Keeping Your Home in Order

With so much going on during this holiday season, you may find it difficult to keep your home in order. You can incorporate the following information and tips to keep things running smoothly now or ...

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With so much going on during this holiday season, you may find it difficult to keep your home in order. You can incorporate the following information and tips to keep things running smoothly now or to plan your organizing projects for the new year.

1.Go through reading material and get rid of outdated newspapers and magazines.

2.Have a place for outgoing things near your door.

3.Keep up with the clutter and leave the deep cleaning until later. Your home will always have a neat appearance.

4.Look through your bookcases and give away books you've had for years and will never look at again. Charities are always looking for donations to their reading programs.

5.Put things away immediately after you're finished with them.

6.Store items where they are used.

7.Store similar items together. Categorization is very important when you're getting organized. Keep all bill paying supplies in one place. Gather all of your craft supplies in a basket. Keep your photo supplies in one plastic bin. When you need to work on something, everything will be easily accessible.

8.Store video tapes in photo boxes, which can hold up to 10 videos per box. Keep a list of the contents outside of the box for easy reference.

9.Use drawer dividers for your "junk" drawers to keep things in order.

10.Put a bookshelf or basket in every room of the house where you read. Put all reading materials on the bookshelf or in the basket daily to avoid clutter accumulation.

11.Every time a new item comes into the house, one should leave.

12.Get into the habit of giving things away to friends or relatives or charities on a regular basis.

13.Limit rooms that allow food in them such as kitchen and t.v room.

Clutter Busters: (Source Unknown)
1. Use the 80/20 Rule.
Most people only use 20% of what they own on a regular basis. A good portion of the other 80% is comprised of
things we used in the past or things we feel we might use in the future. This basically means that approximately 80%
of your possessions just sit around every day, doing nothing more than gathering dust.

If you're tired of clutter, begin to pinpoint which group each of your items belongs in. If it falls into the 20%
that you use regularly, then the only thing left to do is to find a place for that item. If it falls into the
remaining 80%, it's a good candidate for a donation or rummage sale item.

2. Give it the one hour test.
If there was an emergency situation, and you had no choice but to gather up everything that was important to you--in
one hour or less--what would you take? What would you leave behind? This should give you an excellent indication
of the items that are truly important to you, and those items that aren't very important to you at all.

3. Use the reward system.
If your clutter is beginning to overtake your home, your office and/or your life, it's time to lighten your load. I can practically guarantee that if you were offered a large
sum of money to declutter your surroundings by a minimum of
50%, that you'd do so in a flash. Why? Because a large sum of money is a pretty enticing reward. Try establishing some realistic, but enticing rewards, for your decluttering efforts that you can cash in on as you reach your
decluttering goals.

4. Keep a log.
Get yourself a notebook, and keep a log of every item you use for the next 2 weeks. If it doesn't make it to the
list, it's important to question 'why not?'. The answer may be that it's a seasonal item, and right now it's not the right season to be using that item. The answer may be that it's an evening gown, and you wear it once or twice a year for special occasions.

However, if the answer is that you may pick up on your crocheting hobby in a few years, or that a dress may come
back in style someday, or that you haven't found a good use for that gadget yet but an idea may come to you, then that item should most likely be donated, sold, or dumped.

5. Hide it for 6 months.
If the thought of getting rid of something you hardly ever use is just too overwhelming, try this. Get a large box and store anything you hardly use in this box. Then, put the box in your garage, attic or other out-of-the-way place. Go to your calendar and find the date that is exactly 6 months from today. On that date, mark the words '6 Month Box.'

When 6 months go by, and you see this notation on your calendar, if you haven't touched that box once in the past 6 months, take it--unopened--to your local charity. Don't open it and look inside, as you may change your mind. If you haven't needed it in the past 6 months, you surely
don't need it.