Now that you’ve made a commitment to getting organized in 2015 and you know how to get started, it’s time to figure out where to put all your stuff. Here are some simple organization tips and tricks from the experts:
Know What You Have
Certified Whole Health Educator and Feng Shui Practitioner Candyce Walti said removing clutter is always first and foremost. “You can’t organize if you don’t know what you have. Decluttering also removes old energy, paving the way for new.”
Familiarizing yourself with what you have will help you figure out what items you need to get and stay organized.
“Figure out what you need before investing in totes, files and other organizational tools,” Walti said. “When you purchase the tools, splurge on the ones you like looking at. It will more easily instill the habit if you get a pleasant feeling while organizing.”
Be Smart About Totes and Baskets
“Once you’ve sorted through everything, then you can start looking for organizing systems that fit your space,” said Danielle Farrell, marketing coordinator at The Betty Brigade. “Have a tiny closet? You probably don’t want a giant storage system. A few shelves, appropriate storage containers, and maybe a few pull out drawers or hooks should be all you need. By sorting through things first, you can really tailor the amount and type of organizing systems or bins that you will need for your home. Plus it means you won’t have mismatched or haphazard systems in place.”
Author, Storyteller and Celebrity Manager Dianne de Las Casas said you need BBB: boxes, baskets and bins.
Organization does not have to be expensive, she added. “I always re-purpose containers and shop at my local dollar store for organization items.”
Finally, she said, label those boxes, baskets, and bins. “Show the whole family where items belong … in their labeled containers. Having them labeled helps everyone identify where things should be stored.”
Take Care of Paper Clutter
Organizational Expert and Author Barbara Reich said papers are the number one clutter around the house. “Toss the papers on your counter. It only takes 5 minutes to go through.”
“Touch paper as few times as possible,” Walti added. “When you get your mail, go through it, recycle that which you don’t need, pay your bills then and there and then file.”
Also, she suggests making a binder for papers that you need to keep, such as insurance documents and important receipts. Keep the binder somewhere easy to remember and easy to access, like your kitchen or your office.
Always Put Things Away
“This is an organizers motto: ‘Keep things where they are supposed to go,’” said Farrell. “Create a spot for your keys and sunglasses so you won’t keep losing them. A wall hook works great or you can just put a small container near the entryway. Other accessories and odds-n-ends also need to have their own space. Once you get into the habit of things being put away and having their own place, it’ll be easier to keep things organized.”
Organization is about consistent and constant upkeep, added de Las Casas. “Designate a place for everything. Every single item in your house should have a permanent home.
“Do a nightly sweep,” she said. “Grab a big basket and pick up everything that doesn’t belong in your public areas – toys, books, homework, backpacks, shoes, clothing items, etc., and put them in the rooms where they belong. Get the kids to help. Do this every night. This is how you establish habits that become a lifestyle.”