I’m in awe of people who claim they LOVE to organize. I just don’t get it. There are a million other things I would choose to do with my time (bake, go to the beach, hang with my family, write this blog) over labeling bins, purging drawers and color coding a calendar. I do these things, mind you, but they really give me no joy. I do it, begrudgingly, to keep our family in some kind of a rhythm.
I admit, I’m a really good procrastinator…and that my friends, is where organization often gets away from me. I let too many bills stack up because I can always go through them tomorrow. I have too many sweaters to fit in my drawers…but do I clean them out? NOoooooo!! I paid good money for those sweaters and I’m not giving them away! What? Am I wearing them?…well, no, but I spent good money on them! Oh, the dumb ways I rationalize to avoid picking up. The piles of clutter accumulate because I don’t feel like dealing with it when I should, then the piles become bigger and it feels too overwhelming to tackle. Can anyone else relate?
So here’s what I have learned for myself (and my husband’s sanity). Do one small organizing task a day. Don’t look at EVERYTHING that needs to be straighten up or cleaned out or folded. Pick one chore and complete the task. Tackle it start to finish, no breaks, just get it done. Oh! The feeling of accomplishment! And if you decide to revel in that feeling for the rest of the day, GREAT! If cleaning or picking up wasn’t as bad as expected, then find another drawer or chore to complete. Then do another task the next day, and basically, rinse and repeat. It’s the idea that doing a small thing each day to keep your home picked up, cleaned and decluttered is a lot easier than finding the willpower to tackle the masses.
Here are some of the easiest things that need tackling and are a great start to the new year:
Dump those sock drawers and start matching! If they have holes or are stretched out, get rid of them. If you have any singles, keep a couple to use as dust rags. I love to use a fluffy sock over my hand to dust home decor items like vases, collectibles, candles and lamps.
Let’s spice it up!
I love a spice drawer. One spot where I can find what I’m looking for in a neat and organized way. Some folks like to alphabetize their spices…my brain doesn’t work that way. Unless it’s a staple spice you use often (like black pepper or garlic powder) always buy the smallest size jar you can get away with. The bigger container for the cheap price isn’t going to do you any good if you only use that spice a few times a year. It will lose its flavor over time, so you’ll end up throwing it away.
Books, books, books….
I may not have the time to read a lot of novels, but I always seem to have time to thumb through a cookbook. I should probably whittle this collection down a bit more, but since every book has an upright place, I feel good about how this looks. It’s hard not to reminisce when looking through books, isn’t it? But if they’ve served you well, be it cookbooks, novels, travel books or children’s stories, there are many less fortunate families and schools who could be served by your donations. Our neighborhood started a “free library” box and many senior living facilities welcome donations too. Start by filling 1 box to donate…and if it was easier than you thought, push yourself to fill a second box. And don’t forget to drop it off for donation!
Time to go through your medicine cabinets and find all of your expired medications. Then, make a list of what you need to replace so you’ll have that list ready for your next trip to the store. Check with your local agencies for recommendations on best ways to dispose of certain medications.
Beauty products and brushes
All good things must come to an end…including the life span of your favorite beauty products. Yes, they expire, but did you know that the FDA doesn’t require companies to put expiration dates on their products (except sunscreen and some acne products). How do you know when it’s time to dump? Mascara and liquid eyeliners should only be kept for 3 months. Most of your other skin care and cosmetics are good for a year…some things like pencil eye/lip liner and powder based products could last a little longer. If you ever notice a difference in smell, texture or color, it’s time to throw out! And don’t forget to give your makeup brushes a good wash. I use my Purity cleanser by Philosophy to clean my brushes and then let them air dry. You should do this more than once a year (more like once a month!) so consider this a little reminder 🙂 I always like to clean out my makeup at the beginning of the year, because I feel like getting rid of old makeup pushes me to try a little something new in the new year!
You did it!!
Now that wasn’t soooo bad, was it?? A few easy tasks to get your home a little more organized for the rest of the year. If you’re really inspired, you might want to check out my Let’s Get Organized blog. And I’ve put together a collection of organizing must haves too. Let me know any easy organizing tips you have in the comment section below! And as always, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by.