Hidden Clutter: Areas to Simplify this Summer
Where is the hidden clutter in your home? Even in the most organized of spaces, it can accumulate quickly in frequently used drawers, closets, and rooms, and clutter can hang out untouched in all of those unseen nooks and crannies. (…like in Monica Geller’s secret closet… #yikes)
Since we have a couple of extra hours of sunlight each day during the summer, take some time to simplify these spaces and add systems to help keep them from getting cluttered again when the busy fall begins again.
Below is a list of five spaces to take stock of in the next few weeks. Is there anything you no longer use that you can clear out? What containment and labels can you add to make the space function better for the whole family?
This is probably the last thing you want to hear at this time of year, but it really is a great time to get your holiday decorations in order. If you felt rushed when putting items away in the new year, hopefully “summer you” has more time to get it done properly. Enough time has passed that you can look back at last year’s festivities to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, so you can make easier decisions about what to keep and what to donate, too.
As you sort, take notes on what items need to be replaced, or what you might like to add if you have the storage space. You’ll be ready to go when stores start stocking holiday items again…in October! 🙂
If you have been traveling this summer, there’s a good chance your cords have also traveled. They may still be in backpacks or suitcases, hiding in kids’ rooms, or in a pile somewhere waiting to be put away.
Choose a centralized location to store chargers and cords for all the devices in your home; you can sort by type using clear bins or even a divided lazy susan. Keep duplicates in a ready-to-go travel kit so in the future, you always have what you need packed and ready to go, with no need to unpack when you get home.
The junk drawer is one of those places that just needs a periodic refresh. If you did it as part of our 12 Days of Organizing in the New Year, that means it’s probably time to do it again. If you’ve never tackled your junk drawer, give it a shot. It can make a big difference in your daily routine when you don’t have to search the house for small items you use every day, like keys and glasses.
Follow our basic organizing rules for this project – take everything out, edit, sort into categories, contain and label. Measure the drawer before you shop to maximize the fit of the drawer organizers. (Buy extra if you aren’t sure; you can always return what you don’t use.) As you put everything back, thoughtfully consider each item. Should it live somewhere else in your home? And don’t worry if you don’t use all the containers in the drawer. Leave room to grow!
Here is a list of different types of drawer organizers we love, so you can find a style that fits your space best.
Cleaning supplies are often found in the hidden spaces under our home: above the washer/dryer, under the sink, in an infrequently used hall closet. They also have a nasty tendency to spread out around the house. Both of these can cause us to overbuy, like when we forget we already have glass cleaner in the garage or when we buy another bulk set of disinfecting wipes only to come home to see three already in the pantry.
When organizing these items, do a sweep of your bathrooms, the garage, the utility room and anywhere else cleaning supplies might be lurking. Edit out duplicates you won’t use in the near future and donate them (local animal shelters are a great option). Focus on keeping generic cleaners that can be used for multiple spaces, or create caddies if you prefer specific products for certain tasks.
This is one of those frequently used spaces that can get out of control quickly. Let’s face it, no one loves to fold laundry, and when it comes to sheets, it can be really hard to muster up the motivation to take the time to make them tidy. Because of this, less is more when it comes to linens. Two sets per bed is sufficient for most scenarios, so purge, purge, purge. (If you don’t have textile recycling in your area, animal shelters may also take linens.)
Also, consider if using a centralized linen closet is the best option. A lot of our clients opt to store extra bedding sets in the closets of each bedroom. That can work really well in a lot of homes, give you back some great storage space for other things, and remove a big source of hidden clutter.
Each of my career choices-wedding coordinator, event planner, and teacher — gave me the creative freedom to organize everyone and everything. I have always thrived on to-do lists, planners, and systems! Now, I lead a team of organizers to help me on my mission. Read more…