Today I have the honor of hosting Katie from Delightfully Frazzled. She has so graciously put together 31 days to a more organized & clutter free home for us! Thank you, Katie, for putting this together for Blissful Intent.
31 Days to Get Organized: One Job a Day to Declutter Your Life!
I don’t know about you but as a parent of small children I have a really hard time staying organized. As hard as I try, piles of useless junk always seem to find their places into our home. That’s why my 2017 resolution is going to be to keep our home more organized (notice I said more organized and not perfectly organized. Maybe someday– when the kids move out. Maybe.) To start off on the right foot, I’m going to take the month of January to complete one decluttering job a day to drastically help our home!
I’m a fan of “one task a day” lists. They help break daunting jobs into manageable segments, so I actually keep up with what I set out to do instead of feeling overwhelmed. Maybe this list can help you start the new year off a little more organized too! Pick one task a day from this list and get to tackling that clutter!
- Old magazines. Did you read that one article you were interested in when it came out six months ago? Great. Time to recycle it. The only exception is if you like to keep magazines for kids’ (or not kids’) craft projects– in that case, find a NEAT, designated spot in with craft stuff. At least get them off of your coffee table or wherever they take up space.
- Expired coupons and sale ads. If you’re like me, you probably have a stash of coupons you clip when you get and have every intention of using… and inevitably, some of them go neglected too long. Sort through your stash and throw away the expired ones. (Oh, and NEVER buy something you wouldn’t have bought already just to use a coupon. If you’re saving $0.50 on a $2.50 item, you’re still spending $2.00 more than you would have if you had just passed the item up. Don’t let them get you!)
- Pen Stashes. Whether you have a stash at your office space, in your purse, in a designated junk drawer, or in all of the above, go through the wave of black and blue and test them all out on some scratch paper. If it doesn’t work (or only semi-works), throw it out. Life is too short to have to search for a working pen.
- Email Inbox. Do you get all kinds of emails from brands or websites that you don’t actually read or only seldom open? Take some time today to go through your inbox and “Unsubscribe” from email lists that don’t benefit you.
- Socks with holes or without a match. Life is too short to wear holey socks. And if you haven’t seen that stray sock’s match in a month or two, odds are it’s not going to show up. Get rid of it.
- Kids’ Clothes. Did you notice it was getting a little short the last time your kiddo wore that shirt? Time to store it for the next kiddo (hooray for hand-me-downs!) or donate it. Did the stain from spaghetti night never fully come out of those pants? Time to get rid of them (as long as you’ve already tried to get it out with some miracle citrus vinegar!).
- Kid’s Toys. It’s amazing how many toys and things kids acquire over time. Go through the toy box (with the kiddos if they’re old enough, or alone if they’re still munchkins) and take out toys that are broken or have been ignored for a while. (You can either donate the ignored toys or simply store them away for a while to become a novelty another day-–read more here). Replace batteries in those sad electronics that have been slowly dying and give those Lego’s and other water-safe dirty toys a good wash: throw them in a mesh laundry bag and toss them in the dishwasher. Ta-da!
- Tupperware Drawer. Go through your leftover containers and match up lids and bins. Get rid of the extras (or donate them to bath time or the sandbox). Ain’t nobody got time to go searching for a lid that isn’t there.
- Expired OTC medicine. Things like Tylenol and NyQuil aren’t good forever. Go through your medicine cabinet (or cupboard, or drawer) and check the dates on your products. If you feel like your medicine is always a mess, pick up a few small bins with lids (you can get them at Dollar Tree or Walmart for $1) and some labels. I have mine separated into 5 bins: Pain, First Aid, Stomach/Vitamins, Skin Care, and Cold/Flu/Allergies. This system makes things so much easier to find when you need them!
- Expired or unused hair/beauty products. If you have a mousse or lipstick you only use a few times a year, odds are it’s expired. Did you buy a product you thought you’d like but never use? I’m guilty of keeping those things around because I hate wasting money. But honestly, it’s just taking up space in your bathroom. Throw it out, or give it to someone who might use it. Then find a little cup to keep all of those stray bobby pins, hair ties, and clips somewhere you’ll have them when you need them.
- Pantry Food. Throw away expired food or ingredients you know you won’t use again. Don’t forget to look through your spice rack! Spices only have a shelf life of about a year.
- Fridge and freezer. Get rid of food that’s bad or expired. Don’t forget to sort through those condiments!
