Typically when you mention "declutter" or "organize", Spring is the first season to come to mind. However, the time just before the winter holiday season can be an excellent time to do some decluttering and organizing. In this season, our homes become a place to welcome in visitors and relatives alike. To help prepare for this, and to fend off any related stress before it happens, we have some tips to help you get ready for this holiday season.
Tips on General Decluttering:
- Pick up all used dishes, glasses, cups, snack bowls, etc., and take them into the kitchen.
- Grab a plastic trash bag, pick up all pieces of paper that are not important and put them in the bag. While you’re at it, include empty pop cans, candy wrappers and the like. Put important papers in your office, briefcase, or wherever you customarily keep such things.
- Pick up all magazines, books, newspapers, catalogues, etc.; decide which are worth keeping and set to the side; throw out the rest. Sort the “keepers” into orderly stacks and put them where they belong – in a magazine rack or bookshelf.
- Gather all articles of clothing, towels, shoes, slippers, etc., that may be lying around. If they need laundered, take them into your laundry area. If they are just out of place, either notify the “owner” to put them away, or return them to where they belong yourself.
Tips on Organizing Kitchens:
- Look at your kitchen counters. Pick up every item that doesn’t belong there and organize by putting it in its proper place.
- When you are using your kitchen cabinet, take a moment and do a little shuffling around to make the appearance neater. If you keep canned and/or dry goods in a cabinet, sort the products according to category and according to size – taller items in the back, smaller packages in the front.
- Dish cupboards need to have drinking glasses and cups in separate areas, plates arranged and organized according to size; same with bowls, odds and ends serving dishes.
- Kitchen drawers may just need to have some quick organizing by placing like utensils together – forks, spoons, knives, etc.
Tips on Organizing Bathrooms:
- Pick up any “reading materials” that make their way into the bathroom and either throw them away or return them to their rightful location.
- Open the drawers/cabinets to see if they are in order. If not, throw away things you don’t need, and put like items together. Organizing trays, available at most home department stores, are very valuable in keeping your drawers/cabinets neat and tidy as they have compartments for small items that otherwise get “lost” when drawers/cabinets are opened and closed.
Tips on Organizing Bedrooms:
- Pick up all articles of clothing; sort according to action needed.
- Organize the closet and put shoes and slippers where they belong.
- Pick up all reading materials; save those worth saving, throw the rest away.
- Clean dresser tops by removing items that don’t belong there. Put items where they are convenient – your clock or clock radio, small lamp, drinking glass and carafe, etc.
- Keep your bed made! Immediately upon arising in the morning, shake covers, and pull sheet up to the head. Smooth any blankets or quilts as you pull them up over the sheet. “Punch” feather pillows to freshen and fluff, then put them at the head of the bed.
Tips on Keeping Areas Decluttered:
Decluttering and organizing does not have to be an all day chore. As you have the time, pick an area and concentrate your efforts. Do that one area but do it well. Then, in a few days, pick another area to declutter, and so on.
The trick to keeping your home organized and decluttered is to practice regular maintenance. Get in the habit of throwing away things you don’t need, keeping dirty clothes out of sight (in the laundry room or in a dirty clothes hamper), keeping dirty dishes corralled in the kitchen, not allowing empty pop cans to be left sitting on end tables, etc.
Keep after the family to help in this process. The earlier children are taught to pick up after themselves, the better – better for you, better for them, and better for their future!