LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Spring has sprung and with it, so has that annual tradition known as spring cleaning. Leslie Josel, the principal of Order Out of Chaos, a Larchmont-based organizing consulting firm who advises clients from throughout the county, offers the following tips.
- Give away two items each day for 15 days. If you have cast offs or if something no longer serves a purpose, consider a trip to your local donation store. Stick to the “get one-toss two” rule, then you should actually reduce the clutter in your home.
- A floor is not a shelf. Take five minutes each day to do a clean sweep of your house and remove any floor items. Once everything is off the floor rooms will look brighter, bigger and more organized.
- Pick small projects to get you started. Start with a junk drawer, coat closet, kitchen cabinet or paper stack that will take you less than an hour to organize. Build on small successes to keep you motivated.
- Don’t make the mistake of purchasing organizing products before you know exactly what you are keeping. Once you know what you are keeping and where it will go, buy the appropriate bins, baskets and organizing supplies to containerize your items. Don’t forget to measure your spaces and bring a tape measure to the store.
- Purses, tote bags, gym bags and backpacks all need some decluttering love, too. Empty all bags and only keep what items you truly need to have on hand.
- Make a list of all the tasks you have been putting off. Break your projects down into manageable parts. Easier to sort and organize the shoes in your master closet than tackle the whole closet in one afternoon.
- Clean out your car. This is also a perfect time to restock the first aid kit and test the jumper cables in the trunk.
- Declutter your workspace to create a more productive environment. This includes emails, papers, and office supplies. To manage paper flow, set up a filing system and set aside time each day to file papers away. Keep an “ongoing papers needed” location for projects and tasks you are working on. Don’t forget the clean your computer screen and keyboard in the process.
- Set time to maintain your systems. Whether it is daily, weekly or even monthly check-ins, getting into the habit of putting items away and creating homes for all your belongings will keep you organized with minimal effort.