LIVE: 7 Areas to Organize For The Holidays

Friday, November 17, 2017

 

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Kristin MacRae

If you’re entertaining this holiday season, there are some areas in the home you’ll want to focus on getting organized. Kristin MacRae of Organizing in RI says tackle it now and you’ll never have to tear those spaces apart again. 

Here are seven areas to declutter and organize:

  • Entryway.  MacRae says you’ll want the entryway to be aesthetically pleasing because it’s the first impression of your home.
  • Guest bedrooms.  Your guests don’t want to be surrounded by clutter as they sleep. MacRae says try making this room peaceful and serene with just essentials stored here.
  • Sitting areas.  Toss out piles of magazines, books with dust on them, unfinished projects, and clutter.
  • Kitchen.  Clean out and organize your fridge and freezer to make room and maximize space for your holiday items.
  • Bathrooms. The guest bathroom will get some heavy traffic if you’re entertaining this season, so MacRae says re-organize and make sure you’re stocked with toiletries. 
  • Dining Room. If the dining room has become your home office, it’s time to declutter. If the dining room is a catch-all, MacRae says it’s time to find “a home” for those items.  
  • Clean out and organize your car.  
 

Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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Closets

 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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Kitchen

When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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Basement

This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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Garage

The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Attic

Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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Photos

This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.

 
 

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