| Payton North
LONGMEADOW – During this time of the stay at home advisory and self-quarantine, many people are finding themselves spending time organizing their homes as a means to keep busy. Looking for tips and tricks on how to keep your home organized – especially when every member of the household is spending more time home than usual? Look no further.
Longmeadow fashion and lifestyle blogger Jaimie Tucker shared with Reminder Publishing a two-part series, first on home organization. Be on the lookout in next weeks edition to discuss the clothing in your closet – what can be held onto for years to come, and what items in your wardrobe need a refresh after a year or two.
Reminder Publishing (RP): A lot of us are working from home right now and getting good use out of our home offices – or our kitchen tables. For those of us without a designated working space who may be commandeering our living rooms or kitchens with work documents, how can we stay organized?
Tucker: Setting up a daily schedule is the best way to stay organized and on track each day. Knowing when those shared spaces are being used for actual work keeps distractions away in the middle of the day, and increases productivity. If you have kids, designating play spaces in other areas of the house keeps the clutter away, and keeps them busy in a nearby room while parents are focusing on work.
At the end of each day, take a few moments to tidy up work spaces so the next day starts out fresh. A list can be another way to prioritize tasks and stay organized. Before going to bed, take five minutes to write a list of tasks that must be completed the next day. More tasks can be added, though specify which action items are non-negotiable. The day can start with those tasks, and crossing them off the list provides a motivational boost.
RP: Let’s talk about closet space – a lot of people are going through old clothes, jackets, shoes and more right now and are looking to refresh the organizational–side of their space. What do you recommend to help people keep their closets tidy?
Tucker: At the beginning of each season, it’s a good idea to review seasonal items to see what worked last year. If something wasn’t worn, or is outdated, give it away, or take it to a consignment shop. It’s also a good idea to look over items from the season that is just ending. Items that have seen better days, no longer fit, or were not worn should be removed in order to keep closets streamlined and tidy. Repair items that need fixing or dry cleaning, or pass them along.
RP: How about those pesky holiday decorations that seem to get jumbled in the back of our garages or in the furthest crevasse of our attics?
Tucker: Large plastic storage bins corral holiday decor while keeping items clean and sorted. If the space exists in a garage, attic or basement, metal rack shelving is another option to keep decorations organized. The important thing is to keep items sorted by holiday so everything is visible and available together. As with closets, before putting seasonal items away, go through them and remove items that no longer serve. Many of us tend to have too much, or too many, of holiday decor items. They can really add up and take over storage space. Maybe make it a goal to pass on 3-5 items each year, or eliminate items as new ones are brought in. The old rule of thumb, one in, one out, can apply to holiday decorations.
RP: Finally – refrigerators and pantries can be pretty hectic spaces, especially as people try to stock up on extra food to limit grocery store runs. Any tips for how to save space in these tight spaces?
Tucker: From what experts are saying, there is no need to go overboard in stocking up on items during this stay at home period. With that being said, it is understandable during these uncertain times to want to minimize trips to the grocery store. If there is space to freeze items such as meat, that can allow for more space in the refrigerator, while overstocks of non-perishable goods can be kept in a sealed plastic storage bin in a garage or basement. Be cautious about storing boxed goods in garages or basements on their own as rodents can get into them. Take inventory before going to the store to ensure only items that are needed are being purchased, which eliminates the need to store unnecessary items when space is tight.
Get creative and find recipes online in order to use up items that have been lingering in cupboards or pantries. Everything has an expiration date. To eliminate food waste, rotate items as grocery stores do. When putting items away after shopping, bring older items to the front, and place newer items behind them in date order.
To check out Tucker's blog – head over to https://jaimietucker.com/.