Home Organization – Where to Start?
I was having a chat with one of my readers recently about home organization. She shared that she follows all my home organization tips to help her organize and maintain her home and home office. I feel blessed and filled with gratitude.
It’s always nice to hear people say they enjoy reading my home organization tips and I find their feedback helpful.
She told me that she was stuck with a basement full of things to deal with and just doesn’t know where to start.
It doesn’t matter if you are moving, downsizing or just trying to make your existing space work for you – Keep it Simple!
Let’s begin with the first 4 home organization steps.
Suggestion: Take some before pictures so later you can see what you have achieved.
1. Start with those items that have no sentimental value. Leave the heirlooms, the kids school and art work for another day (coming later in this blog). Sort those items like clothes, toiletries and silverware. The items that you know you just have too many of, you do not care about and can part with.
While organizing, ask yourself these questions:
- Have I worn or used this item in the last year? And I’m not asking you to get rid of the Christmas sweaters and outfits you wear once per year. Just those never worn in the last year or the season that has just past.
- Have I used it in the last 6 months? The party platters and décor used quarterly – keep them if you love and make use of them.
- How many of these same items do I really need? I often find that containers are like my clothes – I use my favourites most often.
2. Sell what you can. There are always garage sales if you are up to it. Kijiji, Craigslist, eBay are options if you don’t mind to deal with all the emails, texts, calls, etc. and strangers coming to your home.
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3. Donations – place in clear bags and put in the trunk of your car. Or better yet on the seat beside you so that you can see it. The visual clutter will nag at you until you stop at a local church or charity.
4. Old computers, printers, etc. Drop off at an e-waste bin in your neighbourhood. To drop off batteries (YES, Drop Off – they do not go into the garbage). Visit call2recycle for a location near you.
Now that the clutter is cleared you can focus on the kid’s artwork,
your heirlooms, sports equipment – the things that you need, use and love!
Let’s start organizing your sentimental items, treasures and extras that you need, use, LOVE, and want to keep.
Home Organization is a process. I’m not going to lie to you. It is work and it’s not always easy BUT the Results are Rewarding!
Let’s continue with the last 5 home organization steps.
Get out your camera and again, take some before pictures so later you can see what you have achieved.
As you work through the home organization process ask yourself these questions:
- Do I use this?
- When was the last time I use this?
- When was the last time I wore this?
- Do I need this many of the same or similar item?
- Can I get another one if I need it?
- Can this be donated to someone else who can really use it?
5. Get a portfolio or bins for organizing kid’s art work and school work. Be brutal about this. You don’t have to toss them all – keep the best or the most touching. If you’re inclined to scrap book the pictures will take up a lot less space.
Take photos and create a digital photo album.
6. Boxes of photos – Scanning to a USB is a great option, however, keep in mind as technology changes will you be able to open those “older” programs. Going forward in the digital age it will be much easier to deal with all those pictures if you download the photos to a secure online storage.
My suggestion: Embrace technology. Check out Flickr and Google Photos or Photobucket. There are many to choose from. Find one that suits your needs.
7. Create a space to store bins. Preferably off the floor. If you are placing bins on the floor make sure they are heavy so not to float in case of flooding. Label the bins.
8. Place roasting pans, party trays, platters, etc. used for special occasions on shelves in an out of the way area. Under the stairs is a great place for home organization and storing these items.
9. Hanging space. Use a shower curtain rod and hang it from the rafters to give you extra storage for ski pants, winter coats, gowns, etc. If necessary, cover them in plastic to keep the dust off.
Create a time line for those items you are not sure about. Set them aside for now.
Schedule a date to re-visit in i.e. 6 months – absolutely no longer than one year. Again, ask the above questions.
Now take some after shots. Look at all the pictures to see what you have accomplished. It’s not about what is left to do.