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Organizing Housework for the New Year

Looking back on last year and housework. Don't you wish you could make a new plan to keep things organized and the washing caught up? Trust me, it is possible! I'd like to suggest a few tips to frustrated and overwhelmed homemakers that I've used for many years. I've passed them down to my daughter and sons as well. Fortunately, my daughter picked up on it! As for the sons, well, they're still struggling but I figure one out of three ain't bad!


First, use the month of January to reorganize. Unfortunately, to do this you'll need to invest in storage products. After the Holidays, there are a lot of plastic crates, etc on sale. It doesn't matter if it's red and green or a holiday design, who cares! Go through one a closet at a time. To attempt more than one at a time gets you feeling overwhelmed, so keep it down to one.

  • Go through clothes and make piles of clothes for discarding. If it hasn't been worn in 6 months it more than likely won't be worn.
  • Yard Sale Items and clothes: If you're REALLY ambitious, go ahead and price and tag them. When finished, box up or crate them up and you'll be ready for the next sale.
  • If you're like me, you have craft items in there. Do a craft item box and next time you look for them you know where they're at (and that's sure a good feeling).
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  • If you have several skeins of yarn or several pair of shoes, the pocketed hanging organizer works wonders. The absolute best ones are the canvas ones which have have little "cubby" pockets. These take up very little space and it's amazing how much these will hold.
  • As for toys, use the same plan as the clothes. If it hasn't been played with for 6 month, discard, Yard sale, or donate it. Goodwill stores, etc will write you a tax donation slip for tax use.
  • Items that are in your closet and out of place: Take the time to put it back where it goes. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day and this will take time, but it's a great feeling to see an organized closet. Use the crates for the items you must store. Using an index card, or simply paper and tape, make a label to let you know what's inside. Then you won't need to dig to find what's inside.

My second suggestion is to form new habits concerning dish washing and laundry. Try this for a week or so and you'll make it a practice. If you're fortunate enough to have a dishwasher, do not go to bed without loading it. If you hand wash, use the same practice. Same with laundry, once you make one big laundry "catch-up day", make a practice to wash the days clothes before bedtime. If you do this; you can keep yourself caught up.

Now I want you to know, I'm not SUZY HOMEMAKER, by any means, but I raised three kids using this method. A piled up house and laundry room makes for a frustrated Mom. And you know the old saying "If Mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Speaking of happy, Happy New Year!

By Sharon from Ravenna, KY

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 4, 20090 found this helpful

I take the out-of season clothes storage one step further. I make a list of what's in the box but I do a list for each season. One box would be spring/summer another would be fall/winter or whatever combo works better for you. The clothes that are listed for the "previous" season are what I put back in the box. That way I don't have to relabel each time I swap out clothes.

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January 5, 20150 found this helpful

These are some great ideas and thanks so much for reminding me. I also use the month of January to organize and get my taxes ready so when all the W2's and 1099's come in its ready for the preparer. This being the 5th of January,2015 well now is the time to start, get all that Christmas decoration packed or that you didn't use and go through it sort and make ready for that garage sale or if you are a creative person craft it.

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January 1, 20170 found this helpful

I agree with Priscilla that now is a good time to begin gathering tax info from your files and from the mail and put it in one place. (I put mine on the guest bed so it's easy to find.) For several years I have made files for MEDICAL PAYMENTS of the amount paid by our health insurance and what we paid out-of-pocket for each doctor visit, TAX INFO (contains property/school tax info, safe deposit box, long-term care payments, health insurance cost and losing lottery tickets in case we ever win anything, (I hear you laughing) the loses can be taken off the winnings...basically anything that might be tax deductible), DONATIONS for the letters from charities indicating the amount donated and slips from Goodwill, etc. Starting at the beginning of the year, I set up these files and at the end of the year, I have most of the papers I need to get ready for the preparer. It makes life a lot easier for me. One other tip is that mileage driven to and from doctors may be deductible. Happy New Year to all!

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