Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Getting Organized in 2015

After New Years and the kids have gone back to school, I get that "spring cleaning" itch.  One of my resolutions this year is to get more organized in my home and with activities.  The first place I'm going to start with is our home.  It's time to clean out, declutter and organize! As my kids will tell you,  with their eyes rolling, when there is a task to get done, I make a list with a box next to the item to be accomplished.  Then we get to check that box off when we're done.  If you want to join with me and have your own "great clean out", here is my list template for getting organized:

The "Great Clean Out" printable list
(this is our updated printable with out the year added)

Next to each box, write down the area in your house that you want to clean out.  I'm starting from the top to the bottom.  Upstairs first.  Do a mental walk through (or actually walk through) your house and write down those areas that need to be tackled.  Think of closets, drawers, under beds, bookcases, etc.  Some things you may have to clean out yourself, but have your kids help too!  I'm a "saver" so, some areas of the house have a lot of items that need to be thrown out or donated.  
Ask your self these questions
 Is is worn out or expired? 
 Do I have more than one of this item?  
When was the last time I used this item? 
 If I haven't used it in months or years, then it is time to go.

Most of the time I think, "but I might use it later", well, I'm getting tough this year and if I haven't used it in years, it's going. Sometimes it is easier for me to get rid of something if I know it is going to a "good home".  Some of my kids clothing I'll pass along to friends with younger kids that might use them.  They go through it and pass them along again to other friends.  Sometimes my church has a "swap".  Everyone brings items they don't need, spreads them out on tables and you can go through, take home what you might need, the remaining items are donated.  One of my kids loves to take items to Plato's Closet and likes to run garage sales.  I'll tell her that if she helps me clean it out, and do all the work with a garage sale etc., then she can keep the money that is made off the sale. Donating things to Candlelighters or other groups lets me know I'm helping someone else out with the things I give away. 
 I'm going to try and write down everything in the house that we need to clean out, but I don't want to get overwhelmed, so I'm not putting a time limit on the "great clean out".  But I'll have my list ready when I have the time to work on it.  I might get one area done a day or just one a week.  Fit it to your schedule.  I've also put in "rewards" on my list.  Once I've finished a certain area or areas, I get a reward! It's a great motivator for the kids too if they are helping.  You decide where to put your rewards on your cleaning list and what they will be.  If my kids are helping, after we are done with the designated areas, our reward might be to go to Sonic and get slushies, or go rent a movie or go out to eat or do a favorite activity together.  Mom rewards could be, set aside time to read a favorite book, go out with a friend or buy something new (remember you just decluttered so make sure it is something you really need ;) 

Here is my list so far.  I might slip in some more rewards after the "big areas"and if I think of one or two more ares to declutter, I'll add them on.
 Let's get organized! You can do it!  

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