Get Organized in the New Year :: 7 Tips to De-Clutter

OrganizeEvery year around this time, my husband and I partake in a wonderful tradition which we lovingly call “Get Rid of Our Crap!” This isn’t just “Let’s go through the kids clothes and donate what doesn’t fit.” This is a full-on, military-style operation. We go through clothes, medicine, furniture, tools, cars, closets, store rooms, drawers and just about every nook and cranny in our house. Are we OCD? You bet your label maker we are!

I actually get excited about this task. I love it! My husband loves it! My kids…hate it! So, over the years, I’ve learned to keep this operation simple yet highly effective. You may already use some of these tips, but just in case you are new at this “game” or are a closet hoarder, let me help you get 2017 off to an organized start. You really will feel better!

#1. Get your needed supplies. I like to get boxes, trash bags, large plastic tubs, baskets of any size, my label maker (I highly recommend one), paper and markers. 

#2. Get some music going. Nothing keeps you motivated like some good music. You will actually get into a “rhythm” if you have some of your favorite tunes playing.

#3. Start small. Start by organizing a closet like a linen closet, coat closet or medicine cabinet. Something small that won’t take too much time. If you start with something big, like the kitchen, you will get frustrated with how long it takes and not go any further. 

#4. Start by cleaning things out. Pull everything out of the space and clean the space (wipe down cabinets, clean drawers, etc) before putting anything back. 

#5. Go through your stuff before deciding where it goes. This may sound like a no-brainer, but really go through your stuff before you put things back. Do you need 10 pairs of black gloves? Do you use all the umbrellas? Are the medicines expired? Is anything broken or not usable?

#6. Trash. Donate. Keep. Using your boxes, trash bags and containers, decide where every item needs to go. I use paper and markers to label my boxes (this is great for when kids get involved) so that it helps me visualize what my options are. 

#7. Put the “Keep” things back in a usable fashion. This is my favorite part! Now that you have gone through and gotten rid of things you no longer need, are broken, used up or just don’t want anymore, figure out where they need to go. Can you organize the medicine by age in cute baskets? Can you put like sock colors in open shoe boxes that fit in your drawers? I use my label maker on various things like medicine so if someone has a headache, they go to the “headache medicine” basket and get what they need. No need to rummage through the allergy medicine or cough drops!

Now…sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor! And remember, once you get yourself organized, it’s much easier to stay organized and it will save you time. Time you can spend playing with your kids, reading a good book, or reading a wonderful blog!

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