I hate it when I walk into a room and it looks like a tornado just went through. Piles of paper are stacking up to the ceiling. Toothpaste is somehow in the living room. Toys, shoes, clothes, books, computers, and yesterday’s lunch are aggressively taking over the floor and nearly every table in the house. I especially hate when I walk into that kind of room when I know I have to clean it. Where should I even start?
One cleaning tip that has really helped me is to: Learn To Consolidate. Consolidate simply means putting like things together. Here is your mission- if you wish to accept it. Look around your house and begin to gather each of your belonging into groups that are similar.
In her book, Smart Organizing, Sandra Felton gives a great list to help us think of things to consolidate. Some groups in your house may be:
- “Important papers, bills
- Craft supplies
- Hats and Caps
- Music items, such as CD’s, tapes, electronic equiptment
- Cleaning products
- Make up
- Books, magazines” (38).
When I started consolidating into piles like this list suggests, I was shocked to find ten tubes of toothpaste in our bathroom. Because we were so unorganized, we kept buying the same things over and over again. It has been three years since I discovered we were hording toothpaste, and we have just recently purchased our first “actually needed” tube of toothpaste.
As you consolidate, you will find duplications, junk you want to discard, as well as the valuable things you’d like to keep. Don’t be alarmed if your house appears messier than it did before while you are in the process of consolidating. This is totally normal. Just remember this will help you stay organized in the long run. If this feels overwhelming, start with a desk, a small closet, or a single room. Don’t try to tackle the whole house in one day.
Once you have successfully consolidated, you are ready to containerize. I’ll talk more about that in future posts. Until then enjoy the jump start consolidating will give to your house.