Decluttering and organizing are rarely easy. They are not high on most people’s agendas. But if you can’t find the scissors in a cluttered junk drawer, and you’re tripping over toys in the night, it’s time to put your home in order.
Take a 12-12-12 Tour – Walk through your home and pick out 12 things to throw away, 12 to donate and 12 to move to a better space in your home. It’s an effective strategy that you can turn into a competition between you and your partner or kids.
Keep a Charity Basket – Put it in the laundry room or another central space and be sure everyone knows it is there. Pitch in outgrown clothing, books and toys no longer wanted, any small items that can be donated and happily re-used by others.
Clear the Pantry – According to some cooks, about 30% of the food in your kitchen is unusable. Toss out spices and canned foods long past their sell-by dates, that hot-as-hell pepper sauce you will never use, and anything else that’s been in your cupboard for longer than you care to remember.
Buy Drawer Organizers – Opening a drawer and finding it perfectly arranged doesn’t come naturally. Inexpensive drawer organizers help you separate small items in the kitchen and in the bathroom so that you find those scissors, nail clippers, potato peelers and melon ballers with one quick look.
Tackle a Cupboard or Clothes Closet – Go through it carefully and separate items into things you love, things you don’t, and those that are a ‘maybe.” Put back what you love, toss the stuff you don’t love or need in a pile to donate, and keep the ‘maybe’ pile where you can see it for a week before you make a final decision.
Involve the Family – At the end of each day, ask your kids to follow the ’10 Things Rule’, which means picking up 10 things and putting them where they belong. Make it a game to see who can finish first, with a ‘prize’ of an extra story or 15 extra minutes before bedtime.