Fall Cleaning: Clearing Out the Clutter
October 15th, 2013 posted by Megan Brown
With the lazy days of summer behind us its now time for that back to business fall attitude. The kids are back to school, vacations are behind us and our days just seem to be whizzing by just a bit faster. While the months ahead are sure to be busy, you can keep things at home relaxed by getting things in order and staying focused on the positive.
All of the hustle and bustle of the fall season can make anyone feel overwhelmed and one of the most common problems standing between you and an organized home is the ability to establish a routine. Slow down and think about your daily routine (just for a minute!) and then look at ways to maximize your time and streamline your chores efficiently.
Repeatable Systems are your Friend. Put a few in place to minimize the time and effort usually spent clearing clutter and running around the house trying to find misplaced objects. As we all know, kids require a lot of “stuff”, from sporting equipment to lunch boxes. To keep those panicked last minuted searches to a minimum, group belongings by day in quick-to-grab baskets marked with cute tags. It’s an easy way to organize the abundance of sports equipment, clothing and other items families need for a particular day.
Keep a calendar that everyone can access to keep track of important dates and appointments. We are partial to SmartPhone versions but if you are a paper kind of family be sure your calendar is someplace everyone can see, like the kitchen.
Less is More
Purge your coat closet. We all struggle to find more closet space and this one tends to be overlooked. As the closet that houses some of the bulkiest item you own, the first step is Purging! Get rid of everything you no longer like, wear or fit into. This includes overcoats, ski jackets, raincoats, hats, scarves and gloves. Then sort items into categories. (Fall, Winter, Spring) I then like to store smaller items in baskets labeled for each person they belong too.
Thin out your linen closet. Linen closets often attract much more than linens, turning into the catchall for anything bed and bath. To start, identify what you need to store in your linen closet. Then categorize items and donate those you’re not using. We actually only use 20% of what we own 80% of the time!
Go through your bedroom closet. The key is to make sure everything taking up space is EARNING its PLACE! Go through your wardrobe from last fall and winter to see what you want to keep, throw or donate. Then you can evaluate what, if anything, you need to buy to make your fall wardrobe complete
Corral those Toys. Clean out your kids’ toy closets and boxes, preferably with them so there are no unpleasant surprises for your kids when they start looking for a “favorite” toy that you’ve decided to donate. This is a great time to teach the importance of charitable giving while at the same time making a little much needed space!
Donation hamper: Keep a box or bag handy and place gently used items, as you come across them, inside. When it’s full, donate it! This way when spring rolls around you will have an easy time with all that Spring Cleaning!
*Be sure to itemize all of your donations and get a tax-deductible receipt for income tax purposes. Once you’ve completed your fall organizing projects, you’ll be ready to prepare for the holidays that are just around the corner!