Monday, January 12, 2009

Organize Your Home Day

With the start of a new year, it's probably no surprise that January is National Get Organized Month, but today specifically is designated Organize Your Home Day.

I'm reminded of this post I wrote a year ago on an organizing workshop I attended, specifically this helpful strategy I learned: Walk through your entire home, room by room. Armed with a clipboard, look around each room in a clockwise direction, writing down any area that irritates you. Once you've gone through the entire house, sit down and prioritize your projects.

When I did the walk-through a year ago in our old house, I came up with 27 areas (usually a specific drawer or shelf) that needed attention. The list was really motivating and I'm happy to say I completed 26 of the listed tasks. Now that we've been living in this house for nearly 8 months (!), I need to do a walk-through here.

A couple problem areas for me--I'd love to hear your tips and ideas for tackling these!

*Books and toys that are "out of rotation"--do you have a good system for rotating toys and storing the ones that are in hiding?
*In-process projects (crafts/gifts and papers related to the freelance writing projects I do from home)--I end up with numerous piles, and though they're not visible from the main areas of our home, I find I'm constantly shuffling through them to find what I need.

Did anyone else do the walk-through assessment last year? Anyone want to join me in doing it now (or soon)?


Wendi said...

I have been on an organizing blitz. I am taking it one room at a time and clearing out clutter and finding a place for everything.

My craft items are keep in a coat closet in my living room. The craft project I am working on I usually have out by my place on the couch. Project in process or that I have everything for are put into a bag and the bag handles are wrapped around the top of a hanger. I then hang it in my craft closet and when I am ready to work on the project everything I need is in on place.

Happy organizing!

Jenny said...

Here is what we do for the toys. I can't always buy the fancy storage binds. But some times I am not sure what size I might need. So I use a box any kind for a while. To place the toy's that we don't need out in. Then I place it in the top of the closet. At which point I can see what size box I really need. Then keep my eye out for one to fit our needs. I will exchange a toy for a toy. It also keeps them nice for the next child to use.

Sounds like for your writing you need a small file box to put your stuff in at the end of the day. That way you can label and then get to them when you need them quick. There are so many great "small" filing systems to buy these days. Wal-Mart is a great place to look. You might even get lucky at the local thrift store that is where I would look first.

Michelle said...

We have downsized our living spaces several times in the past several years... from a large 3-story Colonial, to a large ranch with no basement, to a small ranch with no basement, and now a 3-bedroom apartment (not much smaller than our last house, but not a lot of storage). We're pretty good about not having a lot of extra "stuff," but right now we're feeling the clutter pinch!

I will join you and make my list this week. :)

Hayley said...

File, file, file. That's all I use for any and all paperwork, and it rids me of those piles of paper, and makes my desk area look clean.

Toy rotation is something I have not done, but might try. I'd be interested to see others posts on storage here.

Kristen said...

I'm having problems with extra platters and other not-used-everyday serving dishes. I have a pantry that goes over a stair case so the shelves are very deep and tall (they made a shelf for every two steps). I've kept my boxes for the platters and just keep them in there, stacked on their side. We have plastic bins for packets and want to put in some risers for cans.

gail said...

good post! i agree with the others who mentioned a filing system for your writing. if you need to keep something out for some reason, just keep that paper in a file and it'll look neater.

i need to find a good system for all joe's toys and books and dvd's. right now i have an overflowing basket, but it just sits in the middle of the floor! yikes. we have no closets except in the bedrooms so i'm trying to be creative.

mom said...

According to admin publications I receive, this is also National Clean Off Your Desk Day! :) Happy decluttering! Love, Mom

Leah in Iowa said...

We didn't do a walk-thru, but while Gary and I were gone last week, we did discuss a few rooms in our home that seem to be trouble spots. We've got a plan. Now we just need to put that plan in motion!

Hayley said...

I was inspired by your post. I tackled O and C's rooms today, and went through and organized all their toys, books etc. I now have a van load of stuff for goodwill! Ahhhhh.....that feels good.

Abbey said...

I've been working on cleaning out the house for the last few weeks, now that we're home. For toy rotation, I don't have any great ideas and I'm still working on that myself. As for projects, I made a point to clean out one part of a cabinet in our front entrance last year. Now I use the four different shelves to organize scrapbook and sewing projects I'm working on. I also cleaned out a few drawers in our office area and now use those for crafter/marker storage for the kids. I'll probably talk more about my walk-thru in a few weeks, when I finish my projects.