As summertime sets in and temperatures continue their steady climb into July, consider tackling some home organization projects that you won’t want to do when your attic or garage offer sweltering conditions. After all, you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a windowless closet, garage or basement when you could be cooling off at the neighborhood pool or enjoying a family bike ride!
Getting organized now helps you get a jump-start on cleaning and organizing before time gets away from you. Use some of these strategies to tackle your projects and banish your fear of opening the hall closet.
1. Assess what storage spaces you have in your home and how much you can fit in each space. As you’re organizing, move things around so they’re stored closer to where you use them, or so the items you use more frequently are more accessible. If you’ve taken note of every nook and cranny available for storage, it’ll be easier to find the right spot for each item. For example, store cleaning supplies near the rooms you’re going to be using them to clean.
2. Walk through your current storage areas and list the items you have in storage. As you go, start organizing them loosely by category. For example, you may have family mementos, holiday decorations, cleaning and home improvement supplies, kids costumes, and party supplies. Pick just one type of item to organize at a time, rather than getting everything out and leaving yourself with a huge mess if the project doesn’t go as quickly as you’d like.
3. Invest in the right types of storage containers for the items you’re organizing. Containers should be durable, easy to open and easy to label so you know exactly what is in each one. For example, if you’re tackling holiday decorations, specialized storage containers will protect your glass ornaments and a rolling bag will make it easy to get your artificial Christmas tree out next December. If you’re organizing party supplies, clear storage bins are perfect for keeping dust out and letting you see exactly what’s in each one so you can find what you need.
4. Purge your belongings as you sort and store them. If you find things that you haven’t seen for years and don’t plan on using in the next year or two, put them in a box to donate to a thrift store or sell at a garage sale in the spring. It doesn’t make sense to use your limited storage space to keep things you’ll never need. Plus, many people feel a new lightness and sense of space and freedom as they get rid of old belongings.
Organization projects don’t happen overnight, but they’re something you can work on when you have a few spare hours. Get the rest of your family involved to help sort through the items they’re most likely to use, too. As you put things back, remember that everything you store needs its own place so you know exactly where to look when you need something. You’ll thank yourself later this year as you don’t have to dread digging through your storage spaces!