If you’re looking for something to do around the house, there’s no better time than now to check some organization tasks off your list. You may have the motivation to get started, but knowing where and how to begin isn’t always clear.
Real Simple's home editor, Stephanie Sisco, teamed up with lifestyle expert Melissa Garcia and therapist Dr. Argie Allen-Wilson to share some tips for cleaning and organizing every space in your house.
Read on to hear more about their recommendations.
Keeping the entryway organized is key because it's often the first thing visitors see when they enter your home. A few strategically placed organizers can make a world of difference and provide easy access to everyday essentials — making busy mornings a little less chaotic.
Shoes can quickly pile up and make an organized entryway look messy. To avoid this issue, a boot tray can be used to section off an area for guests to take off their shoes. "Anything that doesn't fit should be stored in a different closet," said Sisco.
This Amazon Choice product comes in three different sizes, so there's sure to be one to fit your space.
It can be especially difficult to stay organized when you have a lot of accessories like hats, gloves and everyday essentials in your entryway. An over-the-door organizer can act as a permanent storage space for these small items.
"Designate a row for each member of the family leaving the kids' stuff at the bottom so that they can actually access it, and then when they take the hat out in the morning they know exactly where to put it back," explained Sisco.
Bathroom & Linen Closet
In many homes, the linen closet tends to be the spot where clutter lands when it doesn't have a proper home. If this sounds familiar, now is a great time to toss out any items that are no longer needed.
For the items you don't want to toss, you'll want to find a place where they won't get in the way of other essentials.
"Only save the real estate for the stuff that you're using on a regular basis," said Sisco. "So, get rid of toiletries you don't like or have used — any of those hotel minis? Donate them to hotel shelters."
Sisco recommends using motion-activated stick-on lights in your pantry, closet and linen closet so you can see exactly what you need or organize and what you're looking for.
These small circular ones can attach to any wall or cabinet with the included 3M adhesive pads.
On a given day, many people spend more waking hours at the office than they do at home. No matter what your workspace looks like, you'll want to have an at-home corner that feels organized, productive and welcoming.
Garcia notes that one of the biggest things that leads to a chaotic office space is technology. Between chargers and cords that run all over your desk, a fairly tidy area can start to look messy.
Small changes, like concealing electronics and installing a magnetic organization system, can keep any desk or office space tidy and efficient.
This cable zipper from The Container Store can bundle up all your cords into a neatly organized tube.
Garcia liked this device because it takes all of the unruly cords that connect to your desk and "zips" them into one manageable cable.
She also suggests using an affordable box like this to conceal a wireless router. Simply cut a hole in the back, pop the device in and thread the wires through the hole in the back.
This efficient organizer charges up to six devices at the same time using short cords. This way, you can keep all your handheld tech in one space and you don't have to worry about losing a charger in a bundle of cords
To maximize the space in your office you'll want to make use of any additional surface available.
"Use your wall to make space," said Garcia. She likes this modular system from The Container Store because it can be customized to fit your needs. Simply mount the magnetic plates to your fall to create a personalized organization hub.
It can be difficult to part from your little one's artwork, so instead of tossing them, you can create a beautiful coffee table book with all those beloved pieces.
This one from Plum Print allows you to customize a bound book that features artwork, handwritten letters and more — making for an organized and meaningful way to hold onto memories.
While organizing your home is important, Dr. Allen-Wilson also stresses the importance of re-evaluating your relationships with loved ones, partners and family members.
Is it worth it?
She recommends doing an honest assessment of all your close relationships and says to ask yourself, "Are they really worth it?"
Are you adding to the relationship?
Furthermore, you should ask yourself if you genuinely want to be in that relationship. She says to evaluate whether they are adding to your life or are they subtracting. In addition, you'll want to make sure you're adding something to the relationship as well.
If you truly value the person's life, you'll want to evaluate whether it's worth staying in the relationship and trying to work through the issues."
Be okay with letting go
Allen-Wilson cautions, "Don't make the mistake of keeping people past their expiration date." All that means is don't stay in negative or toxic relationships because of longevity or some sense of loyalty. If you don't want to completely end a relationship altogether, Allen-Wilson suggests considering "relocating" them from a "front row" in your life to a bit further back.
Find closure and reorganize your relationships
In order to move forward, it's important to have a "closure" talk with yourself and with others in your life. Allen-Wilson suggests keeping a gratitude journal where you can "purge thoughts, feelings and emotions about closure, letting go and moving on."
This article was originally published on Jan. 2, 2019.
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