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Divide & Conquer Clutter!

Don’t wait for Spring to start cleaning out closets and reorganizing your home.  Who wants to stay inside on a beautiful Saturday in April or May? Why not use the dreary days of winter to get organized so you can go spend the pretty days out enjoying yourself?

Start Small

You can’t reorganize your home overnight and trying to do it all at once or just tackling a complicated or large space can make you want to throw up your hands and say: “I quit!” A house isn’t built in a day — what would make you think you could clean it in one? Focus on small goals.

Pick a small room or area for your first project – like your linen closet. Do you have wobbling towers of towels, washcloths just waiting to spill over and unfold, or stubborn fitted sheets that never look good folded? Try stacking them in Short Utility Bins or Square Utility Totes for shorter shelves. Thirty-One’s colorful prints will make your closet attractive while the totes or bins keep your closet in order! Plus, laundry’s a snap! When you’re about to fold a load of towels or sheets, stop by the linen closet and take one of the emptier bins or totes with you!  You can fold the clean items neatly and put them up without any hassle!

Stay Enthusiastic with Short Bursts of work!

It’s easy to look at a cluttered garage or paper-piled home office and feel overwhelmed by how much needs to be done.  Don’t get discouraged by those complicated tasks! Break a big job up into a series of simple tasks.

Start by setting up your task list!

All-at-one, you might spend hours getting your home office in order, but not if you break it up into a series of smaller tasks! You can work for just a few minutes each day, getting organized little-by-little, and you’ll feel accomplished when you complete each task!  To make a long task list more palpable, try to keep your tasks small enough that each should take 15 minutes or less.  

I’ll use organizing your home office as an example.

Sit down at your office desk or table.  Set a Collapsible Cube at your feet and start neatly stacking papers in it. Don’t worry about sorting them now — other than keeping your current bills separated and easy to find. Also, don’t open any of the drawers yet — we’re just clearing off the surface.

Now use a Little Carry All Caddy to collect all the office supplies off the desk: Pens, pencils, sticky notes, note pads, envelopes, staplers, tape, etc.

What’s left on your desk? Leaving in place essentials like your computer, phone, and lamp, look at everything else that’s on the surface. If you’ve got decorative items, make sure none of them are in your way. A potted plant can brighten your workspace, but if you constantly have to reach around or over it to get to supplies or file papers, consider moving it somewhere close-by but out of your way.

Next, look at your work area. If your desk has drawers, decide what you want to put in them (hanging files, supplies, extra printer paper, etc) Don’t be overly concerned about what’s in the drawers now. You’re re-organizing; not just rehashing your old routine!

Finally, set out the Fold-And-Go Organizer and list the tasks you’ve just set up to do later:

 

 

 

 

Your Home Office Organizing Task list

1.  Empty One Drawer  (Only One at a Time)

  1. Put Any Papers in the Collapsible Cube
  2. Put Any Office Supplies in the Littles Carry All Caddy (if it’s full, use a Short Utility Bin)
  3. Whatever isn’t paper or an office supply into an All-In-One Organizer
  4. Wipe out the drawer.
  5. Sort what goes back in the drawer. Only put it in if it belongs in that drawer.
  6. Repeat for each drawer.

2. Sort Office Supplies from the Littles Carry All Caddy into the appropriate drawer

(If you don’t have any drawers for them, or like to keep supplies on your desk, use the Littles Carry All Caddy! You can fill it with pens or neatly standup your notepads with a few pens and pencils tucked in the mesh pocket on the front.)

3.  Clean Up Your File System

Whether you’re using a file cabinet & hanging files, an accordion folder, or ring binder with dividers:

  • Make sure that all labels are neat and easy to read.
  • Clean out any clutter or unnecessary papers.
  • Designate an “Inbox,” “To-Do,” or “Bills to Pay” tray or slot.
  • Try the Hang-Up Home Organizer as your “Inbox/To-Do List/Bill To Pay Tray.” It’s got space to hang your calendar, keep up with upcoming bills, flyers from your church or school, incoming mail, etc!

4.  Make your planning calendar handy & remind yourself to use it!

  • Use a physical calendar to track your family’s schedule (& your own!).
  • Keep it in reach of your “Bills to Pay” tray so you can easily mark off or add due dates!
  • The Hang-Up Home Organizer is great for that!

5.  Sort the papers out of the Collapsible Cube into your file system.

  • Be sure to have a recycle bin on hand for waste paper

 

How long did you spend clearing off your desk and making your task list? Probably not longer than 30 minutes!  You’re not done yet, but you do have a set plan of tasks ready to tackle.  Each of the 5 tasks on your list shouldn’t take you more than 15 or 20 minutes to complete, and if you finish one task a day, you’ll be finished in less than a week — without spending your entire day off or staying up past midnight to get everything sorted and put away!

Try this Divide & Conquer method for your next organizing project. With Thirty-One’s great organizing and storage products, you’ll be amazed by the results!

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