Countdown to your best Christmas Gift

An Organized Home

There are 25 days left until Christmas! 2020 has been an unusual year with plans changing and traditions being modified. However, it might just be the perfect time to give yourself the wonderful gift of being organized. In just a few minutes a day you can make a big difference. How great it would be to wake up on Christmas Day and feel more organized.

Are you ready to do your organized countdown? Here are 25 simple tasks that take about 10 minutes each and will help give you the gift of being organized. You can do it!

25.  Utensil drawer – Empty your drawer onto a towel on the counter. Sort, removing extras, broken or unused utensils. Place those you are keeping back in drawer using a drawer divider if available.

24.  Cleaning supplies – Pull out cleaning supplies from under your sinks (kitchen, bath, laundry, etc.) Evaluate if they are being used, are in good condition, or if you perhaps no longer need them. Put them back using a plastic bin or shoe box to hold them and make them easier to access.

23.  Spices – Gather all spices from around kitchen. Check expiration dates, tossing those that are no longer good. Organize in a way that makes sense for your cooking and baking.

22.  Refrigerated dressings & sauces– Go through all, removing those that are no longer good or being used. Group with similar items as you put them back. Create a shopping list for those you discard, or which might be missing.

21.  Junk drawer – Remove everything that belongs somewhere else. Evaluate what is left to see if it really has a purpose or just got stashed there. Use small bins, boxes, or cut-off bottoms of cereal boxes to keep groupings of items neatly together.

20.  Holiday cards – They are on their way! Get a basket ready to collect the cards. After the holidays, create a list of cards received and new addresses to make next year’s card sending a cinch.

19.  Shampoos and soaps – Collect and assess whether you are still using them all. Finish all the half-used bottles before opening a new one. Unused shampoos and soaps can be donated to shelters.

18.  Makeup – Group by type. Remember that makeup goes bad and is unsafe after a certain period of time. Discard as necessary, creating a list of items you need to replace. Donate unused products to shelters. Organize and store in bins or bags.

17.  Envelopes, stamps, address labels – Decide on a specific location to keep these so you’ll have them together and ready for use. Sort through, recycling the envelopes that you won’t use or are in bad shape. Reduce address labels to a reasonable, useable amount.

16.  Pencils, Markers, & Pens – Gather and evaluate, tossing the non-working ones. Decide on the appropriate amount to keep in each designated area. Store extras somewhere else and retrieve only when needed.

15.  Charitable receipts – Collect all your donation receipts whether it was for the extra clothing and shoes you donated or a generous monetary gift. Remember you might have both electronic and paper receipts. Keep in a computer file or desk folder so they will be ready for tax time.

14.  Candles – Gather all and evaluate their condition. Are they still something you would put out on display or use? Donate all unused ones to a craft place like ScrapPDX.org. Store all candles away from heat and grouped together to make them easier to find and use.

13.  Pet toys & supplies – Collect and sort all toys and supplies. Discard worn and donate disliked toys to animal shelter. Store remaining items in bins or baskets close to where they are most often used.

12.  Tire chains & ice scraper –Make sure chains are the right size and stored in your car. Add a tarp to use while installing chains. Put an ice scraper in your glove box to be ready for whatever the weather dishes out.

11.  Glove box & car console – Decide what is needed in your car. Pull out everything that doesn’t belong there including the trash. Group items you’ll be keeping into small bags or bins to keep like items together and make easier to locate. Don’t forget to add gloves to help during those winter drives.

10.  Gloves/hats/scarves – Get all your warm accessories together and evaluate their condition. Ask yourself if you really like them or need them. Launder, mend or replace as needed. Donate seldom used and unneeded items to shelters.

9. Yard maintenance equipment – Make sure they are in good working condition and ready for next year. If needed, line up service. Store in a dry, out of the way place until next season.

8.  Gardening supplies –Check fertilizer, seeds, and pesticides for expirations and dispose of responsibly. (Check OregonMetro.gov) Keep them grouped together and stored safely.

7.  Nightstand – Clear the top of your nightstand. Put back only the bare minimum, maybe a lamp, clock, and book. Return the other items to their proper places elsewhere in your home. You could also sort through your nightstand drawer if you have a few minutes left.

6.  Socks – Pull out all socks even the strays. Evaluate each, matching up pairs as much as possible. Use ones with holes, lonely partners, or outdated socks for rags or take to fabric recycle. Newer socks can be donated.

5.  Underwear – Evaluate your underwear, not only for the condition but for preference. Does a particular item end up not being worn because you’d rather wear another? Eliminate the excess. Make sure there is enough room to comfortably find what you are looking for.

4. Coats – Pull out all your coats. Check condition and style. Try on and decide if the amount of times you might wear each coat is worth the space it uses or if someone else could get much better use out of it. Consider sharing it with a program that would give the coats to someone who needs it.

3.  Linens – Reduce the extra sheet sets. Evaluate which fits your beds and how many you actually need. Donate the rest to a homeless program. Label the shelf or the sheet with bed size so you can grab the needed size on the first try.

2.  Towels – Examine all of your towels. Ask yourself if they are still your style, needed, or have already been replaced. You can donate good towels and take well used or torn towels to an animal shelter.

1.  CONGRATULATIONS!!! You did it! It’s time to celebrate the wonderful gift you have just given yourself, the gift of organization!

© Beth Giles 2020

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