A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
Organize your home, organize your life.
With the change of seasons comes a natural desire for a fresh start. Home is where the heart is, so it's the first place to start creating your ideal environment. Once you establish order in your home, you'll find it will naturally carry over into the rest of your life. Here's a plan to achieve (and keep) Zen in your home.
LESS IS MORE
Each day this week, fill one bag or box of items to be donated to your favorite charity, your local Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. It may seem difficult to fill seven bags in one week, but try focusing on a specific category each day. For example, fill a bag with clothes on Monday, shoes on Tuesday, kitchen items on Wednesday, and so on.
MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR An awesome way to speed up organizing your home is to enlist the help of your troops, ahem, kids. Kids of almost all ages can participate with chores appropriate to their skills. A smaller child might fill a donation bag with old toys that they no longer use, while older children can rearrange bathroom shelves. A fun way to get them to participate (and maybe even volunteer) is to list chores on small slips of paper and have each child draw two or three slips out of a hat. TAKE ALONG A CARRY-ON
The easiest way to put things back where they belong is to grab something in the room where you are that belongs in the room where you're headed. For example, if you're getting up from watching television in the living room, take a quick look around and pick up something that belongs in the bathroom and take it there. When you're in the bathroom, look for something that belongs in the kitchen or living room, and take it with you on your way back. You'll be surprised at how quickly you can reduce messes on a regular basis this way, and it takes no extra time at all.
15 MINUTES A DAY TO A HAPPIER HOME Organizing your home requires regular effort, but you don't have to wait until the end of every week when things have piled up. Instead, commit to organizing your home in just 15 minutes every day. Assign each family member a specific room to focus on during that time. It will amaze you how quickly the whole house can be transformed with your entire tribe engaged (bribes can also be handy for getting this task whipped out-caramel apples, anyone?). If you're trying to decide on a room to get started with, the laundry room is a good pick. Check out page 5 for some expert tips to get you started. DONATE TO A GOOD CAUSE Fill one bag a day for a week Choose a specific kind of item ENLIST YOUR KIDS Designate a chore hat Delegate age-appropriate tasks EFFICIENT SHUFFLING Put things away as you go Multitask to save time THE QUICK PICKUP Assign each person to a room Take 15 minutes a day to organize Written by Jenny Hildenbrand Photography by Milan Rosan
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