Now is the time to check off the tasks on your to-do list that you’ve been dragging your feet to do. You’ll feel so accomplished and refreshed! Here are a few things you can organize while you’re stuck at home.
Organize Your Book Collection
I don’t have a specific spot for all of my books. I’m not an avid reader who reads three books a month, heck I’m lucky if I read one book a month, but I have built up a book collection over the years. I have books next to my bed, boxes in closets, one in my living room and a bunch on various shelves.
Go through your books. The ones in that box in a closet? You probably can get rid of those. I found separating them into piles visually helps organize. Here are the piles I used:
- Unread books that you still want to read
- Unread books that you know you’ll never read
- Read books that you can’t find the will to get rid of
- Read books you’re ready to part with
- School books that you KNOW you’ll never use again, but you’ve felt the need to hang onto.
Consolidate the books you want to keep in one area. This will help keep clutter down in your house. Try to sell or donate the books that you have decided to get rid of. This article gives 20 places that you can donate your books!
Go Through Your Medicine Cabinet
I know you don’t want to get rid of those expensive creams that you’ve had forever, but you might want to. Do you really want to use or ingest products that are expired or ineffective? Yeah, me either. Using something expired, on your face for example, could cause a reaction or do nothing at all, which defeats the purpose. If you notice a difference in texture or odor, toss it immediately. Here are some guidelines:
- Contact lens cases and opened eye drops: 3 months
- Anti-aging creams: 3 months to a year
- Liquid makeup: 3 months to a year
- Powder makeup: 1 to 2 years
- Nail polish: 1 year
- Insect repellent: 1.5 to 3 years
- Sunscreen, body lotion and moisturizer: 3 years
- Hydrogen peroxide: 3 years, or months after opening
- Medications should have an expiration date, check your bottles!
Clean Up Your Paper Clutter
Yes, you know. The ones you feel like you need to keep but haven’t really organized them or gone through them in a while. This could be receipts, taxes, paperwork, maybe old school papers…
My husband thinks we should save everything, which to a point is true. What if we need to reference the taxes again or we have to check on a warranty. Good point. But let’s make this work smarter for us. Go through all your papers and decide if you can throw some away – but not in the garbage. SHRED THOSE PAPERS. If you decide you can’t, a great way to clean up and organize your home, but keep a record of those papers is to scan them to your computer and keep them virtually! You can still print out again if needed, but you’re probably going to have to send information via email or attachment, so you’re already one step there. Name them specifically so it’ll be easy to find if needed! No more searching through a stack of papers!
Another thing to go through is your coupons! There’ll be times that I notice that I have kept expired ones, so now’s a good time to throw out the old ones. And I know you can still use expired Bed Bath & Beyond coupons in store, but do you really need 100+ of them (ahem, talking to myself)?
Clean Your Dryer
This sounds like the most annoying task, but it is highly important. Dirty dryers start almost 3,000 home fires each year. HGTV put together step by step instructions for you, check it out here!
Since you’re cleaning one appliance, this is a great time to clean other appliances! A lot of washers, dishwashers and ovens have self-cleaning settings on them! This is probably something you don’t do often, if at all, so might as well give it a go!
Make an Emergency Prep Kit
As we’ve seen, major pandemics or weather events can make a quick entrance into our lives and it’s important to be prepared. Here are a list of essentials you should have on hand in case you’re caught without power or need to evacuate.
You’ll want to have enough food for each member of your family for several days.
- Canned vegetables
- Canned or dried fruits
- Powdered milk
- Baby formula
- Pet food
- Toilet paper and paper towel
- Paper plates and utensils
- Garbage bags
- Diapers, baby wipes and feminine products
- Disposable gloves
- First Aid Kit
- Prescription medication
- Manual can opener
Money & Documents
- IDs and birth certificates
- Bank account records
- Insurance cards
- Pet tags and vet records
- Copies of insurance records
Clothing and Miscellaneous
- Extra clothes to change into
- Warm blanket or sleeping bag per person
- Activities such as books, puzzles, games