Happy New Year everyone! Raise your hand if one of your resolutions was to “Get More Organized”. I know organization consistently makes it on my list of annual goals because it really does play such an important role in so many areas of our lives. However, it is also important to be specific about the areas you plan to place focus, and also to set small and obtainable goals. Today I am going to share a few simple and easy areas of focus for many of the main living spaces of any home, which may help you to narrow down your 2016 plans into achievable organizational action plans.
- Think about the items that you carry in and out of your home each day, and then assign a designated place for each of those items. Items to consider are mail, keys, handbag/wallet, shoes, backpacks, umbrellas, etc…
- Use a tray for shoes and boots to keep dirt and water contained and to protect your flooring.
- Consider swapping out hangers for hooks as they are easier and quicker for family members to utilize.
- Transfer your DVD’s to sleeves stored inside of media boxes or binders to save on shelving space.
- Storage ottomans allow toys and video game components to be tucked away between uses, while also offering extra seating or a place to prop up your feet at the end of a long day.
- Add an over-sized basket near your sofa to catch throw pillows and extra cozy blankets.
- Kitchen counters tend to be the place where all household clutter lands. Analyze the types of items that fall on the counters each day and set up a designated drop zone or command station for things such as mail/school paperwork, keys, change, small office supplies, important reminders, etc…
- As simple as it sounds, add dividers to each of your drawers. The dividers not only keep things tidy and prevent drawer contents from shifting, they also require you to think before tossing cooking tools and gadgets inside any drawer.
- Organize your cabinets and drawers based on how you utilize your kitchen. Place pots and pans near your stove, leftover food containers near the refrigerator and plates and bowls near the dishwasher.
- Inside of the pantry, create zones based on food types and meals. Keep all breakfast items on a single shelf, create a zone or kit for quick lunch packing and a section for putting together larger dinner meals.
- Setup a calendar/appointment management system that can be seen and utilized by the entire family. There are many apps available for digital loving families, while large whiteboard calendars in a central location also work quite well.
- Utilize drawers or stacking trays to create a proper paper work flow that fits your daily lifestyle. Also utilize a shredder to be sure you are recycling paperwork frequently and only keeping what is necessary for accounting and tax purposes.
- Switch to paperless statements whenever possible to reduce the amount of paper piles that hit your desk in the first place.
- Keep your most frequently used office supplies organized inside of a desktop caddy or in an easy to access drawer to prevent any slowdowns throughout your work sessions.
- Schedule 15 minute weekly refresh sessions to give your work space a clean slate and start your weeks off on the right foot.
- Add a small cleaning kit under the sink for quick daily wipe downs. Keeping cleaning supplies in each bathroom encourages frequent cleanings of one of the germiest rooms of the house.
- If bathroom space is limited, utilize a slim bookcase to act as a stand-in linen closet for toiletries and towels.
- Make use of the bathroom door with over-the-door organizers that contain baskets and hooks.
- Acrylic organizers are ideal in bathrooms for cosmetic and toiletry organization because they allow products to shine and they are easy to keep clean.
- Create small stations/kits for daily washing essentials such as detergents, dryer sheets, clothes pins, stain remover and dryer balls.
- Add a stain removal cheat sheet above the washer for quick solutions to those daily messses.
- Simplify your sorting routine. With the newer washers and detergents on the market, many items can now be (carefully) washed together. Don’t over analyze the number of clothing categories necessary to complete a load of laundry, as it will only create more piles and cause a back-log of wash.
- Dedicate one laundry basket to each family member. After each load is washed, the clean clothes go into the family member’s basket to be put away.
- Wash socks in mesh laundry sacks to prevent losing them inside the cavities of the machines.
So who is ready to tackle a few quick organizing projects around your home? Each of the tips mentioned above shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to impliment yet should yield positive results and exciting changes to your daily routines. Cheers to an organized 2016 everyone!