As we entered into a new year, I posted about some ideas of clearing out; in particularly, the bathroom, bedroom and playroom. There are a few more areas of the house I’d like to touch on now, for you to continue on your organizing journey throughout this year and beyond!
Does Your Office Desk Turn Into A Catch-All?
I have certainly helped clear clutter off more than one desk in my day! It seems that so often, the desk is a catch all space for unopened mail, lost papers, homework, children’s artwork, bills, tools, tape; I could go on and on. For some, it becomes one giant junk drawer!
You have to be very intentional in your office space, especially if it is work space, that you hope to get anything accomplished! The mental chaos of constant disorganization and clutter can actually be debilitating and cause extreme anxiousness.
In addition to organizing, I’m also passionate about our health, and alternative ways to keep it. I love essential oils, and how powerful they can be. I deal with many people that have extreme anxiety. I truly believe a lot of it is caused by our physical environments being in a constant state of craziness, business and absolute chaos!
I’ve put together a list of things that may be in the office, or on your desk, that need to be sorted through, thrown away, donated, or recycled.
- Books you’ll never read again. I know. I know. It’s tough to get rid of books. Keep a reference section for those books you refer to for help (like a Dictionary,) but donate the rest. Trust me, someone else needs to read it instead of it collecting dust on your shelf.
- Old address labels. You know the ones I mean. They came free in that charity envelope. You want to use them; it’s neat that they have your printed name…but you never remember to, and you can’t find them when needed. Toss ’em.
- Unknown keys. Seriously. Where do these come from. I know I’m not the only one, I’ve cleared them from other people’s desks as well. They must go to something. That’s always the fear. Check all your locks. If you still have some, maybe it’s to your mother’s or child’s home. If not…garbage!
- Old warranty manuals. If these aren’t in a file, they need to be. But, go through that file and discard any manuals to appliances that have broken or been replaced, or anything that you no longer own. I know you have some. We all do.
- Old school papers. Another toughie. Here’s the plan: make a file for each kiddo. File the precious papers as they come home. As the file gets too full, keep the outstanding ones and cull the rest. Keep the ones that required extra work, or marked a milestone. Keep a record from each class. Maybe two or three samples. Then, keep it from each grade. You may have a file box at the end of High School, but it has everything in one spot. We home school, and this is how I stay sane.
- Filled notebooks. Add them to your library reference section, or throw them away!
- Expired coupons. Enough said.
- Outdated electronics, outdated software, and old phone cords and chargers. With the way technology is moving so quickly; it’s hard to keep up. And the answer is NO. You won’t use it again.
- Old magazines. Donate them to the library or school art program. They love that kind of stuff!
- Shred all old receipts. While you’re at it, really analyze why you keep the receipts you do, and do you do anything with them?
- Dried out pens and markers, dead pencils with no erasers or so short you get a paper burn every time you use it.
After the great cleanse in the office, try to find some ways to get it organized. I’ll post more on this later, but for now, put those pens and pencils in an organized fashion standing up (I’m thinking a good use for your over-abundance of coffee mugs). An inexpensive paper organizer is great and maybe something for in and outgoing mail. We’ll talk more about this soon!
Clean Out That Garage And Basement!
Other areas of the home that tend to get everything thrown into them; are the garage and basement. Especially if they are never really organized, and things do not have a place to go. It is so easy to think “out of sight, out of mind.”
But what is really incredible, is when you can actually use the space in this two areas, efficiently and effectively! You might even be able to get rid of that extra storage unit! Yay!! Let’s make that a goal!
Proper shelving, cabinetry, and storage, really helps in these areas. We have three portable metal cabinetry units, so we can move them where needed as our circumstances change, and at times; even our home. they can be used in the garage, for tools, for craft items or anything you might need. In the basement, for sports equipment, tools, and extra cellar type space. Currently, we have one set up as an apothecary, for all the DIY Chemical Free products I make with essential oils. It’s in our garage!
At one point in our lives, we had just moved into an apartment. We had no storage; not even a dresser. We knew the situation was temporary, so we didn’t want to invest a lot in shelving and storage; that may not fit the next home. So…we made cubicals out of the moving boxes! We put all the things we needed to in them. It actually worked great, and we were able to keep things in order, without losing our minds!
A few things to de-clutter in the garage or basement space of your home:
- Old paint (it doesn’t last forever).
- Outgrown bikes. Donate them to local charity to pass onto someone who doesn’t have a bike!
- Old outside toys. They tend to get trashed easily, as the weather is hard on them. If they’re broken and unusable, just go ahead; throw them away.
- Old sports equipment. Has Little Johnny moved out of baseball and on to football? You get the idea.
- Broken tools. Just plain dangerous.
- Old rags. Yes, even rags DO get worn out.
- Unused holiday items and home decorations. Both the garage and basement tend to be storage areas for these. During the “off-season” is the best time to really do a thorough purge of items that are no longer used. Good rule of thumb: If you didn’t use it this year, or even last year (when you changed things ups a bit) time to let it go. One great way to do this; especially if sentimentality is involved. Make up a box for each child, or perhaps a close family member of these heirlooms you hold dear.
Just A Few More Things…
Old cleaners, old newspapers, old detergents, expired batteries, unused craft supplies, and stored collectibles; all fit into the miscellaneous category, and could be about anywhere in the house. Find them. Analyze them. Discard them.
I hope these lists help you find ways to go through these rooms and simply get rid of some extra clutter and chaos that may be weighing you down. Please comment below and let me know what helps! I’d love to answer any questions you may have. Please share this post to help people you love get on this organization journey with us!