FIVE ORGANIZATION PROJECTS TO GET YOU READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Trick or treating this weekend, Thanksgiving only a month away and Christmas...less than 60 days away...are you in panic mode yet? Don't be! The end of daylight saving time is almost here – that means nesting time! Digging into home projects is a great activity for the longer nights and you’ll also get a head start on getting your house ready for the holiday cray cray. My clients continually ask me what they can do to prepare themselves and their homes for the busy holiday season. Here are five projects that you can tackle (at your own pace of course) that will help get organized and more serene before the holidays arrive.
PROJECT 1- KITCHEN:
If you do tons of entertaining and cooking during the holidays, getting your kitchen and pantry neat and tidy will decrease your stress levels tremendously! Here are a few steps to accomplish an organized kitchen – you may want to tackle this in phases over a few days:
Clean out the refrigerator: get rid of crusty condiments and expired foods and give the whole thing a good wipe down.
Attack the cabinets and drawers: look for duplicates, mixing bowls, small appliances, gadgets, utensils and tableware you never use and put them in the donation box. Put summery items like picnic supplies and tablecloths into deeper storage to make room for the slow cooker and gumbo cooking gear. If you’ve been collecting wrapped plastic utensils, give them to the next driver who delivers food to your house or recycle them.
Organize the pantry: take everything out, do an expiration date check and wipe down the shelves. Buy organizing supplies such as baskets for bread and chips, etc. if you need it. Put everything back by category.
Make room on bulletin boards and if you tend to post things on the fridge, attack that area too. Take everything down and put it in a neat pile with the recycling bin next to you. Review everything and enter it your calendar or contact list. Rehang anything that is still pending.
PROJECT 2 – MUDROOM & ENTRY:
Tackle that cluttered entryway – it’s the first impression of your beautiful home. If you haven’t done it yet, put away the last of the summer clothing and beach bags to make room for the winter gear in your entryway or mudroom. Other to do ideas:
Inventory your beach towels. Donate the gently used/tattered ones to an animal shelter or repurpose them as cleaning rags. Wash and store the remaining towels for next season.
Take an inventory of summer sports equipment and donate any items your kids are not using anymore. Put aside the things they won’t need until next summer and store them properly.
Clean out the beach and pool bags. You can also use them to stash beach toys, badminton sets, goggles, etc. It will help you keep your summer things together. Move everything to a longer-term storage space until you need it again.
PROJECT 3 – WINTERIZE YOUR CLOSET:
Fall weather has finally arrived in Louisiana! Let’s just hope it is here to stay…and for a real winter this year! So if you haven’t already changed out your closet and winterized it just yet, here are some tips:
If you store your summer clothing, make sure to purge first!!!! A good rule of thumb – if you haven’t worn it in over two years, it must go! Also, do a quick check on all the clothing that you are storing – wash and dry clean anything that needs it. Stains will set in over the winter months.
The same goes for the winter clothing you are putting back into your closet space. Inventory everything as you place back in your closet – purge and launder. Be ruthless! If you get rid of a bunch of stuff maybe that will inspire you to rebuild your winter wardrobe!
Assess your coat situation – for the whole household. Have everyone in your family quickly try on all of their coats. Donate anything that doesn’t fit or you have multiples of – there are tons of flood families
Invest in good hangers. NOW. It drives me bananas when I see beautiful, expensive clothing like sweaters on wire hangers that have stretched out the shoulders and ruined the whole piece. Investing in good hangers for your clothing is like investing in beautiful artwork – increases the value of your home (saves that beautiful sweater from being ruined) and should last a lifetime!
PROJECT 4 – CHILDREN’S ARTWORK:
Are you already suffocating from the amount of artwork your kids created last year? And keep adding to that enormous pile this school year? Get creative and get organized…
Designate the amount you can save. Example – one plastic bin for each child each school year.
Turn it into a curatorial project! Go through everything with your kids — keep the pieces that mean the most to everyone and toss the rest. You can also document artwork with your digital camera or scanner as you go so you won’t feel as though the work you’re tossing will be gone forever.
Collect photos and scans in a digital book, create a scrapbook of original works or buy a bunch of inexpensive frames and mats to create a children’s art gallery wall. Creating children’s art galleries in my client’s homes is one of my favorite jobs as a professional organizer. And always produces such pride for the parents and the kids!
Make this curating process a yearly tradition when new art projects start coming through the door. Kids will be excited to show off their new works and be more willing to let the old stuff go.
PROJECT 5 – DIGITAL DETRITUS:
I love that you can do this project on the fly. Cleaning out your phone, tablet or labtop is the modern day equivalent of cleaning out your purse in the waiting room when you are bored. First, imagine that your laptop, smartphone or tablet was destroyed. What would you be sad to lose? What aspects of losing it and starting over would make you feel relieved? Now you have a guide for what to back up and what to delete.
Photos can take a long time to organize but can be done in increments. Delete the duplicates and ones that you don’t like. Upload the ones you want to save to your favorite photo organizing site or the cloud. Organize your digital albums and make sure they are backed up. After this, try to get in the habit of deleting unwanted photos the night after you take a big batch or right after you return from a trip.
Go on an “unsubscribe” tear. Sort through your clogged email and unsubscribe from the sites that no longer interest you, coupon senders, dangerously tempting sales announcements, businesses that are always begging for a Facebook “like” or Yelp review and other digital junk mail. Or you can use an app like Unroll.Me to help you do this in one big sweep.
You should know by now which apps you find useful. Get rid of the rest. Remove any icons you don’t use on a weekly basis from your desktop. Look through your bookmarks and delete those that are unimportant.
Hope this blog has inspired you to get organized before the holidays get here! Always here for questions or if this has just totally overwhelmed you - you can always make an appointment for a free assessment! www.artandorder.com