The Secret to a Clean and Organized Home
How to Get Your Home Organized in 30 Minutes or 30 Seconds!
Doing these easy steps before you tackle that jam-packed garage, attic or basement will make it gosomuch faster.
Recruit helpersOrganizing overhauls go quicker with some extra sets of hands. Plus, the objectivity and perspective of friends or family helps you decide what to keep or toss.
Gather toolsFigure out what you'll need—heavy-duty garbage bags, boxes for sorting, markers and notes for labeling—and designate a convenient spot where supplies will stay.
Check the weatherIs it going to rain on your garage clean-out parade? If you're planning on storing items outside while you organize, make sure the elements will cooperate.
Think aheadIndoors or out, you may need to pull everything from a space and start organizing from scratch. Where will items go in the meantime? If you're decluttering due to a remodel, will you need a storage unit or pod container temporarily? And what are your resale, donation or disposal options? (See slide 11 for tips on categorizing the clutter.)
Take picturesA before-and-after comparison is oh-so-satisfying! Share photos on social media or send a "before" shot to the experts at ClutterDiet.com for advice on getting started.
» CLEAR your bathroom counter. Return hair tools to the drawer or cabinet and put away stray makeup and skincare products.
» HANG UP that shirt or skirt you decided not to wear—and landed on the bedroom floor. Or, check the bottom of your closet for any dropped clothing.
» PULL all the reading material (catalogs, sales circulars, magazines, newsletters) out of your mail pile. Once these bulkier items are gone, the stack feelsmuchmore manageable.
» GO THROUGH one refrigerator bin, toss spoiled food and wipe up spills.
» TAKE your bag of clothing or other store returns out to the car so they're one step closer to going back.
» REMOVE outdated items from your bulletin board or fridge.
» CLEAN OFF the living room coffee and end tables, taking mugs or cups back to the kitchen and recycling old newspapers, catalogs and magazines.
» MOVE your laundry to the next stage: If it's dirty, wash it. If it's wet, dry it. If it's dry, fold it. If it's folded, put it away.
» FREE UP more workable surface area by adjusting a shelf (most kitchen cabinets or bookshelves are movable) to accommodate a larger item that needs to be stored—like a blender that's been sitting out.
"Most people overestimate how long a chore will take. Time yourself emptying the dishwasher, making your bed or folding a load of laundry. I bet it'll take less than 5 minutes!"
Lorie Marrero, Creator, ClutterDiet.com
» TIDY UP one drawer in your dresser—match single socks, fold T-shirts or PJs. Repeat every few days until all the drawers are done.
» UNWRAP warehouse purchases, like paper towels or TP bought in bulk, so they're easier to store and dispense. Bonus: You'll preserve precious room in your shelves or pantry.
» STREAMLINE your cleaning supplies by consolidating nearly empty bottles and discarding old ones. It will make dusting or polishing less of a time-drag.
» SPEED-CLEAN the car: Toss trash and bring gear and gadgets back into the house; shake out the mats if needed. Wish this only took 5 minutes? Position a trash can near the back door so you can throw things out on your way in each night.
» DESIGNATE a spot for incoming paper bills waiting to be paid and gather supplies—your checkbook, a pen, postage stamps, envelopes and return address labels. Even better, go digital: Opt to receive bills via email and pay them online.
» EXCAVATE your dining table. Sort what's on top into piles, then move the items to their designated spots: Take clothes and books to their owner's room, hang up bags and coats, put away craft supplies, etc.
» SIT in front of your favorite half-hour TV show and shred old documents and sensitive mail. You'll be done by the time the episode is over!
» CONTAIN your husband's "pocket dump" zone of loose change, receipts and the like. Place a tray on the nightstand for his wallet, watch and keys.
» MATCH your food storage containers with their corresponding lids and recycle the strays (wait about a week first, to ensure that the mates don't reappear). To store the keepers, stack bins in graduating size order and gather lids separately to save space.
» ARRANGE your craft supplies so kids can do projectsandeasily put them away. Choose bins or drawers to hold in-process art. Sort everything else by type and function—paints and brushes, punches and paper, and so on.
"Drawer dividers aren't just for drawers. They're perfect on a shelf to corral small craft or sewing supplies, like buttons, different-colored glitters or spools of thread."
» STRAIGHTEN UP toiletries by grouping items by parts of the body: hair, teeth, nails, etc. Put daily products in the most accessible drawer or shelf, and use bins or small baskets to store replacements.
» ORGANIZE the cords and cables around your desk, labeling them to make identifying easier. Wrap a 2" length of tape around each cord, flatten and label (e.g.,printerorrouter).
» CLEAN OUT your freezer and refrigerator or pantry thoroughly—it will keep you feeling organized formonths. Remove food so that you can wipe down shelves and bins, and be sure to toss anything that is out of date. Search online to get inspired to use all those forgotten ingredients!
» TRANSFORM your jumble of movies and gaming gear into usable collections. Separate grownup media from kids' and organize by genre. Store in CD binders.
Put gotta-go items into one of these three piles.
»SaleTo work with a consignment store, call and find out what they take and how they operate. If a yard sale is more your speed, find out if you need a permit and set a date.
»DonationIf you prefer to give away items, check how the nonprofit works and what percentage of the donation actually goes to the charity. Take a receipt for your tax return.
»DisposalConsider what day your trash and recycling trucks come. If you'll need a larger solution like a rented trash container or a junk removal service, set it up before you start.
Video: Where Do I Start? How to Get Started Organizing Your House | Clutter Video Tip
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