Q. Now that Spring has arrived, we need to store our winter coats (and
boots, gloves, hats and so on). Right now we use trash bags and toss them
in a corner of the basement. Not a pretty site but it works. What would
Great, you already have the most important part down, forming the habit!
To hold your coats and other winter gear, I love the plastic storage
containers that you can get at your local discounter. They have lots of
sizes depending on how much you have. Here are two other elements to
1. If you have the space, it makes sense to give each person his own
container. If you have kids, this is a nice to way to show them how to fold
up, pack up and store their belongings-be sure you work with them if they're
little, and don't do too much for them if they're big.
containers invoke a sense of ownership and responsibility that a communal
container doesn't. Be sure to label each container well, on at least two
sides, for easy identification.
2. Build layers in your containers according to when you will need each
piece of gear come winter. For example, boots and extra cold weather
clothing can go at the bottom, since those will probably be the last items
out (though in Cleveland, you never know!).
Light weight coats and gloves
can go at the top. This makes it easier to reach the jackets when the first
cool snap hits.
Again depending upon the composition of your family, you may prefer to keep
all the gloves and hats in a small container, separate from boots, and so
Either way, use clothes pins to clip gloves together-this is your
perfect solution to mateless mittens-and you can store your boots inside the
crinkly grocery store bags if they have mud or dirt on them.
The bags take
up no extra room and protect the other items in the container.
So don't agonize, organize!
Q. I always dread my annual spring cleaning but it has to be done. It is
such an overwhelming project (cleaning everything from top to bottom) that
I put it off as long as possible. There has got to be a better way.
A. You're not alone, but there is a better way than cramming all that work
into such a short period of time. Spread it out and tackle it bit by bit.
Start planning after New Year's, when all of the holiday decorations have
been packed up and stored, and you have recovered from the pressure of it
Begin by making a list of the jobs you want to complete. Then label each
job as Indoor or Outdoor, designating whether it can be done in or out side.
Next, prioritize the indoor jobs, giving each one a number starting with #
1. Do the same for your outdoor projects, also starting with # 1. Then,
while it's still cold, work on your indoor tasks one or two per weekend, or
every other weekend, until your they are complete and the warmer weather
arrives. This is your indication that it's time to move on to the outdoor
Your key to success is effective planning. Set up your schedule according
to the amount of time you have relative to the number and complexity of
Difficult or large jobs can be daunting, leading to the
unproductive habit of procrastination. To avoid this, break them up into
small and manageable mini-projects.
Also, involve the rest of the family
with age appropriate responsibilities. Everyone should pitch in, because
housework is just no fun!
Ask our Expert a question. Click to E-mail org@ClevelandSeniors.Com
Top of Page
Back to Get Organized