Can you believe we are in the last quarter of 2016?!? Fall is a great time for not only cleaning, but also getting organized. The holidays will be here before you know it. Being organized and clearing clutter goes a long way in reducing your stress!
Here are some of my favorite fall organizing tips. What are your favorite organizing tips for fall? Share in the comments below.
Decorations. Halloween is upon us and Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza and Winter Solstice will be here shortly. Now is a great time to organize your decorations. Because we only take these out once a year, sometimes we can forget to declutter and organize them. Take the time now. If you do a good overhaul now, you will have minimal work next year!
First, sort and separate all of your decorations into categories that make sense to you (Halloween, Tree, Outside, Displays, etc.). Once you have sorted, go through all of your piles and take the time to purge. Consider swapping out items with friends if you want a new look this year instead of going out and buying more decorations.
Next, assign a home for where the decorations will go. I like to keep all my decorations together, but you may like to keep them in different areas. For example, housing outside decorations in the garage and storing Christmas tree stockings and decorations in a closet.
After you have decided where the items will live, choose a container that will fit each category. Some categories may need more than one bin. I like clear bins so you can easily see what is inside, but I suggest putting a label or even an index card on top or the side so you will know all the contents. You will never have to go searching for decorations again!
Games Books Toys! With the holidays coming up, you will most likely be getting more stuff. Especially with kids, take the time to clear out what you already have before you organize. You might also find out gifts the kids want and can get started on your holiday shopping AFTER you have gotten organized.
Remember to concentrate on one area at a time. I encourage you to have your children go through their items with you. Teaching kids early on to clear clutter and get organized will help them later in life. If your kids are older, help them out by sorting games/books that are for younger kids. They may be able to simply look at the pile and have you donate it all.
After sorting by item (games, book, toys) see if any additional purging can be done. You could also pre sort games that have missing pieces or are beat up and let them go. I also suggest setting a limit for children (i.e. we will keep only books that fit in your bookcase).
Decide on a home for all your items and ask your child for input. Maybe they would prefer books in their room instead of in the playroom. Look for containers to store what’s left. Invest in sturdy containers. If they are flimsy and fall apart you may not use and clutter will accumulate again. Remember to measure twice! For example, if you will be using containers for a bookshelf, don’t forget the measurements of the shelf as well as the number and size of items you have to store on the shelf.
Garage. This can be a huge undertaking so I suggest blocking off an entire weekend. Garages can easily become overwhelmed with clutter because many people stick in here what they cannot make a decision on.
You are going to want to take everything out of the garage. EVERYTHING. Give it a good cleaning, sweeping. If you are feeling adventurous, consider a fresh coat of pain.
Go though everything and purge duplicates and anything you haven’t used in a while. If it’s rusty and not working, consider putting it on Freecycle.com. If you don’t have the time or desire to repair something out there, there is usually someone who does. A win win for everyone.
After you have purged, start organizing your items by category. You might have sports, holidays, lawn and garden, tool, etc. Come up with categories that make sense to you. After you have created organized piles, assign an area in the garage for each of the items. You will want to make sure you have enough space for all your items. Measure the space it will be stored as well as the items if you need to buy containers.
Don’t forget going vertical –I love pegboards for tools as well as above. There are a variety of racks and containers to utilize top space.
It’s a good idea to label and create a cheat sheet near the entrance to the garage of what you have and where it is.
Make it easier. If you are clearing clutter why you get organized, consider having friends and family come by and see if they would like anything. Or call a charity that comes and picks up. Here’s one that supports Veterans: http://scheduleapickup.com
If you haven’t started your fall cleaning yet, check out my blog with tips for fall cleaning and a few fall organizing tips: http://www.collectorcare.com/fall-cleaning-tips/.
Don’t have time to get organized? Would you like to be organized to reduce holiday stress? Collector Care not only helps clients get organized and clear extreme clutter, but also works with hoarders.
Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.