Hooray – it’s supposed to get downright balmy in northern Illinois during the next couple of days. We are longing to get outside to play and begin working in our yards. Before winter’s grip is totally broken it may be a good time for people who have moved recently (or those of us who have allowed things to slip) to get organized inside. Carolyn Burnham, a professional organizer, and owner of Healthy Home & Business LLC has some useful advise for all of us.
Don’t rush to buy furniture or other big ticket items for your home. Your new house is different from the old and it may take a few weeks or even months to figure out how you best need to use the space. Don’t buy anything until you really have a feel for the space or you could be wasting money.
If you didn’t have time to pare down your possession before you moved, do it now. Don’t try to find a space for items you no longer want or need. Use some of your extra boxes and mark them “Donation or To Sell”. If you are still unpacking boxes, when you find an item you no longer want to keep put it in the box.
Sign up with Freecycle.org group: I can’t recommend this enough. Most localities have a group. Freecycle was started by a group of people determined to keep usable items out of landfills. The most important rule Freecycle is that everything must be free. How will it work for you? Here is your opportunity to post items that may be hard to get rid of otherwise. Think boxes and large items or items that are difficult to donate or discard. I also got rid of about 20 gallons of paint in less than two days. Got a large item? Post it to Freecycle that they need to provide the labor to get it out of your house.
Sign up for a local Facebook Garage Sale Group: If you don’t want to donate or give away your items this is latest way of selling items locally that isn’t as anonymous. These are usually closed groups that you need to ask to join. People consider them a little safer. If you have a houseful of items to sell, this isn’t a good choice, but if you have a few items and a little time it can be a good choice.
Don’t buy new shelving until you have measured what needs to go on it. But still buy it. One of the biggest things I have noticed as I have helped with moves is the lack of storage space in most homes. I enter the basement (thank goodness we have basements in this part of the country) and often there isn’t any built in shelving and often a lack of appropriate freestanding shelving. People stack boxes on top of boxes, which makes accessing the lower boxes nearly impossible. Measure your boxes and determine the width and height of your shelves for maximum storage space. If possible always choose adjustable shelving.
Invest in a Closet System: If your closets only came equipped with only a closet bar and a shelf it might be a good idea to invest in more appropriate storage for your clothing. Like before, don’t rush into it. Go through a season or two and see how you are using your closet and make efforts to purge items you longer wear.