by Brenna Timm

The year is coming to a close with a new one fast approaching. Soon we will be faced with New Years Resolutions and Spring Cleaning. Such tasks are daunting. For most of us, we have piled up clutter from years past taking up our offices, spare bedrooms, garages, and attics. The mere thought of trying to organize the piles encourages us to push it back. Maybe till next year. But the longer we all continue to collect, the harder it will be to sort through. We have some organization tips and tricks for you to use for the upcoming projects.


Do I really need this?

The first, and probably most important step is to contemplate what you really need. Do you have multi-color Christmas lights that you haven’t used since 2012? You may be planning on getting that one light fixed, but it could also be time to toss it. What about the bins full of baby clothes? We may hope to pass them on in the family to cousins or maybe your own grand kids. If there is a particularly special outfit, keep that but get rid of the rest.

Here is the general line of questioning you should use when you come across items:

  • Everyday items: If you haven’t used it in the last six months, do you really need this?
  • Seasonal items: If you haven’t used it in the last 1-2 years, do you really need this?

What to Toss

Sometimes it is hard to consider what things can be tossed in bulk that will immediately open some space. There are a few things that you can easily organize and sort through.

  • Plastics: Whether it be bags or containers, plastic can take up a lot of space. It can be good to have some variety in the kitchen cabinet,but how much storage do we need? Unless you make a lot of large meals or parties, there is no need for entire shelves of containers.
  • Clothes: Beyond just baby and kids clothes that are no longer used, there are plenty of adult clothes that can be disposed of or donated. Fashions change even though we are no longer growing. Check what you usually wear and what you longer consider. You might be surprised at how many bags for Goodwill you can fill.
  • Toys: While it is good to have a couple games and blocks around for the occasional visit of children, there is no need to keep all of the toys. Kids toys take up a lot more room than you think. If your kids have outgrown Barbie or Hot-wheels, consider donating them or giving them to a friend. Some may have sentimental value to your kids. If that is the case, make it their responsibility to deal with and take care of.

How to organize

Some things would seem a little more important to organize than others.

  • For Frequent use: if some things, like cleaning supplies,towels, or tools, are taking up cabinet or floor space, consider creatively handing them from the wall. As long as they aren’t overloaded or cluttered, walls can be the perfect new storage space.
  • For the Office: We are now in the electronic age, but we still get so much mail and use a lot of paper. Do we really need it? If you are someone who piles up to mail months at a time, it may be better to go purely paperless with your bank statements and bills.
  • For the Kitchen: The kitchen is another place where things can hang. Instead of a knife block, there are magnetic strips made to hang your knives inside cabinets or on walls. Pots and pans also have some stylish hanging options. But even more basic than this, take a look at your counter tops and take in what you have. Appliances and items that are used daily or frequently throughout the week are allowed to live on the counter top. Anything else should be stored until you use it.

Consider exploring around the internet to find more organizational ideas that will best suit your needs.