With all the baking, entertaining and gift wrapping during the end of year holidays, I take a look at my house at the beginning of each year and realize, in just a few short months, it has become a disaster!
This is my favorite time of year to get organized and vow I’ll never let my house become a disorganized mess again (though I must start again each year). This is also a time I love to get my life in general organized.
Here are 12 tips to help you organize your life and home this year.
- Don’t save every art project. – My son is in preschool. While I love all the art projects, 2 projects a week for 34 weeks is a bit much. I hang the most current project on the fridge. When a new one comes along, I take a picture of the old one and put it in the garbage (I know! It’s a radical thought!). Then I hang up the new project. I’ve made an online photo album of all his art projects so we can look at them whenever we want.
- Get rid of things. – If you haven’t used it in 3 years, there is a good chance you won’t. We recently moved and I was amazed at how much junk we’d accumulated with things we “might need someday.” Make a rule. If you haven’t used it for 1-5 years (pick your own number), get rid of it.
- Label baskets, drawers, bins, etc. – Have specific containers for things like pens, ribbon, paper, etc. and label them. Start with the things you use the most.
- Have a set place for documents and mail to go through. – Putting mail and documents in a specific place ensures they won’t sit out on your counter until you have a chance to go through them. Put them somewhere inconspicuous until you have a chance to sort through them and throw away or file accordingly.
- Consider using Google Calendar or Astrid to organize tasks and events. – Do some research and find a task organizer/calendar program that best fits your needs. I strictly use Google Calendar for events and to organize my tasks. My husband uses Google Calendar for events, but Astrid for tasks. I love getting reminders of events I have scheduled and also knowing exactly what tasks I need to accomplish each day. Being a mom, I feel like I have too much on my mind to remember it all.
- Live by a daily schedule. – Though this isn’t completely possible with children, we try to live by a schedule each day. Meals are at the same time most days as are naps, baths, errand time, etc. I find I’m much more likely to get everything done if it’s scheduled.
- End each day by planning the next. – I like to end each day going over what I have to do the next day. I’m much more productive if I’m prepared in advance for what lies ahead.
- Pre-package kid snacks. – This makes it so easy to grab a snack before going out to church, play dates or to run errands. Put snacks in individual baggies or snack containers and store them in your pantry. Then grab one when you are on the go.
- Rotate clothes by seasons. – Pack your capris and shorts away during the winter and your sweaters away during the summer. This frees up room in your closet and forces you to go through all your clothes once a year and get rid of those you don’t wear anymore.
- Invest in small toy bins for different areas of the house. – We keep most the toys in the kids’ rooms, but we realized it’s impossible to keep all toys out of the living space. We have small bins for toys in both the family and living rooms. When the bins get full, the kids have to take some toys up to their rooms.
- Categorize your pantry. – Group all the breakfast items in one area, as well as the snacks, cooking items, baking items, etc. This keeps you from over spending and buying multiple of the same item.
- Pick an organization project to do one night a week while you are watching TV or listening to an audio book. – I love to do this. My next project will be my craft cupboard! This is a great way to actually sit down for a few minutes but still feel productive.
Good luck getting organized!