“I’m really sentimental, especially when it comes to my children’s artwork and mementos from family vacations. I want simple, functional storage systems. Everyone in the family needs to know where to find stuff and where to put stuff away. It also has to be easy for us to make the space presentable when we have guests.”
— Contest Winner, 2013
- Create categories and group “like with like.” For example, “Electronics,” “Children’s toys,” and “Paperwork.” Then make decisions about what to keep/donate/recycle/trash from each category.
- Keep a notebook handy and write a to-do list as you organize. You will be reminded of things you have been meaning to get to (“I need to mail this photo to Auntie Lisa”). Use your list to identify and prioritize what you need to do.
- Make a commitment to keeping up the organizing systems. Start with 15 minutes a day. Use a timer to keep you on track. For auditory learners, use an alarm reminder, for visual learners, use the Timer Timer.
- Storage boxes: Each family member has a box for their artwork and mementos.
- Caddies: Each child has a container for knickknacks and “treasures.” When the containers get too full, it will be time to sort through and decide what to keep/donate/recycle/trash.
- Magazine files: Each family member has a magazine file for transitional paperwork, books, and other items that have to be sorted through before they are stored. There is an additional magazine file for office equipment manuals.
Photo credits: © Paula Berman Organizing