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Woman sits outside her closet, sorting out her wardrobe.

6 Decluttering Tips & Organizing Projects for Winter

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The arrival of gray skies and colder temperatures often means spending more time inside the house. But this doesn’t have to be time wasted. Winter is a great time to check projects off your household to-do list. This can include regular home improvement projects, like touching up paint and trim, cleaning the chimneys and weatherproofing your house. It can also include some all-important organization projects.

Mess leads to stress, and clutter inside a home can make it difficult to relax. So take this time to organize your home. You want your space to comfortable and bring you joy, and Storage Etc. to help with some tips to help get your house in order as the weather turns.

1. Pantry & Fridge

Ice-caked frozen dessert boxes and expired snacks often lurk in the backs of our refrigerators and pantries. For some of us, it’s more than a few items. But you might be surprised how much space these take up. It could be an entire extra shelf you’re missing out on. If an item is not expired, consider donating it to a local food pantry. But if it is expired, toss it. Professional kitchens don’t allow rotten food to share shelf space with fresh items. Why would you do it?

2. Outerwear

Most of us are guilty of keeping around clothes, especially winter clothes, longer than we should. Part of this is sentimentality. Part of it is practicality – you’ll wear that sweater again ... one day. But if you’ve gone several seasons without wearing a certain article of clothing, think about getting rid of it. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. Charities like Clothe the World will ensure your items make it to people who truly need them.

3. Under the Sink

In many homes, the sink is a black hole of towels, pipes, and cleaning products. The area under the sink can become an eyesore when ignored for too long. Get down there and remove everything. Think for a good, hard second about what truly belongs down there and what can be purged (and while everything’s out, give it all a once-over with some of those cleaning products). A few stackable organizing baskets can make a world of difference.

4. Chasing Paper

All of us keep pieces of paper in our homes – and sometimes for far longer than we need to. Go through your records and keep only the most important ones. This might include medical forms, tax documents, utility bills, schoolwork, and personal correspondences. That said, a lot of the paper in our homes would be better off recycled or shredded. For the records you need to keep, invest in a few binders or filing boxes, think about ways to break down your papers into categories, and recycle the rest.

5. Organize Your Storage Unit

Now’s the time to get your Storage Etc. storage unit in order. Is yours a cluttered mess, with no rhyme or reason to how it’s loaded? Preferably, there should be some kind of system involved. It might be a good idea to start by pulling everything and start from scratch. Think about categories. Noticing a lot of sports-related items? Get a tub or shelving for sports gear. Holiday items strewn about everywhere? You’ll definitely want to group those items together. And be sure to keep the items you access most, like that patio furniture you’ll need at the start of spring, near the front of your unit so you unload it easily once spring rolls back around.

6. Avoid Sentimentality

Finally, if you’re hanging onto items that can’t be used and don’t have a role in your new, neater home, consider tossing them. It might hurt a little in the moment, but it will likely lead to a happier, more peaceful home.

Looking for more life hacks and information on how self storage can work for you? Check out the Storage Etc. blog.