Organizational Tips for 2014

I don't know about you but there is something to be said about a new year. I get this incredible sense of "I have got to clean everything out or I will not survive" attitude. Maybe I'm a little OCD or just over the top when it comes to getting organized and cleaning out my home. Anyway, I have condensed my crazy organizational ideas down to a simple Top 10 list for you. These are not super hard and they don't require any purchases. Simple and free! And you feel good about getting organized-so jump on in and get started. I promise you will be so refreshed after doing these simple things that the big projects won't seem so big. I hope my suggestions help you. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you need help with any other areas for organization. I have lots of ideas! Happy organizing.

1. CLEAN OUT YOUR JUNK DRAWER. Everyone has one and junk drawers are a must. But it does need cleaning out at least once a year. You will be surprised as to what you might find in there. I found a sweet poem my husband had written-it was tucked behind some papers. Now I can read those sweet words my husband wrote for me over and over again.

2. CLEAN OUT THE MEDICINE CABINET. This was my medicine basket before it got a little overhaul. There was outdated medicine in there. This really should be done twice a year. I threw away the old medicine and made a list of things I need to buy to update my stock. It is flu season so it's good to have some things on hand but not out dated stuff.

3. CLEAN OUT YOUR MAGAZINES.  I don't really have that many magazine subscriptions but when they are coming once a month and I haven't cleaned them out in awhile-they begin to creep up the wall in a huge pile. I had at least 30 magazines in this tray and now I only have 6.(above picture) Don't throw them out-donate to your local doctor's office. The patients will be glad to see something new on the waiting room table. Also, I rip out favorite recipes and decorating pictures and file them away then I don't have the bulk of magazines laying around. Homeless shelters and Goodwill stores will take magazines also. Just remember to mark out your name and home information on your subscription label.

4. CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOTHES. Okay, I love to shop and I especially like shopping the thrift stores for good deals on clothes. But, my closet gets really full. Then I can't enjoy my clothes because I have too many and forget what I have. Above is my closet currently (after a good purging). I like to color coordinate my clothes-that way I can keep track of what's in there. Donate your items to a thrift shop only if they are in good shape. Use your judgement as to what is in good condition. If you wouldn't buy it from the thrift store then it needs to be tossed. Also, clothing consignment shops are popping up everywhere. You could make a little money off of what you purge.

5. CLEAN OUT YOUR SOCK DRAWER.  Oh how your socks will love you. Everyone wants to be with someone-so do your socks. My biggest pet peeve are single socks. What in the world do you do with a single sock that has lost it's mate? Sock puppets and rags. Purge those single socks and mate your socks up-you will be so glad you did when you go for a pair and they are both there. On a positive note: apparently it's cool to wear mismatched socks-my kids do that all the time! Ha Ha!

6. TAKE INVENTORY OF YOUR CANNED GOODS. I don't know about you but there are a lot of canned goods on sale during the holidays and I tend to over buy because I may need it for all that baking I'm going to do. Food banks get wiped out during the holidays and winter months, so now is a good time to take inventory of what you have and share it. I found some extra cans that I haven't used and some canned goods that I won't be using any time soon. I put these cans in a box to go to our local food bank. - no purchase necessary. 

7. THE UTENSIL DRAWER NEEDS SOME ATTENTION. I find that my utensil drawer gets dirty. I mean there are crumbs all in the bottom of the drawer. It's from wiping off the counter and little particles seep down in the drawer and everything settles under the utensil tray. So, I vacuum the drawer! Yes, pull everything out and vacuum! I even spray a little cleaner in there and wipe it down. You use your utensils everyday and that's one thing you want to be clean.

8. THE KIDS TOYS ARE TAKING OVER THE HOUSE! HELP!! This probably should be done before Christmas. Each year I have my girls deep clean their rooms and toys right before the holidays. They must decide what to keep and what to donate. A little trick that works great with younger kids is to pay them. I know that sounds ridiculous but it works. I give them a box and ask them to fill it up. It is also decision making skills at it's best-teachable moments with your kids. Whatever they place in the box I write it down and give them the thrift store price it would sell for and I pay them. Then they don't feel like they've totally lost out in this process. They understand too that they are helping a family to purchase toys for their children at Christmas by giving up something. I suggest the money they earn go back into savings or even given as a tithe at church. Again, I let me kids think and pray about what they should do with that toy money they earned.

9. BATHROOM CABINETS NEED SOME LOVE. There is not a linen closet in my girls' bathroom so they have to store things under their sinks. Well, over time that area becomes a danger zone. Pull it all out, vacuum (I love to vacuum), wipe down and purge. This is the after picture of my daughter's sink area-I just couldn't show you the before-ugh!

10. CLOSETS AND CABINETS NEED TO BE USER FRIENDLY. This is a picture of the family bathroom closet. We store extras and things we all use in that closet. This area needs to be accessible to everyone. I label and put things in clear containers so everyone can find things without pulling everything out. Clear containers are the best invention-it's self explanatory- no labels necessary. If you have to purchase containers-go to your local Dollar Tree-they have so many organizational options that come in all different sizes. Get creative!