|
|
|
McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Getting organized: How to address your cluttered home

  • Do you say, "This house is a mess" more than three times a week? Do you move something every time you want to sit down? Have piles of paper all over the house? Have closets and drawers that are brimming? Spend lots of time looking for things? Do you frequently hear family member say, "I can't find it"? Do you tire of being the family's chief picker-upper?
    • email print
  • Do you say, "This house is a mess" more than three times a week?  Do you move something every time you want to sit down? Have piles of paper all over the house? Have closets and drawers that are brimming? Spend lots of time looking for things? Do you frequently hear family member say, "I can't find it"? Do you tire of being the family's chief picker-upper?
    If so, it is time to take control of the clutter at your house.
    Start with a positive attitude. Cleaning is a chore, but taking a positive approach will encourage family members to become involved.
    Clutter is a family affair. Choose a convenient time for everyone to discuss plans for clutter control. It is unfair to expect one person to restore order. All family members have the responsibility for picking up after themselves.
    Make time. Set aside several Saturday mornings to work as a family on big cleanups. In each room, start at one spot and work clockwise around the room until you reach your starting point. Use the box approach to sort the clutter. Sort items into boxes using labels:
    Keep: return items to their proper places. Sort like items together. Create “centers” for work, such as cleaning, desk/office, cooking, baking, makeup, tools, studying, hobbies and games, etc.
    Storage: items should be kept for use at another time.
    “Give away/sell: These boxes could be the beginning of your next yard sale or be taken to a consignment shop to earn some money from your unwanted items. You also could give these items to a secondhand store or charity.
    Throw away: Throw away anything that is broken, ripped, worn or stained. This box could also be a trash can or trash bag. A trip to the recycling center or landfill may also be in order.
    Maybe: Go through this box one more time and sort items into the other boxes.
    Maintaining a clutter-free home
    Everyone needs to do a little bit every day. It is everyone's “job” to keep items picked up and put away.
    Tasks need to be appropriate for family members' ages and abilities.  Share your ideas and expectations of what is expected and acceptable. You may need to teach others simple and effective ways to do the tasks.
    Determine: What are everyone's daily and weekly responsibilities? What are the acceptable standards? What are the consequences if the jobs are not completed?
    A word of caution: Some members may object. Stay firm and do not do their share of the work or you will end up getting it back. It will take at least two to four weeks until the jobs become routine. You will need to be patient. The reward is worth the work.
    Page 2 of 2 - When youth and adults help with household work, they learn to carry out tasks, accept responsibility, and help others. They may develop a sense of “can do,” which builds self-confidence.
    3 steps to organizing your closet
    How much clothing do we need? We often keep all of our clothes packed in a tight space. Clothes we don't wear are clutter. Most clothing needs 2 to 3 inches of space for hanging, but this can vary depending on the length and width of the garment.
    Where is storage needed? Ten percent of the space of a home is allocated for storage. Therefore, a 1,500 square-foot house should have 150 square feet of storage. Where is this space in your home? Is it used appropriately? Could some items be given away, tossed or sold to make room for items that are used regularly?
    Organize with hooks, hangers, shelves or baskets. Learn how to maximize your space by consulting a redesign expert, studying home design books or visiting home organization stores. Everything should be visible at a glance because you wear or use what you see. Storage could include shoe shelves, sweater shelves, hanging racks, and a wall rack for jewelry and scarves. Fold and store items in transparent drawers in your closet, hang belts or scarves on a kitchen mug rack or hang over towel bars on the wall or door. Use a plastic mesh wall grid, a kitchen utensil divider, a hardware store nail organizer or a small plastic chest of mini drawers for small items. The ideas are endless.
    Look for additional areas in other parts of your home to store out-of-season clothing other closets, utility room, under the beds, or other places.
    Start now
    Now is a great time to get started...it's early in 2013. Make it a goal to work on reducing clutter in your home. But remember, you didn't get all the clutter overnight; so it's not going to go away quickly either.  However, if you work at it together on a regular basis, you will soon be happy with the results.  
    A publication is available free of charge at www.ksre.ksu.edu called “Cut the Clutter and Get Organized.” It was written by Denise Diaz and Jan McMahon, Sedgwick County family and consumer science Extension agents. It has great information to help support your organizational efforts.  
    Contact the McPherson County Extension Office at 620-241-1523, or check our website, www.ksre.ksu.edu
      • calendar