack up, or if you’re working with heavier things (like you might find in your garage).
- Pack it up—neatly. Once you’ve cleared out anything you don’t want or need, it’s time to neatly put away what you’re keeping. Try some storage shelves—these are especially helpful in garages and closets. There are all-purpose shelves that work in any space or more specific setups, such as closet organization systems, that are created for a particular area of your home. Check with your local store and see what they recommend. Keeping your things stored this way will make it easier for you to find what you need, more quickly. Plus, it’s harder to keep adding extra “stuff” when everything has its place. If you have a larger space, such as a den where you want to install bookshelves, talk to the employees at your local store about custom storage solutions.
- Touch it once. The “touch it once” rule is to prevent you from having small piles of mail or papers spread around your house. Once you bring in your mail, go through it right away. Throw away or recycle any junk mail you don’t want, and open and read personal mail right away. If you have bills, open them immediately and pay them immediately if you can—this can help you avoid any last-minute search to pay a bill right before it’s due. Better yet, sign up to receive electronic bills. These can be emailed to you and paid online. Fewer papers mean less mess!
- Plan a cleaning routine. Make a list of chores to be done daily (like getting dishes in the dishwasher, clothes in the hamper, and kids’ toys put away each night), and a list of what to do weekly (cleaning windows, vacuuming, and sweeping and mopping floors). Make sure you have the tools you need for each of these chores, and adjust the list to fit your home and lifestyle. By following a routine, you can avoid those hours-long weekend cleaning sprees where you try to do everything at once.