It's awesome how many people are organizing their homes right now – I love it. And if I'm being totally honest, I am finding it very difficult to even keep my house clean. With three small kids going a million miles per hour, and one big husband working from home, I basically play clean-up wack-a-mole during this shelter-in-place situation. Luckily my house was pretty organized before, but trust me – all this unknown is making me want to organize to find "calm" in a big way.
So, if you're in a situation like mine – little people around you all the time who need constant attention – you'll need small projects that have a big impact. What's better – you can even give your kiddos tasks for these projects. Win win! (If you don't have kids, substitute for husband, or just make your best friend watch via Zoom).
1. Fridge – Toss Expired Items
Especially right now, it's essential to have as much space in your fridge as possible, since we're going to the store less. In order to make more room you need to eliminate anything that is expired or never used (fish sauce, we so badly want to cook Thai food more often, but we need to make room for more jam).
Job for your kiddos: Have them compost or drain the contents then wash the containers to recycle.
Bonus: Face all labels forward in your fridge. This might sound OCD, but you'll be amazed how satisfying this is ;)
2. Craft Supplies – Edit Supplies
Go through all the crayons, pencils, and markers, tossing any crayons that are broken beyond repair, markers that are dried out, or pencils that are down to the stub.
Job for your kiddos: Have them sharpen any pencils and this is an excellent time to give them a lecture about the importance of putting pen caps back on :)
Bonus: Place all materials the same direction within their containers for an extra organized look.
3. Closet – Pair Down One Category
No, not the whole closet – just pick one section that you know will help simplify your daily life and create the space you want. The categories I see the most impact in are shoes, jeans, or undergarments. If you're doing jeans (yes, you're brave – big kudos), first of all, be kind to yourself. Only keep the jeans you love, wear, and feel good in (that means you like the way they fit, and the way they make you feel). Any others can go to a donation bag. Yes, things may be fitting differently right now, and that's totally ok. Just be sure that you're not holding on to any jeans that you might fit into "someday." Remember, be kind to yourself. The same questions apply for the other categories: love, wear, and feel good in.
Job for your kiddos: Besides coaching them on telling you how fabulous you look, have them go through their matching category.
Bonus: Organize remaining items by color (in the case of jeans, dark to light).
4. Linen closet: Refold
Take all sheets and towels out and refold them carefully. You pick whether that means you file fold or stack fold. Either way, find a large space and do your best... I know, I know, those fitted sheets are the worst. Here's a great tutorial.
Job for the kiddos: Let them fold pillow cases or hand towels. And however they end up is great!
Bonus: For smaller folded items, file fold and place them in a basket so they stay put and remain easy to retrieve.
5. Makeup Drawer – Tidy Up
This will be very satisfying since it's likely you aren't wearing any makeup right now so it might be easier to part with old items. Take everything out and toss all expired, broken, or never used products.
Job for the kiddos: Give them a wet wipe and have them clean off each crusty product.
Bonus: For the extra special treatment, order yourself an organizer that will help you keep everything in its place and pretty much just make you happy whenever you open the drawer. I love bamboo drawer inserts, but choose whatever works for your products.