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Organize + Energize: 4 Areas to Declutter This Month

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

 

Last month, I gave you 4 spaces to declutter.  This month I’m giving you 4 more and I’ll be doing this once a month. Before you know it, you’ll have decluttered your entire home and you’ll say, “That wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”  By breaking down your home into small projects, you’ll find you’re not as overwhelmed and you’ll stay on task because you’re just focusing on one area. 

Here are 4 areas to declutter in February:

Medication. Go through your home and gather all your meds. Search the bathroom, linen closets, kitchen cabinets, desk drawers, pocketbook, car, bedroom, etc. Check for expiration dates and dispose of any expired medication. Be prepared, there’s going to be some really old, expired meds. I’ll be surprised if you don’t find any. Check your closet every year for expired meds.  Believe it or not, your medications should not be stored in a medicine cabinet in the bathroom. The bathroom is the worst place to store your medicine. The bathroom is prone to high temperatures and humidity. Medications should be stored away from heat and moisture and closed tight. Keep in a hallway closet, or anywhere in the home where the room temp is between 68 and 77 degrees. Some meds need to be stored in cooler places. Always read the labels and also check with your pharmacist if you’re not sure of how to dispose of your meds.

Underwear. Ok be honest, when was the last time you took inventory of your underwear drawer. If you don’t have drawer organizers in place, you’re probably wearing the same ones over and over, neglecting the ones that are in the bottom of the drawer. It’s time to empty the entire drawer and take inventory. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find!

Socks. Same process goes for your sock drawer. When there aren’t drawer organizers in place, you’ll wash your socks and then you’ll put those socks on top of other socks that you haven’t worn. You’ll keep grabbing from the top of the drawer and you’ll never wear what’s in the bottom half of the drawer. With drawer organizers, you’ll be able to see everything you own and you’ll rotate wearing these items. 

Jewelry.  Admit it, you’re probably hanging onto jewelry from the 90’s. How much of this jewelry are you actually wearing? Be honest with yourself.  Also, is your jewelry just thrown in a drawer, on your bureaus or scattered all over the bedroom? It may be time to purchase some organizers and create a home and system for your jewelry. Take inventory, itemize, categorize and measure your space and purchase drawer organizers to fit what you need to hold. Wherever you decide to store your jewelry, be sure to maximize the space you’re organizing.  

Mark your calendar to work on these projects one day at a time. Block off 1 hour to tackle each project. It’s not going to take you that long, but at least you’ll be giving yourself some structure. If you want to finish these projects in record time, remember to stay focused, on task and don’t leave the project room.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to begin. She is also available for organizing workshops.

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Minute Organizing Projects

Declutter and Organize

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Spices

As you take all of the spices out of the cabinet, check for expiration dates and smell for potency. Categorize and itemize your spices to how you utilize them. Contain them in a spice rack that fits the space where they are kept. Don’t purchase a spice rack until you are finished organizing. You want to measure the space and make sure the rack fits and holds all of your spices. There are a variety of spice racks out there. Choose the one that best suits what you need it to hold.

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Makeup

How many items do you touch in the morning to find what you need?  You want to be as efficient as possible in the morning and having your makeup organized will be a big time saver. Do you have difficulty deciding what to keep or toss? When is it time to throw away makeup?  Aline Sarkis, a Providence, RI-based makeup artist, states lipstick can be used for 2 years or until it starts to smell like a crayon. Mascara is good for 2-3 months. Eye shadow is good for 2 years and foundation is good for 1-2 years. Aline also states that some makeup and skincare will be marked with an expiration date of 6-12 months. Begin counting once you start using the product

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Women: Purse

Depending on the size of your purse, and what you keep in your purse, this may take you a little longer than 10 minutes. Empty the entire contents of the purse on a table. Declutter, categorize, and itemize the contents. Break this process  down and take it one category at a time. Develop a system going forward so the inside of your purse doesn’t look like a cyclone hit it. Contain receipts, gift cards, money, and makeup.

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Men: Wallet

It’s time to empty all of the receipts out of your wallet. Do you also store receipts and random items in your car? While you are tackling this project, head over to your vehicle and declutter the center console and glove compartment.

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Underwear drawer

If you aren’t using drawer organizers, you should start now. They are very inexpensive and will maximize the space in the drawer. How many of you wear the same item over and over again? With drawer organizers in place, you will be able to see everything you own and can categorize and itemize. Nothing will ever get pushed to the bottom of the drawer again.

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Under the bathroom sink

If you haven’t taken everything out of this area in awhile, you may find some scary items under the sink. Empty the contents, itemize, and categorize. Throw away anything that you can’t recognize. Contain items in containers that fit the space like a puzzle. Once again, utilizing containers will maximize the space and allow you to store more items. Develop a simple system where you can locate items and locate them quickly.

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Pets

Ninety percent of my clients have a pet. It’s time to organize their belongings. Medicine, leashes, bandanas, clothes, dishes, food, etc. Take this time to also organize any paper work related to your pet. Set up a filing system for your pet. Keep their medical records, rabies and vaccination information categorized in these files.

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Junk drawer

Nobody says you can’t have a junk drawer. Junk drawers can be organized. You just have to think about if you need everything in this drawer and if there is a better place to store the items. Remember, store like items together. If you have tools in the junk drawer, maybe you should keep them with the tools in the basement.

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Office supply drawer

So many people have office supply drawers that are out of control. Money is wasted on purchasing duplicate office supplies. It’s very difficult to figure out what you need to purchase if items are scattered all over the office and are disorganized.

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Top of your office desk

If you can’t see the top of your desk, take this time to focus on this area and categorize and itemize what is there. Do you have a working filing system in place?  If so, once your desk is cleared, make a habit of filing once a day or a couple of times a week. If your system isn’t working for you, it may be time for you to re-evaluate your system and make it work for the way you function.

 
 

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