While you may not be able to clear all the clutter in less than 15 minutes, taking a few moments to focus on specific tasks can get you organized little by little. Here are some quick tasks to get you on track.
Is there a certain area of your kitchen cupboards driving you crazy? Use bins and baskets to organize like items; seasonings, snacks, baking supplies, small entertaining extras, etc. Then label the container so you can quickly organize your items after your next round of groceries. You may want to also label the tops of your spice jars so they are more easily identifiable. Try creating vertical partitions using simple curtain rods to keep baking sheets, platters and cutting boards in line. Still have extra clutter such as mail, magazines and homework? Set up a destination station with a tray sorting system to serve as both a homework station and mini home office.
The Main Living Areas
Ever thought of setting up a “lost and found” system? While you’re out estate and yard sales this spring, pick up some interesting baskets and assign one to each family member. As your tidying up you can quickly drop personal items into the owner’s basket. Next step is deciding what happens with the contents. You can make rules that work best for your household, whether family members empty them once full or once a week. For board games and puzzles, use an unconventional item, a rubber coated pan rack, to keep them nice and neat.
Utensil trays work wonderfully for corralling loose items such an bandages, ointments and other first aid supplies. You can do the same for makeup, hair supplies and even bathroom tools such as razors and tweezers. If you have a large supply of hair products, soaps and lotions, think about storing them in a place other than the bathroom besides one or two of each to save some space. Remember to check your stock before your next shopping trip.
Store off season shoes and clothes in labeled bins and slide underneath the bed. It will clear up so much space in your closets and do you really want to be looking at those adorable wedges when there is 10 inches of snow on the ground anyways? That is just cruel. Too much jewelry? After sorting out a pile to donate, drop earrings into a divided tray and hang necklaces from a decorative cork tray. This not only keeps them from tangling but also can add a pop of color to your space. When it comes to your clothing, try making it a habit to plan out the weeks outfits ahead of time; you will be shocked at home much time this saves you in the morning.
The Laundry Room
If your kitchen doesn’t have a junk drawer then your laundry room must. Sometimes it seems to be just one large junk collector. Take the same ideas from the kitchen, use jars and bins to collect pocket finds, clothes pins, and detergents then label each accordingly. Next time you’re out and about, grab an interesting tray for setting boots and shoes in since this time of year can get quite muddy.
Yikes. This is the area that tends to get a bit out of control. Try using magnetic knife holders to collect small parts like bits and how about a paper towel holder to hold trash bags and shop towels instead. Use shelving or build simple hangers (tutorial here) to stack recycling bins. Scrap wood can be made into hangers for bikes and folding chairs. Screw the lids of recycled jars to the bottom of a shelf, then use them to collect screws, nails, bolts and other small parts.
Doing all of these tasks in one day could be quite exhausting. Choose one main area to focus on each week. Once you have a good system in place, staying organized should be a breeze.