These are unprecedented times we’re living in—confined to our residences, working less if at all, replacing in-person interactions with online meets, and going on perpetual hunts for TP and Clorox wipes. But perhaps the biggest change amid the coronavirus culture is the allotment of more time—more time with family, more time working on house and garden improvements, more time at home. And time has always been the rarest of commodities in the average American household.
So how can we best utilize this unexpected boon of extra time? You know all that stuff you’re always buying to make life easier? The clothes piled in the closet awaiting sorting and hanging? That garage full of boxes and loose belongings you’ve been meaning to go through for eons? Well, now’s your chance to finally get to what you’ve been meaning to get to for so long—to organize your possessions, your interiors, and your exteriors so that when “life-as usual” resumes, you’ll be ready, refreshed, and recharged for it, with your house and your life in shipshape order.
Start with the Basics
Here’s how to approach an organizing effort from the ground level up:
- First off, enlist the help of all occupants. Whether you live or work with a group of 3 or 13, the more hands on deck, the quicker, more productive, and more collaborative the tasks will be. It’s no use finally arranging the bookshelves if your teenager is just going to put something back out of order, so get everyone on your team on the same page.
- Next, draft up a plan. Make a list of all the tasks and chores you want to tackle, all the areas in need of attention, and rank them in order of importance. Display the plan where everyone can see it and refer to it … then follow it closely. Don’t proceed to untangling the Christmas lights, for example, until the item above that—reorganizing the kitchen pantry—is complete.
- Tackle the big stuff first. Energy and enthusiasm are not infinite. So it’s a good idea to take on the larger projects first, when you’re still gung-ho to do them. The upside here is the larger amount of fulfillment you’ll experience when you’re done. If you clean up the biggest messes first and then lose steam before getting to the smaller ones, it’s no big deal: The bathroom cabinet can be tackled in half an hour, at some other time, on some other day; but washing all the windows inside and out can take a whole day, if not a whole weekend. Keep morale high to keep the team’s productivity chugging along!
Maximize Space and Time Savings
Making an organization plan is one thing, actually implementing it is another. So now it’s time to put your plan into action, clearing the way for improved efficiency:
- Did you know that more than 50 percent of modern homes today hold on to tools, appliances, clothing, and housewares that haven’t been used in years, maybe in decades? Clear it all out now! Toss, donate, gift to someone who can recycle or repurpose … just get rid of whatever you’re not using to make your living space so much more useful. A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used it in two years, you probably don’t need it. Goodbye and good riddance.
- Items that are rarely used or hold purely sentimental value do not need to be on display, out in the open, cluttering up your home. Yes, you love your doll collection … but on the floor of your bedroom, it’s just collecting dust. And if you only haul out your professional mixer for the annual bake sale at school, does it really need to be on the kitchen counter all year long? Pack little-used items away for easier access to things you use daily. The guiding philosophy here is: Out of sight, out of mind—but still available. And if you have a considerable amount of things you want to hold on to but don’t need regularly, it may be time to consider a storage unit.
- Important documents should be readily available, organized in a logical and systematic way that anyone can follow. It’s worth taking the time now to label and sort an accordion file or to alphabetize named folders in a desk drawer if paperwork is ever needed in a pinch later. There’s no limit to the types of portable filing systems available out there now.
- Capitalize on dual-use items. This may be the best space-saving tip of all. Look for ways to make your furniture do double duty, like using that side table above the outlets as a permanent charging station for the family, buying an ottoman that offers hideaway space for throws or magazines or all those remote controls, using wicker baskets to collect and hold loose items around the house instead of just as home décor, installing a fold-down shelf in place of that clunky old desk you only use once a month to pay the bills.
These are just some ideas to get your started on improved organization in your home to bring you more peace of mind when you’re there. Prefer to bring a professional touch to your organizing projects? We’d love to hear from you!
Home Services Enterprise | 301-674-9564 | www.homeservicesenterprise.com