Conquer Chaos in Your Home for 2021!

Don’t let clutter and disorganization take charge of your home. These easy tips will help you bring the chaos under control.  You’re probably familiar with the old adage, “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” but you might not have appreciated how much an organized home contributes to your peace of mind. Particularly these days, when the outside world often feels chaotic and we are all spending so much time at home, walking through your front door should bring a sense of relief. All too often, however, clutter and disorganization turn what should be your relaxation and/or work zone into yet another source of stress. Luckily, while you can’t do much about world events, you have complete control over the doings inside your own home. Use these tips to help you conquer chaotic clutter.


1. Kitchen Reminder Centre.

Turn your kitchen into command central: Attach a couple of clear plastic file folders to the inside of your pantry door with double-sided tape or adhesive putty, then use them to keep track of the week’s menus, needed groceries, and important tasks. Just slip your recipes, weekly schedule, and grocery list into the folders so they’re always close at hand and ready to remind you to start the slow cooker before leaving for work, pick up milk on the way home, or fill grab-and-go baggies with snacks for school lunches.


2. Clothing Clutter.

Purge your closet and dresser. Anything that doesn’t fit or hasn’t been worn in a year goes to Salvation Army or Value Village.  Tip – take kids’ clothing to Once Upon a Child for some extra cash!  Anything stained, torn, or damaged beyond repair goes in the dumpster or rag bin. Be especially ruthless when it comes to shapeless, frayed, or uncomfortable undergarments, and toss all the socks that are missing their mates; those are never coming back. Organize the remainder by keeping like items together: one drawer devoted to undergarments, all pants hanging together in the closet, sweaters folded and stored on a closet shelf.


3. Linen Closet.

If opening your linen closet releases a deluge of mismatched sheets, it’s time to declutter. Animal shelters and rescues love donations of old sheets and towels, so bring them stained, threadbare, or mismatched linens. Keep just a couple of complete sheet sets for each bed in the house, two or three towel sets per person, and an extra blanket for each bed. Shelf dividers are a must for stacking towels. A small bin for each family member’s sheet sets makes it easy to grab the right one on laundry day. Simplify the task even further by storing the folded fitted and top sheet inside their appropriate pillowcase.


4. Kitchen Sink Storage.

Open up the cabinet door underneath your kitchen sink and take a peek inside. What do you see? You should see the plumbing, but if you can’t because the pipes are hidden by a nest of old paper bags, cleaning supplies, pet food, and various junk, it’s time to get organized. First, pull everything out and get rid of unneeded or expired items. Next, corral your cleaning supplies in a handy caddy or two so you can grab and go on housework day. Finish up by adding an expandable shelf organizer rack so you can keep supplies under control while still having easy access to the sink’s plumbing when necessary.


5. Document Control.

If you usually just toss receipts, bills, and other miscellaneous documents onto your dresser or desk, you probably have quite a pile of paper. Get it under control by throwing away receipts past their return-by date, and only keeping the most 2-3 most recent bills.  Have a separate folder for tax documents including receipts you can claim. Staple receipts for major purchases to their user manuals, and then sort the rest of the documents into an expandable file folder labeled with categories. Once every few months, go through the file folder and toss outdated receipts/bills.


6. Media Management.

If you long ago switched to streaming all of your favorite shows and movies on your computer or phone, it’s time to get rid of those old DVDs or (gasp!) VCR tapes. Do the same with old video game consoles and games if you’ve upgraded to newer generations. Dispose of or donate old CDs and cassette tapes, and while you’re at it, get rid of all the mysterious power cords that don’t match anything you currently own. Now that you’ve streamlined your home media, keep ugly cords hidden away with a cable concealer system that both organizes and hides power cords.


7. Medicine Cabinet.

Old prescriptions, tubes of antifungal cream, that bottle of perfume from your grandma: It’s not uncommon for the medicine cabinet to be so full that you can’t open it without items tumbling down into the sink. Fortunately, this is one area that’s small enough to declutter in a half hour or so. First, get rid of anything that’s expired. Second, if your medicine cabinet is located in the same room as the shower or tub, there’s probably too much humidity for storing medications, so move OTC and prescription drugs to a kitchen cabinet or drawer. Finally, stock up on a few small plastic organizer boxes from the dollar store to keep bottles and tubes in place, attach a self-stick magnetic strip to the inside of the door to securely hold scissors, tweezers, and other metal items, and voilà! Chaos conquered.


8. Cooking Utensils.

When your stir-fry is starting to smoke is not the time to discover that you can’t find your favorite spatula in the overloaded kitchen drawer. Make food prep easier by using a small, pretty flowerpot to hold your most-used cooking utensils right near the stove. You’ll never again suffer the frustration of hunting for a slotted spoon, whisk, cooking fork, spatula, or vegetable peeler while your dinner begins to burn.


9. Battle of the Batteries.

The struggle to find fresh batteries is a real one in many households. The solution? A small plastic tackle or craft-supply organizer—you can often find one at the dollar store. The various compartments of these organizers are ideal for separating different types of batteries, including AA, D, C, and even 9-volt. Even better, you’ll be able to tell at a glance when you’re running low on each battery type, so you can stock up before you discover that you are all out of D batteries for your flashlight in the middle of a power outage.