Monday, February 28, 2011

Organizing Checklist for March

Spring arrives this month, at least on the calendar. Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 13th. Set your clock ahead one hour.

Remember our goal this year:  Each week remove one bag of items for recycling, trash or donation and  remove one hour of electronics from our schedule. Don't be discouraged if you are behind in the process.  Begin this week no matter where you fell behind.
• This is the time to get indoor tasks finished so you can enjoy the outdoors as soon as the warm weather is here. Whatever the project, do not let it drag on or remain unfinished until next winter. Make that final to do list and get it done.
• With temperatures not too hot or too cold, this month is the best time to check out the attic. Often the morning sun will warm the space enough for working before the heat of the day makes it too uncomfortable.

Review that space and determine if any items can be removed to sell, donate or pass on to family or friends. You should do it before the summer sun makes it impossible.
It is best to store items in air tight containers in order to discourage pests from getting into them. Do not store photographs, candles and some plastic items as the attic heat will ruin them.
• Now is also the best time to clean out the garage, especially on the days when the temperatures are more moderate. Hopefully you have made room for probably your most expensive investment other than your children or house—the automobile. If not, consider a renovation that includes space to park it there.

Create zones for the items you store in the garage. The goal here is to keep as many items off the floor as you can. Separate sporting equipment, gardening items, cleaning supplies, tools and other hobby equipment.
• If you have considered the possibility of having a yard or tag sale. It is never too early to plan and prepare for one. . This month is the time to set the date and work towards that goal. May and June are great choices as it is not too hot and people are on the move.
• As you clean these areas and move out winter items later on, you have the opportunity to sort and price items that would be good to sell. Any items that remain after the sale can be donated to a local charity or thrift store.
• As the days are longer and warmer, remove the heaviest clothing, bedding, etc. for summer storage. This may mean to the back of the closet, to another closet or storage area, or out of the house permanently. If they will be part of a future yard sale, store them in the area set aside for that.
• Spring will arrive on the calendar. I just hope there is no snow on my daffodils when it comes. It has been a long, cold winter and I am ready for warm temperatures, leaves on the trees and flowers in my yard. And I pray I don’t complain about the heat this summer.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Organizing Checklist for February

January was a busy month. The aftermath of the holidays and the beginning of a new year creates much activity. February is not so hectic and should allow time for creativity to chase away the frigid temperatures. This month’s focus will be on the Books, DVDs, Cookbooks and Hobbies.
Reminders for Each Week (can include the new organizing strategies for this month)
• Remove one bag of items
• Eliminate one hour of electronics
• Clean and organize one drawer
• Clean and organize one cabinet or closet
• Remove back issues of catalogues, magazines and newspapers.

• If you have not done so already, clean out the file folders, update the yearly budget, and shred unwanted financial papers. Only this year’s information and legal documents should be kept in your nearby reference files.

• Clear the bookshelves of fiction you have already read and reference books. It is unlikely you will reread fiction and reference books become outdated quickly. Use the Internet to keep up to date on those topics.

• Cull the cookbook collection and consider online sites for new recipe ideas. Save only those with recipes you continually use or those with sentimental value.

• Sort through videos and CDs and remove those no longer used. Let’s face it, if you haven’t run them in the last couple of years, you probably will not. Our tastes in music and movies change over the years. Sell or pass them on to someone who wants them.

• Make the most of indoor time by finishing up indoor decorating projects and/or enjoying time on indoor hobbies. Sort through your supplies and remove those no longer useful. For more details on organizing hobbies and crafts, here is a link to my notes on it.

• Begin planning for early spring activities. Buy seeds, sharpen garden and lawn tools.

• Make preliminary plans for spring or summer vacations. Early reservations are usually less expensive. Insure all travel tickets.

Stay warm.  This cold weather has to end sometime!