It's time to put away the tree and holiday decorations and make room for all your new gifts. A little winter cleaning and organizing will keep you sane during this chilly season.
The most necessary step to getting organized is sorting through what you already have and deciding whether to keep it or not. There are many items in our closets that we have not worn in years and little knick-knacks that somebody gave us years ago that just never went with the rest of the house. It can be tough sometimes to say goodbye to an old favorite sweater but if it has more holes than threads, it is time to let it go. When sorting through your belongings, ask yourself when the last time you wore or used something. If the answer is more than a year ago, put it in the donation pile. Be sure to take all of your giveaway boxes and bags to the thrift store immediately so it doesnot become more clutter.
Once you have completed the task of sorting through all of your existing items, then the organizing begins. Whether you are organizing your room, a kitchen, an office, or a craft room, the most helpful thing you can do is compartmentalize and label everything. For example, in the kitchen pantry, take all of the dry goods (like flour, sugar, pasta), and place them in individual containers and then label them. There are beautiful, air-tight, glass jars that you might want to have out on the counter for display, while other containers are plastic and might be better hidden behind the closed pantry door. Either, way there are a number of storage options for your food items that not only will make it easy for you to find what it is that you are looking for, but they will keep the food fresh and safe from bugs and other unwelcome guests.
When organizing your closet, I find it is helpful to organize by color and by item. For example, all of my tops are sorted by color, all of my pants and skirts are sorted by color, and all of my dresses are sorted by color. This makes dressing in the morning so much easier. When you need to find a purple top to match a skirt, it is a breeze when you know to look at the purple top section of your closet. Investing in nice hangers will also help with the organization of your closet. By eliminating the cheap wire hangers that you roast s'mores on, you will reduce the frustration that hits you when your clothes and hangers are all tangled up. The all-white, thick plastic hangers are my favorite - the wood hangers are nice too but they take up too much space.
For those who are tight on closet space, sort all of your winter and summer clothes into separate piles. Purchase those large plastic bins and place your summer clothes inside and store elsewhere. Some plastic bins are small but wide enough to fit most of your clothes and still fit under your bed. When summer comes, simply swap out your winter clothes for your summer clothes but don't forget to clean out what you no longer need.
Not everyone has a home office or a craft room but for those who do, it is essential to keep these spaces as clean and organized as possible. These two spaces can quickly get disorganized and cluttered when not properly cared for. Both rooms should have files with labels - if there are no file drawers, file holders should be easily accessible on a desk so that you can quickly access and put away these files. You might not think that a craft room needs files but it is a good place for crafters to place DIY project directions and notes to self. If you have multiple projects happening at once, then purchase some photo storage boxes so that you can have all the supplies that you need for each separate craft in a box. This way you can easily come back to the project without losing any vital pieces or supplies. If you use a lot of ribbon, put up a rod in your craft space so that you can have all your ribbons in one easily accessible area. If you do not have a desk with much drawer space, collect some mason jars or similar vessels and use them to hold pens, markers, tools, thread, glue, buttons, etc.
Organizing and de-cluttering is essential to having a functional and beautiful space. Once you feel good about your space, you can start brainstorming makeover ideas for the New Year!
By Christa Rose Falk, love-inspire-create.blogspot.com
Image Sources: The Container Store - http://www.containerstore.com