Two months into our New Year’s resolution to get and stay organized, we’ve been revisiting some tips shared with us by Durham-based Rosy Cheeks Organizer. Owner Carol Lilley is keeping us on track, and we thought her tips might help Durham Magazine blog readers, too. Happy organizing!
Having trouble staying organized? Don’t have the time? Try these 10 tips below!
- Before you organize any room or space, create a vision of what you expect the outcome to be or look like. The majority of people think in terms of pictures, so paint your perfect picture and get to it! Play some tunes if you have to.
- If time is a factor in staying organized, set aside twenty minutes in the morning before work and walk around your home with a trash bag. Pick up anything that looks out of place or you don’t use and place it in the bag. At the end of the week, you will be amazed at what you find. Continue this routine for several months and you will start to see a difference in your home with the space you are creating. Throw away trash and/or donate items that can be re-used.
- If you are having trouble deciding which room to organize first, start with the room you use the most. Or, start with the room your family spends the most time in. Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this room?” Any item or object that doesn’t serve the purpose of the room needs to be removed.
- Here is a general rule that can be applied to anything: If you haven’t used an object, or worn a piece of clothing, or read a book, etc., in the past six months to one year – get RID of it. The item is costing you more by holding on to it and taking up valuable space than by keeping it.
- To keep your closet nice and tidy, for every article of clothing you buy, an article of clothing must go! If you are having difficulty deciding which piece of clothing to get rid of, go through this process: Do I absolutely LOVE this pair of jeans? Do they make me feel on top of the world and fabulous when I wear them? Because clothing is so inexpensive in the U.S., there is no excuse in owning any piece we don’t love and value to the fullest.
- Because we spend most of our time in the kitchen, it’s of utmost importance there is organization in this room. To help maintain order in this area, picture the refrigerator, sink and oven as a golden triangle. Within arms reach of this golden triangle need to be appliances, dishes, cleaning supplies or anything else that is used on a daily basis. Bread makers, fondue machines, etc., or items used more sparingly, need to be stored outside this triangle.
- It’s amazing how photographs can pile up over the years. Memories are wonderful, but face it, we only have room to store so many photos in albums or books. I have two recommendations for you. The first is to go electronic! Take pictures of all your photos and store them on a flash drive or create folders on your computer. Technology makes this step so easy for us. Use your iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or whatever device you may own and label your pictures accordingly. The second is to go through your pictures and keep only those that create the fondest memory from that experience. Although it would be nice to keep every photo we own, keeping too many will only clutter your brain! Besides, we want to have space for the new memories ahead, right?
- Designate an area in your home to sort through mail. I recommend a home office or desk. Not the dining room table! Make sure to always have a trash can or recycling bin nearby as well. If you are ready, request all bills, magazine subscriptions, tax forms, etc. be sent to you electronically. The less paper that walks in your home, the less clutter you have to deal with!
- Remember, humans are creatures of habit. So, create a routine that works with your schedule and practice, practice, practice! If you find yourself becoming frustrated or wanting to give up, take a break and return when your mind is refreshed.
- Most importantly, have FUN!