- Electronics. Old phones and cameras that you’ve upgraded and don’t use anymore don’t need to be cluttering up your home. Find a place to donate or sell them and say sayonara.
- DVD’s and CDs. Go through your entertainment areas and make sure every disc in its proper case and stored. Determine what you’ll actually use: music can be downloaded onto computers or accessed online so easily that maybe your CD’s are becoming a thing of the past. Consider donating them or selling them on an app like Declutter.
- Old Chargers and Cords. Find all the mystery chargers and connecting cords lying around and figure out what they coincide with. Wrap them up and label them with the device. If one doesn’t go with any device you own anymore, get rid of it.
- Bad Photos and Unused Apps. Clear up memory on your phone by deleting duplicate photos or screenshots. Streamline your home screen by deleting apps you don’t use or need anymore.
- Front Closet/Mud Room. Go through that stash of winter scarves, hats, and gloves. Donate any coats that aren’t worn. Get rid of gloves that have lost their mate. Put away that pile of shoes that accumulates by the door (that’s not just my house, right??). Tidy up any cleaning supplies or other miscellaneous things you keep here.
- Adult Clothes. If you haven’t worn something in the past year, you probably won’t in the future! Ask yourself if you would still buy the item if you saw it in the store today. If the answer is no, get rid of it!
- Shoes. Same as clothes– if you haven’t worn them in the past year, time to say goodbye.
- Jewelry and Accessories. Decide what you wear and what you don’t. Throw away anything that is broken or missing its match.
- Gifts You Don’t Like/Use. It’s okay to let go of that ugly sweater your Great Aunt Nancy gave you. Really. It’s the thought that counts– so keep the thought and get rid of the hideous thing.
- Greeting Cards. You received them. You read them. Great. They served their purpose. Time to recycle them.
- Garage. This is a big clutter-offender in most houses. Set a timer and see how many things you can get rid of or consolidate in the time you have. Have a large trash bag ready for everything that can be tossed.
- Cars. With two kiddos (okay, it’s not just their fault…), my car is constantly cluttered. Have two large bags handy: one for garbage and one for everything that needs to go back in the house. Recycle all of those soda cans and water bottles.
- Old Receipts and Paperwork. Record and file away the important stuff; toss or shred the rest. Here’s a good rule of thumb for how long to keep receipts and important paperwork:
- 15-30 days: Receipts for items you may return, bills that need attention, daily expenses
- 1 year: receipts of bills paid, Insurance paperwork, bank statements, expense reimbursements, heath care information
- 3-4 years: tax returns, social security statements
- Craft Supplies. You guys, this one hurts to even write about. I love all things crafty and DIY– and I hate throwing anything away. Hence, my bins and organizers of crafting supplies runneth over. Take some time with me to go through all of those supplies and honestly decide what might get used and what won’t. It might help if you invest in a few bins or other organized containers. What fits in the bins gets to stay. What doesn’t fit, goes. (Wince.)
- Linen closet. Donate anything you don’t use that’s still in decent shape. Throw away (or recycle into cleaning rags) anything worn-out or with holes.
- Under the sinks. Get rid of cleaning supplies you don’t use (or consolidate like products together). If you have the time, get some Dollar Tree bins to organize similar items. And really– do you need all of those mini hotel shampoo bottles?
- Membership/Rewards Cards/Partially-Used Gift Cards. If you don’t shop somewhere anymore, cancel your store credit card or rewards card. Also, go through your wallet or purse and find any gift cards you have that only have a small amount left. Go online to determine the amount and write it on the card. If it’s a small amount, decide if it’s worth keeping it (and spending more money to use it).
- Junk Drawer. Everyone’s got one of these, right? Throw out what you don’t need, and pick up some small organizing bins from your local dollar store (usually 2 or 3 for $1) to keep it organized.
- Organizer’s Choice. Today is for that one area of your house (you know the one) I didn’t mention. Get to it, you organizing machine!
There you have it, friends. Let’s tackle that clutter together in 2017! I’d love to hear from you on what your organizing projects will be for the new year! Drop me a comment or head over to Facebook or Twitter and let me know!
P.S. Grab your free printable 31 Days to Get Organized printable calendar here.
Katie Davis is a wife and mother of two munchkin boys (and a spoiled cat). She created and writes for the blog Delightfully Frazzled, where she shares her chaotic and joyous adventures of young motherhood. She enjoys Netflix documentaries, making up new recipes, crafting, people-watching, anime, and anything theatre. Connect with her below.
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