With the beginning of the new year comes resolutions to do XYZ, and for many the resolution to get organized tops the list. Considering all the different routes one can take to get organized, it can be an overwhelming process to begin. You need a little bit of guidance to get going. Once the motivation and confidence kicks in you can see the project through to the end. To help you start off this often daunting task on the right foot, we've partnered with organization expert Rachel Rosenthal. She shares her top 7 tips to start streamlining here.
Focus on your top three areas
While it can be tempting to think of how you can transform your entire home, it can also be overwhelming and time consuming. Instead, narrow your focus and tszuj up a few select areas that will have the most traffic, like the kitchen, family room, and closet. Once you cross an area off of your list, move on to the next area during your next organizing session. Tip: take a photo of your space “before” to remind yourself of how far you’ve come!
Edit and adjust your wardrobe
Like you would for a dentist or doctor, schedule an appointment with yourself to look through your closet! Take inventory of what needs to be repaired, replaced, or taken to the cleaners. These are tasks that often get overlooked, but taking two minutes per month to maintain your wardrobe will keep your clothes in great condition. During the time in your closet also take a pass through your racks and pull out any items that you no longer want or wear. A few minutes editing your clothing every month will help to work towards a closet full of items that you only love and wear, which makes getting dressed every morning so much easier!
Color code your categories
Grouping your clothing into categories (i.e. tops, pants, dresses, etc.) makes your closet easy to navigate and helps you quickly identify what options are available. Take it one step further and color code each category (we follow ROYGBIV) to make it even easier to pair separates and put outfits together. Categorizing and color coding are budget-friendly ways to streamline a closet and enhance the overall look of the space, regardless of its size or design.
Pair like with like
A very quick way to clean up is to take a high level look at each area that you
are focusing on. Remove items that don’t belong (like kids’ toys at the dining table, gym clothes
that are on the mudroom floor, etc.) and put them back in the spot where they belong. A good
rule of thumb is to categorize like with like (lightbulbs with lightbulbs, umbrellas near the jackets
and shoe bins, etc.) to prevent guesswork on where to store—-and later relocate—items as needed. Similar items can be stored together in labeled boxes like The Laundress’ Storage Cubes
Plan your schedule
Take a glance at what's to come in the month ahead. Are there appointments that you need to schedule or take off of work for? Upcoming occasions that you need to buy gifts for? Run through the calendar to create your monthly to-do list (like buy birthday gift for Aunt Liz, schedule haircut, etc.) to save yourself from scrambling last minute as the date approaches.
Invest in double-duty pieces
Regardless of your budget, don't lie swayed to choose single purpose pieces as the staples of your home. When possible, opt for items that can add value (i.e. extra storage) to your home. For example, choose an entry table with drawers or shelving, and go vertical with your choices to maximize floor space.
Create a paper drop zone
Add a paperwork drop zone near your entrance using a vertical file box to keep your mail, bills, items to shred, and to-dos (like RSVPs and kid-related forms to complete), magazines to read, separated and easy for you to address when you have more time to focus. It takes under a minute to do each day and will save you from losing papers and save your countertops from getting covered in stacks of papers. You will also save time by categorizing your mail to dos so that when all you want to do is pay bills, they are already together. Or if you all you want to do is relax, your magazines are together vs. sorting AGAIN through all the papers. You know what needs immediate attention vs. not and you will not have any missed credit card bill payments or late fees!