Conquer Bathroom Clutter Simply and Effectively
Research suggests that people’s bathrooms are the rooms which they most struggle to keep clean and organised. This room, in particular, is normally full of makeup, medicine bottles, hair accessories, toiletries and razors and because of this it can be quite easy for it to become susceptible to mess. Because of this, it is a good idea to assess the space available in your bathroom and look at how many items you are planning to store in there. Once you have done this, you will then have a better idea of how you can utilise and find storage solutions.
The first thing to do is to take a good look at your medicine cabinets and look at what you are storing in them. Ironically, it’s actually not a good idea to store medicine in this storage space, as most bathrooms become hot and humid during showers and baths, and this can be detrimental to medication that requires being stored at room temperature. Also remember not to keep medicines past their expiration date, even if you’ve never opened them, as they will not be effective or good for you to put into your body. Instead, try storing your medications on a high shelf in your linen closet with a lock-tight lid, as this will help lengthen their shelf life and keep them out of reach of curious little hands.
The same process should then be carried out with old makeup. Generally speaking, most makeup will last about 18-24 months, with the exception of mascara, which lasts about three months, and liquid eyeliner, which lasts about three to six months. Nail polish generally only holds up for about a year, so if you have any older than that it is important to get rid of them. Since many makeup products have animal-based ingredients, it’s also important to pay attention to how they smell. If they smell like they’ve gone bad, they probably have, so throw them in the bin. Try using a permanent marker and small sticky label to mark the purchase date on the back of your items, so that way you won’t have to try to remember when exactly you bought each piece of makeup.
If you have a small bathroom, and you tend to get in the habit of stocking up on products such as toilet paper, lotion, or toothpaste, consider storing them in a pantry or linen closet, instead of in the bathroom itself. Make sure all family members know where to look for a replacement or refill should they run out.
In terms of storage, it is a good idea to take a look in your favourite discount stores and spend time browsing their home organisation aisle. You will find lots of inexpensive storage containers that can be easily slotted into bathroom drawers, placed under the sink, and stuck onto shower walls. Items which you should particularly look out for, are: bins, boxes and shower caddies.
Conquer the Household Post and Paper Demon
Paper, in its different variations, can fill and clutter a home and it can be hard to sort through and get rid of old documents. These can be in the form of items, such as: bills, statements, paychecks, calendars, schedules, menus and permission slips. They tend to seem innocent when looked at individually, but when joined with the other piles of unattended paperwork, they can form an army that overwhelms even the best defences. However, it is important not to feel defenceless against this persistent warrior and instead face it with an organised plan of attack and a disciplined strategy. If you do this, then the paperwork enemy can most certainly be conquered and tamed.
The first thing to do, is to take a look at the type of paperwork that’s overwhelming you the most. Is it those bills that go unpaid when you can’t locate them? Is it the mounds of artwork your children have lovingly created and decorated your refrigerator with? Or is it the constantly changing football schedule or to-do lists?
Once you have determined what are your most invasive paper culprits, it’s time to line them up and sort them out. A successful filling system has three main components: a file for those things that need to be acted on immediately, a file for those that are part of a household’s ongoing management, and a final file for those that are more infrequent but nevertheless crucial; such as tax records, insurance policies, wills, and home maintenance documents.
When conquering each item of paperwork, make a promise to yourself to deal with each item the first time you handle it. It is important to get out of the habit of rifling through your mail and tossing it to the side or on the floor. Set aside time each day to open mail, go through paperwork in your drawers and sort and file appropriately. Decide if each item is something to be paid, something to be done, or something to be filed, and dispose of the relevant items. Additionally, at the end of each week, it is good to take out each item that you have filed away and do what is required with them, so that they are not forgotten about and left to increase the amount of paper in your home. However, if you know something is extremely urgent and cannot wait until the end of the week, clip it to the front of your folder or place it in the first file and label this file urgent.
With items, such as: calendars, schedules, take-out menus and phone lists, it is good to keep these in a small binder with clear page protectors. By doing this, you will ensure that your documents are accessible, visible and easy to skim and flick through. It will also help you to save time googling and calling up people to find out details, because you have misplaced these documents. It is also good to have a household notebook, which you write meeting dates and phone numbers into, so that they are not left scribbled on scraps of paper that are hard to find when you need them the most.
When organising magazines and newspapers in your home, an aesthetically pleasing solution is to put them into woven rectangular baskets and leave them near your couches and living room chairs, so that people can look at them during their free time. However, be sure to keep in the habit of sorting through this on a regular basis, so that you are not storing items which are old and that people will no longer read.
Kitchen or dining room tables can easily become a place where your family leaves all of their daily bits and bobs. These tend to be items, such as: mail, school books, car keys, pens, pencils, and other miscellaneous items. Then at dinnertime when space needs to be made to eat, they then get moved and end up in a large pile of clutter on the floor beside your table or somewhere else in your household.
To curtail this habit, purchase a console table and place it next to your front door, so that you can use it as a central area for everyone’s belongings. You can also have clearly labelled individual baskets for each member of the family, so that personal items do not get muddled. Items found around the house can also be placed in these bins, and each family member should get into the habit of making sure items are emptied from the bins and properly put away each evening. It is also good to consider installing hooks on the wall above this table, so that purses, coats and backpacks can easily be hung upon entry.
Moreover, the kitchen table can become a place where families tend to let their children do arts and crafts or their homework. To make sure it doesn’t get too cluttered it is best to have bins, boxes and containers nearby, so that the items can be neatly organised and within easy reach. It is also a good idea to have a shelving unit near the table, so the storage containers can be placed on them and be neatly tucked away.
A beautiful table spread is also an ingenious way to keep the table from becoming cluttered. Spread a tablecloth on your kitchen table and place a large centrepiece on it, or even set four or six formal place settings on it. Your family will then be less likely to lay things on the tables, as they can see that it is nicely decorated and there are already things on there. Also, if you set your table up in this way, you will be ready for company at the last moment and have a beautiful focal point in your home.