Section Title

Get Organized

Helpful advice on organizing your life

So you've realized that there's too much clutter in your home to wait for spring cleaning, and it's time to get organized right now. The problem is that there's so much to be done, you don't know where to start. Don't worry; there are plenty of simple strategies and tips to get organized that you can use to make the job a lot less daunting.

Cleaning Up the Clutter: How to Get Organized

First, look at the big picture. One of the easiest ways to get organized is to go through your home room by room, assessing the mess and dividing everything into three categories: stuff you need, stuff you don't need and stuff that should be stored. The "stuff you need" should be organized so it's close at hand, yet out of the way. You might need to pick up some additional storage furniture, like shelves or cabinets, to accommodate your needs; if you're on a tight budget, browse secondhand furniture stores, online classified ads, swap meets and garage sales to find a bargain. Pack the "stuff to store" in neatly labeled storage boxes, then give away, throw out, sell or recycle all the "stuff you don't need."

Advertiser Links for Get Organized
[ what's this?]

Next, take a good look around your home to find storage space you never knew you had. Do you have drawers built into the frame of your bed? Are you making the most of your closet space? Closet organizers and extensions are extremely helpful bedroom accessories; you'll also find a wide range of storage products designed for use in the kitchen, including spice racks, pot racks, cutlery inserts and drawer organizers. Take a look inside the boxes that are already occupying your attic and the storage cubbyhole under the stairs; do they contain stuff you really need? If not, toss it to make room for more important things.

Keeping Things Neat and Tidy

Of course, cleaning up is only half the battle; keeping things tidy after you've invested the time to get organized is equally important. One tried-and-true strategy for maintaining order in your home is to establish routines; eventually, these good habits will become second-nature.

Make to-do lists, and keep them prominently displayed so they're accessible to housemates and family members. Assign out tasks so that everybody shares the workload, and commit to giving one room a thorough cleaning every week. Stay on top of disposing of old newspapers and periodicals, and make sure to micro-manage; it's a lot less taxing to make a regular effort to organize a single drawer or clean out the space under the bathroom sink than it is to let everything get out of control and have to tackle a giant mess all over again.