Staying organized is an ongoing effort, but it is one that is worth it. Getting and staying organized at home has many benefits including more space for living and doing the things you enjoy, time saved in hunting for lost items and less money spent on replacing items you can’t find amongst the clutter. It can even have health benefits, namely, cutting down on stress and anxiety.
Staying organized at home can be broken down into tasks that must be done regularly (daily or weekly) and tasks that should be done infrequently (once per year or so). Spring is the ideal time for completing those infrequent home organization tasks. People naturally associate spring with cleanliness and new beginnings. So when spring comes around, we suggest that you put these important home organization tasks on your spring cleaning list:
1) Purge your filing cabinets. Although we are moving increasingly toward a paperless world, there are still many paper items that must be retained. Most homes have some type of a filing cabinet or system, but home owners don’t always think to go through and cull them until they’re so full it’s impossible to jam in one more piece of paper. Make a point to go through files every spring and get rid of any paper items you no longer need to keep. The most popular outdated items found in filing cabinets include warranties for products you no longer own, income tax information and old receipts that you are no longer required by law to keep (around six years, depending on what part of the world you live in) and insurance policies that aren’t current.
2) Cull children’s closets and drawers. Children outgrow clothing quickly. Even if you’re good at setting aside their outgrown clothing throughout the year, it’s still a good idea to go through your kids’ drawers and closets once each year and taking out outgrown and otherwise not-worn clothing.
3) Clean your refrigerator. You probably spot-clean all year ’round, but a top-to-bottom cleaning once each year keeps it in tip-top working order. Make sure you clean the back too. This means physically pulling it out, away from the wall. and removing dust build-up which can cause your refrigerator to break down if left for too long.
4) Organize your garage. Clutter tends to accumulate in the garage in many homes. Often this is where the clutter from inside the house ends up, too. Take an afternoon to put things away in their proper places and get rid of things you don’t need anymore.
5) Organize other oft-neglected places. This includes outbuildings, like storage sheds, or in-home storage areas, like the space under your stairs, where clutter tends to accumulate. Going through these spaces once each year ensures that unneeded items don’t build up and that things you do need to keep get put away in their proper places.
If you diligently take care of these annual home organization tasks, it makes keeping up with the daily and weekly home organization tasks much easier.
Terry Yakiwchuk is a home organization expert and owner of Tailored Living in Vancouver, BC.