It’s a popular New Year’s resolution. You are going to clean up your house and keep yourself organized, but this is easier said than done. When looking at the heaps of mail and presents that need to find their permanent spot in your home, the task can seem daunting, so we invited Holly Southerland, the founder of Ann Arbor Home Organizers, to share her tricks for staying organized.
1) Start by decluttering all the papers on your counters. Between unopened mail, magazines, and newspapers, the paper can really pile up on your counter. Southerland says this is the best place to start your new, organized life. Gather up all the paper and organize it into three groups: Recycle, Shred, and Take Action. Items like old credit card statements probably should go in the shred area, whereas the expired coupons can go in the recycle bin. For the actionable papers, she recommends organizing that pile even further. She has something called the Sunday Basket which she teaches classes on. It is a filing system that organizes your papers by week, and every Sunday you are supposed to go through and handle all the bills, events, etc. that need to be dealt with in the upcoming week.
2) Next, tackle the pantry. Pantries are another area that can become overfilled and disorganized. There are few things more annoying than searching around for that one ingredient you need to finish your recipe, and knowing you’re on a time crunch. Southerland’s trick for the pantry is all about making things easier to see and find. She recommends putting some music on to get you motivated and take everything out of the pantry so you can create a whole new system. After you clear off all the shelves, go back in and clean them. This will make the final product look even nicer. Now, for organizing the pantry, she likes to use bins and labels to break things up, and she likes to use some interesting categories like breakfast, snacks, and ready-made. She says categories like these makes things easier and quicker when reaching into the pantry.
3) Consider hiring a professional organizer. Whether you want someone to go through things with you, or you want them to do it all, a professional organizer can get the ball rolling. Home organizers can also offer services like paper organizing and can help with unpacking after a move. If it fits within your budget, it is something to consider.