Organize + Energize: 8 Things to Toss Before Summer Arrives
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
Kristin MacRae, GoLocalWorcester Organizing Expert
|Kristin MacRae says to get ride of worn, torn or tattered beach towels.|
Here are 8 categories you can tackle:
Expired sunscreen. Yes, sunscreen has an expiration date. Go through and search for all of your sunscreens and check the expiration dates. While you’re tackling that, get your beach bag prepped and ready to go.
Worn beach towels. It’s time to get rid of any worn, torn or tattered beach towels. Turn them into rags or just get rid of them.
Old summer shoes. Take inventory of the shoes you have for the summer. Check the heels and see if they still look presentable. Is it time to get rid of some? When was the last time you wore these shoes? Take a look at those worn out flip flops! It’s time to refresh!
Broken beach chairs. It’s pretty straightforward. If they’re broken, get rid of them.
Old makeup. As the seasons change, it’s always a good time to take inventory of your makeup. Is there anything expired? Do you need to refresh and purchase new makeup for the summer to match your tanned, sun-kissed skin?
Old bathing suits. If they’re really faded, ripped, or no longer fit, why are you holding on to them? Pull them out of the drawer, try them on and think about what needs to get tossed!
Expired food. Will you be entertaining this summer? It’s time to declutter the fridge and freezer and get ready for parties! Empty the fridge and freezer, toss any expired food and clean the inside.
Expired meds. Freshen up your first-aid kit. Be prepared for summer allergies, colds, and stomach bugs. Go through your meds and throw out any expired meds and be sure to categorize and organize your meds for easy access.
Don’t wait until the last minute. Schedule this in your planner now so you’ll be prepared!
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE.
Paper in any form
This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.
To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.
When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.
This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.
The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization. Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.
Office at work
Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.
If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.
Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.
When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.
This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.