Guest Post: Start off the New Year By Getting Organized!

I did a giveaway with Bonnie on my old blog and I'm happy to provide a guest post from her today about organization! She has lots of good tips & tricks so be sure to check out her website listed at the bottom of the post.

Start off the New Year by Getting Organized!
January is National Get Organized Month
By Bonnie Joy Dewkett

Every year you say you are going to do it; get organized and get rid of the clutter and junk that is preventing you from enjoying your home and spending more time with your family. However, every year your New Year’s resolution falters your home becomes increasingly disorganized and full of items you don’t need and don’t use. This January, during National Get Organized month, take back your home and your free time by using these organizational tips:

In the Closet

Problem: My closet is too crowded, and I seem to wear the same clothes every week.
Solution: Only have one season’s clothing in your closet at a time. Even if you feel you can fit more, don’t. This will allow you to view all of your choices for the season at one time, and you are less likely to have items go unworn.

Problem: You are not sure if you should get rid of some clothes.
Solution: Turn all your clothes in your closet to face one way. As you wear them, turn the hanger around. If you haven’t worn an item by the end of the month, donate or sell it.

For the Home

Problem: Instead of staying home and enjoying time with your family, you have to go shopping because a light bulb burned out.
Solution: Buy household items such as light bulbs, batteries, toilet paper and paper towels in bulk. Buy a specific set of shelves for your basement, garage, or pantry to house your supply.

Problem: You are caught off guard by birthdays and other life events.
Solution: Buy greeting cards in bulk every few months. Make sure to join a greeting card company’s preferred member club so that you can take advantage of the benefits they offer for buying numerous cards. Also, purchase and utilize a greeting card organizer so that all of your greeting cards are in one place and you can determine if you need to purchase more of a specific type of card.

Problem: You run around to purchase last minute gifts.
Solution: Purchase gift cards when you visit restaurants, department stores, etc. Keep these cards in your greeting card organizer so you have a one-stop card and gift shop in your home.

Problem: It takes you hours to sort through all of your junk email and mail.
Solution: Pick a week or month and for each piece of email or junk mail you receive during that time, take the time to contact the company to opt out of their email list, mailing list etc. You will also be helping the environment.

Problem: You waste time preparing to clean by collecting all the products you will need.
Solution: Create a cleaning basket with all the necessary products fro each floor of your home. Superstores sell baskets with handles designed for this purpose.

Problem: You lose a button on your favorite blouse and you know it came with spare buttons, you just don’t know when you put them.
Solution: Create a button bin. When you buy a new item of clothing, label the buttons (for example: Sally’s black blouse) and immediately add the items to the bin.

In the Kitchen

Problem: It is a busy night and you can’t figure out what restaurants deliver.
Solution: Keep take out menus in a three ring binder. Organize them alphabetically or by cuisine for quick decisions and a quick fix on a busy night. Also include an envelope of dollar bills for tips for delivery drivers.

Problem: Making portable lunch for your kids and family takes too much time at night.
Solution: On the day you grocery shop enlist the help of family members to make baggies of healthy snacks, fruits and veggies. For the refrigerated items use a plastic tote to store all of the choices in one location. For non-refrigerated items, use a bowl or a glass jar to make choices quick and available to kids for healthy snacking.

Problem: Every week you add the same items to your shopping list.
Solution: Create a master list with the items your family needs every week, such as milk, bread, or peanut butter. Make copies of the list and keep them on hand. Make a line for the date on the top.

The most important thing to remember about getting organized is that although it may be time consuming and even stressful now, an organized home will allow you to live a less stressful life and will even allow you to spend more time doing the things you love.

Bonnie Joy Dewkett, CPO® is an organizing expert, author, and motivational speaker. Her company, The Joyful Organizer®, creates and implements organizational systems for the home or office. These changes allow her Customers to create calm from chaos at work and at home. Bonnie has achieved the prestigious designation of Certified Professional Organizer, CPO®, from The Board of Certification for Professional Organizers. She is a member of The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and has published The Joyful Organizer's Guide to a Joyful Move which is available on her website

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