Go through your mail
- Look around your house and find all those piles of mail.
- Gather it all in one place to sort.
- Create categories: bills, papers to file, catalogs, etc. And of course, recycling and trash.
- Put everything where it goes; trash or recycle the rest.
Create a mail center system
- Create a system for the categories above.
- Use file folders and a desktop file box, a wall mounted basket, or a file cabinet.
- Label each file folder with a category that works for you: bills, school, social, file, kids, receipts, etc.
- When sorting your mail, just put things into the appropriate folder.
Write out meals for the next week and a grocery list
- Grab a paper and pen and take a look at what you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.
- Make a list of 5-7 dinners you want to eat during the next week, as well as options for breakfasts and lunches.
- Write down any groceries you need to buy for these meals.
- Post the “menu choices” for the next week where everyone can see them. Family can vote on what they want to eat on what day, while you have a sense of control knowing you have everything on hand to make it (or delegate someone to do it!)
Pantry – quick cleanup and reorganization
- Set a timer for 15 minutes.
- Check for old, expired food, and throw that away.
- Get rid of boxes that are half full by emptying the contents into clear plastic containers. (I love having labelled containers for food items I buy often, but you can also just use Tupperware that you already have to accomplish the same goal.)
- Use baskets or bins to contain like items such as breakfast, snacks, bread, baking, etc.
- Label! Even if it’s just sharpie on a white envelope label, it will help things stay where they need to be!
Clean out your car
- Grab a bag for trash and a basket or bin for items that don’t belong in your car.
- First, get all the trash out of your car.
- Now grab all the things that don’t belong in the car (legos, an abundance of pens, plastic cups, socks?).
- Evaluate what needs to go in your car and make a designated home for those important things (hand sanitizer, gum, masks, car documents).
- Vacuum and wipe down surfaces.
- Even if your house feels like a disorganized mess, you will breathe a sigh of relief when you get into your peaceful haven on wheels.
Bonus: Power hour
- With my kids, I call this “Power Hour,” but really it can be any amount of time. Just get everyone involved.
- Go through the house putting everything back in its home (or at least in the room where it lives). The key is to not get bogged down pulling everything out of a cabinet to reorganize the entire thing, or start taking trips down memory lane with each knick-knack.
- Go for the “low hanging fruit:” don’t hesitate, just throw those old magazines into the recycling bin, put all clothes on the floor directly into the hamper (or washer), put the toys in a basket, etc.
- Just keep moving and putting things back in their homes!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just pick one of these tasks and start. I promise you will feel better in less than an hour!