Today is the day that so many people dread yet still resolve to take part in every year—Organize Your Home Day. While many of us make resolutions to be more organized in our lives, what some of us don’t realize is that it may just not be that important. Sure, if your home is overrun with newspapers from 1979 and you can’t change the cat litter because you can’t find it… yeah, your home could use some organizing. And the benefits of having a clean, organized home—from the calmness it creates to the feng shui concepts of positive energy flow—are surely many. But if you’re like the average mom or dad with just a little bit of clutter, wasting time and energy worrying about it all the time when you’re already swamped with work, the kids, soccer practice, cooking dinner, and volunteering is just unnecessary. Think of all the other things you have in life to spend your energy on—isn’t playing another round of Don’t Break the Ice with your kids more important than a well-waxed floor?
However, if your untidy home is really causing you undue stress and frustration, it’s better to take care of it all and get it out of the way. Here are a few quick tips to do just that.
Bin everything up. Invest in some cheap plastic (or nice wicker, if you have the funds) bins for each room to store things in.
Designate one bin (a basket with a handle would also work) as the “transportation bin,” and keep it where the majority of your traffic is at. Then fill it up each time random things pop up in the area—a pair of socks, a deck of cards, a My Little Pony—and make a round at the end of the day to return everything where it belongs. (Do one better—take turns doing this so everyone in the house understands what happens when they leave things around!)
Label everything. Put your files in order—from “automobile” to “health” to “taxes,” etc.—and label them well. If they’re not from the past year and immediately needed, you can box them up (neatly!) and store them if you prefer. This creates more space and will allow you to use a small file folder or file box rather than an entire cabinet, if you like. If you have art supplies all over the place, buy a few cheap pencil boxes and label them all as well—crayons, markers, glue sticks, etc. Then stack them neatly in a hall closet or cubby where they are easily accessible.