Manage the Most Used Spaces in Your Home to Remain Clutter-free

Considering that research shows that 80 percent of what we keep we never use, it is no wonder why it can be challenging to manage the spaces in our home and life. There are plenty of spaces to manage whether it is your office, kitchen, garage, car or closets.

In celebration of January being Get Organized MonthSM, go ahead and tackle a space in your home so you can start and maintain a management plan for the spaces in your life.

Choose an area to be reorganized, start with a clean slate and tackle one space at a time. As with all major re-organizing, set reasonable goals with realistic deadlines. Be proactive to avoid getting lost in your spaces. Setting time aside each day to manage the spaces in your life will give you peace of mind and help you be more productive and stress-free.

Managing Your Kitchen:
If the mound of clutter in multiple spaces feels daunting to tackle at first, then start with your kitchen pantry. Because it is a space you and your family use on a daily basis, organizing this space first will make you feel a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to manage the next space on your list. Pull out all items from your pantry and toss any expired food. Wipe down your pantry and make a note of any supplies you need such as extra shelving, racks or storage bins. Group the food by category such as cereal and breakfast items, soups and other canned goods, and snacks. When placing the contents back in your pantry, place items that you use most regularly in an easy-to-reach location.

Managing Your Closets and Drawers:
Are your junk drawers stuffed to the gills and your closets overflowing with unwanted clothes and other miscellaneous items that do not have a home? Start with one closet or drawer at a time. Use a large garbage bag to toss items you do not need or use, and create a separate sorting area for items you will keep. Break the project down further by organizing one drawer or area of the closet at a time, so you can effectively manage the project without getting overwhelmed. If you dedicate 15 minutes a day to organizing and throwing away things you do not need, this will amount to a full day’s work that you spread out over a month.

Managing Your Garage:
According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, 50 percent of homeowners rate the garage as the most disorganized place in the house and a place the entire family uses regularly. However, a garage is one of the most commonly used areas of the home.

Rather than use it as a home for our cars, we tend to use the garage as a dumping space for everything from yard supplies to sports equipment to boxes of items without other “homes.” Once you start doing that, without really planning your space, you can end up with an indoor junkyard attached to your house.

Here are some helpful tips to finally get your garage back in order.

  • Pull everything out and categorize it before you organize it.
  • When in doubt, get rid of it.
  • Organize items by type such as sports, yard and car supplies. Make a plan of how you will group these items in the garage.
  • Organize items so that they are visually clear. If you can see it, you can find it.
  • Plan the proper space for your car, including opening all the car doors.
  • Make use of vertical space on the walls and ceiling.
  • Using a combination of hanging hooks, open shelving and closed cabinets often works well to store the different types of items that a garage holds.
  • Use containers to keep all loose items from spreading out.
  • Put everything away after you use it and it will remain neat and organized.
  • Always consider your safety when organizing the garage.

Managing Your Automobile:
The chilly winter months are all the more reason there should be space in your garage for your car. In addition giving your car proper cover, the following tips will help you maintain a clean and happy automobile.

  • Set a monthly appointment on your calendar to clean out and wash your car.
  • Keep handy wipes within reach so you can clean up messes and keep a portable trash can available as well.
  • Every day when you exit your car, bring in an armful of car clutter.
  • Use one of the many types of over-the-seat organizers to keep maps, umbrellas, gloves, and other essentials at hand.
  • Keep tapes and CDs organized in their own holder in the glove compartment or over the visor.
  • Consider crates, boxes, or other car organizers and keep your trunk’s contents organized by type. Organizers that roll out and fold down are the most useful.
  • Put in a hands-free unit if you use a cell phone in the car. Make sure nothing can roll around while you are driving by keeping things tidy and in containers.
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