By the looks of it, we may all be trapped in our apartments, condos and houses for days with little hope of getting outside. So why not go on a blizzard organizing binge?
Now is the time to check off items on your to-do list, or even make a to-do list. Maybe you still have to write your holiday thank-you notes. Between monitoring your sidewalks and roof or watching endless episodes of “Homeland,” why not do something that you’ll feel good about when the snow finally melts?
Some Washingtonians began planning for an organizing party early in the week. Anita Ponchione went to the Container Store to get under-sink bathroom bins and baskets to corral the Costco stockpiles in her linen closet. “I figured I was going to be hunkered down for possibly three days, and what better time to try and organize a little section of my house?” says Ponchione, who recently moved to a new home in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Northwest Washington. “I have three little girls, so I have to be realistic. But if I can get even my linen closet in order, it will make me feel so much more organized and in control.”
Not being able to go out for organizing supplies now is one of the challenges of taking on a tidying task in a blizzard, says Pierrette Ashcroft, a professional organizer with Smart Productivity Solutions in the District.
“You have to be creative,” she says. “But there are so many things you can do that you have been putting off to do ‘someday.’ Someday is here.”
Here are six blizzard-friendly organizing ideas from Ashcroft that will make you feel good when you’re done.
Junk drawer : Tackle that “little bit of everything” drawer in your kitchen. Empty the drawer and group like items together. Toss out any broken parts or loose screws. Use resealable bags or small boxes to keep things together in the drawer.
Tax records : Start a 2015 tax file or envelope if you haven’t already. Find last year’s return so you can see what you still need. Gather up all the records and receipts you can and file them. Comb through your checkbook, bank or credit card statements for deductible items. Make a list of documents you still need.
Photo archive: Take out any shoe boxes or manila envelopes of old photos you have stashed throughout the house. Gather the family to go through them and do a serious edit of what you want to keep and what isn’t really worth it. Start a box of photos you want to have scanned. Go through your recent holiday digital photos, delete the duplicates or duds, and put the restin online albums.
Cord management: Resolve to figure out a way to tame the tangle of cords under your desk. Ashcroft unplugs everything carefully and straightens out all the cords. Shorten lengthy cables and secure them with a cable tie, twist tie or rubber band. It’s a good idea to label the cords. You might find plugs with nothing attached to them. Ashcroft likes the Ikea Kvissle cork-topped cable management box.
Food pantry: Now that you’ve brought in even more food for the blizzard, you might want to take stock of what you have and organize it. Whether you have one cabinet or an entire closet full of canned goods, pasta, spices and cereal, take the time to remove everything off shelves, check the expiration date and then wipe down the shelf and put the items back in an orderly manner. Unexpired non-perishables that you are not going to use can be put in a shopping bag for later donation to a food bank.
Email management: Work through your in-box and get it down to zero. If that isn’t possible, do you what you can. If you sort by sender or date, you can delete many at once. Use this time to unsubscribe from all the lists you no longer wish to be on.
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