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Home Organization Projects

The Bedroom

If your bedroom is your refuge from the world, start your home organization project there. Take stock of what area is bothering you the most in that room. If you answer "all of it," take heart and pick a spot or corner. If nothing else, start with the farthest corner from the door. Just start somewhere. Now, take four boxes or bags and 20 minutes. Sort through items that are in the spot you selected. Pick up each item in the spot and put it into one of the four boxes. One is to keep in that spot, one is to sell or donate, one is for things you will deal with later and the last one is for garbage. Use 10 minutes of your allotted 20 and sort every item into one of the four containers. A timer will help considerably. When the timer beeps, stop sorting. There will be other sessions on other days. Use the next five minutes to clean the area you have just cleared. Dust, sweep or vacuum it before replacing the items you selected to remain in that area. Use the last five minutes to remove the boxes. Bag and throw out the trash. Put the donations in a specific spot so you can accumulate them from your next session or take them when you next run errands. The items from the fourth box can be dealt with last. Place the items in their new home. If you have not figured out where you want something yet or if it is something that needs attention, put it where you can deal with it. For a sweater with a missing button, put it in your mending basket. Mend it promptly or consider getting rid of it. Otherwise, you will have another mountain to deal with later.

Papers and Bills

If you have a mountain of mail and papers piling up on your desk, set a timer to 30 minutes and dive in. Spend the first 15 minutes dividing the stack into two piles and a trash can: Things that need attention such as bills or a letter you need to write or something you want to read vs. things that need to be filed, such as tax papers or mortgage papers. Toss everything else into the trash can, including old magazines, last week's grocery advertisements and out-of-date catalogs. After 15 minutes of sorting, stop. If you have your filing system set up, file the items from your to file pile. If you have not set up a filing system, start one now. Use folders to create broad categories such as paid bills and receipts, important papers such as car titles and insurance policies and papers important for family members. Divide your to file pile into the wide categories. When you have time, you can sort through the files and make narrower categories. For now, you just want to deal with what is at hand. This should take about five minutes. Now, use the last 10 minutes to deal with as many items in the current pile as you can. Pay the bills, jot a note or scan anything you set aside to read. If it needs more attention, you can do this after the 30 minutes are up. By making small bites of progress, you will be able to get an immediate sense of accomplishment. Schedule another 30 minutes for the following day to tend to anything new on your desk and to hit the mountain until everything is finished and organized.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is considered the heart of most homes. An organized kitchen makes meal preparation a breeze, especially if you have an idea of what is on hand and what you plan to make. Meal planning can be one of the most beneficial home organization tasks you can undertake. Before going shopping, browses store ads to see what is on sale and what strikes your fancy for the next week of meals. Jot down menus for the week and note any ingredients you may need from the store. You can save money by eating healthy meals at home. Consider breakfast and lunches as well as your supper menus. By knowing what you have on hand, what is on sale and what your schedule is, you can devise a weekly menu that will make cooking enjoyable. The weekly menu will also save you money, as you will have a good idea of what you already have on hand and what you need. Eat before you go to the store to curb any impulse shopping. Also, arrange it so that you can go to the store alone. Have your significant other watch the kids, and stick to your shopping list.

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