Fifteen Ideas for Organizing Your Home

By Eileen Bailey

Before you begin the daunting task of trying to organize your home, think about what an organized home looks like to you.  What is important to you?  What types of organization will help to make your life easier?  If you have a significant other or children, discuss what organization means to them.  You may be amazed to find out each of you have a different vision of how your home should be organized.  One may feel that getting rid of the clutter, even if it is just packed into boxes would be good; another may feel that all piles should just be tossed. 

Based on your conversations, set up a plan to make changes that will improve everyone’s life.  Remember, your home does not need to be compared to your neighbor’s, your sister’s or your cousin’s home.  Your home should work for you, your family and your lifestyle. 

Below are tips that may help you.  Choose some that you feel would best work in your house and begin implementing them.  Choose one or two to start and add more as you feel comfortable.

1) Based on each person’s strengths, set up chores for them.  Someone may be in charge of picking up all the clutter each evening; someone might be in charge of going through the mail each day.  Divide daily chores to prevent any one person from feeling overwhelmed.

2) Buy an empty box and place today’s date on the top.  Place all of the papers that are lying around your house inside the box.  (Before putting all papers in, remove important documents such as marriage certificate, tax returns, birth certificates, etc.)  Next year, one year from the date on the top of the box, make one more search through the papers to make sure there are no important documents, then recycle the contents of the box.  Each time your house seems as if papers are taking over, get a new box and start again.  You may end up with a new box each month or one over several months.

3) Start a family communication notebook.  Use a plain school notebook with a pen or pencil attached to it and keep it in a place everyone will have access to it.  Each member of the family can write down notes to help them remember.  You might want to tell your spouse something later, but are sure you will forget by the time they arrive home.  Your children might want to remind you of the upcoming field trip or to sign a test paper.  Have each person write the date, their name and whom the message is for.  Each evening you can review the notebook to make sure everyone receives his or her messages.  Cross out messages that have been handled.

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