The secret to staying organized and maintaining a clutter-free home is to make organization a natural part of your life. The best way to manage the never-ending clutter creep is to establish an annual cycle of organization. Go beyond spring cleaning and establish a year-round set of traditions to keep your home organized and clutter-free.
January: Fresh Start
It's a new year and a good time to purge holiday decorations and practice the in-out rule with new gifts.
February: Shred Mania
Get your paperwork under control! Get a jump-start on your tax return and file as early as possible. Update insurance policies and other legal documents and create a message center to organize your daily household bills.
March: Reinvent Spring Cleaning
Get your home sparkling, inside and out. Create a task list and assign each family member to a certain duty. Make a schedule and put it in a safe place so you can refer to it next year.
April: Explore the Black Hole
It could be the garage, that space under the stairs or the basement. Tackle your storage areas!
May: Discover the Great Outdoors
Focus on the outside of your home. Check and fix outdoor play equipment, fire up the grill to make sure it still works, plan a summer vacation and organize your kids' summer activities.
June: Teach Your Children Well
They're off of school, and now is a good time to get your kids involved in the maintenance of good systems in your home. Tackle their rooms, make kid-friendly closets, sort through old toys, establish new routines and make sure to reward them!
July: Have a Yard Sale
Consider using eBay or find out how to throw a great sale yourself!
August: Prepare for Back to School
Good planning and organization makes the transition back to school a little easier. Check out their clothes and gear, stock up on school supplies, organize your computer files and go school shopping.
September: Make the Season Switch
As winter approaches, get ready for those bulky sweaters and store away your summer items. Now's also a good time to figure out what you no longer wear and can donate.
October: Brace Yourself for Winter
Winterize your home before the first frost! Clean up the garage and designate zones for various items. Get your chimney cleaned and take care of other maintenance that you can't do until spring.
November: Gear Up for the Holidays
Don't let the holidays stress you out. Get a head start by planning meals, making card and gift lists, and start shopping early.
December: Relax and Enjoy
As the rush and celebration of this month descend, stop and take a moment for yourself to reflect on the past year. Celebrate your successes and commit to making the changes you want for next year.
More You Can Do
Published on January 01, 2006