Tips For Getting And Staying Organized

Many people wait until the winter is over for their big “spring cleaning,” but why not get your life organized early in 2011? Consider the following easy tips to get your family organized so you can save time every day.

woman cleaning closet

Sometimes, getting organized is hard because it can seem like an overwhelming and daunting chore. Break the big job down into smaller tasks and get started! Even if you tackle just one a week, you'll make progress. Being organized means you'll save time on a daily basis. Plus, you'll feel good about taking back control.

The kitchen

While your kitchen cupboards might need organizing, focus first on the pantry. When the pantry is an absolute mess, it's difficult to find what you need, whether you're cooking or simply looking for a snack for your preschooler.

Sort through all of the items and throw away anything that has expired, paying particular attention to canned goods. If there are other products that have been there for a while but haven't expired, consider donating them to a food pantry. If you haven't used them yet, chances are you probably won't -- and there's no reason to let good food go to waste.

Invest in BPA free plastic containers for items such as cereal, crackers or chips. Food that can easily go stale in original boxes or bags usually lasts longer in tightly sealed containers.

Kids' rooms

If your kids are older, now is a good time to teach them about organizing their own lives! With your help, your kids can create a system for their toys and other prized possessions. However, if you have toddlers, preschoolers or young children, roll up your sleeves.

An easy and inexpensive way to organize your kids' toys is to purchase clear bins to separate and store them. For smaller toys, you can buy clear shoeboxes, which are as cheap as $1 each at Target or Walmart. Group toys by type or theme -- for example, put musical toys, trains and matchbox cars in their own bins.

Your bathroom

Whether you're a makeup maven or a minimalist, having your makeup and brushes organized can shave valuable time off of your morning routine. You can purchase basic and inexpensive clear makeup containers and brush holders at Walmart. Once you organize your makeup, keeping it that way isn't hard. Find places in your drawers for your hair styling tools and products as well, and get in the habit of putting them back when you're finished each day.

Your closet

Sigh. The master bedroom closet. Whether you have a huge walk-in or a space-limited slider, getting your closet organized is the key to saving time each morning. Take a day and organize your closet. First sort through and donate or resell clothes that don't fit.

Next, divide your clothes by season and type -- for example fall/winter and spring/summer. Within each of those categories, further separate by type of clothing -- skirts, pants, short sleeves, long sleeves and dresses. If you're particularly motivated, you can also sort by color. It could take an entire day to organize your closet, but you'll save a lot of time each morning so it will pay off.

Parents are busy! Taking time away from our daily jobs, responsibilities and commitments to organize our homes is difficult, but the return is great.

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Comments

Comments on "Get it together: Organize your life!"

Allison February 01, 2011 | 7:26 AM

Getting organized seems like a never-ending job, but it really does make a difference in my stress level when I finish a drawer or a cabinet or a room. Thanks for the tips!!

Terry February 01, 2011 | 2:23 AM

Thank you for the nudge to stay on track! This is a great follow up for all those resolutions that taper off in January.

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