5 Spaces to Organize First

1. Your entrance area – Do you come into your home through the garage? This is where your keys, shoes, coats and handbags are dropped?

If you don’t have cubbies or a space to put items and not much room, then create space by using the back of the door. An over the door hanger of baskets is very useful.

Keys can go in one area. Hang hooks for your coats. You can use a basket or drawer for papers and for your handbags. Then it will all be in one place.

2. Your clothes – Do you only have one bar in your closet? Create more space by putting in a second bar. Use the second bar for handing pants and shorter items. If you are not a folder, use baskets or containers to put belts, shoes, handbags, sweaters and jeans together. Put a laundry basket for dirty clothes in the closet. If you have clothing you don’t like, doesn’t fit or can’t use any longer – get rid of it.

3. Food – Is the pantry hard to find things or maybe you don’t have a pantry and you use several cabinets to put food items in?

Put food into categories and items you use most often, so you can visually see it. Rice and pasta might be together. Cereals and breakfast items can go in another container or basket. Soups and canned goods, that you use frequently, can be in another container, so you can see what you have. You may have a can of corn in the back, you haven’t seen in ages. I guess you don’t need that can of corn, if it has been there forever. Put your food into groups and items you use frequently. Get rid of items that you don’t use and give them to a food pantry. You can do the same with items you have over bought because you couldn’t see what you have.

4.  Paper – Create folders, bins and baskets (what ever works for you, and you have space for):

 A. Action folder/bin – This could be for bills, school papers or anything that needs signing or immediate action. You can also put important mail that needs to be attended to. What needs immediate action? Consider a folder for short term, must be done within the next 30 days or less. Long term might be taxes, insurance policies and health records that are long term.

B. Reference file or bin – This is where you keep business cards that you may need to reference later on. Or receipts that you might need to refer back to. Also put anything you need to follow up on, at a later date or in the future.

C. Workspace – If you are working from home or your child needs more workspace but there is not enough room, consider having a cart that rolls. You can use this for keeping pens, paper, files or other items so that you can keep your workspace clear and uncluttered. The cart can be rolled away, but everything is still in the cart neat and tidy.

5. Memories – Items in this folder/bin can be awards, certificates, honors, special artwork from your child, photos and so on. It can be filed later, but it is in one spot. You can have several memory bins/baskets, with folders for each member of the household, if there is room.

I am in favor of filing cabinets, but once it is put in there it can get overstuffed and items/files are forgotten about. Consider more long-term files going into the cabinet. Unless you make the top-drawer action items and short term files.