PEI

Get organized this year: 5 tips

From cluttered closets to messy desks, take a step-by-step approach to getting organized this year.

'Strive for simplicity and balance'

Many of us can only dream of attaining this degree of success in organizing our accessories. (hisugarplum.com)

You've put away your holiday decorations and vacuumed up the last of the Christmas tree needles. You look around with satisfaction, but the feeling quickly dissipates as you realize your space is still — or once again — disorganized.

I took to the web to find some of the latest advice and tools for staying on top of clutter in 2017 — did you know there are entire blogs devoted just to staying organized? I'm in heaven. 

1) Don't strive for perfection

"There was a day when I would strive for 'perfection,' however, my little guys now keep me grounded and have helped me realize that it is important to strive for simplicity and balance instead," said Jennifer Jones on her blog, iheartorganizing.com, which can also be found on Facbeook

The stay-at-home mom of three takes a space-by-space approach to organizing and shows exactly how she did it.

She also offers cute, free printable lists for each of your organizing projects and has advice on how to beautifully organize every nook and cranny, from junk drawers to kitchen countertops. 

2) Tackle those desk drawers

Jen Woodhouse created some simple, inexpensive desk drawer organizers and shows you how on her blog. (jenwoodhouse.com)

Are all organizational bloggers called Jen? Jen Woodhouse of Nashville, Tenn., blogs on The House of Wood about her DIY home and has been featured on Bob Vila, Popular Mechanics and Elle Decor. 

She'll even show you how to build some great furniture that keeps your stuff organized. 

She created these easy desk drawer dividers that I think could easily be used in just about any drawer in the house, like sock or jewelry. 

3) Declutter your closet

Clutter free. Colour coded. Maybe lightly spritzed with lavender. Is your closet worthy of Pinterest? (Erica Joy/Flickr)

Downsizing Diva Judy Mitchell of Saint John recommends trying on your clothes and getting rid of one outfit for every five you try on.

"If the colour isn't right for you on Monday, it won't be right on Thursday," she said.

As for clothes you're secretly hoping to fit into again, Mitchell has this hard truth: "Chances are, if you've worked that hard to get back down to that size, you're not going to want clothes that are years old," she said. "Just give them away and let someone put them to good use now."

4) Put accessories where you can see them

Many of us need to see our accessories to know what we have, says style blogger Cassie Freeman. (hisugarplum.com)

Cassie Freeman at hisugarplum.com blogs from Texas about style, decor, shopping travel and organizing in a very fun and entertaining way

You know, important stuff like How to Curl Your Hair and Make It Last. Hisugarplum is also on Facebook.

One of the mom's most popular posts this year, she shares, was about how she organizes her accessories. 

She admits to having the space to do so in her generous walk-in closet, but I think you could replicate the feel and the idea with less room.

She has to see her accessories to know what she has, she said, or she'll just keep wearing the same things day after day — so she spread them out on top of an Ikea dresser and hung up her necklaces on either side. She also hung her purses from S-shaped shower curtain hooks, placing clutches in a letter sorter or pot lid rack on the shelf above. 

"It's like my own little boutique every morning!" she writes. 

5) One thing in, one thing out

Don't over-stress! Try the one thing in, one thing out rule to conquer clutter. (Shutterstock/Kaspars Grinvalds)

Finally, my own favourite tip to staying on top of clutter: strive to remove one thing from your home for every new thing you bring in.

If you buy a new sweater, maybe it's time to donate one you no longer wear. If you buy a new appliance, it may be as simple as disposing of the old one instead of throwing it in a dark corner in case it decides to work again — chances are, it will do nothing but collect dust, and add to your mental burden.

If items are in good working order, you can even recycle them for cash on sites like Kijiji, Facebook or the local flea market.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Fraser

Web Journalist

Sara has worked with CBC News in P.E.I. since 1988, starting with television and radio before moving to the digital news team. She grew up on the Island and has a journalism degree from the University of King's College in Halifax. Reach her by email at sara.fraser@cbc.ca.

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