10 Simple Steps to a Simplier Life for 2011

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            I don’t know about you, but two of the biggest stressors in my life are clutter and disorder…often found together in the same drawer, closet or room.  So, it stands to reason that simplifying and organizing…drawer, closet, home or life…will go a long way to minimizing the stress in our lives…helpful for all of us, wouldn’t you say?

1.    Whether you are cleaning out a closet, room or garage…look over what you have and toss, give away or sell what you don’t need.

2.    Group your possessions into categories: for example, in your closet, hang all the slacks together, all the shirts, etc.  with your child’s toys, store puzzles in one section, balls in a separate box, etc.

3.    Keep things you use often easily available.  Items like Christmas decorations can be boxed and stored in attic or basement or on that hard to reach shelf in the closet.

4.    Identify storage spaces and containers so things are always where you can find them and put them away again…bills, health care info, coupons, etc.  Inexpensive storage bins and tubs can be purchased at stores like Home Depot or Target.

5.    For your child, cut out pictures of clothing items and tape them to the appropriate drawers to help him locate and put away his clothes.

6.    Ditto for toy shelves…use stackable plastic bins or similar storage containers (like the ones you will make in the Creative Corner project) to house toys and supplies such as drawing paper and crayons.  Paste a picture, as well as the word, of the contents on the outside of the container to help your child locate the proper place when he is cleaning up his toys.

7.    Utilize under-the-bed storage bins if closet space is at a premium for out-of-season clothing and items such as wrapping paper and old photos.

8.    Regarding your clothes…two important mantras…if it doesn’t fit, get rid of it AND if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it or give it away or sell it.

9.    Regarding your child’s clothing…even if you are saving it all for future children or giving it all away or selling it at a consignment shop…do save a few favorite items from babyhood on.  A lovely memory mini-quilt can be sewn (or glued onto a piece of cardboard if you aren’t handy with needle and thread) from small pieces of the different fabrics and then framed.  This would make a lovely wall hanging in your child’s room or a wonderful gift for a beloved grandparent.

10.In a cardboard box, plastic storage bin or upscale organizer, store necessary items by category: stationery/mailing, essential tools/flashlight, first aid kit, etc.  Keep the box or bin or organizer located in the area where you will most likely be carrying out that particular task.  This tip alone will save you hours of time you would have spent looking for a stamp, hammer or gauze pad.

Tune in tomorrow for a picture book suggestion and craft project  and cooking activity you will be able to do with your preschooler with the time you saved not having to search for those missing keys. 🙂

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