Learn to Let Go
The first step to organizing your life is to ruthlessly rid yourself of unused or unwanted possessions. Clean out your closets and cabinets and donate, sell or toss anything you haven’t used in six months or more. Shred, recycle or file any old newspapers, magazines or paperwork.
Attack One Room at a Time
Organizing an entire house or apartment may seem like an impossible task. Work in stages and start small. A bathroom or closet is a good place to begin. Breaking a big job into bite-sized pieces will make it more manageable.
Store Seasonal Items Offsite
Use a personal storage facility to house camping equipment, holiday decorations and other essential but seldom used items. Store bicycles, surfboards and swim gear during the winter months, and skis, boots and sleds in the summer.
Make Organization a Team Sport
If your house looks more like a toy store or daycare center than a family home, it’s time to rein in the kids. Sort through their clothes and possessions and cull any outgrown or broken clothes, toys, books and games. Let the children keep the proceeds from a yard sale or go along when you donate the items to a shelter.
Create a Daily Routine
Once you’ve cleared the clutter and gotten your home into shape, make keeping it that way a priority. Hang a rack for keys near the entry and install hooks or shelves to hold coats, handbags and backpacks. Open bills promptly and discard any inserts along with the junk mail. Make it a habit to put things away in their proper place after use.
An excess of material possessions is one of the hazards of modern life. Making the effort to get organized, clear clutter and deal with day-to-day debris can transform your home into a tranquil, stress-free environment where you can relax after a busy day.
As you go forward, remember to practice the “out with the old, in with the new” rule. If you purchase something, discard something else. Think twice before buying. If you hesitate, you probably don’t really need it.