The New Year is in full swing, and it will be met with a multitude of resolutions that may or may not succeed. Why not start out 2013 with an easy resolution that will give life long benefits? Believe it or not, a little home organization can lead to better living. Being organized not only reduces stress, it also helps households become more efficient.
1. Start Small
When you begin your organization adventure, it’s advisable to start in one area of the house and conquer it before moving on. Drawers and cabinets are easy because once they are done, you can move on to the next.
2. Toss It
If you’re in doubt about whether or not to keep something, chances are you don’t need it. If you haven’t seen it or thought about it in the preceding six months, it’s a safe bet you can donate or toss it.
3. File Your Files
Likely you have several pieces (or piles) of paper around the house. They all have significance, and need to be kept safe. It sounds overly simplistic, but placing them in labeled folders in a portable filing box ensures you always know where they are.
4. Clear the Garage
It’s easy to put some boxes in the corner and forget all about them, because most of us don’t spend too much time in the garage. Start in one corner, and begin going through everything out there. Buying some cheap stackable plastic shelves and store stuff vertically instead horizontally.
5. Make Lists
Lists are organized by their very nature and help to keep everyone on track. Once you think of a project or something that needs to be done, write it down. Keep the lists in a centralized location, such as a notepad on the fridge or a dry erase board on a wall somewhere.
Clearing surfaces and putting things away just makes you feel organized.This does not need to be overly complicated or expensive, either. You can use a simple basket to contain TV remotes, video game controllers, and all of the associated cables that go with them. Place the basket next to the entertainment center on the floor and presto! Organized.
If you live in a place that is subject to any inclement weather (read: anywhere in the world), you probably don’t wear your shoes indoors. Once two or more people remove their shoes by the door, a nasty pile of footwear can start to build up. A simple shoe organizer, which are created and sold in every size, shape, and color you can think of removes the mess.
These are notorious clutter stash spots. Shove some stuff in, and close off the mess. One easy way to maximize space is to double hang your clothes; placing one hanger around the base of the hook on another doubles the available space.
9. Use Your Own Stuff
Buying a bunch of storage stuff can be expensive. With a little imagination its easy to repurpose stuff you own. Use a letter sorter for Tupperware lids, ice cube trays for screws or jewelry, or a paper towel roll holder mounted on a closet wall for neckties or necklaces.
10. Stay With It
Organization is a marathon, not a sprint. Establish easy to maintain systems and principles and its that much easier to keep up with. Stay on top of the clutter so it doesn’t stay on top of you.
It’s not difficult to organize your house, but it takes some initial work. It doesn’t have to be backbreaking or expensive, but organization just feels better. Get started now and save yourself the hassle of clutter.
Image by Gregory Hahn, and licensed through Creative Commons.
- License: Creative Commons image source
K.M. is an associate at EZ Storage, a company with clean, secure self storage facilities in Massachusetts.