“Organize” is a household word heard on many of today’s most popular decorating shows. Every family has its issues with some kind of clutter, whether it’s piles of papers or a cramped, messy bathroom. In fact, the National Association of Professional Organizers reports that 80% of what we keep is never used, 20% is worn with the clothes we own, and the other 80% is hung just in case, and 25% of adults They say they pay the bills. late because they lost them.
If you have piles of paperwork, exhausted mornings, or lost car keys, use the following ideas to help you organize your family and home.
1. If your mornings are on the run, pack lunches, arrange clothes, and put out everything you need for the next day in a designated area the night before. Have the children pack their homework and books in their backpack so they are ready for the next day.
2. Put your purse, briefcase, and keys in a designated area every day so you always know where they are.
3. Decide the night before what is on the menu for breakfast the next morning. If the family is going to eat cereal, set out the cereal boxes, bowls, and spoons.
4. Make a “to do” list for the next day and organize it according to the task that needs to be completed first.
5. Fill up the gas tank the day before so you don’t have to worry about getting gas if you’re late the next morning.
6. To organize countertop clutter, buy a plastic tub with a handle on top. Put all your accessories like hairspray and lotion in the tub and place them under the counter. Pull out the tub when you’re ready to use it, then put it back under the counter when you’re done.
7. To organize your shower, buy shower caddies to hold your soaps and shampoos. There are numerous styles available at many high end and discount department stores.
8. To help keep your shower doors clean, buy a squeegee (like you use on windows) and put it in the shower. When you’re done showering, simply wipe the doors with the squeegee and you’ll have a clean, dry shower door. Many of the squeegees come with a hole in the handle, which is convenient for hanging in the shower with a suction cup.
9. Install a straight magnet in your medicine cabinet for tweezers, nail clippers, and scissors.
10. Store your reading material in a decorative magazine rack. As you add new magazines, discard the old ones to prevent the magazine rack from overflowing.
11. Dispose of old or no longer used items such as makeup, lotions, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, old razors, sunscreen, and perfume in your bathroom.
12. If you don’t have room for towels in your bathroom cabinets, roll them up and display them in a decorative basket next to the shower or tub.
13. Install hooks on the back of the bathroom door or in the wall space for towels and robes.
14. Use drawer organizers for makeup, jewelry, ponytails, and other loose items.
15. Put a shelf above the toilet to store extra towels, washcloths and other accessories.
16. Put a clock in each bathroom so everyone gets there on time.
17. Put baskets in your closet for clothes and dry cleaning.
18. Sort your clothes and everything you no longer use, pack up and donate to a local charity. This includes clothing that is no longer in style, that no longer fits you well, or clothing that you have not worn in a year. Also, get rid of those worn-out and/or uncomfortable shoes that you no longer wear.
19. Separate your clothes by season. If you have a tall closet with multiple rows of rails, put in-season clothes on the lowest level and move out-of-season clothes on the higher rails.
20. Sort your clothes by purpose, such as work, casual, and formal.
21. Gather up all your unused wire hangers and take them to the dry cleaner for recycling.
22. Hang scarves on a scarf hanger or hanger. Also, hang belts and ties on hangers or shelves.
23. Use a shoe rack to keep shoes organized and ditch shoe boxes cluttering the floor.
24. Install hooks on the closet wall to hang hats and purses.
25. Store clothes you want to keep in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag. These bags pack up to store under the bed or in a closet. Remember to only save the clothes you think will be worn!
26. Organize your cabinets into various categories, such as plates, glasses, Tupperware, children’s plates, and sippy cups. Place dishes on one shelf, glasses on another shelf, and so on. This way, when you empty the dishwasher, you or other family members will always know where everything goes.
27. Group your groceries in the pantry for easy access and to help you identify when you’re running low on inventory. For example, group your canned goods, cereals, pasta, etc.
28. Put all the packets (gravy, Jell-O, sauces) in one basket and place on a shelf.
29. Buy a spice rack that works best for your cabinet. Sort your spices alphabetically and place frequently used spices at the front of the shelf and all others at the back of the shelf.
30. For all those plastic containers and Tupperware items, dedicate a cabinet or drawer for those items and try to buy stackable containers to maximize your space.
31. Save your counter space for the items you use every day. Show only the cookbooks you actually use, and if possible, keep your set of containers in your pantry instead of on the counter.
32. If you have a collection of cut-out recipes that fill your drawers and counter space, buy a three-ring binder in a color that matches your decor, a box of plastic sheet protectors (to protect your recipes), paper and a set of tabbed dividers. Tape each recipe to a sheet of paper (use the front and back of each sheet of paper) and then place in a sheet protector. Categorize the recipes (breakfast, dessert, etc.), label the tabs, and place the recipes in the folder. Bonus Tip: If you buy a binder that has pockets, save any clipped recipes you want to try in the pockets before adding them to your collection.
33. Do you have lots of plastic grocery bags? Put about 10 bags inside 1 bag and discard the rest. You can always get more the next time you go to the supermarket.
34. Get in the habit of cleaning your refrigerator every time you bring home groceries. Discard any food that is no longer edible or that your family will not eat.
35. In a child’s room, place a basketball hoop on top of a laundry basket to dump dirty clothes.
36. Put a two-compartment hamper in your son’s room so he can separate light from dark clothes while undressing.
37. Hang a clothesline in your child’s room and ask him to hold his favorite piece of art.
38. Hang a fishing net from the ceiling to store stuffed animals, dolls, or action figures.
39. Add a bookshelf and help your child organize their books.
40. Buy the kids their own alarm clocks and teach them how to get up on time.
41. Make sure everything in your house has a home. Teach all family members to care for their own masses. For example, if you take it out, you put it back in; If you open it, close it; if you throw it, pick it up; if you dirty, clean it up; and so.
42. Put trash cans in each room and place several unused trash bags in the bottom of each one. This will eliminate countless trips to retrieve new trash bags and give everyone in the family a place to dump their trash.
43. Place a decorative basket on the coffee table to store remote controls.
44. Use a plastic cart (instead of shelf space) to store cleaning supplies and carry them from room to room.
45. Keep toy baskets or tubs in each room for quick pick up and play.
46. For kids’ outdoor toys, buy a weather-resistant, bench-style storage box and store the toys inside. Also, gather all outdoor balls and place them in a large mesh drawstring bag and store in the garage.
47. Every night before bed, have everyone in the family clean up the mess for 15 minutes. Make a game and see who can collect the most things in the shortest amount of time.
48. Create a family message center on the refrigerator or other prominent place and use it for shopping lists, reminders, calendars, and phone messages.
49. Make a master shopping list on your computer from a spreadsheet or Word document. Categorize groceries into sections like frozen, dairy, etc. In each category, list the items you buy most often. Organize the shopping list according to the way the islands of your favorite grocery store are set up. Print copies and keep a copy handy for the current week. When you see you’re low on product or preparing your shopping list for the week, simply highlight the items you need. Keep the document up to date by adding new items and/or removing items you no longer purchase. Also, create a space in the document for Misc. items where your family members can write what they need that isn’t on your list.
50. Create an inbox on your desk for papers (bills, permits, etc.) that require your attention.
The objective of the organization is not to leave your house impeccable but to make your life calmer and more functional. Work with the ideas above, and you’ll end up with less clutter, a simplified home, more quality time for you and your family, and increased productivity.