Organizing Tips

· DECLUTTER drawers:  For that overflowing kitchen utensil drawer, underwear drawer etc try this simple one-month exercise: Take everything out of the drawer, put it in a box on your kitchen counter/dresser etc. Over the next four weeks put any item you use in the drawer after it is cleaned.  The items in the box are the items you have not used in a month!

· DECLUTTER memories:  Digitally photographing memories is a perfect way to keep them alive while reducing the space they require.  This works for everything from your children’s favorite stuffed animal that is no longer cuddle to childhood pictures.

· DECLUTTER CLOSET:  At the beginning of each season when switching your clothes for the change in weather, hang all of your clothes with the hanger head pointing out into the room instead of toward the wall. As you wear and return your clothes to the closet, put them back as you normally would, with the hanger pointing to the back closet wall. At the end of the season, see how many clothes still have the hanger head facing out into the room. These are the clothes you did not wear the ENTIRE season.

· LABEL:  At least initially, things have a better chance of ending up back in their designated spot if you label i.e. Double sheets, single sheets, soups, box foods.  This will also make it clear that you have lots of soup but perhaps need to buy some box foods. 

· CLOSET PRETTY:  Use only wooden, plastic, or padded hangers in your closet. Wire hangers do not support clothes and often bend or sag causing creases in your clothes and a generally messy looking closet.

· HIDDEN STORAGE:  The space under your bed is perfect for under-bed storage boxes, which provide dust-free storage. If your bed sits too low to accommodate the height of these boxes, bed risers are available at local retailers for under $15.  The space under your sofa is perfect for the leaves of your tables.

· ITEM IN ITEM OUT:  Live by the one in/one out rule. For every item you bring in the front door, send an item out. Apply this rule to everything from clothing to household items to gifts.

· PAPER IN PAPER OUT:  Handle papers: school documents, mail only once. Immediately decide one of the following four options: act on it, file it, purge it, or forward it.

· SCHOOL/ACTIVITY PAPER:  Have one folder for each child in the kitchen.  Each time a new paper comes in review the exiting documents to see if they need be processed and to ensure they are current.

· DOCUMENTS & MANUALS:  Create a file for home appliance manuals and warranties, and staple the receipt to the front cover.

· SAMPLE PRODUCTS:  Donate unopened toiletries such as samples from goody bags or hotels to charities such as shelters.

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