Tip #1 – THE KITCHEN
Set the kitchen up into zones. The kitchen functions best when it’s set up this way. The five main zones are cooking, cleaning, preparation, storage, and food. Everything should fit into one of these categories. If you have an item that doesn’t fit, it may not belong in the kitchen.
Tip #2 – THE PANTRY
Store pantry food in clear, airtight containers. After you get home from the grocery store, remove dry goods from their packages and place in bulk-size clear containers or mason jars. This method helps to keep an inventory of what you actually have on hand so you can see how much is left when it’s time to make a shopping list. It’s also more uniform looking and aesthetically pleasing. Examples are pastas, beans, cereal, snacks, and baking goods. Be sure to mark the expiration date on the bottom and label the front of each container.
Tip #3 – THE OFFICE
Control paper clutter. Paper clutter is the number-one problem of messy home offices. Take control of incoming paper (the source of the problem) with a daily systemic process. Immediately recycle junk mail as soon as you bring it into the house. Remove outer envelopes of bills (recycle) and place the bills in a designated basket. Finally, create a keepsake box to store kids' artwork and memorabilia.
Tip #4 – CLOSETS
Keep a donation hamper in each family member's closet. Line it with a trash bag. When you no longer want an item, place it in the hamper. Once the hamper is full, it’s time to donate the bag.
Tip #5 – THE GARAGE
Containerize your garage. The garage can become a breeding ground for clutter and turn into chaos in an instant. Systematically organize the garage using labeled bins and store them on wall shelves for easy access. This keeps the floors clear of clutter and alleviates the need to search for things when you need them. It’s also visually pleasing!
Photos courtesy of The Complete Book of Home Organization / Weldon Owen