Many thanks to Calm House Organizing (sounds good already!) expert Lisa Ginns for this guest post on quick, easy, hassle-free ways you can get more organized now. – Amy
The new year is the perfect time to get organized. Consider a fresh perspective to decluttering and making your space work well for your family.
Here are some pro tips to get you started on quick home organization projects. In the process, you’ll create a healthier and safer space for your family, eliminate some clutter and conflicts, and feel super-accomplished! That’s self-motivating—you might even feel ready to tackle more! #RockStar
Everyone struggles with the toughest part of organizing: making decisions. Should I keep or donate? Where should we store this thing? Here are four easy things you can do now to create a more organized home that don’t require any decisions to be made; they are honestly easy to accomplish.
TIP #1: Medicine Move: This one is so easy, and really important: cruise through your medicine chests, linen closets, and dresser tops, and get rid of everything that expired in 2018 (or earlier). If you want some time to yourself while still getting to cross something off your to-do list, just crank up your favorite music, and hit the shelves. Examine every product—even hand sanitizer and sunscreen have expiration dates—and start sorting. Getting expired medications out of the house solves multiple problems: it can’t help you, and it could harm others. For everything you are getting rid of, dispose of them properly. Put clean cardboard and bottles in the recycling, and look up your local medication collection site. Keep a notebook and pen nearby so you can create a shopping list of replacements as you discard the old products.
TIP #2: Pantry Purge: Perhaps not surprising, this one is similar to the previous task; go through your kitchen cabinets and pantry areas, and get rid of all expired dry goods, canned food, and spices. Older kids can help to check all the dates on all the products, and clean out glass, cans, and cardboard containers for proper recycling. Once again, keep pen and paper with you to create a shopping list for replacements.
TIP #3: Calendar Command: This task doesn’t require any sorting or cleaning. Just purchase a big (huge?) wall calendar, and hang it in a central area. Make this your family command center. Don’t include every school assignment, but do include everyone’s activities, meetings, and appointments, including all adults and kids. This way, everyone in the family can see it, and conflicting carpools and overlapping events can be avoided, and no one will be stranded. Commit to using it daily as a family, and update it with each new dentist appointment, sports practice, or musical rehearsal.
TIP #4: Launch Locale: Easy, peasy: identify a spot to use as a launch zone every day, usually by the front door or in the mudroom—wherever your family launches from each day. The night before, gather all finished homework, school projects, backpacks, doctors’ notes, briefcases, gym clothes, whatever! Put it in the launch zone, and it will be there waiting for you in the morning when you need to grab it as you fly out the door!
Happy, healthy, organized new year!
Editor’s Note: I LOVE Lisa’s ideas, and was personally inspired (don’t tell my husband – he doesn’t believe in expiration dates) to purge our kitchen box of antacids, pain relievers, etc., many which were really old. I can also relate to her thoughts on how decision-making often delays the purge. Analysis paralysis is a definite enemy in home organization goals. This is inspiring, and I do believe that a neat space inspires productivity all around.
Author Bio: Lisa Ginns of Calm House Organizing, is a Washington, D.C.-based professional organizer, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.