Is your clutter bogging you down? Cleaning up and getting organized doesn't have to be a big chore if you do a little at a time and maintain it. Get organized in no time with these simple tips; start by making a project list and deadline then display it where everyone in the house can see.
Closets: (Clothes, Linen and Storage Closets)
- No regrets. If clothing doesn't fit and you haven't worn it in a year, its time to let it go, even if you do plan on losing 10lbs. You can always buy new clothes when you need them.
- Uncomfortable shoes - Why keep shoes if they hurt your feet every time you wear them?
- Get rid of any ragged clothing, shoes, outerwear or gear. If your mitten doesn't have a mate, toss it.
- Go through linens, towels, tablecloths and give away what you don't need or items that are worn.
Up-keep: Once you overhaul the closets they are easier to maintain. Adopt the mentality of "If I don't need it, give it to someone who does."
- Gather all of your paper around the house and start going through it.
- Purchase plastic containers to store children's artwork and school certificates, report cards, etc.
- Purchase, only if you don't already own, a filing cabinet. Fill out the tabs for bills, warranties, health information, insurance, taxes, etc. And every time a bill is paid, file it and so on.
- Any magazines you don't have time to read and if all they do is collect dust, cancel them.
- Shred and recycle; all paper and newspaper can be recycled and reused.
Up-keep: Use a mail organizer to store all of your incoming mail, separate your bills, magazines, letters, etc. and every month go through them and file what you need and discard what you don't.
Storage: (Basement, Garage, Shed and Attic)
Many times so much "stuff" is crammed into one space that you forget what you have. You can solve this by creating a box organizing system.
- Purchase heavy boxes or storage containers and some industrial shelving (if needed).
- Go through everything in a box, don't just look at the items on top and think the box is full of that one thing. There could be that missing photo or charm bracelet you have been looking for at the bottom!
- Put like items together and label the box with its contents.
- Holiday decorations, seasonal clothing and occasionally used items like camping equipment should be stored away and out of your everyday sight. If you don't drink coffee, but you have the coffee maker taking up space on the kitchen counter, store it.
- Get rid of any unwanted gifts, yard utensils and any memorabilia that you don't have sentimental attachment to.
Up-keep: Any time you have something new to store make sure to update the box contents. Also every year go though some of the boxes and weed out items that you haven't used.
The Next Step:
- Goodwill/Charity - Drop off any of your clothing, gear and linens to your local donation center and ask for a receipt for tax purposes.
- Garage Sale - If some of your stuff is valuable and usable and you think you can get money back for it then, host a garage sale and try to sell it. Anything that doesn't sell should be donated.
For more helpful tips on organizing your home and eliminating clutter visit:
(Posted in tandem with FAHTCO)
Marianne Snygg, GRI, ABR, ASP
ERA Herman Group Real Estate
Colorado Springs and Monument Real Estate