Free Tips & Tricks about how to maintain a Tidy Lifestyle after Tidying!
Spices & Herbs
- Always return seasonings back to their designated home
- Preserve flavor and quality by storing all spices and herbs away from light and heat
- Replace after six months
- When you run out of a spice: discard container and write down the item on your shopping list
- Always place items where you found them
- Keep a writing pad handy in the kitchen so you can write down foods to replace
- Sort through the pantry every 2-3 months to do inventory, make adjustments, and discard expired foods
- Place labels on shelves so every member of the household can put things back where they belong
Refrigerator & Freezer
- Always return food back to its category
- sauces on the door
- cheese in the drawer
- milk on the tallest shelf
- proteins on the lowest shelf (typically coldest area of the fridge)
- Try to sort through the fridge & freezer every 1-2 months, before going grocery shopping
- Check what you have and need to buy
- Toss spoiled and expired foods
- Reorganize so you can see everything
- Go through old photos every year. If you haven’t gone through photos in years, be honest with yourself and ask if they are worth keeping? Perhaps, switch photos in frames out with those in albums or boxes.
- Joy Check books every year. When did you read each book? If you haven’t most of the books in the past year or more consider other options – Kindle, Ebooks, or go to the library. (Yes, I still go to the library! It’s a wonderful way to read new releases without having to wait or store more books at home.)
- Ensure bins are categorized and accessible to encourage the little kiddos to tidy up
- Categories can be broken down by:
- Trains, Trucks, Small Toys
- Play food, Cookware
- Stuffed Animals
- Sort through the dining room sideboard once a year and donate items that haven’t been used in the past 12 months
- Refrain from using the dining table as a resting place for paper and projects
- Place fresh flowers in a vase or another centerpiece. This visual appeal reminds family members that this is a space to gather.
- Dust and clean the table weekly – this can help from clutter building
- Place frequently used items in the sideboard nearby
- Coasters, trivets, and napkins in easy to access drawers
- After a party, put glasses and liquors back where they belong
- Inventory the liquid cabinet before holiday and event shopping. Add items to your shopping list.
- Recycle junk mail at the mailbox
- Have a designated place to temporary hold mail if you can’t get to it immediately
- Sort through mail daily and as soon as you can
- Shred sensitive mail
- Place bills and other important documents in a pending box
- Replace old magazines with new ones, especially if you have a subscription
- As you receive important documents be sure to file them away in their appropriate category within a file cabinet or file folder
- Place must-do items in a pending box, typically located on top of the desk or in a drawer
- It’s natural for papers to be left out: don’t stress! You’re human! File papers once a week or on a regular schedule so nothing builds up.
- When you receive notices such as wedding invitations: add it to the calendar immediately and then toss the paper.
- Clean out files every year.
- Tax records have to be saved for 3 years in California
- Dispose of any unused manuals
- Shred old bills, receipts, checks, etc.
- Every 4 months: Go through file folders and add documents left on the desktop or other places that are not categorized
- Ensure all documents are in useful categories
- Trash old and irrelevant documents
- Ensure all documents are in useful categories
- Every 4 months: Sort photos and delete duplicates, screenshots, junk
- Take this opportunity to increase phone storage, sync photos to the cloud and/or computer
- Create a photo screensaver slideshow on the computer! Change the background photo on your phone! This is a great way to enjoy your photos and relive your memories each day!
- Always put clothes back where it belongs in a closet, dresser, or drawer
- Sort through clothing storage spaces periodically, perhaps every 6 months
- When seasons change, replace and store clothes with the appropriate season
- Discard or donate unworn clothes.
- *Every item we keep and discard teaches us a lesson*
- Designate a lazy drawer: Have a safe space to hold the pajamas currently being used or other clothes you intend to wear again. This is also a great place to hold clothes when feeling too tired to fold.
- Designate a laundry bag for dry cleaning
- Utilize drawer organizers and dividers if your clothes feel cluttered and disorganized regularly
- As soon as you empty the dryer, find a peaceful place to fold clothes and take some time for yourself. This can become a relaxing ritual. Don’t forget to involve family members or to place clothes in labeled baskets within their personal spaces for them to get to.
- Don’t have time to fold? Set clothing basket aside, near your closet as a “pending” activity.
- Make it a habit to return all books inside the nightstand
- Always put medicine in the drawers of the nightstand
- Have in-bed hobbies? Place contents in a bin stored under the bed
- Keep a small dish on the nightstand for hairbands, rings, or earrings
- Reorganize your bathroom every 6-12 months
- It’s normal for clutter to build up on bathroom counters. Make it a point to clean counters regularly to avoid scum and dust build up. Take this opportunity to tidy up!
- Check the dates of your medication every 6 months
- Over the counter medication typically expires every 6-12 months
- Store medicine in a cabinet or designated bin with a lid, out of reach from kids
Garage & Utility Room
- Label all bins and shelves to ensure you always put items back. This also helps encourage family members to put things back.
- Clean and fix equipment, tools, and recreational items every season before storing
Do you need an improved maintenance strategy?
For more detailed guidance I recommend reading The Home Organizing Workbook.