Easy Organizing Tips – #5

Happy New Year! We have another fresh start! So let’s start it as well organized and clutter-free as possible…

Whether you’re selling your home or continuing to dwell there, a tidy place helps enormously. I love to be able to find something the moment I need it. I don’t like to spend tons of time dusting. I like my “stuff” to be in good condition and usable when needed. Maybe I’m just impatient, but this is what works for me, and it’s what will work for you when you’re putting your home on the market.

I read a great article the other day in the community newspaper, Vistas, about recycling. I hadn’t heard of  Freecycle.org®. If you have stuff you’re going to put out at the curb, consider joining the Ottawa Freecycle.org for free, and listing it there. You get rid of something you no longer use and the satisfaction of knowing it’s not ending up in the landfill. Someone who can use the item gets it for free. Win-win.

Some other good places to donate your clothes include The Clothesline Project, run by Canadian Diabetes, and the Cerebral Palsy Association (who sell at Value Village). Both these groups will pick up at your home. Habitat for Humanity’s Re-store, in Ottawa at 768 Belfast Road and 7 Enterprise Avenue, is a great place to drop off old TV’s, computers, answering machines, calculators, VCR’s, as well as building supplies that are surplus at your home or business. Again, win-win.

Did you know getting rid of stuff could make you feel so good?

There’s a comprehensive article from Laura Gaskill on Houzz called “Your Clutter-Clearing Plan for the New Year”, about decluttering throughout the year. It’s a month-by-month checklist of the tasks you can tackle when it makes the most sense. She also subscribes to my philosophy of working away at decluttering on a gradual basis, rather than Marie Kondo‘s approach of blitzing your whole home in about 24-48 hours and not touching it again.

In particular, I like her ‘Habits to Cultivate’, scattered throughout the article.For instance:

  • Keep an empty reusable bin in a closet, and use it to corral items you plan to give away.
  • clean out the pantry and fridge each week before shopping
  • sort your mail at the door, tossing junk immediately into a recycling bin (I would add that the bin should be in the closet or that’ll be super messy looking)
  • as soon as you wear something and notice it doesn’t fit, or doesn’t flatter you, toss it in a bag in your closet. When the bag is full, donate it.
  • Don’t downgrade old towels and sheets to ‘guest’ status. Only keep linens you personally would want to use – get rid of the rest. Your guests deserve better! (well, duh)
  • at the beginning of each school year, pick up a simple art portfolio. When your child brings work home, enjoy all of it for a while, but choose only a few special pieces to put in the portfolio.
  • take a few extra moments to tag favourite digital photos each time you upload. When it’s time to print or make an album, you can go straight to your favourites.
  • do an end-of-day tidy-up of the entryway, putting shoes, coats and random items back where they belong.
  • Take the time to put away your craft supplies neatly when you are done working. Less chance you’ll purchase something you already own.
  • tell friends and family who ask (in advance of the holidays) that you and your family would prefer gifts that are edible or experiential. Most people honestly want to give you something you will like, and are happy for the guidance. (At a certain time in life, you just don’t want or need more stuff, but it’s not an easy habit to break.)

If you follow any of these tips, I guarantee you a tidier, more efficient home, and an infinitely easier place to sell!

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