The Basics of Organizing
Getting everything organized in your home, unfortunately, is not a quick and easy task. If you have an unusually large home, it could take you up to a full year to get everything organized just right. Otherwise, for the typical homeowner this can usually be accomplished in just a few short months. Once you have your things settled into place, however, you will only have to make minor adjustments until you can reap the rewards for years to come. Before you just dive in, you need to make a plan and understand the theory behind it.
Basics of Organizing Rule #1: Provide a Definite Location!
There should be no guessing as to what belongs where. Everything should have a home...a place where it belongs. Various sorts of dividers are good for creating cubbyholes or boundaries. Think of your house as being an extra-large filing system and everything inside it has an assigned slot. If everything has its own "slot", it will be so much easier and faster to put things away where they belong.
Ask yourself, "Will everyone be able to find this"? Under no circumstances should things be allowed to stay where they just happen to land as they come into your house! Remind everyone in the family to put those things away where they belong right away!
For starters, where does the newspaper usually end up until everyone has read it? Once everyone has had the opportunity to read it, then what happens to it? Don`t make it a habit to just let daily newspapers pile up and dominate a room! Make your decision and follow through with it. At my house, for example, the newspaper is kept at the breakfast table and then it goes into the recycle bin. Everyone knows right where to look if they need to refer back to it later for grocery store ads, homework assignments, etc.
Basics of Organizing - Rule #2: Keep It Simple!
You should use some type of boundary and assign locations for every item but don`t make it so complicated to discourage tidiness. Each item must be easy to put back. You might think that my own cupboards and closets look like some sort of showcase but often visitors are disappointed! Remember the importance of just keeping it simple.
Shoe boxes are great to serve as dividers in large drawers-maybe have one for underwear and one for socks.
I use dishpans in each bedroom in which we toss our winter hats, scarves, gloves, etc., and a hook behind the door for our coats. Organization does not necessarily mean meticulousness: it means you can find things without having to hunt for them; it means you don`t have to think twice about where something goes. Creating definite boundaries benefits in so many ways but if you use too much detail in creating them, the system will fail because the family will find it too hard to put things back where they belong.
Use labels to mark shelves or boxes to help separate items and territories. You can use a box (with an open top) that identifies the location for all your plastic grocery bags and then use various sizes of separate boxes for items such as light bulbs, batteries, shoelaces, polishing rags, plastic lids, etc.
As you can see, the basics of organizing is key and only takes a little thought to create a system that everyone can use and understand.