My Inbox is full of articles about how to ‘de-clutter’ ‘pare-down’ ‘de-stress’ ‘Spring Clean’ ‘organize’ and ‘space-save’ my life. Task one: pare down the Spring Cleaning, de-cluttering lists. Organized, de-stressed, clutter-free life? I want all these things. I want to “banish clutter and chaos.” But the 6-ways, top ten tips and 12 strategies are all a little much. Let’s not even start on the 99 low-cost ways…
Here are the best:
*Store all your instruction manuals in one binder. (Same for takeout menus. Recipes, decor ideas, and great articles, too.)
*Use old baby-food jars to hold spices.
*Use small jam jars to hold cotton swabs, balls and other essentials inside your bathroom vanity drawers. (I did the same thing with my teas, bulk and bagged, using mason jars and a wine-glass marker. Things stay fresh and you can recycle the bulky packaging right away).
*Don’t hold on to magazines. Just rip out any pages you want to keep for future reference, keep in a file folder, or basket. (Take the rest to the gym or a school for projects).
*Use a canvas over-the-door shoe organizer to organize small kids toys and art supplies. (I did this with all my painting and craft supplies).
*Edit your hangers. Choose: wire, plastic or wood and unify the hangers in every closet. (My favourite are the slim velvet ones. They save so much closet space, don’t warp your shoulders and let clothes breathe).
In “6 ways to conquer your bedroom closet,” Christina Ciddio recommends, http://www.styleathome.com/organizing/organizing-ideas/6-ways-to-conquer-your-bedroom-closet/a/55548?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SAH-dd_150318
*When you go through your closet, purge regularly, create zones and treat the space as a whole room, giving it an editorial look. Once it looks amazing, you are more likely to keep it that way. (I do have a whole room and because I worked hard to get it, I keep it tidy).
Don’t be afraid to put rules in place: My wife teases me about my ‘hanger system’ but it really does work. All empty hangers go back to the ’empty hanger rod,’ so you don’t have to go searching for them and you can just grab a handful of hangers when you bring clean clothes from the laundry. As I hang to dry, they go onto the proper hangers and then go back to their proper spots. Also, if there isn’t a hanger for it, something has to go. This club is at capacity; one in, one out.
And from “12 Organizing Ideas That Will Change Your Life” (http://www.styleathome.com/organizing/organizing-ideas/12-organizing-ideas-that-will-change-your-life/a/55340?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SAH-dd_150318 )
*Organize your shoes. Figure out a system. Maybe this isn’t the most practical, but it sure is beautiful:
I found that clear plastic boxes keep my shoes tidy and lets me see what is in the box so that I don’t have to go searching. They are available for just a few dollars at Home Depot. I wouldn’t wear the shoes in the boxes below, but the Tupperware-for-shoes option has really worked for me.
*Spruce up your entryway. (We have a hook and chalkboard for keys and reminders, a wall hook for reusable grocery bags to go back to the car, a basket for mittens, scarves and hats, and a lint roller. We also have a colourful mat by the door and bench to sit while you put on shoes).
*Use trays on the bathroom counter to organize products and drawer inserts to keep products neat and accessible.
*Keep jewelry organized. (Pick a system and stick to it. Check out my DIY project for the wall gallery I created to store our necklace collection).
*Find stylish storage. (Baskets, boxes, vintage tins, cabinets with doors. Put things away and keep out just the favourite items).
*Papers, pens and stationery can sometimes take over your home office. (This is my dream come true. Case in point: my friends asked what I did on my first day of summer vacation? I organized all the pens and pencils, sharpening them of course.)
Tips from my own life:
*Cut the hanger ribbons from your clothes (the ones that always poke out from your clothes while you are wearing them) and use them to tie gift bags or tags onto presents.
*Keep a bin for clothes and accessories you aren’t sure about anymore. Sort through it seasonally and put things into a donation pile, or clothing swap pile.
*Get rid of things you don’t need right away (junk mail, flyers, packaging) and don’t even bring them into the house.
And if you’re REALLY feeling ambitious, this adorable American man has a how-to video for creating paper logs to heat your home using your old junk-mail as fuel. I would love to get to a point of handiness where this seems realistic! http://fb-287.dailymegabyte.com/man-transforms-mail-useful-save-money/