Create an organised and streamlined home.
Clear out the kitchen cupboards
Re-stock all your staples – flour, sugar, condiments and tinned goods – but as you do, clear out all the items you know you aren’t going to use until next Christmas. The New Year is not the time to be hoarding half-opened jars of cranberry sauce or mincemeat, so use it up now or lose it.
If there are food items or other non-perishables that are still in date and you no longer use, donate them at your local food bank or collection point.
To organise your kitchen cupboards, create a streamlined system by decanting your supplies, from pasta to rice.
Store like with like – and never lose a thing
Tackle the challenge of finding a home for presents and special Christmas items by operating one simple rule: store ‘like with like’. Keep all decorations in one place – attic, garage, loft – labelled for ease next year.
Organise children’s rooms so similar toys and games are stored together, likewise scarves, jewellery, socks and underwear. Essentially, get into the habit of being organised, it’ll make home life much easier.
Don’t double up – it creates clutter
Vow to check your stocks of toiletries, cleaning materials and other household staples before you buy more. Too many of the same item creates chaos in your cupboards, and will also cost you money. Keep a memo pad in the kitchen or utility room to make a list of what you really need to replace.
Keep shoes and boots under control
Speaking of cleaning, keep dirt outside as much as possible. This means placing doormats at entryways and providing a space for shoes. A shoe rack is a great idea, however, a wooden crate or storage bench by the front door or in the hallway might work better if you have small children who ‘forget’ to put their shoes, boots and trainers in order when they come home.
Put your post in one place
Don’t allow letters, bills and circulars to accumulate on tables and worktops. Assign one place for all post and treat this as a ‘holding area’
Make it your mission to set aside some time, twice-weekly, to go through the pile, dealing immediately with urgent matters, and filing away the rest. If you get into this habit, you’ll reduce ever having piles of opened and unopened letters.
Declutter the house per season
Get into the habit of decluttering each room in your home for spring/summer and autumn/winter, keeping up with regular deep cleans.
Tackle it room by room, as it can be daunting thinking about decluttering the whole house. And start on the smallest room first – bitesize chunks is key here.
Get recycling regimented
Make this the year when you really get to grips with recycling. Place bins and bags in a spot where they are easily reached, and if collection facilities are not readily available, try your local recycling centre.
You can separate your household waste with ease by investing in clearly labelled recycling bags or a nifty recycling unit
Find a user-friendly way to file
If paperwork and important documents terrify you, don’t make it too complicated this year. Simply take a pack of card document wallets and mark each one with categories, for example – ‘gas’, ‘electricity’, ‘broadband’, ‘school’. Pop each letter or bill into the relevant file and find an accessible place to keep them all. Better still, opt for paperless billing whenever possible.
Because more of us are working from home, it wouldn’t be too surprising if you’ve also built up a stash of work documents. Keep what you truly need, file alphabetically, and colour code documents if possible.
Create a system for washing
Instead of a laundry bin in the bathroom, invest in a set of drawstring cotton laundry bags to hang on the back of every bedroom door. This avoids dirty clothes piling up on the floor and is also more hygienic, as the bags can be washed too.
Schedule maintenance & renovation jobs
Now that the festive season is over, think about the maintenance jobs that you need to do to get your house in order, from the smaller tasks to the bigger jobs. For any large renovations, consider costs involved and where you can save. Once you’ve drawn up your to-do list, prioritise the most urgent jobs and set a realistic timeframe to complete it.
Make cleaning easy on yourself
It’s easier to clean the bathroom, for instance, if cleaning materials are to hand, so keep a basic kit (use a caddy or bucket, in every part of the home: bathroom, kitchen, utility room. This will also save you time and effort and make an ongoing domestic routine much less of an overbearing burden.
Work out a weekly system
Enlist the help of every family member to help your house run smoothly. Hold a family meeting so the kids can agree a range of age-appropriate tasks which can be undertaken at a specific time each week.
Choose a family planner and place in a central position for all to see, to ensure everyone sticks to their jobs and duties. It’s perfect for bringing a little bit of organisation to a busy family and home life.