It’s that time of year when I get frustrated about all the clutter I have acquired during the winter months. I need to shed a few things in my closets and all spaces in my home. When we live in clutter and in messiness we can feel like we can’t breathe in our own home. Our homes can’t be a place of live giving and peace. Here are some tips I use to tackle my spring-cleaning.
No matter what area you’re organizing or how much space you have, follow these 8 simple tips to create a well-organized, efficient space.
- Start in one place
If you have several areas in your home you want to get under control, start with just one. You decide which one to start with — is it the area that gives you the biggest headache, or the area that guests to your home most easily see? Whatever your priorities, select one area and stick to it. Many attempts at organization fail when the task of cleaning up the entire house seems daunting and folks give up. When you complete one area, celebrate and then move on to the next. I generally start In the kitchen pantry.
- Allow plenty of time
Don’t expect organization to happen overnight. Depending on the area to be organized, schedule a couple of hours each day to work on getting the area organized.
- Clean house
Once you’ve selected an area, go through the contents. Donate or hold a garage sale for anything you don’t or can’t wear or use any more. Use the two-year rule of thumb — if you haven’t worn it in two years, it’s time to say goodbye to it. These items take up valuable space and probably won’t be missed.
- Take inventory
After you’ve removed extraneous items, take a look at what remains. Does it belong here? Does it make sense to keep it here? Is there another place where you’ve got more room to keep it, or another area where it would be more easily accessible for its purpose?
- Divide the space
By adding additional shelves to a single shelf, or by using containers that stack atop one another, you can divide the vertical space and make efficient use of the area you have to work with. By dividing the space, you eliminate the possibility of stacking tall piles of clothing, papers or other items that are destined to topple over.
- Keep it moving
Consider storage options on wheels: to allow for greater flexibility and to help keep the clutter under control. Carts can hold an assortment of accessories in a small amount of space, and can be wheeled back into a closet or storage area when not in use.
- Organize with color
Whether you’re working to organize the family room or striving to get your closet under control, use color to enhance your efforts. Assign each child a different colored container to keep his or her belongings in and keep them responsible for cleaning up after themselves.
- Visibility, Accessibility and Flexibility
The three rules to organization are visibility, accessibility and flexibility. Choose containers that are transparent so you can easily identify the contents and save valuable time.
Make sure that the items you need most often are the easiest to access. Likewise, place the items you don’t need to get to as often on a higher shelf or in another area.
Select containers that can adapt to your changing needs. That way, you can reconfigure and reuse solutions to solve a variety of storage and organization problems.
Happy Spring Cleaning!