Mission 24: Medicine Storage

Several weeks ago, I mentioned you could skip the decluttering of your medicines and that we would get to it later. Friends, later has arrived!

I want you to locate all the medicines in your home and get rid of anything that is expired! Check your pain relievers and allergy medicines and make sure you are stocked and ready. Nothing would be worse than to have an allergic reaction to a bee sting and realize your allergy medicine expired three years ago!

For us, we keep most of our medications in our Master linen closet. I use little storage drawers and sort them by type of medicine. They are located up high and out of the reach of little hands. 


You may not have any children at home and decide to keep your morning meds in a cabinet next to your coffee maker. The location is not important. We just want to be prepared and decluttered!

This should be an easy week. Enjoy some summer time or go back and tweak a zone we have already covered. Organizing is a process. Not a one-size-fits-all. You may decide something you did earlier in the year is no longer working for you. That’s ok. You should have some extra time this week to make some adjustments.

Mission 23: Cleaning Supplies

It’s time to assess our cleaning supplies! At my house we have a closet dedicated to all things cleaning such as the cleaning supplies, broom, and vacuum cleaner. You may simply have an area under your kitchen sink for your supplies. It doesn’t matter where your supplies are located. Let’s take this week to really assess what we need to keep versus what is simply more clutter.

If you have several bottles of glass cleaner, you can keep all of them as long as you will use them. One thing I like to do is keep a bottle of toilet cleaner in each bathroom. You can do the same thing with glass cleaner. Most people are more likely to wipe a splatter off a mirror if their supplies are at their fingertips.

Make a list of any items you need to purchase that will make cleaning easier and more appealing. You may want one item of each type in a caddy that you carry around the house or you may want to splurge on an extra set of cleaning supplies for each bathroom.  The choice is yours!

Spend this week assessing your needs and likes, and begin to put cleaning your home on autopilot! Make cleaning a breeze!

Until next week…

 

Mission 22: Other Storage Areas

There are typically no two homes that are exactly the same. I may have some closet space you don’t have. You may have a storage shed I don’t have. This is the week to go ahead and tackle any storage space we’ve missed so far in this series.

If you can’t think of a single storage area that you’ve missed, that’s ok. Take some time and look at all you have accomplished in just 21 short weeks. You may need to go back and tweak some areas. We’ve hit the main areas of the home so you should be feeling great about having any pop-in company.

You may even be thinking what could possibly be left for the rest of the year? Oh, there are plenty of little things we can do. How are those photographs? What about your music? Are your computer files nice and tidy and easy to find?

If you are getting your home ready to sell next year, you may even feel like you could do it now. That’s ok, too! But for those of you who want to dive in a little deeper, continue with our little missions and see how much better you feel at the end of the year!

 

Mission 21: Yard

For this week’s mission, we are heading outdoors to spruce up our yards! Let’s tackle this project while the weather is good, too! Let’s get rid of the weeds, trim back the bushes, and re-mulch the flowerbeds if needed. First impressions are so important, and we certainly cannot forget the part of the house that everyone else sees.

How does your mailbox look? Does it need a fresh coat of paint? Do you need to refresh the numbers? Do you have a fence? How is it looking? Do you need to replace any boards? Could it use some pressure washing or even some paint or stain?

While we are outside, how does the wood look on your house? Do any boards needs replacing? Is it time to repaint? This is a good time to really spend some time making the exterior of your home look great!

The best thing you can do now is develop a maintenance plan so you never have to spend this much time on the yard again.  What will your plan be? I suggest taking a weekly walk around your property.  It’s much easier to pull up a few weeds than it is to spend a whole day or more to get the job done!

Enjoy your outdoor week! Keep in mind if it is raining where you live, go back and catch up on any weeks you missed or find a spot in your home to work ahead. Whatever you do, don’t waste a week.

Until next week…

 

 

Mission 20: Garage

Much like last week’s mission, I think this is a great time of year to tackle our garages. Hopefully, the weather will not be too hot or cold yet.

Some people call them carports. Some people call them garages. For our purposes we are going to call it the garage. 

Be sure and declutter any cabinets you have. Clearing any countertop space you have will offer a big impact as well.

Spend some time sorting your tools. Group like items together. Get rid of anything you never use. Be sure and label any bins you may have. The goal is to maximize our space as well as knowing that every item has a home and you know where that home is.

Many people use hooks for holding shovels, rakes, and more. Using your wall space is so helpful in a garage. You can hang ladders, bikes, fishing poles, and so much more. You may need to tour a home improvement center to find the right option for you.

Storage bins are great as well.  Christmas lights, outdoor toys, swim toys, etc. Don’t forget the yard tools, extension cords, and painting supplies. Sports equipment can be stored in bins as well.

This is another hard space to generalize because interests are different. Some people use their spaces for woodworking and building projects. The main goals are to know where your things are and make things look as decluttered as they possibly can.

This is also a great week to clean up those big items like lawn mowers and weed eaters. Just because it’s a garage doesn’t mean it has to be a mess!

