Friday, September 23, 2011

5 reasons to finally get organized

Clearing clutter or building shelves or even hiring a pro to help you thin out your collection of worn-out , never-worn or out-of-style old clothes, shoes, purses and knick-knacks will help you get your house organized. Still, nothing but a change of attitude and behavior will help you stay that way.

An organized home is important to your sense of order, your peace of mind and even the quality of your life. Here are five reasons to keep your house organized:

1. Save time. Here’s a familiar scenario: You have a project to complete, and you figure it will take you an hour. Then, you can’t find the tool, the piece of paper, the utensil or the information you need to get the chore done—even though you know you just saw it somewhere. That’s because you either don’t have a place where you always store such things—or you didn’t put it in that place last time you used it. So you spend an hour looking for what you need, and a second hour using the tool to complete your project. What else might you have done with that second hour if you had been organized?

2. Save stress. You’re running out the door, late for an appointment, and you can’t find your car keys. Your kids are rushing to get to the school bus, but someone can’t find her left shoe or his backpack or last night’s homework. They start blaming each other or you, an argument begins, someone cries and either they miss the bus or they go to school without the things they need.

Create a “drop zone” either in the garage or in the mud room or foyer where the family passes through to get into the house. Install lockers or a wall unit with a separate compartment for each family member. Purses, keys, backpacks, musical instruments and other items you usually need to take with you when you leave go there—no exceptions. It’s also a great place to put up a bulletin board where you can post reminders for your spouse and children.

3. Save money. I brought home a cool new jacket not too long ago, only to find one exactly like it hiding between the other jackets I have crammed into my closet. I simply forgot I had it because I couldn’t see it when I opened the closet. More than once, I’ve deliberately run out to buy something I need even though I know already own it—because I can’t find it.

Knowing where everything you own “lives” in your house means you’ll have it when you need it. Getting rid of the clutter and then routinely placing items back in their place gives you a better chance of remembering what you already have so you won’t buy unneeded items. Plus, you might find some stuff in your closets that you can sell during a garage sale, at a flea market or on a Web site like Craigslist.

Keep an inventory of the items in your home, which you can do only if you know everything you have and where it is. A book with photos, descriptions and locations of everything you own will come in handy if your home ever suffers from a fire or robbery.


For more do-it-yourself tips, go to Rosie Romero is an Arizona contractor who has been in the Arizona home building and remodeling industry for 35 years. He has a radio program from 8-11 a.m. Saturdays on KTAR-FM (92.3) in Phoenix, KQNA-AM (1130) in Prescott and KAZM-AM (780) in Sedona, KNST-AM (790) in Tucson and KAFF 930 AM in Flagstaff.

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