By Brandie Weikle
1. Handle things only once The most common mistake in organizing is putting off decisions. So if you find yourself saying, “That shirt is not very flattering on me,” put it in a bag to be donated straight away.
2. Use little tools with big impact A recycling bin under the mailbox, cup hooks by the door for keys, a file on your desk for unpaid bills ““ these little tricks help you form habits that eliminate stress-inducing searches for stuff.
3. Don’t have multiple locations for the same items For example, each home should have one “paper-control centre,” where mail, school notices, phone messages, calendar, etc., are kept.
4. Tackle big organizing projects in small chunks Make regular dates with yourself to tackle it one hour at a time. When the time is up, you’re done no matter what. Organizing to exhaustion or frustration is not worth it. If it’s one-time projects that are at issue, make deadlines like “buy shelving for the laundry room by April 30,” “switch seasonal wardrobe by May 31.”
5. Never leave a room empty-handed Return one thing to its place as you move from one part of the house to another. A little every day is better than a big cleanathon.
6. Go through your child’s stuff every six months Make a routine with your child of donating clothes and toys to charity, and archiving art and school work. Think about how much you really need to save as keepsakes ““ one tiny outfit and a couple of special toys is enough. For items stored for future children, use clear plastic bins labelled “18-24 mo. girl’s clothes,” “0-1 yr. toys,” and place on utility shelving in your basement, attic or garage.
7. Get storage off the floor A bookshelf that’s screwed into the wall at your child’s eye level will leave more room for her to play.
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