Jump Start Your 2011 “Get Organized” Resolution: A Room-by-Room Checklist

Need some basic tips for organizing the most used rooms in your home?  Here is a room-by-room checklist that will help you get started.


☑ Decide what you want at your fingertips and what things can be stored

☑ Go through your closet and pull out everything you have not worn in the last year and donate those items

☑ Hang like items together—group shirts together, pants together, dresses, etc.

Donate to local charities or friends and family items that are still in good condition but you no longer need. Schedule a donation pick up with DonationTown.org

KitchenKitchen Organizing

☑ Determine the flow of activity in your kitchen before you decide where to place items

☑ Things that work together should be stored together, such as baking supplies, plastic containers (with lids), pots and pans with lids, and large platters and bowls

Drawer dividers are a good way to keep smaller items separated

☑ Place glasses near the sink or the refrigerator for easy access to beverages

☑ Put healthy snacks for your kids in an easy-to-access drawer or cupboard

Home Office/DenHome office organizing

☑ Make sure you have a good chair, good lighting and ample workspace. Without them it’s harder to be organized and effective.

☑ Keep only supplies you need on a daily basis on your desktop

☑ Assign a contained space or “in-box” for your incoming documents and only use it for items that haven’t yet been reviewed such as paper mail, receipts, and catalogs.

☑ Make a decision about what action or task you need to take with each document (including recycling) and follow through during dedicated “admin” appointments

☑ Keep the most recent papers in the front of the file. Whenever you open it, the current information will be on top.

Garage/basementGarage Organizing

☑ Sort, purge, and then decide the proper storage containers or fixtures for the treasures that you must keep

☑ Design a floor plan for storing items and stick to it

☑ Get rid of things that don’t work

☑ Clearly label both the tops and the sides of containers

☑ Consider floor-to-ceiling possibilities for shelving, racks, stack-able drawers, hooks and pegboards, and don’t forget the rafters

REMEMBER: When you are done organizing, make sure you donate clothes, books, furniture and other household items to a local charity.

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3 Responses

  1. My garage is overdue for a big sort out! When we bought our house, we inherited various “useful” items in there, plus minimal, wobbly storage shelves. Frankly, I think most of what’s there could go straight in a dumpster!
    But I like to use this time of year to review clutter in the rest of the house, too.

    • lismckinley says:

      “Useful” is in the eye of the beholder, here. If you are not using the items and don’t expect to then why not consider making them available, if possible, to someone who can? Donate them to a family member, friend or charity such as Goodwill. Are they valuable items? Consider having a garage sale although know that the effort to put on a garage sale has to translate into something of value to you too since it takes time to plan, promote and produce a garage sale. Don’t waste your time if it’s just a few items. I am guessing that there is something (or someone) who wouldn’t agree with your “dumpster” idea. If that’s the case, try to explore the reasons by asking: 1) If this item were to disappear, could it be replaced? 2) Would it be missed? 3) Do I LOVE this item? 4) What is the PROBABILITY that I will definitely use this item in the near future. Good luck and thanks for the comment.

  2. lismckinley says:

    Thanks for asking. Instead of printing, and therefore creating more paper for yourself, you could “bookmark” the page using whatever internet browser you use. You can also just read my blog again and decide to just pick 1-2 of my tips to follow up on. Write them down in your own “to-do” list or schedule the time in your date book or on your calendar. It also sometimes helps to commit your goal to someone else. Feel free to let me know what you decide to do and when you would like to get it done by.

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