6 tips to get any organization project started

If you’re obsessed with cleanliness and order, tackling an organization project can be easy, but most people dread it. Reorganizing your kitchen, going through your storage unit, decluttering your garage – whatever the project, here are a few guidelines to help you get started.

 

Take the necessary time
Above anything else, dedicate some time to the task at hand. If you’re chipping away at a room little by little, it may seem like it’s taking an eternity. If you’re going to tackle an organization project, make sure you come at it with the right attitude. Don’t be afraid to take the time to do it right, and don’t be afraid to toss the junk or put it aside to donate.

Before starting, make sure you grab all the items you need: boxes for storage, garbage bags, and cleaning products. Don’t let yourself be distracted later on when you need to run out to grab something you need. Bring everything you’ll require to that space and get going!

 
Pick a place to start
Maybe you should start with the pantry. No, the island. Even better, the cutlery drawer. There’s no right place to start – just pick a place and start moving left to right, top to bottom. Focus on that one area and begin. Don’t skip a space because it may take too long or it’s too messy. You’ll have to do it regardless, so move through the area in an orderly and systematic fashion.

 
Junk is junk
The process of throwing things out can be difficult or can be very straightforward – depending on the person. If you’re going through a loved one’s house who has just passed away, this process can be emotional and take time. If you’re past the baby stage and need to get rid of cribs, playpens and toys, it can be pretty easy.

Regardless of the room or project, figure out what you need, what you want to keep and what you know you don’t need. Establishing this criteria will save you time when you’re sorting through items.

 
Also consider what you’re doing with your junk: throwing it out, giving it to someone you know or donating it. If you’re throwing out large items, you may need to rent a truck. If you’re donating to a specific charity, you may need to contact them in advance.

 
Creating staging areas
There’s no use making piles of things that need to be sorted again later. Clear one space to stage or sort through items. Bring everything there, determine what you’re keeping and what you’re getting rid of. Don’t allow this area to get messy or else you’re just moving piles of junk from one place to the next.

 
Take breaks
Don’t burn out or get overwhelmed. Take breaks to remain patient and objective. You can chip away at certain projects or even walk away for an hour to come back it refreshed. Regardless of how long or often you take breaks, make sure you complete the specific task at hand first.

 
Take a second pass
So you’ve gone through every area. Think you’re done? HA! Repeat the process once again. It’ll take you much less time and it allows you to be more objective than the first round. Then, you’ll only be left with the things you really need.

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7 decluttering tips for your kitchen

It’s supposed to be the cleanest place in your home, considering you prepare every meal there, but your kitchen ends up gathering the most stuff on a daily basis. Mail on the island, a drawer of endless tupperware, baking items piled on one another that spill whenever you grab something… how can a chef work in such conditions?

Decluttering your entire kitchen can be a daunting task, but doing it right can save you time every day. Here are a few ideas to help.

Take the required time
If you’re going to tackle this job, make sure you come at it with the right attitude. Don’t be afraid to take the time to do it right, and don’t be afraid to toss the junk or put it aside to donate. Decluttering doesn’t just involve one cabinet or drawer. You need to take everything out and reassess where each item needs to go. Get all the things you need such as boxes for storage, garbage bags for junk and cleaning products. Pick a starting point and have at it!

Zone your kitchen
Divide your kitchen into logical sections. Your prep zone should have cutting boards, measuring cups, mixing bowls, etc. The cooking area (stove and oven) should have pots, pans and bakeware nearby. Cleaning products and trash bags should be close to the dishwasher and sink. Food storage items like tupperware, foil and plastic wrap can be near the fridge.

Think about the way you move through your kitchen for each task. Whatever doesn’t belong in its zone should be removed.

Group similar items together
Within those zones, stash similar items together. Plastic bags and wrapping items can go in the same drawer. Pots and pans remain together. More importantly, categorize your pantry. Baking products in one area, spices in another as well as canned food.

Cabinets
You know that space between your counter and your ceiling that has that beautiful mosaic backsplash? It could also be used for storage. Cabinets are the most obvious way to declutter your kitchen. Make sure they go all the way up to the ceiling to take advantage of that extra space.

Organization tools
There are many tools that are designed to declutter and save space in the kitchen. A Lazy Susan can be used to stack similar items together and provide easy access on counters or in cabinets. Shelf and drawer organizers can partition items easily. Boxes or baskets can also be used, but consider transparent storage to easily identify the products inside. Also, if your cabinet or pantry door has the space, use a door organizer with pockets to store small and light objects.

Look to your walls
Many kitchens have walls that can be used for storage as well. Install a shelf for cookbooks, or pegs to hang aprons and cloths.

Move counter items to storage
If you’re short on counter space, try storing some of your smaller appliances and items in cabinets. Think about what is on the countertop that’s taking up space or isn’t often used. Toasters, coffee tins, rice cookers, a standmixer – those can all be placed in cabinets, if you have the space. Remember that an item doesn’t have to stay where it is simply because it’s always been there.

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