It’s hard to believe, but 2011 is already full speed ahead. The prospect of having a fresh, new year before us is exciting, but if you feel weighted down by the disorganization and just plain, old too much stuff in your home, you could benefit from taking a little time to get organized for the new year.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t have to be a 5-hour marathon cleaning spree—unless you want it to be. Much can be accomplished in 15-minute focused time segments. So, pick an area to get started on and set your timer for 15 minutes. Don’t run from room to room. Stay in one area and concentrate there. When the timer rings, if you feel like it, go for another 15 minutes. Keep at that one room in 15-minute increments until its done (whether it takes you one day or one month), and when you’re done, pick your next target and start on it.
1. A great place to start if you haven’t already done so is to put away your Christmas decorations. I know, it’s never as much fun to take them down as it is to put them up, but just the act of clearing out the decorations will make your home seem bigger and more organized. You’ll also feel as if you’ve accomplished something. You may want to invest in a few good plastic containers made especially for this purpose for your expensive or fragile ornaments. While you’re packing everything up, look over the decorations with a critical eye. Throw away the things rolling around in the bottom of the boxes and any decorations that look dilapidated. Of course, this doesn’t apply to any works of art your kids have made! Sometimes we hang on to things just because we’ve always had them, but if they‘ve seen better days, then throw them away and invest in a few new ones.
2. Organize your pan cupboards. Most likely over the holidays you did some cooking and maybe even had several cooks in your kitchen. Now’s a good time to put everything back in its correct place, or find a correct place if it doesn’t have one. Organize it so that the pans and mixing bowls you use the most are easily accessible, not at the bottom of a “Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa” stack of pans. You’ll never want to use them if this is the case.
3. Purge old magazines. Cut out any important articles you want to save, but recycle the 2010 issues to make room for the 2011 issues that will be arriving soon.
4. Organize the closet by your entryway. If you’re like most people, your winter boots are residing next to stray flip-flops and orphan sandals. Put the summer shoes in storage and make room for the winter things. Face it. We have three more months of winter to go.
5. Gather together all the clothing that needs to be mended in some way. You know, the shirts hanging in your closet that you haven’t worn in a year because they’re missing buttons, or the skirts that have the hems safety-pinned up. Start working your way through the pile when you’re watching TV, or just give the items away.
6. Organize your clothes closet. Weed out what you haven’t worn in a year. Try organizing your clothes by type of clothing and color. For example, I hang all my shirts together, organized by color. The same with skirts and pants. It’s easy to find what matches, and you won’t waste time digging through piles of clothes for what you want.
Take a little time to organize for this year and put into storage or give away what you don’t need. You’ll free up space in your home and be more energized and less stressed because you’re not surrounded by stuff.