Losing weight, spending less, giving back, enjoying life. The lists are long and the possibilities are endless. Everyone you know probably has at least one New Years Resolution on the tip of her tongue, ready to tackle head-on January 1st. That over-indulgent holiday season remorse sets in fast… and it’s a real witch. Resolutions can be as extreme as going from brunette to blond, but let’s talk about a goal that graces everyone’s list. It hits the top of mine every year. Let’s talk about organization, baby. But, why is this such a popular resolution?
Well according to my sources, organized means efficient and methodical. It is order that allows things to be found or used easily. Sounds dreamy, right? To know exactly where to find that sparkly pink princess crown that your daughter must sleep in. Or that pretty satin clutch you’re tearing your closet apart to find for your one date night this month. Who would not want their life to run more smoothly? So shake off your New Year’s Day sluggishness and button up those a-bit-too-snug blue jeans. Here are 10 tips for capturing a more organized 2014.
Label those toys. I am sorry to say it, but it’s time to hold your breath and dive into that sea of mismatched, underused toys that has taken your playroom hostage. Sigh. Well here’s the good news. You get to take a joyride to Target! Go solo, making a necessary pit stop at Starbucks for a latte to enjoy while perusing through the ladies section. You may as well make this into a little mini-vacay. Just make sure you find yourself eventually in home furnishings. Stock up on inexpensive storage tubs to organize your kid’s clutter. Once you have stored everything in its appropriate new cozy home, snap pics of what lives in each tub and attach to the outside. Those toys will take a stroll out their new front doors before you know it and clean up time needs to be as effortless as possible.
Mudroom lockers. Lockers at your house. Say what?? That’s right. Bring that clever organizational tool home from school to keep your mudroom/foyer/kitchen/den clutter free and organized too. Whether it’s a cubby, a basket or an actual metal framed locker, assign one to each child and have them keep their shoes, jackets and school bags ready to go, for a speedy exit on those busy school mornings. Pottery Barn carries several lovely locker varieties. But for a much more modestly priced option, check out Ikea.
Snap those shoes. What lady is not looking for a way to better organize and display the heart and soul of her fashion collection? Instead of pitching those seemingly useless shoeboxes, why not actually use them… for the purpose they were made? Store your shoes in them and label each one with a photo of your prized possessions. Then when it’s time to dress up for your monthly date night, you will know just where to find those sexy pumps.
Clear cord chaos. I know you have it. Hidden behind that clever entertainment center. Stuffed under your antique oak computer desk. It’s that mess of electrical cords that collects dust and toys that are playing hide and go seek. Identify those disorganized cords with bread tags labeling the names of the gadgets they control. You can also store rolled up cords in toilet paper rolls, labeling the outsides. Or fasten a metal basket under your desk as a cord catcher to keep the chaos at bay.
Clean those cleaners. Well I hope you have 2 trusty shoe cubbies in your shopping cart because you’re going to need one in your laundry room too. Hang it on the back of your laundry room door to store cleaning supplies galore. This organizational trick will free up space underneath your kitchen sink and make cleaners easy to spot and tidying up a breeze.
Car de-clutterator. If you are anything like me, kids have turned your car into an episode of hoarders. Whether you need a baby doll, a tissue, perfume or a cheerio, I’ve got you covered. The problem is, I have it, I just don’t always know where it all is. A shoe cubby can fix this problem in a cinch. Fasten one behind the back seats and store baby clothes, diaper essentials, cleaning supplies, hair accessories and emergency items like toilet paper, flares, flashlights, blankets, hand warmers, maps, ice scrapers, umbrellas…..the possibilities are endless. Now these necessities are right at your fingertips.
Daily cleaning plan. This may take a few minutes to establish but it is absolutely worth the effort. Set up a cleaning plan with daily, weekly and monthly chores to keep your house strategically and sparkly clean. Daily Ideas: wash dishes, clean kitchen and bathroom counters, do one load of laundry, make beds, straighten house. Weekly Ideas: Dust, sweep, vacuum and wash floors, clean bathrooms, change bed sheets, clean microwave, empty garbage, work in the yard, iron. Monthly Ideas: wash cars, wash windows, vacuum couch, clean baseboards, wipe ceiling fans, wash rugs, clean oven. Voila.
It’s never too early to think about your summer essentials tub. Not a bathtub. That might get a little soggy. I am talking an artisan, decorative metal tub from your local craft store. One you can fancy up with a vibrant sash and stash by your front door. Fill it to the brim with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, swim diapers, goggles, pool snacks and any other summer must-haves that you are always searching for as you run to the car for swim practice. You can grab and go.
A tisket a tasket. A bunch of little baskets. You need several and you need them in all shapes and sizes. Baskets are perfect for organizing drawers, under the sink clutter, pantries and medicine cabinets. The Dollar Tree offers a variety, both practical aesthetically pleasing. If you can’t afford to customize your closets with built-in organizers, this will do the trick.
Weekly dining plan. OK, once again I am asking you to work a little. But, once again, the reward is well worth the effort involved. Meal planning sounds ominous but it can actually be quite easy and enjoyable. Check out www.foodonthetable.com or www.emeals.com and for as little at $1.15 a week you can receive weekly recipes and grocery lists that are tailored to your food preferences, diet restrictions and local grocery store coupons.
OK, so as you are kissing your kids goodbye for that once a month dinner date, up walks your 2-year-old. Pink sparkly princess crown around her waist, pretty satin clutch in hand. Bingo. Order has been restored at your house. Now, enhance it with several above-mentioned suggestions and you can check that first New Year’s Resolution off your list!