Organize + Energize: 4 Areas to Declutter & Organize in November
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
Kristin MacRae, GoLocalProv Organizing Expert
With the holidays approaching, there may be some areas that need more attention than others. In September, the hall closet and spare bedroom closet were on the decluttering list. Take a quick peek and see if those areas were tackled. Also take a look at the entryway and spare bedroom to see if they’re ready for guests. Anything you can get organized now will help alleviate the stress as the holidays get closer.
Here are 4 spaces to declutter in November.
Refrigerator. If you’re entertaining this holiday season, you’ll want to have an organized fridge so you can maximize space and fit all of the food you’ll be serving. Empty the entire fridge! If you haven’t done this in a while, you’re going to find some surprises. Make sure you have garbage bags on hand!
Food pantry. Again, if you’re entertaining, you’ll want to create space in your food pantry. You’ll also want to avoid purchasing duplicate items that you may already have. Organize all of your baking supplies and keep them categorized together. You need to be as efficient as possible in the kitchen during the holidays and having an organized kitchen will keep you stress free!
Guest bathroom. The guest bathroom will get some heavy traffic if you’re entertaining this season. Take a quick peak and see if everything is the way you like it. Declutter, re-organize and make sure you’re stocked with all of the toiletries your guests will need.
Dining room. If the dining room has become your home office, it’s time to declutter and move your office to another space. If this space has become a drop spot for random items, now is the time to deal with this. As you’re decluttering think about what has been dropped on the table and if there is an actual home for it somewhere else. If it’s piled with mail, it’s time to declutter and create a system for all of your paper.
Schedule these projects on your calendar now so by the end of November, you’ll be in really good shape for the holidays. Don’t let your home add to your stress this holiday season. If you finish these projects in record time and are motivated, think about other high-traffic areas you can tackle during this time.
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.
Paper in any form
This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.
To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.
When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.
This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.
The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization. Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.
Office at work
Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.
If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.
Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.
When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.
This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.