Friday, February 5, 2010

Hints from Heloise on Controlling Clutter

Found this on Good Housekeeping...for me at least, disorganization stresses me out without even knowing it...hope this helps everyone!

Heloise's Clutter-Busting Checklist

In the Living Room
Try this routine: Before going to bed, do a quick sweep-through, straightening up whatever looks out of place. Collect newspapers for recycling, plump cushions, place remote controls in a designated location. Pretty baskets are ideal for organizing papers, magazines, and television guides. And consider establishing this rule with your family: Whoever carries something into the room also carries it out!
In the Bedroom
Use the space under the bed for storage. Shallow containers that will fit are easy to find and fabulous for storing out-of-season clothes or linens. Periodically toss out five items from your nightstand, dresser or closet — the junk that has a way of collecting there.

In the Bathroom
First helpful rule: Stash several plastic bags in the bottom of the wastebasket. In a cabinet, keep a package of baby or alcohol wipes, paper towels and a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water. In five minutes, you can clean the mirror and sink, pick up towels and use a wipe over the toilet tank and seat, then throw it out.

Or if you prefer, toss out five items from the medicine cabinet: outdated medications, old lipstick, mascaras and other makeup, and bottles and jars that are nearly empty.

In the Kitchen
The most important rule: Clean as you go. Wipe stains and messes off countertops right away. Immediately soak pots after use. If something spills on the floor, mop it up at once.

The second most important rule: Used plates and glasses go into the dishwasher. Keep a container filled with soapy water by the sink for soaking silverware.

For that five-minute buzz-through (you'll be amazed at how much you can do in that short time): Clear off the counters, putting items into cabinets where they belong. Give the floor a once-over sweep. Pour household vinegar onto a paper towel and wipe the top of the stove, the exterior of the refrigerator and the inside and oustide of the microwave.

If you prefer the "five things" option: Pick one shelf in the refrigerator or pantry and clean out five items that are almost empty or are past their expiration date.

In the Laundry Room
Organization is the key in the laundry room, and it's easy to achieve by having several plastic bins or receptacles around — each with a specific purpose: one for lint, one with a sewing kit complete with prethreaded needles and buttons, one for lost-and-found items, one white hamper for white fabrics and one colored hamper for bright or dark fabrics. In a cabinet or on a shelf, store all washing supplies in a large plastic basket. Place a hook on a wall or over a door for hangers. Clothes pulled from the dryer and hung immediately may not need ironing.
In the Garage
Organize everything by function, such as sports gear, gardening equipment, car repair, etc. Use hanging racks and shelves to put things in order. Always keep garbage cans, lawn mowers and snowblowers in the same place. With fluorescent spray paint or tape, outline parking spaces for cars, bicycles or even garbage cans.

And if your home is like mine, remember: There are always five items you can remove from your garage!