Seven Family-Friendly Winter Organizing Projects

Winter is a great time to accomplish organizing projects that have been put off for a while. Although the last thing you may want to do during the holidays is organize, it’s a great time because everyone is home and many projects require full input from others.


Winter is the ideal time of year for these seven projects:


1. Guest Bedrooms – If you have guests staying with you, this is a great time to organize the guest bedroom. You may have been using it as a storage room and now need to make space for your visitors. Since you already have to do this, why not get rid of some things that you no longer need while you’re at it? Also, remember to ask your guests what works and what doesn’t in that room. First-hand experience will reveal valuable information.


2. Memorabilia – What a wonderful time of year to gather your relatives together and sort through the memories of your family, whether they are organized or not. If you still have slides, task someone with setting up an old-fashioned slide show and make popcorn and hot beverages. As you are viewing, discard damaged media and label that which you would like to keep. The same goes for analog videos like VHS. If you can find the equipment to play them, it’s probably now or never. Alternately, experts can digitize your memories for you, saving time, space and allowing those near and far to enjoy the memories. 


3. Holiday Decorations – This is an optimal time of year to tackle this project! Do it while the family is around so that you can pass some beloved heirlooms on right now. If there are items that nobody likes, it’s time to donate them to someone who will. Here are more tips for tackling this task 


4. Pantry – With lots of special meals being cooked, your pantry may not look its best right now. There are usually a lot of extra ingredients that need to be purchased at this time of year, so don’t worry too much if you can’t store everything in as tidy a manner as you like. If you sort and organize before you shop, you can avoid having duplicates of things like pumpkin spice and baking powder and at the same time, you can also create more space. Make it a scavenger hunt for the kids to find lost items that you know you have. Consider purchasing a bin or basket for special holiday ingredients. If you do end up buying new duplicates, promptly discard the older products when they eventually turn up!


5. Firewood and Fireplace – do you have a working fireplace? If so it needs attention too. Whether your fireplace is gas or wood-burning, the chimney should be professionally cleaned once a year for safety reasons. If you have a gas fireplace, a yearly inspection is also important. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, safe storage of logs and kindling is important. It should be kept convenient but not too close to the hearth. Hearth tools should not be made of flammable materials and should be kept well away from flames and heat. To save energy, remember to close your flue after you’ve confirmed the fire is completely out. This is a great project to keep the men busy!


6. Electronics – All those wires and old devices! Everyone is there so you should be able to solve some mysteries here and donate, recycle, or discard what you no longer need. Then, label and store those that you still need properly so you can identify and locate what you need in the future. 


7. Linen Closet– During the colder months and while you have guests, is when your linen closet is probably going to be the most empty. It’s a great time to organize it because you might as well take the rest out, and see what you have. Then you can categorize it and give away what you no longer need or love. If you have young ones around, you can keep them occupied building a pillow fort by allocating items headed for donation to them!


If you are able to organize as a family, make it a fun event by assigning everyone a role, offer incentives going forward for keeping organized, and get input from everyone so they will be invested in keeping things that way. (More about this next month!)

By Jennifer Dwight

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Founded in 2009, Ideal Organizing + Design offers professional services in Downsizing, Move Management, Home Organizing, Personal Business Organizing, Office Organizing, Product Services and Interior Space Planning and Styling. Our team of talented and dedicated experts has decades of experience helping countless clients to love their spaces and lifestyles again.