Mission 19: Attic

I decided to go ahead and send us to our dreaded attic spaces this week while hopefully the temperatures are not too hot or cold. I don’t want you to be able to use the excuse it’s too hot or cold for that space.

This space will be a little bit hard to generalize much like the home office area. Some people have tiny attics.  Some people have huge attics.  Some people store just their family items and some people let other people share the space.

I think the best way to generalize this space is to have you divide your space into zones. Tackle one area each day. For our general purposes, I’ve decided to divide the space into holiday storage, old items to keep, undecided items, and overflow. Our main goals are to know and label what we have, group like items together, and clear out anything we no longer want to use. A clear walkway is a good goal so you can find your items easily.  Spending time in the attic is more for yourself than anyone, but should you decide to sell your home, potential buyers will need a walkway. They will want to know they have enough space for their stuff as well.

Holiday storage:

  • Most people have Christmas trees and ornaments they need to store. We covered this area as a pre-mission so be sure and check into that post. Try to stack it neatly if you haven’t done this already. Get rid of anything you know you will never use.
  • Some people have other holiday decor as well such as Easter or Fall decor. Be sure and stack it neatly. Plastic bins work great for this!

Old Items to Keep:

  • This is where those old baby clothes and toys will live. You know all the stuff you just can’t seem to let go. Take some time to sort this area by item and maybe you can now get rid of some things you weren’t ready to let go of in the past.
  • Are you saving some items for the next child? Be sure you have things labeled well so you never have to dig for items later.
  • Are you keeping old stuff from your younger days? That’s ok too. Spend some time making sure it’s neat and you have a walkway.

Undecided Items:

  • I think everyone should have an area in their attic for items they aren’t sure if they should let go. Do you have old outfits you aren’t sure you need? Store them here for a season. If you never come back for it, let it go! Do you have old decor you aren’t sure you will want later? Store it here. What about furniture you don’t think you will need but you aren’t sure if you should let go? Store it here.

Overflow:

  • Attics are great places to store old files you might need, old books you might need, manuals, and storage bins you aren’s currently using, etc. Maybe you have 8 dining room chairs but your room looks better with 6 chairs.  You can store the other 2 here for extra seating once or twice per year when you need it!

I hope this will guide you into ways to deal with the attic clutter! Adapt it to fit your needs.

 

Mission 18: Home Office

Do you have a dedicated home office space? It can be in a closet, a bedroom, a dining room, or even just an area at the kitchen table.

This week we tackle the potential breeding ground for immense paper clutter! I think the biggest tip here is to be sure to clean off your tabletop or desktop every single day.

For our mission this week, I want you to divide your room into different zones and tackle one zone at a time.  Because there can be so much variety to a home office area, I am finding this is the most difficult area to generalize.

For general purposes, let’s call the zones desktop, desk drawers, files, bookcases, and floor. You may need to create more or less zones for your specific area.  For this general post, I will walk you through these 5 areas.

Desktop:

  • Clean off the desktop. File any papers that are lying around.
  • Is your pen collection unruly?  Spend a little time to make sure they all work.  Get rid of any you don’t use regularly.
  • Dust the computer hardware and cords.
  • Polish the desktop.

Desk Drawers:

  • You knew it was coming.  Clean out those drawers! Use some drawer dividers for all the little items you use.
  • If the drawers are too full, look for creative storage solutions in other areas.  Be sure an keep only the items you use on a regular basis in your drawers.

Bookcases:

  • Go through those old books. Do you have textbooks from 20 years ago? I would venture to guess many of those are irrelevant at this point.  So many things can be found with a simple Google search these days.
  • Do you have a ton of trinkets in your bookcases.  Be sure and declutter those those shelves? We are working to make our spaces look big and inviting.  Too much clutter will make for a cluttered mind when trying to work.
  • Dust.  Dust under EVERYTHING.  Now is your chance to get to the areas you never have time to get to.

Files:

  • Purge the files you never use.  You may decide to combine some into fewer files. You do not have to keep bills from 10 years ago!  For business expenses, you need to keep receipts for 7 years or so, but for household expenses, I don’t see much need in keeping them for more than a year or two just to have trend records. Consult your accountant for official guidance here.
  • Make sure your files are not too detailed. If they are too detailed, your filing system may be too hard to manage. Example: Make one file for your pet vaccine records.  You do not need a separate file for each individual pet.
  • Are your folders old and ripping apart?  Now may be a great time to redo them and give them fresh new labels. If you want a cohesive look, be sure to use the same pen for all the labels or simply use a label maker.

Floor:

  • Do you have stacks of papers in the floor? Deal with them. Throw away the trash.  File the good stuff. Get rid of everything you don’t need regularly.  You can always purchase a file box and store away the less used items in the attic.
  • Maybe your room could use a new layout to increase your productivity. Now is your chance to maximize your room to get more work done in less time!

I realize your office may may have more or fewer zones.  I think I’ve given you a good sampling here.  Be sure and adapt this mission to YOUR space.

Have a great week!