(BPT) – Along with the change in seasons comes the desire to start anew, with a fresh, clean slate. But before you deep clean, you need to declutter. While decluttering can seem daunting, a few smart organizing strategies can help you feel a lot less stressed as you tackle your tasks. Set aside a weekend for each area, so you’ll have plenty of time for breaks.
Where should you start? It doesn’t really matter — the key is to get started.
1. Get your docs in a row
While many documents can be stored and accessed digitally, having paper copies of important documents can save you hassle in the future while providing peace of mind. How do you know what’s important? Here are some examples:
- Tax records and receipts (keep seven years)
- Pay stubs and bank statements (keep one year)
- Home purchase, sale or improvement documents (keep at least six years after selling)
- Medical records and bills (keep at least a year after payment in case of disputes)
- Warranties and receipts (keep as long as you own the item)
- Birth and death certificates
- Social Security cards
- ID cards, passports and green cards
- Marriage and business licenses
- Insurance policies (keep even if the insurer provides access to a digital copy)
- Wills, living wills and powers of attorney
- Loan documents
Keep them in a small fireproof safe for an extra layer of protection. When you need to print documents, the Mopria Print Service app makes the printing process easier, as it enhances the print functionality on any Android phone or tablet. With this app, you can connect and print to any Mopria certified printer without additional set-up. If your Android device is not yet able to print, you can easily download the app from Google Play.
2. Make meals a breeze
When was the last time you cleaned out your cabinets or refrigerator? Go through your kitchen to find items that are past their expiration date. Devise an organization system for your spices that makes sense for you — do you prefer to alphabetize, or would you rather group spices by categories like savory and sweet, or type of cuisine? What matters is that your system helps you find what you’re looking for. List any spices or herbs that need replacing after your purge.
Need to organize handwritten family recipes you’ve saved over the years? Use your phone to scan them using the Mopria Scan app, then print them later from your device. Then you can create your own recipe binder to store neatly on a kitchen shelf.
3. Clear out your bathrooms
To make it easier to do a deep cleaning of your bathrooms, first clear out any items cluttering up your shelves, vanity or closets. Safely dispose of expired medicines and toss old makeup and any other products you don’t use. Ratty towels? Cut up to use as rags. Surprise — you suddenly have a lot more space, making it easier to keep clean.
4. Refresh your sanctuary
If sorting through all your clothes seems overwhelming, try this — for three weeks, choose only items from one side of your drawer or closet, in order. If you find yourself always skipping certain items, what does that reveal? Maybe they don’t fit well, or aren’t comfortable. Don’t wear it? Donate it (if it’s still in good condition) or throw it out. Your closet and drawers will suddenly have a lot more breathing room.
Then launder all your bedding, including the mattress pad and comforter or duvet. You’ll love the fresh feeling after everything’s been cleaned.
5. Organize your time
If you find it difficult to keep track of your own appointments and obligations as well as those of your family members, try using a wall calendar for everyone in the household, posted in a prominent place. You could print a calendar from your mobile device, then post it on the fridge or other accessible spot. Supply different colored markers for each family member to use, so your calendar will be color-coded, making it even easier to understand at a glance.
Using these tips, you’ll find that your home is much more organized, and you’ll feel refreshed and confident as you head into the spring and summer seasons.