Yes, the heat of summer is upon us, and even with air conditioning we all like to think of cooler places to spend our time. Seldom do you think of tackling an organizing project at this time of year (after all, who has an air conditioned garage?), but this month we have a few suggestions on keeping cool and crossing some of those organizing tasks off your list at the same time!
Head to the basement. The basements of our homes are always a cool place to be and you can escape the heat while making progress on a long over-due organizing project.
- Do you have boxes stored in the basement from your latest move? Now would be a good time to open them and think “Christmas in July!” as you unwrap items you haven’t see for weeks, months or even years. As you go through these items, contemplate how much you have, or have not, missed these items and question whether you really need to keep them.
- Is there a craft area for the kids in the basement? Now would be a good time to clear the clutter and determine if you need more supplies. When everyone has had too much sun and heat this would be a good place to spend some creative time.
- If the rec room or play area is downstairs, this is a time to involve the entire family to sort through items stored and used (or not used) there. Challenge your children to donate items that they no longer need or enjoy, then enjoy your renewed space.
- Storage areas in the basement are great places to keep seldom used items. However, sometimes those items are out of sight and also out of mind. Take a quick inventory of what is there, determine the last time you really used an item and decide if it really needs to be kept.
- The tool room is an ideal place to cool off as you return all items to their proper homes. When everything is stored properly you will save valuable time the next time you need an item, and you will not be tempted to purchase duplicate items that you really don’t need.
The kitchen. Yes, there are some cool places there, even when you are cooking dinner.
- The freezer is a place to remind us of those cold winter days, and a quick way to cool off. We do not recommend that you open the freezer door and organize it all at once, as this would not be energy efficient. As an alternative, we suggest that you organize one shelf at a time. Unload all of the items from one shelf and place them on a work surface. Then review the expiration dates on each package to determine if it is still edible. Perhaps you will even find some forgotten items that you can use to make dinner tonight. When you return items to the shelves be sure to store like (or similar) things together.
- Use the same steps to organize your refrigerator. At the same time you may want to rearrange things so you will be better able to find what you are looking for in the future. Are all of your condiments in one place? Are fruits, vegatables and dairy products each stored in designated places? Consider how you look for things and this will lead to how items are stored. If you create a new system, be sure to educate others in the family.
We hope these tips will keep you cool and open up some spaces that have been cluttered or ignored for too long,
JoEllen & Muffy
PS This post was taken from a recent Monthly Tips Newsletter; follow the link to have them delivered directly to your in-box.