Take two! That is, take two organizing tips for every room in your home. These will help you begin getting each room in organized, tip-top shape.
A. Set up activity zones in the garage. For example, group garden tools in one spot, sporting goods in another, and tools in their own area.
B. Using the walls (vertical space) and the ceiling (over head storage) will help you make better use of the space you do have within your garage. Use various storage solutions such as peg boards, containers (see-through and labels make it easy), and open crates which allow for easy access and are easy to clean. Do not use cardboard boxes because of water damage, mold and bugs.
A. Clear up your countertops. Put away any used (but not used often items or appliances such as a bread machine) into drawers or cabinets. Take a look at some of your appliances and if you haven’t used it in 12 months then it might be time to donate it to charity or a friend who could use it. This also works with all the little gadgets such as lemon zesters and melon ballers that might not be used and cause clutter in drawers. Empty the contents of a drawer into a box and put it into your garage or a closet. If you need an item, go get it, use it, and put it back in the drawer. Determine a time to clean out the box (such as a month, 3 months, 6 months, or even a year) and donate what is left in the box to charity.
B. Arrange zones or stations in the kitchen to make your life simpler and easier. For example, coffee, filters, mugs, and the coffee maker should be near each other to make it easy and convenient to make coffee in the morning. Another zone may be your baking zone. Include baking supplies like flour and sugar, cookie sheets, measuring cups, etc.
3. Dining Room
A. Is there always stuff piled up on your dining room table? Determine what the stuff is and what solutions can be made to conquer the clutter so you and your family can sit down and share a meal. For example, do you use the table for hobbies such as scrapbooking? Make sure you have a solution for your scrapbooking supplies such as a plastic drawer system on wheels. Does your table get piled with mail and other papers? Designate a basket or wall folder system to hold all the papers, magazines, and newspapers that come into the house. Make sure you dump the junk mail as soon as it arrives. Empty the basket on a daily basis.
B. A china cabinet for storage or another storage cabinet for fine china? Depending on your lifestyle you might want to have storage for your everyday dishes (maybe even plastic dishes that are within your child’s reach, so he could set the table for dinner all by himself).
4. Living or Family Room
A. Can you use multi-purpose furniture such as coffee tables, storage cubes, or ottomans with storage inside for children’s toys, extra blankets and pillows, or board games?
B. List all the purposes and activities that will take place in the room. Divide your living room into zones. Find storage solutions for your TV and DVDs. Store DVDs or CDs in a cabinet or shelving system that will help keep out dust. Keep all remotes in a basket in a central location.
A. Keep most-often used items within arm’s reach. For example, items used daily such as pens and pencils, a stapler, and your calendar should be kept on your desk; while items such as scotch tape and paper clips that may only be used occasionally can be kept in a nearby drawer. Find an area to store extra supplies such as printer and fax machine paper, such as a closet organization system, a shelving system, or plastic drawer.
B. Sort and file paperwork. For sorting large amounts of paperwork the RAFT method can be useful. The R stands for papers that need to be Read. The A stands for papers that need to be Acted upon, such as a party invitation that needs to be responded to. The F stands for Filed, such as already paid bills. The T stands for papers that can be trashed such as junk mail.
6. Kid’s Bedroom
A. Sort your children’s toys. Take and pile those with broken or missing parts and make a decision of whether the toy is still safe, useable, or repairable. If not throw it in the garbage. If there are toys that your child has outgrown, decide what you are going to do with them. They may be passed on to a younger brother or sister, cousin, family friend, or donated to a local charity or woman’s shelter. They could also be given away on a website such as Freecycle or Craigslist. Next you must find a storage solution for the children’s toys that you are going to keep. Plastic drawers and shelves are good options.
B. Make sure organization tools are easy to use and at a child’s level. For example, hooks can be lowered to accommodate book bags, hats, bags, scarves, and more on the back of their door or in their rooms. Another important tool is to label storage solutions with both pictures and words– especially for those who are too young to read.
7. Master Bedroom
A. Re-organize your closet space. Remove the excess items. Donate items that others can use and trash stained or damaged clothing. Double your space in your closet by adding a second rod for part of your closet. Keep an area for long hanging items such as gowns or suits. Use the full height in your closet. Maybe there is room for a shelf or two for out of season storage for clothing or linens. Have a basket, bin, or container to put items that need to be dry-cleaned and another one for items that need to be mended. Invest in a shoe storage solution.
B. Use all free space, such as under the bed or mattress, for extra linens or out-of season clothing or shoe storage. There are many shallow bins or bags that can be used for this purpose.
A. Organize and declutter all the stuff on your counters and surrounding your sink in the bathroom. Do you need three different types of hair gel or can you consolidate down to one bottle instead? Go through all the different bottles and throw out anything with only a drip left in the bottom and those items you do not use on a daily basis. Any items that were bought or even the hotel sample sizes that are unopened can be donated to a homeless or women’s shelter. Get a small shelf, small plastic drawer system, or a decorative basket for each person to contain their daily products.
B. Declutter your medicine cabinet. Remember many medications are affected by the steam and moisture in the bathroom. Use a shower holder or cabby to hold your bath supplies in the shower or bath tub.
A. Do not use cardboard boxes to help avoid bugs and moisture attacking the contents of the boxes. Use plastic bins or containers that are either clear or clearly labeled.
B. Keep like items together in zones. Have zones for holiday decorations, one for sentimental items, another area for keepsakes, another for sports equipment, among others.
10. Laundry Room
A. There are many different laundry hampers or laundry sorters depending on your space. Some even fold flat when they are not being used. If you provide an easy place for your family to put their laundry, they will be more likely to put it into the laundry room. Who knows? Maybe they will even help do the laundry.
B. Use the space above the washer and dryer. Install and use shelving or cabinets to hold laundry cleaning supplies such as laundry soap, fabric softener, and stain removers. On the wall or inside the cabinet, tape up a copy of stain removal and fabric care symbols.
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