Sometimes it’s the little things that can cause disharmony or arguments in the household. Try these few tips to start the organization process. You'll be amazed before you are halfway through, how much better you'll feel! If you were able to read my blog about 7 Holiday or Anytime Stress Relievers...it’s true that Organization offers a sense of control and peace of mind, and there’s a number of ways we can improve in this regard. If you’re the kind of person who’s always running around, it can help to make lists so important things aren’t missed. If you’re the kind of person who feels edgy in their own house due to unnecessary clutter, tidy up. Studies have shown the mere sight of clutter can put us on edge and cause symptoms of nausea or depression!
So here we go! These are a few easy things to get us started:
1. KEYS: Keep your keys from getting lost by giving them a specific place where they go the minute you walk in the door. You can use any of a number of key hangers available in a diversity of styles. You may choose to go a more inexpensive route of just mounting a hook for the keys on a wall or other nearby surface. If you have multiple sets of keys — including backup sets of your house keys and keys to locked sheds, second or third cars, and relatives' houses — store the ones you use every day in your "key Area", and the back-up sets should be kept in a safe place that everyone in your household is aware of.
2. UMBRELLAS: Umbrellas should be stored standing up. If laid on their side, the ribs can get damaged. The best umbrella stands allow for air circulation around the umbrellas so that they can dry effectively when brought in out of the rain. You don’t necessarily need to run out and search for an actual umbrella stand. Wicker or wire-mesh trash baskets will work perfectly fine!
3. SCARVES, HATS, GLOVES: Scarves, hats & gloves are usually thrown on a shelf or hung on hangars in your closet right? One way to keep them neat & tidy and not seen to the naked eye when opening up a closet is to put them in pretty colored storage bins.
4. FOOTWEAR: Shoes should be put away or kept neatly on a mat or on a movable supporting rack so that the floor underneath can be cleaned on a regular basis. In a formal foyer, you can use mats placed inside the closet under the coats. In a less formal entryway or where there's no closet, use attractive shoe racks to hold shoes and boots. You may also consider fun baskets for each family member (to keep in mud room or out of site from your guests). This encourages everyone to put their shoes in their basket! Shoe racks are a low-cost item and really help wet or damp footwear dry.
5. PHONES & OTHER FORMS OF COMMUNICATION: Create a “Communication Area”. This will include your cell phone charging area, possibly near your home phone. It’s great to keep a Bright and Cheerful message pad here to jot down important messages, calls, etc…..as well as a communication Pad of Paper to leave little love notes or Reminders. I love this area we implemented long ago. We always know where to look for important reminders.
6. CALENDAR: Whether it's a desk pad calendar or one for the fridge….A VISABLE ONE is highly recommended. With everyone on technology overload….it seems as though we have most of our appointments and dates on our smart phones or electronic calendars. If you don't live alone, its fine for you, but there may be some conflicts if your family has no idea of what your schedule looks like. To avoid this, either “Share” your electronic calendar, or write it
down, visible to the entire family.
7. MAIL: Set up a mail station in your kitchen or office that will be the designated “mail area”. If you have open space on your wall, mount wall files like those used for magazines, or hang a decorative home made fabric pouch. I labeled mine: “New Mail”, Bills to Pay”, and “Follow Up”. If you have a table in your entryway, use trays or bins to keep mail under control. Whatever storage solution you use, keep it out in the open as a reminder of your things
to do, but in an easily removable bin so you can hide it when guests come over!
8. WORK STATION FOR COOKING: The first and most important rule here is to keep your cooking and prep area CLEAN. I use an antibacterial spray before and after cooking and also put all cutting boards in the sink and spray on a cn antibacterial cleaner with bleach to disinfect them after every use! Change your dishtowel and dish rag at least every other day and after each use….soak in the sink in dish soap then rinse in hot water. Also for easy prep & cooking, Clustering your basic implements and ingredients you regularly use in cooking, can make meal preparation quicker. Self-contained units do the trick here. Keep often-used utensils on a lazy Susan, (or in specific drawers or cabinets near your cook area). I love the new Silicone Flexible cutting and prepping mats. Easy to use…pick up & drop into pans or pots and then also easy to rinse off & clean.
9. KITCHEN TABLE: Use this for that reason. Meals, having your morning cereal, coffee, etc. and maybe opening mail or reading. Try avoiding using this space for storage or laundry (unless you just fold & remove)….If one person want’s to actually sit down for it’s purpose…avoid the argument by helping to keep this sacred area neat & tidy. You can beat clutter and the general disorganization of your table space by "centerpiecing" whatever is stored on the table and by keeping the table prepared for meals such as having the napkins, salt & pepper always in the center of the table.
10. DRESSER TOPS: Good rules of thumb; Whatever is on top of the dresser should be self-contained! Some items are ok for your dresser top; ie: your jewelry box, a man’s jewelry tray,
accessory bin…or anything that you put things into. It’s not like strangers or your company will be trampling through your bedroom….but you never know, and why not keep things put away?! Other things like cosmetics and toiletries are best suited for your bathroom – unless you get ready in your bedroom mirror, then keep your cosmetics in a bag or box stored
away and take it out for use. Many a fight has arisen between spouses or significant others, over cosmetics and toiletries taking over a counter or sink area! I speak from experience;)
These are just a few simple steps to start tidying up and getting organized. I hope they are helpful! Who knows, they just might take a bit of stress out of your life and keep Your Happy home Happy!
More organization tips to come - stay tuned - leave your comments - share with others!