One of the things I listed in my 12 things I want to do in 2012 was to organize my house from top to bottom. It is absolutely amazing to me to see all of the things I have accumulated in the last 3 years we have lived in our house. Where does it all come from!?
Over the last 3 weeks, I have concentrated on one closet or one cabinet in my house to organize every Sunday night. It has really been helpful to me as I have gone through all of the junk that has accumulated in my house.
As crazy as it might sound, I actually feel RELEIF that I am getting rid of so much stuff! It's almost like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I have a clearer head because I know where things are and what I have.
I wanted to organize my house because I realized that I spent so much time trying to find something, digging through drawers, searching for food in the pantry, buying un-needed food and supplies because I couldn't find them and it was too frustrating to look for them, and cleaning my house. Now don't get me wrong, my house did not look like hoarders but I had enough stuff that it was taking time away from taking care of me.
So, here is the plan I came up with and some tips. Use them if you want and I hope you will feel the same way I feel now that I feel like things are in order once again! :)
Hope's Organization Plan:
-Focus on ONE cabinet, drawer, pantry, closet, etc. at a time. When you focus on a whole room, you get overwhelmed and it takes too much time at once to complete. Organizing the smaller areas makes it easier to do and keeps you motivated instead of getting overwhelmed.
-Schedule one evening a week where you can focus on cleaning out/organizing. Mine happens to be Sunday afternoons. I usually have a low key Sunday afternoon/evening and it helps me clear my head for the week ahead.
-Throw away or donate anything you haven't looked at or used in a year unless it is something sentimental. This has been my rule of thumb and has done WONDERS! I have TONS of things in my house that I haven't even opened or touched in a year and sometimes two! Obviously I didn't need them then and don't need them now.
-Post For Sale items on Facebook if they are new or barely used. Facebook has become an "online yard sale" and is a great tool to use to sell things and make a little bit of extra cash.
-I am now a newly addicted fan of Amazon.com's trade-in program! Holy cow!! I was able to get rid of almost all of my old textbooks from college and my Masters and earned Amazon.com gift cards!! I earned $90.00 in my first round! I went through my old books yesterday that I no longer wanted and submitted them to the trade-in program on Amazon and should get back a whopping $95.00 back on gift cards for Amazon.com! To me, that is much better than having books lay around my house. Don't think I got rid of all my books because I didn't! If you know me well, you know that I am a book-a-holic! I could read ALL DAY LONG! I kept all of my favorites. Amazon.com doesn't take back all books but the program does take back most of them! This has created room on my bookshelf and has given me a sense of peace because I can find the books I want when I need them.
-Invest in organizational bins, baskets, containers, etc. It will make your life so much easier! My sister and I took a trip to IKEA last week and I was able to pick up some great, inexpensive containers I used to organize under my cabinets. It truly makes a difference! When I open my cabinets, I no longer have to go search for products or dig through what I have. I also used a gift card we had gotten from Shawn's stepmom and dad to get some great OXO containers for our pantry. Wow! It makes a HUGE difference to see what we have!
-Organize food in your freezer, pantry, and fridge. One of the biggest ways I waste money is on groceries because 9 times out of 10 I don't know what I have! I always try to clean out my fridge, pantry, and freezer at least once a year but I really need to do it every 3-4 months. I now can see all of the things I have so when I am making a recipe I don't have to search for them or go buy it at the store because I can't find it. It also makes me realize how much food I have and how I can cut back on my grocery bill for the next couple of weeks because I have plenty of food to make recipes with. It's also a great idea to go ahead and portion out crackers, cookies, etc. into small ziploc bags so you can grab them and go for lunches or snacks. This will help you stay on track and not splurge when you are cravings something sweet or salty.
-Put all of your cleaning supplies in a bag so it is portable to carry around the house. I absolutely LOVE using my Thirty-One organizing utility tote for my cleaning supplies! All of my supplies fit in the bag and I can easily go room to room without it being a big ordeal. It also helps me know that all my cleaning supplies are together so when I am looking for something I can easily find it. Create a cleaning schedule that works for you. There are tons of cleaning schedule ideas on Pinterest you can check out or just decide on one day out of the week to vacuum, dust, etc. Hint: Getting rid of the clutter in your house will make it a lot easier to clean in a jiffy! :) If you are interested in one, you can order from my website!
-Create spaces in your home that are free of clutter so your mind can be at rest. I have worked for over a year now to turn our master bedroom into a room that Shawn and I both find peaceful and calming. I want to rest in my bedroom and feel rejuvenated in the morning when I wake up. Keeping our bedroom free of clutter is a big goal of mine. I think it is the hardest room to keep clutter free because I spend so much time in it working on my doctorate work, reading, studying, watching tv, etc. I have to remind myself to keep it clean and organized.
I hope these tips help! I feel like a new person because I am not coming home and constantly having to pick up the house or clean up. I can concentrate on logging my food for the day, exercising, spending time with my husband, and working on my doctorate work.