Get organized: When in doubt, throw it out
So, we asked the experts: What are some tips to getting your home and your family organized in the new year?
“Now is the perfect time to get your home organized,” says Kristie Demke, president of Professional Organizers of Canada. “Make your home a haven now and you’ll enjoy hibernating in it all winter.”
The area in your home that is the most important is the place where your family enters through, whether it’s the mudroom or the front foyer.
“ The place where your boots, coats, hats and mitts go needs the most attention,” says Georgina Forrest, owner of Smartworks! Office Organizing Services.
“Number one thing to do is give yourself a reality check as to what you have and what you can realistically fit. It’s difficult in Calgary, where we can go through many seasons within a week, but you need to think about the minimum amount of outerwear you can get by on.”
To start things off, go through your outerwear and purge what you don’t need. Demke suggests only keep four or so pairs of mitts or gloves, because how many do you honestly need?
“Charities are constantly looking for cold weather wear, so by giving them your excess, it won’t go to waste,” she says.
Once your outer wear is down to a reasonable size, make sure there’s a place for everything to go.
“Try to make a place for every member of the family, in a cubby or a basket,” Forrest says. “Labelling is also an excellent idea for this space.
Seeing your name gives you a sense of ownership, making it more likely your family will use these containers.”
The next part of your home you should focus on is your garage — make sure it’s not so full of junk that you can’t park inside of it.
“You don’t want to spend every morning brushing and scraping a cold car, so if you have a garage, try to use it,” Demke says. “Having a warm car to get into makes for an easier transition to the cold months.”
Organize everything in your garage by category, making sure that everything you keep is being used.
“Kids’ interest in sports and hobbies comes and goes, so make sure you’re not taking up precious storage area with something that won’t be used again,” Demke says. “Donate that equipment to those who need it instead.”
Because garages are big, open spaces, you might need to add structure in the form of shelving.
“ Think ver tical space,” Demke advises. “Use all the space that you can.”
Most importantly, remember to have fun this winter.