Being stuck at home doesn’t have to mean more video games or binge watching TV shows. Instead, make use of this stay-at-home order by keeping your home organized. You’ll feel much more accomplished then finishing another season of a show you’ve already seen. Get the family involved so everyone is on the same page about how the home should stay in order.
With families staying at home more than ever, the house can get chaotic quickly if there isn’t an organized system in place. Use this extra time at home wisely by decluttering. After all, when your home is cluttered, your mind gets cluttered, and it’s hard to get anything done when you feel mentally drained or overwhelmed. Your mental health needs to be a top priority at this time. If the clutter has piled up, here’s some tips to get started:
• Have 4 boxes or garbage bags, and one laundry basket. One box/bag is for items you want to donate, one is for selling, one is for garbage, and the other for recycling. The laundry basket is for collecting misplaced items that you want to keep. Once you have finished going through that particular area of the house/room, return the misplaced items to its proper place (Clear the Clutter, n.d.). Older kids can do this in their own rooms, too.
• Start small. Don’t do an entire room all at once. Instead, break it down into manageable tasks. Start with one closet, drawer, shelf, or pile of papers (Innis, 2015). If something has your name or personal information on it, shred it.
• Give every item its own home. This way, you will no longer wonder which drawer/container/bin something might be in. For example, all business cards go in this folder in the office, all electronic gadgets go in this particular drawer, etc. All members of the household need to agree on this. The point is to minimize the number of times “where’s my ___?” is asked because everyone will know where things belong.
• If you are not sure what to do with an item, consider these questions (Clear the Clutter, n.d.):
When was the last time you used it?
Do you like it?
Is it broken? What is the cost of fixing it versus replacing it?
How many of this do you have?
Is there room to keep it? What will you get rid of in order to make room?
Is there a way to have electronic access to this (found online, scan it and save, etc)?
Clutter begets clutter. As you get your home more organized, maintain it by spending just a few minutes a day going through mail, receipts, kids’ schoolwork, etc. Remember, every item has it’s own “home” now in a drawer, basket, and so on. Putting items away a few minutes each evening shouldn’t take long if you make it a habit to keep the home organized.
Clear the Clutter. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://extension.illinois.edu/clutter/clearing.html
Innis, G. (2015). Declutter your life and improve your health. Retrieved from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/declutter_your_life_and_improve_your_health