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Winter Weekend Projects

This article was originally published in our Winter 2013 Issue.

We all have them – those nagging jobs that we need to get done! But with the busyness of back-to-school, followed closely by the crazy holiday season, it’s all too easy to put them off. There’s nothing better than a snowy winter weekend to tackle some of the things on your organizing to-do list. If the weather outside is frightful, why not spend some time getting your life in order! Hilda Rodgers, a professional organizer in Mississauga (www.fromoverwhelmedtoorganized.com), believes that a weekend organizing project will make the winter months more orderly! They can also improve your spring and summer – whether you are posted or not!

1. Create a hot drink zone in your kitchen!

Store your favourite hot chocolate, tea, coffee, sugar, flavourings, and marshmallows all together in a basket in a cupboard near your mugs. Keep your kettle and coffee maker on the counter below (find a location with an available outlet nearby). And presto!  You’ve got a hot drink zone, ready for those cold winter mornings or to warm up after playing in the snow.

2. Declutter and organize your entry area!

Those hats, mitts and scarves have a way of multiplying and taking over your whole entry area! Use back-of-the-door pocket organizers, baskets, or cubbyholes to give everything a place and contain the clutter for the rest of winter.

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3. Purge you hall closet!

Winter coats are big and a hall closet can get crowded. That makes it annoying when you’re trying to get out of the house on time in the morning. Take all your coats out of your closet and then only put back those you wear regularly during the winter season. If you have several winter jackets per person, consider donating some to a local charity for those who need them more than you. Store your lighter-weight jackets in the basement or a guest room closet. Keeping your closet less cluttered makes everything easier to access.

4. Organize your fridge!

If your fridge still has the remnants of summer BBQ’s (including nearly empty salad dressings and BBQ sauces), clear it out to make room for leftover casseroles and other winter comfort foods. Toss anything that has expired and combine partially used bottles where possible. While you’re at it, give your fridge a good clean (who says you can’t spring clean in the winter?!). Then when you put everything back, organize your fridge into zones so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

5. Declutter your kids’ toys!

Are you tripping over excess toys after the holidays? Purge any that are

broken, have missing pieces, haven’t been played with in the last 6 months, or aren’t loved as much as new toys are. Kids will enjoy their toys more when they can see what they have and they aren’t overwhelmed with too many choices.

6. Refresh your Medicine Cabinet!

The only thing worse than dealing with sick family members is not

having the supplies you need in your medicine cabinet, or finding out they have expired. Go through your medicines and purge everything that is old or has expired. Replenish what you will need this winter. While you’re at it you can create a portable Cold/Flu caddy for those middle-of-the-night wake-

up calls or to keep with you throughout the day.

7. Prepare for tax season!

Don’t wait for the middle of April to start getting your papers in order. Create a file for T4’s, charitable donation slips, sports receipts, child care receipts, etc. If you use tax software, give your taxes a run through before the end of February to see if you need to top up your RRSP’s.

8. Clean out your files!

This is a job that can take quite a few hours if you’ve neglected the paper in your life for too long. But it’s so rewarding! Spend a snowy day getting all of your papers in order. The first step is to collect them all in one place from the various piles throughout your home. Purge, shred and file things away as needed. Clean out files that you already have – only tax documents need to be kept for 7 years – everything else can go much sooner. Look online for different filing systems if you’re not sure how you want to file that paper away.

Don’t despair when you are snowed in over the next couple of months. Buckle down and tackle any one of these ideas. Think of it as an opportunity to get a jump on a more streamlined life!

Biography:

Laura Keller has enjoyed writing as long as she can remember. Eventually she became the wife of a Combat Engineer and mom of 3. With her husband’s retirement from the CF, they are all learning to adjust to life after the military. 

Laura also writes her blog at www.HappyCanadianHome.com.  

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Laura Keller

Laura Keller has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember. Eventually, she became the wife of a Combat Engineer and mom of three. After her husband's retirement, the Keller Krew settled in southwestern Ontario, where they readjusted to life after the uniform. The Keller family faced another readjustment when Laura’s husband passed away suddenly the summer of 2016. Laura had been contributing to CMF Magazine since its inception back in 2010.

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