5 organizational projects to tackle while staying home
Since we are all staying home for the next several weeks, now is an optimal time to tackle a few home organizing projects. You may be thinking, ‘Home organizing is the last thing I have time for right now,’ but these 5 projects that are easy, manageable, and can be done in less than 60 minutes.
These projects feature areas of your home that are most prone to clutter and you will feel so much more at ease after organizing them. You can also get your kids involved, especially in the playroom, coat closet, and sock drawer projects.
Project 1: The Kitchen Pantry (60 minutes)
- Remove everything and discard anything that has expired. Yes, that means reaching all the way to the back!
- Group food items together (i.e. cereals should be together, canned goods, pasta, snacks, and so on). This also applies to water bottles, paper goods, and alcohol.
- Use baskets and bins to store the items you grouped in Step 2. Clear bins help you see what you are running low on, or what you have too much of.
- Maximize space at eye level. Arrange items that you seldom use (i.e. servingware) on the top shelf of your pantry to make room for the things you grab every day.
- Consider adding a grab and go basket of snacks for your kids at their eye level. This will allow them to help themselves without messing up the newly organized pantry.
Project 2: The Playroom (45 minutes)
- Rule #1 for any playroom: Do not expect perfection! This space will not stay organized, especially now that your kids are home 24/7 and need activities to keep them busy. However, these steps will help facilitate easier clean up going forward.
- Discard broken or well-worn toys. Collect toys your kids no longer need/use that can be donated. This step may need to happen without your kids present if they get upset about throwing items away.
- Group toys together into kid-friendly categories they can remember. For example Legos, blocks, stuffed animals, puzzles.
- Use large clear containers with lids and/or large soft containers that are open. You want your kids to be able to see what items are in the container so they can put them back accordingly.
- Rotate toys every few months! This space-saving option is something else that may need to happen without the kids present. Fill up a large bin with toys and store away, then bring out in a few months and fill it up with different toys.
Project 3: The Sock Drawer (10 minutes)
- Discard any socks that do not fit, have holes in them or are uncomfortable. Most importantly, discard socks that do not have a mate.
- If socks are new with tags you can donate them, but do not donate used socks.
- Match up the socks you kept and ‘sushi roll’ them together.
- Put them back in your drawer.
Project 4: The Medicine Cabinet (45 minutes)
- Take everything out of the cabinet and wipe down the shelves.
- Discard empty boxes, expired medicine, medicine that gave you an allergic reaction and old prescriptions.
- Reference this official FDA guidance on disposing of medication.
- Group items together (i.e. cold medicines, vitamins, bandages, etc.).
- Put items back in the cabinet based on how often you use them. If your first aid kit is seldom used, put it at the top of the cabinet. If you take vitamin C every day when you take your prescription medicine, make sure those items are on eye level.
- If your medicine cabinet is a mixed-used space (i.e. you also store cotton swabs or daily contacts in your cabinet) try decanting from the external packaging and placing in a clear container. This storage solution will allow you to know what items you need more of, and the container can then be placed in another area of the bathroom which frees up space in the cabinet itself.
- If you are storing travel-sized products in this cabinet, consider taking them out and keeping them in your travel makeup case or Dopp kit. This will allow for easy grab and go packing once we can travel again.
Project 5: The Coat Closet (60 minutes)
- Ideally, your coat closet should be refreshed twice a year when the seasons change. Now is a perfect time to switch the closet over for spring/summer!
- What to look for when you clean out the coat closet: 1)Things that don’t fit 2)Things that are worn out/torn/not fixable 3) Things you no longer like but are still in good shape and can be donated. As you go through each of the categories, make sure you are putting things in either a Discard pile or a Donate pile.
- Put rarely used and/or seasonal items on the top of the closet. This step depends on how large your coat closet is, but if you have room to store organizing bins on top of the hanging space, this is a definite to do. Don’t go skiing every day? Put those ski gloves at the top. Is it 25 degrees and snowing outside? Maybe those flip flops and pool bags should be put away.
- Add accessible hooks. One of the problems I often see with closets is that kids just can’t reach the hooks or hangers for their items. By adding a few hooks at a lower eye level, your kids will be able to help by putting away their things after school/practice, etc. Removable command-type hooks are recommended so you aren’t drilling permanent holes into your walls.
- Give your shoes a home. The easiest options are either an over-the-door hanger or shoe cubbies or benches lining the bottom of the closet. Depending on how much space you have, you could even do both. Just remember to discard/donate shoes that no longer fit, put out-of-season shoes away, and leave empty slots or cubbies for visitors or new shoes.
- Keep extra hangers handy for guests. Once your closet has been refreshed and organized, you will be proud to open the door in front of friends and family.
Donation and junk removal resources: Many donation centers are closed during this time, but there are a few services that will still pick up your items. Always call to check with them first to ensure they are operating in your area.
Salvation Army: https://satruck.org/
Give Back Box: https://givebackbox.com/
1-2-3 Junk: https://www.123junk.com/
Junk Luggers: https://www.junkluggers.com/