e-Wise Woman: Health tips for women on the go | Issue 3 | Fall 2011

Got a Minute? Get Organized

"As school gets back into session, the weather starts changing and the days grow shorter, I begin organizing for the fall," says Michaeline Raczka. "These fall organization projects fit whatever time you have available."

If You Have…

5 minutes

  • Choose a small area to clear … a windowsill, a counter space, a small drawer. Make it a "no-clutter zone."
  • Designate one spot for incoming paper and mail, so you don't have piles accumulating throughout your kitchen or workspace.
  • Gather your weekly recycling so it is ready for trash day.
  • Clear out shoes by the entry door.
  • Choose five things to put away.
  • Sweep your front porch or stoop

15 minutes

  • Start a 15-minute daily tidying routine that will stop clutter in its tracks: Wipe down bathroom counters and sweep the floor.  Empty the bathroom trashcan and change the hand towel.
  • Declutter your pantry. Toss expired items, store like things together, donate what you won't use.
  • Organize and dust three shelves.

30 minutes

  • Gather and box up summer décor, then decorate for fall.
  • Choose a room and envision how you'd really like it to look. Identify things that belong there versus what just landed there, find a new home for what doesn't belong.
  • Organize your entryway/mudroom. Add a high-quality doormat and washable area rugs. Eliminate everything that doesn't have to be there when you walk out the door.
  • Organize your coat closet. Find those items that didn't make it to the dry cleaner in the spring and take them in.

An hour

  • Clean out your car. Remove summer items. Restock the first aid kit. Put in your ice scraper. Wipe down surfaces and vacuum the carpet.
  • Organize for kids' schoolwork. Create a study zone and create an area to showcase artwork on a rotating basis. Then arrange a planned artwork storage solution such as clear plastic boxes, an artists' portfolio or clean unused pizza boxes. Use an office supply box to stash extra art supplies such as glue, scissors and markers.
  • Plan a week of menus, checking everyone's schedule. Match the dinner preparations to your family's schedule. Think about using your slow cooker or purchasing a grocery store roasted chicken for dinner.

An afternoon

  • Gather summer items you no longer need and load them into your car for a donation center.

A day

  • Organize your clothes closet. Pull out everything, purge and sort. Make piles of items that can be donated, those that need mending and those that need to be pitched.

A weekend

  • Organize your garage or basement. Pull out everything, purge, then sort what's left by zones or categories (sports, gardening, recycling center, tools, board games, books, etc.).
Improving health. Enhancing lives.