How to Organize Your Home: Declutter, Organize and Other Home Organization Idea
An organized closet can go a long way toward calming the chaos in your life. Photo: Closet Factory (2016)
DECLUTTER FIRST
Spring: Time to Tidy Up!
Declutter first and then use these organizing tips
Decluttering? Time to say goodbye to Timmy. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2016
I’ve been tidying up my house since mid-January. To be truthful, I didn’t intentionally set out to declutter and reorganize my home. Instead, it was a byproduct of my latest home improvement project. After nine years, it was time to re-paint a bathroom, three bedrooms and all the closets in my house. Every organizer will tell you to completely empty your closets and then edit the things you’re going to put back into them. So, that’s how my tidying got started. Now, I’m continuing to tackle other rooms and even our garage. I’m on a roll!
 
Popular organizing books suggest only keeping things that you truly love and giving or throwing away everything else. This is easier said than done, but it’s a good starting point. One strategy is to put similar items together in one pile when you’re sorting clothes. Jackets, for example, should be pulled from all closets so you can easily see how many you have and eliminate duplicates. It’s a good idea to leave the sorting of sentimental things like photos and letters for later.
 
The other issue that comes with tidying up is what to do with all the stuff you no longer want or need. I hate throwing away things that can be reused or recycled, so I spent a lot of time finding out where to turn in old eyeglasses, expired medications, e-waste like phone chargers and DVD players, unusable paint, and a bad mattress and box springs. Fortunately, I found a new home for a trundle bed with a nonprofit that helps homeless families transition to apartments. But I won’t kid you—this took a lot of time. 
What I hadn’t anticipated was that my husband would become motivated, too. He donated dozens of old ties, books, luggage, hats and sweatshirts. He was shocked at what had accumulated over the last 25 years. We delivered cartons of photo albums, yearbooks and report cards to our young adult children. Along with Giants’ bobbleheads and trolls, I found an old Nintendo and a collector’s set of Wayne Newton albums. I’m still thinking about what to do with those.

 

Where to donate items
To help you get started on your spring cleanup, I’m listing a number of sources for recycling and donating items in the Bay Area:

Expired medications: Take Back Your Meds
Eyeglasses: Eye Sight for All
E-waste and hazardous materials: Local garbage companies
Old furniture: Goodwill and Salvation Army
Children’s clothing: Loved Twice
Medical equipment: ReCARES
Career clothing: Dress for Success
Unused toiletries: Glide Memorial
Books and magazines: Public libraries (call first)
Used toothbrushes: Preserve

If you have more suggestions, feel free to post them on our Facebook page.

 

EXPERT TIPS
Keep Your Home Clean and Tidy

Closet Organization Tips
A closet valet can turn chaos into calm. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2016

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Find top rated companies to help with your home organization project
HOME ORGANIZING IDEAS
How a Bedtime Story Inspired Me to Get Organized

Home Organizing can be helped with a built-in bookshelving system.
One of the best ways to increase comfort and functionality in the home is to implement organizational measures. Photo: Closet Factory (2016)

Midway through “The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room,” I recognized a striking parallel between the Bear family’s titular dilemma and my own. The “dust-catching, helter-skelter, wall-to-wall mess” in Brother and Sister Bears’ bedroom appeared as a caricature of …Read More 

Simplifying your life helps in home organization

ORGANIZED FAMILIES
Home Organization: The Family Edition

organize your garage with a garage organizing system
A system for organizing sports equipment can save your garage from chaos. Photo: PremierGarage, 2016
Back-to-school signals a fresh start: it’s time for new socks, new notebooks and new routines. With that in mind, here are some fresh ways to reorganize your home and make your school day routines flow with ease…Read More 

REFRIGERATOR ORGANIZATION
How to Organize Your Refrigerator

How to organize your refrigerator infographic

HOME OFFICE
How to Organize Your Home Office

YOUR TO-DO LIST
How to Get Your To-Do List Done

Home Organization involves getting your to do list done
Being organized can help you check things off your list faster. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2016
Author Brigid Schulte has the residents of the 21st century in mind when she says, “…this is how it feels to live my life: scattered, fragmented and exhausting.” I read this and can only nod vigorously while reaching for another cup of coffee. Only I realize that my labor-saving Keurig machine has to be cleaned and I actually don’t have any milk left so I’ll have to run to the store…you see the problem….Read More

 

 

organize your home