8 expert tips for organizing your home while hiding in place


If you live in one of the many cities that advocate (or mandate) self-quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, you suddenly spend much more time at home. Whether you work from home, teach your kids at home, or just need to arrange your space to stay indoors, it's a great time to organize.

After consulting with a number of leading organizing influencers and the President-elect of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO), we've compiled a list of ways you can quarantine your home.

1. Organize your pantry

As you prepare your home for quarantine, going through your pantry and shelf stable items is a great first step.

"Pushed back into a corner of your pantry can be food that is running low. What a great time to use up those older items instead of wasting them. Since supermarket shelves are more empty than ever, I'd suggest to organize your pantry and fridge / freezer before getting anything else in the house. It is important, especially under the current circumstances, to rotate your food and consume the oldest first – so that nothing gets lost! "

Shalae Price, professional organizer

Start by taking everything out and marking expiration dates. Make an inventory of your shelf stable supplies and what else you may need. If you have an excess of items, consider contacting older family and friends or donating what you don't need. Wipe down your pantry and cupboards before you start storing everything.

Debbie Sandler, owner of A Life Better Organized, told us to sort the "remaining items into similar categories. Keep herbs together, preserves, oils and vinegar, baking supplies, cereal and so on." Use baskets, pots, trays , crates, lazy Susans and containers to optimize the space.

2. Designated space for work or school

If your work has shifted to remote work or if your children are doing their schoolwork at home, you need to free up some workspace. By setting aside a designated space, it prevents the boundary between work and home from blurring and makes it easier to be productive.

Price: “You need a clear space to focus. Use vertical space to store things where possible. Keep only the essential items on your desk. Wall pockets can be hung on the wall to store files and papers. Desktop paper sorters keep things separate and vertical, eliminating visual clutter and freeing up space to work. ”

3. Create physical space for mental space

Since you spend a lot of time in your home, we recommend decrypting and rearranging your common living spaces. Cleaning up the space makes it feel less cramped, has several mental health benefits, and can make you feel productive.

You may also need more free space for quarantine activities, such as movie or game nights, and exercise in your home. There are many free online resources for yoga and exercise classes.

Start by storing loose items and finding more efficient homes for things you don't use every day. Use cupboards and space under beds. Make an effort to rearrange your furniture to create more open spaces.

Organize your closet

Switch & # 39; Clean up with Marie Kondo & # 39; and dive deep into your closet. Adjust everything and consider donating clothes that you haven't worn for a year or more. Neatly fold and arrange the things you want to keep by activity, style or color. Store seasonal items, such as large coats and warm scarves, to give your clothes more breathing space.

You can also get creative and reuse older items. Crop an old sweatshirt, iron on a patch on your faded jeans or tie-dye a t-shirt. If you want to hold on to old T-shirts that still have memories, Sandler recommends making a quilt out of them

5. Sort through your entertainment collection

Make an inventory of all your books, movies and games. Find efficient places to store them, discover some old favorites to pass the time, and donate the things you don't like anymore (local youth centers, retirement homes, children's hospitals).

Now may be the time to release old CDs and VHS tapes – things that take up space and are used to a limited extent. You may not need many older movies available on the streaming services you subscribe to.

6. Spend time with the past

Parsed by your photo collection – both physical and digital. Going through photos is the perfect time-consuming social distance project. You can reminisce and remember good times, while also making it easier for your future self to create albums or find specific photos.

It's a good time to clean your digital photos. Delete all those utility photos you have taken, delete bad photos and wander the multiples. If you have time to go a step further, decide how you want to share your photos. You can create a book or share it with family in a cloud account. This may be a good time to share family stories with children or to ask older family members to share their stories. ”

Amy Tokos elected President of NAPO

Then you can take those photos and work on unfinished baby books, albums or scrapbooks.

7. Go for the garage

Garages and sheds often house arbitrary equipment, tools, storage and the remains of moving. Cleaning and organizing your garage is a physical task, ideal for some exercise and fresh air.

These spaces tend to collect more dirt, dust and grime than indoor spaces. Empty the garage or shed, wipe and rinse the area. As you refill it, go through everything and decide what you want to keep, sell, donate or throw away. Sort things by category and plan where you want to store different article groups.

Use shelves and hang things up to create vertical space. Consolidate similar items, such as the Christmas decorations, into larger bins. Get creative with your containers – old paint cans, gum or mint containers, and filing cabinets can all hold smaller trinkets and tools.

8. Clean the car

A detailed cleaning and organization of your car is a great preparation for the eventual return to work and normal outings. Go a step further than washing the outside and search any nooks, crannies and glove boxes. Sandler says: & # 39; Bring two bags, one for the trash and one for stuff to move. Such as extra glasses, coins, receipts, old DVDs, empty drinking bottles and expired coupons (except Bed Bath & Beyond, they still take them). Remove mats and vacuum floors. Dust the dashboard and clean the windows. & # 39;

One task at a time

There is an option to use your time during quarantine for things you normally wouldn't have time for in a pre-coronavirus routine. Cleaning, organizing and thinking about your material belongings make you feel more productive.

Price said it best when she told us: "We will all be aware of the things we really need. We may find that some of the clutter we've been holding for years … doesn't do anything for us, even if we're living in a crisis. That says to us that it's OK to rinse and make room for other supplies On the other hand, we may find that we need to make room in our homes for items we never thought we needed before. & # 39;

The 8 expert tips for organizing your home while it's hiding in place first appeared on Freshome.com.

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