How to or­ga­nize for the new year

South Shore Breaker - - Local - GINA BELL EAST COAST MOMMY valleyed­i­[email protected]­ald.ca

There is some­thing about a new year that com­pels me to get my home or­ga­nized.

Af­ter the chaos and ex­cess of Christ­mas, I feel an over­whelm­ing need to purge, sort and put things in or­der.

I love how a small amount of ef­fort putting sys­tems in place in Jan­uary can have a big im­pact on the rest of the year.

Start­ing with small changes is key and get­ting rid of things that are no longer needed is the first step. Then, it’s im­por­tant to iden­tify the prob­lem ar­eas in the home and tackle them one at a time

hen you have kids, you in­evitably have a lot of stuff and it is nec­es­sary to make sure ev­ery item has a home and that ev­ery mem­ber of the fam­ily knows where that home is.

For ex­am­ple, if stuffed an­i­mals are an is­sue in your house, start by do­nat­ing the ones that are no longer loved and in­sert the rest into an empty bean­bag chair cover so they are out of sight and or­ga­nized.

Hooks and bins are also help­ful. My boys each have in­di­vid­ual hooks for their coats, snow pants and back­packs. They also have bins (with la­bels) for their hats, mitts, books and toys. If kids know where their items be­long, they are more likely to put them away and they will know where to find them when it is time to use them again.

An­other sim­ple trick is to fold the clothes in kids’ draw­ers ver­ti­cally so that they take up less space and all the cloth­ing is vis­i­ble at a glance. If you don’t fold your clothes this way, I highly rec­om­mend do­ing it right away. It’s life chang­ing!

Clear shoe racks are also geni- us tools for or­ga­niz­ing spa­ces. In my house, I have clear shoe racks hang­ing on the backs of sev­eral doors. They uti­lize the un­used space be­hind a door and the clear pock­ets make all the con­tents vis­i­ble and easy to find.

Clear shoe racks are fan­tas­tic for stor­ing hats and mitts, socks, craft sup­plies, Lego or other small toys, wa­ter bot­tles and more.

Or­ga­niz­ing pa­per­work is an­other great way to man­age clut­ter. Throw out items you no longer need, file pa­pers you may need later and find a place to dis­play chil­dren’s art­work. I have an art gallery in my play­room with a clip­board for each of my three boys.

When they bring art­work home from school, we dis­play it. Then, when new mas­ter­pieces are cre­ated, we can eas­ily re­place the pre­vi­ous ones.

A new year is also a per­fect time to take on a few small DIY projects. You can em­bark on a big ren­o­va­tion (if you have the time and money) or you can just do sim­ple things to re­fresh a space. Cre­ate a list of the projects you want to com­plete, pri­or­i­tize and start work­ing your way through the tasks when­ever you get the chance.

Start with small and in­ex­pen­sive changes that will make you feel like you are mak­ing im­prove­ments with­out caus­ing you to feel over­whelmed.

Try paint­ing a room, buy­ing new throw pil­lows, ad­ding some new art­work to a wall or in­vest­ing in new bed­ding.

Happy new year, ev­ery­one! I hope you take a lit­tle time to get or­ga­nized in the next few weeks so that the next few months are a lit­tle less chaotic and a lot hap­pier.

Gina Bell

There are plenty of neat ways to cre­ate more stor­age space in your home.

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