Organizing Your Home? Here’s How to Get Started

“It’s just so overwhelming—I don’t know where to begin.” We hear clients say this about their home all the time. But the biggest messes in the world don’t happen because the homeowners don’t know how to clean up. They happen because one a mess moves past a certain critical mass, it starts to feel all too intimidating to handle. But if you can’t confront the size of the project in front of you, you’ll never get that attic tidy!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and your reorganization effort is nothing if not a series of tiny tasks that add up over time. Jobs like these often require some mental reframing, which will allow you to break up the project into manageable weekend-sized bites. Sound good to you? Here are a couple of high-impact areas to start with that will get your home organization project off with a bang!

Tackle the Junk Mail Pile

The beauty of this project lies in how small it is. No, it’s not reorganizing your basement, but it will also free up a lot of cabinet or desk space in short order, and get you revved up for more challenging cleaning tasks. Use a tiered sorting tray to hold mail that you need to keep, and invest in a shredder for the rest. Most junk mail—windowed envelopes and all—can go directly in the recycling bin, too, so you don’t even have to throw it in the trash. Win win!

Hit Up “The Chair”

You know the one I’m talking about. The piece of furniture—be it armchair or exercise bike—that holds your unfolded laundry, coats, and any number of other clothes and assorted items. Folding these clothes neatly and sticking them back in your drawers will make a huge difference in how messy your home feels. Unfortunately, there’s no miracle cure to make clothes-folding easier, but you can save yourself hassle if you do smaller loads throughout the week instead of waiting and doing all of it at once.

Straighten Up the Kitchen Counter

As our household tastes have gotten more and more gourmet, kitchen implements have had to become fancier in kind. Extravagant juicers, fancy sous vide machines, a pantheon of coffee grinders and presses, and any number of other small devices now round out the collection dotting kitchen countertops. Meanwhile, these gadgets are magnets for crumbs and dust, meaning the counter could definitely use a dejunking. Paring your kitchen collage down to the most essential appliances will help you banish clutter in this high-traffic area. But it’s okay if you want to keep a blender or two, too—just consider installing an appliance garage to hold these smaller kitchen devices.

Declutter the Coat Closet

Maybe you don’t buy a new coat every year, but outerwear styles definitely come in and out of fashion, which means it might be time to give that old windbreaker a rest. Take everything out and sort it into three piles: to toss, to donate, and to keep. Place the “to keeps” back on the hangers, and consider installing in a hanging basket on the door to hold scarves, hats, and gloves, and a few cubbies on the ground for shoes and boots. That will definitely make it easier to find your most stylish winter wear!

Unjunk the Junk Drawer

Screwdrivers, twisty ties, rope—the junk drawer sees it all. This universal catch-all is the drawer equivalent of a flea market: you never know quite what you’re going to find. If your junk drawer is a little more junk than drawer, then dump it all out and start sorting. It may just give you the confidence you need to tackle the garage!

Clean Out the Medicine Cabinet

That old prescription of rash cream isn’t doing anything in your cabinets but taking up space. Meanwhile, hanging onto expired medicines can be dangerous, since they may harbor bacteria or undergo other changes in chemical composition that can cause harm if accidentally ingested by someone who forgot to check the expiration date. The FDA recommends that you throw pills and other prescriptions away in a plastic baggy filled with coffee grounds or cat litter. Then use a marker to black out personal information on the bottle and discard it too. Your cabinets will be much safer for the change!

Straighten Out the Shoe Pile

The shoes you kick off by the front door can get messy fast—meanwhile, you might also be tracking pesticides, dirt, and any number of other contaminants inside with you, so the area underneath your shoe heap can definitely use a good mopping from time to time. A small set of shelves by the door should help contain the mess, while offering a chance to go through your collection and toss out any ratty or unwanted pairs. Way to “kick” off your home organization, indeed!
Need help carting away the stuff you don’t want? Call us here at Humpback Junk and we’ll be happy to help!

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