Off-grid pantry planner

{This is a guest post by Marina Chernyak.}

A few years ago if you would have asked my family how organized I was they would have laughed! Organized and me should have not been used in the same sentence! Today however, is a different story! I will not say that my house is nice and tidy but I will say that everything has its place and when asked for something I know where to go to find it. But, how did I get organized? Here are a few tips I keep in mind whenever I am in the mood for a clean up!

1.       One of the biggest reasons people don’t organize is because they don’t know where to start. Clutter can be everywhere and can be overwhelming so always remember that you don’t have to accomplish it all in one day! It takes time! Start with a drawer or a closet. Think small and work your way through the house. I like to tackle one project per weekend so that I never feel overwhelmed. You may want to do more and that is fine too!

2.        One place I like to start is with the food and medicine cabinets. Okay so that is random! But they are easy! Why? Check the expiration dates! I am sure you have lurking expired items that could help you to easily downgrade some of your clutter!

3.        Next I like to hit the closets! First start off with the clothes that will no longer fit you or your family. I don’t just mean with your weight. I mean your personality as well! Do the clothes still fit your style? Do you wear them? If you are second guessing yourself about what items to keep then I find it handy to try it on. Do you like the way it fits? Would you wear it again? If not then get rid of it!

4.      On my personal list Boxes and totes are next! Having kids in the house seems to add to the clutter that gets shoved into boxes and totes! When going through the boxes and totes my sole goal it to see how many of them I can eliminate all together to help free up more space!

5.       There are two pieces of furniture that I feel are a must for organization! A book case and a file cabinet! A book case will allow you to clean up all of the books and magazines you have laying around your house. I also like to keep mine in the guest room allowing my guests to have books and magazines to read while they are there. As for the file cabinet it is an easy way to keep your bills as well as any other important papers on hand and in one spot!

6.       One step in the organization process that is hardest for me is the throwing out. I have days of second guessing myself about the items I “might” or “might not” need. One way to help you figure it out is ask yourself “When was the last time I used this?” If it has been awhile then you probably do not need it.

7.       As you are going through items for your ‘go away’ pile think about the places your items could go that would be useful. Is there a local charity or organization that could use some of your lightly used items.

8.       Now you see your go away pile growing but what about the probably bigger pile of ‘to keep’ items.  You will need to make sure you have a proper place to put them when you are finished. Yes that means have a place for everything. Don’t spend your time going through a drawer or cabinet just to pile everything back into it.

9.       When organizing drawers think about how to separate your items out more easily. For example I love to use a silverware tray in each of my drawers because it helps to keep my junk drawer, make up, and hair accessories more organized!

10.  Have fun while you work! At times it may seem like a boring job! Don’t think of it that way! The ‘job’ will go faster if you turn up the music and get to work! If you are still not in the mood to organize then set the timer. Tell yourself you will only work for 5 minutes! After the 5 are over you might just want to keep going!

Marina Chernyak is the co-owner of 1001Shops LLC, an online store of fine imported products like garden sundials, venetian masquerade masks and Murano Jewelry

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