Let’s face it, we are all being faced with a global crisis that none of us predicted. Some of us have lost jobs, our kids have been sent home from school, our favorite places to relax are closing, and our day-to-day life is NOTHING like it was just a few short days ago. If you are anything like me, you may feel like you are in control of NOTHING anymore.
One of the areas that we CAN take back control over, is our home. Our homes should be our sanctuaries right now, a calm space in turbulent times. Whether you’re under self-quarantine, under the Shelter in Place order, perfecting your social distancing, or even if your state or country has not reached that point (yet), we will probably be spending more time in our homes than we have ever done before over the coming days, weeks and months. More time cooking (as our normal weekly restaurant visits are no longer an option), more time together around the dinner table, more time cleaning and sanitizing our homes and spaces, and more time amusing our children (who are also feeling a loss of control with no school). Mostly, we spend our time wondering how to fill our days and in this bleak and scary new future, what exactly are we in control of?
Perhaps a silver lining to this, could be an opportunity to make your home and its rooms more organized, calm and serene, after all, if you are stuck there for an extended time, why not make lemonade out of lemons?!!! Think of it as the universe finally opening up the opportunity to do all those home projects, organizing, & bonding we never had time to do before.
I have been helping clients in Orange County, California for over 13 years now. I have firsthand seen the result of spending time organizing your space and the benefits it brings to families and homeowners. My company has helped over 2000 clients to become Organized & Orderly, implementing systems and solutions for long term organizing success. Here are some solutions to help you focus on adding some positivity to your home, and brighten your life & those you love during these uncertain times.
Where to start: I always suggest starting with a pain point area… It could be your closet if you spend ages trying to find an outfit, or it may be your pantry if it is disorganized and not functioning well for you. It could be as simple as your junk drawer (which, let’s face it, we all have and it doesn’t always seem to have what you need in it, when you most need it!)
Time: As little or as much as you want! Ideally 20 minutes a day will allow you to tackle a small area such as a cabinet or drawer, or if you are able to spend a couple of hours or more, you can take on larger areas such as entire cabinets, closets etc.
What do you need: Depending on the job you are undertaking, most people will need trash bags (for trash and possibly donations), possibly 3 boxes/containers/plastic tubs
for sorting (keep, trash or donation), a drink of their choice (water, coffee or perhaps a cocktail depending on how stressed out you are 😉 ) and maybe some music if you enjoy background noise to help set the mood! Enjoy every moment <3
Remove EVERYTHING from the space you are organizing. If you don’t have time to finish the job, don’t begin. You will be frustrated if you are halfway through organizing your linen cupboard and you run out of time and have to put everything back in a jumbled mess.
Assuming you have enough time, once everything has been removed, start organizing BY TYPE.
For example, in your linen closet – separate sheet sets, comforters, duvet covers by size. Make piles of each and assess (based on your households specific needs) how many of each do you keep? For homes with young children, you may want to keep more than one set as an emergency back up in case of illness, or if you are like me (just me and my teenage daughter and one guest room occasionally used by visitors), just one set for each bed that can be washed and put back on in the same day. There is no right or wrong, just make an honest assessment of your needs.
In your kitchen, group together like with like. Do you really need 3 can openers, 4 spatulas of a similar size, 5x 2 qt casserole dishes? For some people with multiple cooks and lots of entertaining, the answer may be yes, but for most of us, those items are just stealing space in our cupboards. Be honest, when was the last time that you were using ALL these items, ALL at once, after all, there are only 7 days in a week and most of us have a dishwasher!
Once you have grouped your like items together, eliminate those that are surplus to requirement. For example, if you are keeping a melon baller because in the summer you use them weekly, but for right now you are not using it all, put it to the back of the drawer (or even in an overflow container for seasonally used items). Do not allow anything in your “prime” space unless it is serving a purpose on a weekly or daily basis. There is only limited “prime” space and as such, it should be reserved for our most used items.
The same rule applies with many other areas of our lives, not just the kitchen. Bathrooms tend to become a catchall for every product you have ever bought, some of which you may no longer use, or are nearly empty. As in life, only surround yourself by the things that are most useful & enhance the quality of your life; if they are not, either rid yourself of them, or move them to a less accessible space where you can find them on the odd occasion you need them.
Clean out your space (Magic erasers are your best friend for cleaning out drawers, shelving and cabinets), spray it down with a sanitizer (Fantastic is one of my favs) and ensure that your newly organized area is sparkly and clean! For some areas, you may need to dust, polish and vacuum too!
Return the items to the space/drawer/room in a logical way to ensure that you have easy access to what you need or use the most. Again, think ‘prime space’.
For example, if you are cleaning out your closet and you primarily wear jeans and a t shirt most days, put those items front and center. There is no point in having to search past your evening dresses or more formal clothing, if that is not your daily dress code.
If you have the time and funds to use specialized containers or hangers, I absolutely recommend doing so, however, not everyone does and you can STILL be organized without them!
Pour yourself a congratulatory drink and pat yourself on the back for a job well done! No matter how big or small your project, you should feel a well deserved sense of accomplishment. MORE importantly, you’ll enjoy a feeling of taking back control even when the world feels like it’s spinning on its axis, you can revel in the fact you are one step closer to loving your space and reaping the rewards of being Organized & Orderly.
Need some additional help? Please reach out to me for a virtual session via Zoom or Skype on my cell phone (949) 677-9777. We are here to help you navigate through these testing times and create a space for you & yours that is meant for making memories.
Keep Calm Get Organized!