Top 5 Organizational Tips and Tricks by Lorraine Kimmey

By Lorraine Kimmey, Simply Organized Solutions

If your dining room table has become a landing site for everything from months of magazines, weeks of mail, kids school paperwork, snacks, and all sorts of other stuff rather than being a place to enjoy family dinners, and the thought of opening a closet door or walking into your home-office makes you shudder with disgust and guilt then these five easy tips on home organization may be just what you need to reclaim your space.

1. Everything Needs A Home: Yes, you know it already, everything should have a home. but in our busy lives we get into the bad habit of “plopping” stuff on the closest flat surface available. Company’s coming so we stuff things in drawers, closets and boxes and promise to take care of it later when we have more time… but time never seems to arrive! Finding a place for things in advance makes it easier to avoid this trap. Yes, it will take some time to assign these homes but when things are in their right place there is no need to think about where it will be put, or where to go looking for it when you need it. Wouldn’t it be nice to know just where to find something without having to spend time hunting and searching and wasting time? As the old adage goes: A place for everything and everything in its place.
2. Store Like Items Together: It’s so much easier to put things away and subsequently find them when you group items by function and store them together. It make it so much easier and keeps the decision about where new items belong much clearer. For example you will know all the Owner Manuals are in the accordion folder in the hall closet, the remote controls are always on the coffee table, the bills to pay are on the computer keyboard and the tools are on the workbench and the light bulbs are in the garage. Creating these mini systems are a big help in families… it helps to stop the “Mom, Have you seen…?”, “Dad, Where is my….?” “Honey do you know what I did with …. ?” type of questions. Wouldn’t it be nice to have everyone know where things belong?
3. Make Things Easily Accessible: Now that you know where you want things to belong, make sure you put them in their homes where they can be gotten to easily by everyone. A very common practice is for books and magazines to be piled up horizontally on a shelf to get more on it… but… what happens when you need the one in the middle or bottom of the pile… you need to pull it all out. There is a basic rule that says any shelf or closet rod should only be used to about 85% of its capacity. This allows for some shifting to see what’s there and to pull things out without everything falling on your head!
4. Periodically Purge: You need to clear out the old (past) to make room for the new (future). Purging is very hard for many people; things are sentimental, papers could be important – some day, you paid a lot of money for it and it’s still in good condition — there are a lot of reasons for keeping things, but if you want a clutter free home, and you don’t have sufficient storage you have to make some tough decisions and make room for the new things entering your life. Decide how much room you are willing to give certain things in your home and when it’s full that’s your sign you need to purge. Do purging in small increments, a drawer, a shelf, a pile at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by pulling everything out all at once and then not being able to finish the project. Create some guidelines for items to toss, donate, give away or sell. Create a ‘Donation Bag” and when it’s full call for a pickup. Things get easier with practice and this holds true with letting go. Some things will be easy like expired food and medicines and others will be harder for you. Get a buddy to help you with the harder decisions.
5. Make Time For Organization Every Day: Of all the tips, this is by far the most important one. If you make time every day to follow the rule… “If you took it out, then put it away.” you will be way ahead of letting clutter rebuild. You’ve been in those homes where there is not a stitch of clutter around and wondered what is their secret? Well here it is… they dedicate a small amount of time every day to moving through their home and put stray items back in their place. After implementing this routine consistently for a few weeks the job will become much less daunting, you will have created a new habit and there will be much less of it to clear. If you are a morning person, find ten minutes before you leave to do this task. If you can’t function well until noon, perhaps 10 minutes after dinner will suit you better. You will find your home stays more organized, with encouragement family members will get on board and you will have more stress free time to enjoy with family and friends.

Lorraine Kimmey is a Professional Organizer and the owner of Simply Organized Solutions, Inc. She is a Golden Circle member of NAPO, the author of Reduce Clutter to Reduce Stress and promises to make Organizing Accomplishment – Easy, Simple and Fun! To get a FREE Organization Consultation call 631-363-9208 or click here to book an appointment. You can get more tips and tricks by visiting her website

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