1. Home

Monthly Guide for Organizing a Home

Organizing Your Home One Step at a Time

By

Monthly Guide for Organizing a Home

Tips for keeping a home clean and clear of clutter all year long.

© PM Images

A home that is well organized feels calmer, looks better and operates much more efficiently, yet in the busy-ness of life, many areas of our homes often go neglected and clutter is allowed to reign. And oftentimes, the thoughts of cleaning out grow more overwhelming than the clutter.

Organizing a home doesn’t have to be overwhelming with our simple and easy to follow step-by-step guide for organizing your home this year. After all, the clutter and dust didn’t gain a foothold overnight, so cleaning out your home doesn’t have to be done in a day.

Though this organizing guide is listed by month, don’t feel you have to begin this checklist in January. This guide can be used all year long and begun at any time. Each year, just begin the list again to keep your home organized and efficient year after year.

January
___ Pack up and store holiday decorations, organizing and cleaning out as you go.
If you haven’t used it in a year or two, donate or sell those items. We usually don’t need as many holiday decorations as we think we do!
___ Organize and clean out wrapping paper, ribbon and other gifting supplies.
After the hustle and bustle of the holidays is a great time to clear this area out. Consider filling a small basket with inexpensive gift items for various occasions so you can grab and go all year long.

February
___ Clear out the pantry.
Check expiration dates. Get rid of anything that is 6 months old (or older!). Donate still good but unopened items to a local food pantry.
___ Organize the spice rack.
If a spice doesn’t have a strong smell, it is probably past its prime. Time to toss it!

March
___ Attack paperwork.
The time to do this is before tax time. Clear out files, bills, old tax returns (be sure to research how long you need to save various paperwork first!), product manuals, magazines, etc. Go paperless as much as possible. Consider a financial organizer app or budget management planner.

April
___ Plan a spring cleaning & restock your cleaning supplies.
To save money, search for coupons online. Now may also be a good time to exchange some old cleaning methods for greener alternatives.

May
___ Sort and store winter clothes.
You know the rule: If you haven't worn it in a year or it doesn't fit, it needs to go.
___ Organize existing clothing.
Invest in pretty closet organizers or new hangers that work for you and your closet's space.

June
___ Overhaul the kitchen drawers & cabinets.
Begone junk drawers! Inexpensive silverware trays can do wonders for any drawer, and can be used to hold everything from scissors to serving ware. Consider adding organizers inside cabinets and along wall space also.
___ Menu plan.
Summertime is a great time to entertain, but don't forget to feed yourself first. If you don't have a good menu plan, create one now.

July
___ Organize the bathroom(s).
An organized and uncluttered bathroom will banish the chaos from morning crunch time, plus it can provide a welcome retreat for evening bubble baths.
___ Clean out make-up and medicine cabinets.
Be sure to discard expired medicines safely.

August
___ Clean out the kid’s clutter.
Use the week or two before school begins to enlist the kids to clean out their unused or broken toys, outgrown clothing and other items from their rooms. And don't forget the playroom!
___ Organize the entryway.
The entryway is many homes' top clutter zone. If you don't have children and can skip the other chore this month, feel free to spend extra time on this space!

September
___ Clear out summer clothing.
Store seasonal items and bring out your fall and winter wearables. Be sure to clean and inspect all items before storage.
___ Freshen the living room.
Consider replacing worn throw pillows or dirty light switch plates, dusting baseboards, and organizing and taming any clutter that has collected.

October
___ Pare down photos.
Scan old prints and toss junkers. Use software to organize them. Consider beginning a family scrapbook or online photo album to be completed before year's end.
___ Clear out old music, movies and books.
Tired of the same old music, or have a movie you haven't watched in a while? Swap them online or sell on ebay or half.com.

November
___ Clean windows and drapes.
This will allow your holiday decorations to really shine through. Also, notice the wear and tear on these items. It may be time to freshen up the drapes or caulk the windows before cold weather really hits.
___ Dust all the artwork, ceiling fans and mirrors in your home.

December
This month is busy enough, so in December, concentrate on preparing and decorating for the holidays, then...
___ Relax and enjoy the holiday season in your newly organized home!

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.