The kitchen. It is the heart of every home so sees a lot of action. By making it more pleasant to be in, you are more likely to cook healthy meals using food that is not unidentifiable due to its freezer burn, you can enjoy eating with your family at the clear kitchen table and you can clean up the clear countertops easily. You will also save money by wasting less food.
- Kitchen utensils – get rid of those you don’t use or are duplicates and ensure they are located close to the cooking area.
- Crockery – trim any excesses. If there are only 4 of you then you probably don’t need 12 dinner plates, dishes etc.
- Tupperware – match up lids with containers. Toss any unmatched items and those that are broken, stained or generally yucky.
- Pantry/kitchen cabinets (part 1) – hunt out the expired food and anything that you’re not going to eat. Identify anything that needs using up soon and note it on your menu planner.
- Pantry/kitchen cabinets (part 2) – group like items together and containerize if appropriate (examples, canned goods, baking goods, pasta, rice, sauces).
- Pantry/kitchen cabinets (part 3) – as for part 2.
- Kitchen countertops – remove items that are not used on a daily basis. Find alternative storage areas on the walls or in the cabinets, drawers or the trash can.
- Under the kitchen sink (part 1) – declutter the cleaning lotions and potions you never use as well as the cleaning cloths that have now multiplied. Relocate anything that is not kitchen related.
- Under the kitchen sink (part 2) – group like items together and containerize if appropriate. Consider using hooks on the sides of the cabinet or on the back of the door to hang gloves, cloths etc.
- Refrigerator (part 1) – declutter those half used bottles that are past their prime, as well as the expired produce and items that are unrecognizable.
- Refrigerator (part 2) – group like items and place the closest to expiry items at the front.
- Freezer – declutter the mystery items and remember to label everything you freeze from now on as well as placing it in a stackable container.
- Junk drawer – have a rummage for anything you can declutter. This will have to do for now!
- Set up a computerized grocery shopping list with your regular purchases. Print it out and keep it handy to check off items you run out of during the week.
- Set up command central – set up a chalkboard, whiteboard or cork board to keep track of each family member’s commitments, schedules, appointments, reminders, chores as well as phone lists.
The bathroom. You may not spend much time in there but it is bound to be home to a varied collection of items. By clearing the clutter and grouping the various types of items together, you will speed up your morning routine and enjoy a more tranquil start to the day.
- Medicine or general bathroom cabinet – declutter expired products (yes that includes all the makeup that you’ve had for ages – did you know that things like mascara only last 3 months?) and those you no longer use.
- Shower/sink/tub surround – declutter items that are no longer used and relocate items that are not used on a daily basis.
- Daily items – grab them all from wherever they may be lurking and give them a new home in their own specific basket or box.
- Hooks – install some on the backs of doors (including the cabinet) or walls to hang towels, your blow dryer, curling irons, a pretty basket containing your daily items – you name it, hang it up!
The master bedroom closet. The inside of this closet is probably the first thing you see every morning and the last thing you see at night. Just imagine the better start to the day you would have and the better sleep at night you could enjoy if it was clutter free and neatly arranged.
- Clothes quick declutter – grab 10-15 items that you no longer wear, don’t like or can’t fit into!
- Out of season items – move them into long term storage or at least to the highest shelves or the most difficult to get to part of your closet.
- Turn all your hangers back to front – you know why! Toss everything still that way in 6 months time.
- Shoes quick declutter – look for those you’ve never worn, those you’ve worn only once, those that hurt your feet or that you just don’t like and toss or donate them (consider Soles4Souls.org if you are looking for a good cause). Keep the boxes.
- Use the spare shoe boxes from the day before to containerize underwear, belts, scarves and accessories. Declutter as you go.
Papers. From bills to receipts, school notes, junk mail, e-mail, magazines and magazine clippings, your home is probably swimming in paperwork. By taming the paper monster you will save money by paying bills on time, you will be able to return items as you know where the receipts are, your kids will be able to go on the school trip because you remembered to sign the permission slip and you will enjoy reading your magazine as you will be able to find it in that 10 minute break you deserve.
- Set up 4 different colored pocket folders – one each for Action, Bills, Read and File. Start using them for every bit of incoming paperwork from now on.
- Bills – arrange to receive and pay bills online for those you have paid late in the past.
- Filing cabinet – have a rummage for anything you can declutter giving you room to file your new paperwork as it comes in. This will have to do for now!
- Magazines – toss anything over 3 months old, tear out any pages you’ve marked to read (file them in your new “Read” pocket folder) and cancel any subscriptions to magazines that you no longer read.
The living room. Second to the kitchen, the living room is an area of much activity. It’s where the family gathers for play and relaxation, however, there are not many items that actually belong there. By returning items to their rightful place, you can truly relax without having to look around you at stressful piles of clutter.
- Living room (part 1) – scan for any items that belong elsewhere and return them to their proper home.
- Living room (part 2) – allocate a small toy box to the living room if you have young kids. Gather all remote controls together and house in a basket or other container. Gather all reading material together and house in a rack or other container.
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