New Year Tips from The Organized Mama

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As a professional organizer for the past six years, I always recommend taking your time as you embark on any organizing project. Think of it this way, it is more of a marathon than a sprint to get your home organized exactly the way you want. Plus, you must first declutter all the things you don’t want, tackle those sentimental items you have been putting off, and carve out time in your busy schedule to actually start organizing.

Sometimes, though, we just don’t have the time, energy, or drive to do what the “experts” say we need to do in order to create the organized home of our dreams. Sometimes we are in total “surviving not thriving” mode. And when you are in that mode, there are many organizing “hacks” that can totally help you feel more organized:

  • Change bills and statements to electronic delivery and have them sent to you via email.  Then, create folders within your email for the statements and bills to be stored.

  • Put reminders in your phone for bill due dates if you don’t want to sign up for auto-pay.

  • Keep receipts in a designated area on your desk.  When your statement comes, double-check your receipts with the statement.  Then, shred your unnecessary receipts and file your “keep” receipts.

  • Only keep magazines from the previous month then recycle when you get new ones.  Because, if you haven’t read it by now, are you really going to?!?!

  • Open all mail near the recycling bin so you can trash anything immediately!

  • Color-code the clothes in your closet so that you can easily see what you have. I helped a client organize her clothes and created what seemed like a brand new wardrobe without spending anything!

  • Use scarf and belt hangers for storing items.

  • If you are unsure whether you will still wear something, turn its hanger around so you can visually determine what to keep and what to donate.

  • Throw away your kids’ artwork. Yes, if you are in surviving not thriving mode, then just dump the artwork. No one will know the difference!

  • Use plastic placemats as shelving spill protectors.  When they get sticky, simply take the placemats out to wash, instead of having to remove the entire shelf.

  • Use Tupperware without the lids to hold your refrigerated food and keep it in place.  I love using Tupperware bottoms for holding veggies, meats, and cheeses in refrigerator drawers. This is a much cheaper option for keeping your fridge organized than some of the bins from The Container Store.

  • Label leftovers with dates, including items you put in the freezer. I use Wine Pens for this; they wipe clean off of all kinds of Tupperware.

  • Kids’ toys…this is a blog topic of its own! Just remember: less is more. There is a TON of research out there stating that owning fewer toys is actually beneficial for kids--it helps to promote their executive functioning skills, such as planning and execution of tasks.

  • Honestly, if you are struggling with the amount of toys your kids have, I would recommend getting giant containers and dumping half of your toys into them. Throw the containers into storage.  My bet is that your kids will have no idea that any of that stuff is missing! After a month or two, take it to your local donation center. Do not feel bad about donating toys--those who receive your donated toys will be forever grateful!

Still want more organizing help?? Head to The Organized Mama blog for all of my organizing tips!!