The Urge to Purge
Organizing for Fall
Experts say that it takes 40 per cent less time to clean a clutter-free home. Yes, 40 per cent! Now, more than ever, we’re motivated to streamline, simplify and organize.
We asked Pauline Martens, mother of two girls (ages 7 & 10), interior decorator, home organizer and house stager, what she recommends we do to help get ready for the fall, now that it’s time to think about putting away the bathing suits and all.
- Attack the clothes closets first. Clean closets give us extra space for all those bulky wool sweaters. What’s more, a fall cleanout comes just in time for the holiday season when all kinds of new stuff finds its way into the house. So rotate seasonal clothing—put the sundresses and sandals into an airtight box downstairs or under the bed, and organize the winter clothes by colour and type—pants with pants, blouses with blouses, etc.
- Ditch old underwear and mismatched socks. If there is nothing left, you might need some new ones
- The Canadian Diabetes Association offers a pickup service for donated clothing. Give them a call and get your old stuff out of your hair right away!
- Be ruthless—as Pauline says: “If I didn’t have kids, I’d be a minimalist.” Donate clothing the kids have outgrown. If by some miracle the clothes are in good shape, drop them off at the My Kids Funky Closet mega consignment sale at the Glebe Community Center.
- Neglected toys filling up the toybox? Steal them away and store them in the basement for a few months. If the kids don’t ask for them, they’re next to go. Pauline’s consignment store of choice is Boomerang Kids.
- Put away the extras that are cluttering your countertops. How often do you use that popcorn maker anyway?
- Get rid of unused coffee mugs and throw out all the plastic containers you have without a lid. They have no place in your home. Get the kids involved trying to match up lids and containers.
- Do an inventory of your freezer and use up whatever’s been hiding behind that pork shoulder.
- Is the kids’ artwork piling up? Find some cheap frames at IKEA and hang the best of the best, or take digital photos of them for permanent record. Otherwise, fold them inside old newspapers and deposit discreetly in the recycle bin. (Repeat DISCREETLY—don’t say we didn’t warn you.)
- The objective here is to make room for the car this winter. Start by sweeping the floor (an automatic feel good), then toss old flowerpots and outdoor toys. Make sure everything has a place, preferably up against the wall or on shelves. Giant hooks work well too.
Put aside 15 minutes a day and you will become a victim of seasonal purging disorder. But don’t let it take over your life, just take one room at a time and you won’t know yourself.
Pauline would like to help you get started with your seasonal purging. She is offering a 10% discount to all savvymom.ca readers. Call and mention that you are savvy.
Voila! Decorating & Organizing for Everyday Living
(613) 262-4281 (cell)
Tested by Andrea T., Ottawa
First published 2007.09.20
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