No one has enough time anymore. Between play dates, volunteering, household chores, work, and trying to find a spare moment to relax, very few people have enough time to get and stay organized. Use these cold, winter months to get your home and family stocked with supplies before warmer weather arrives, and we all head outdoors. Completing these small, manageable projects will help your family get organized and stay safe.
First Aid Kit
Now is the time to update and restock your first aid kits and medicine cabinet. Discard any unused prescriptions or expired medication (prescription and over-the-counter). Expired medication can become dangerous if it is used after its expiration date. Check bandages to ensure their sterile packaging is intact, and for loss of adhesiveness. Restock your travel, home, and car first aid kits with the supplies you need on your next visit to the supermarket. While you are working on your first aid kit, make sure to check the expiration dates on bug repellant and sun block. These items can lose effectiveness over time. Restock these if necessary.
Check your smoke detectors to see if they need new batteries. Make a note to check them again in six months. Also check your fire extinguishers’ expiration dates. If they need recharging, put them in your car right away. Make an appointment to have them recharged, or purchase new ones.
Creating a household information book or spreadsheet is a great way to have a centralized reference guide to keep track of these types of home maintenance tasks. This book is also a great location to store automobile maintenance information such as: the mileage until the next oil change, tire rotation, or next scheduled maintenance.
Now is a great time to join a warehouse club. Buy a set of plastic or metal shelves to keep on your basement or pantry and stock it will non-perishable items. By buying in bulk you can save time and money.
Many home furnishing and home organization stores have sales during the first quarter of the New Year. Take advantage of these sales to purchase that closet system you have always wanted. If you don’t have the time to install it or organize your closet, call a professional organizer.
Lighten Your Wallet (and be happy about it!)
Lighten your wallet. Throw away any old receipts or expired coupons, and check the expiration of important credit cards or auto club cards. Add an emergency contact card, a blank check (if you don’t regularly carry your checkbook), and a band-aid. Also consider making a separate key ring for store discount cards to leave in your vehicle. This will get them out of your wallet, or declutter your regular key ring.
Out with the Old
The New Year is a great time to sort through your filing cabinets. Get rid of any statements that you do not need for tax purposes. Remember, most companies can provide you with a duplicate if you need one down the road.
Defrost your freezer. Get rid of anything not labeled, or over six months old. If you haven’t eaten it already, chances are you won’t.
If you didn’t start before the holidays, now is a great time to sort though your kid’s toys and clothes and donate what they no longer need or use to charity.
Make It Happen
For many of us, the biggest obstacle to becoming organized is right in the mirror. Creating spreadsheets or keeping notebooks allow us to schedule time to do the things we need to do, and set reminders to make sure they get done. Most people will keep scheduled appointments with friends. Creating appointments with yourself forces you to tackle the chores that never seem to get done.
Remember, keeping your home organized should not be a chore. Once you have developed organizational systems, you and your family will simply have to maintain these systems. Just like learning to play a sport, being organized is a learned skill and takes practice.