So you’re stuck at home during an unexpected pandemic and may be looking for ways to fill the time and be productive. Why not get your space more organized? Not just for fun. There are actually lifesaving advantages to creating order in your house now more than ever.
Know exactly what you have.
Put all your medicines and medical supplies in one place in your home. Now go through and see where the gaps are. What’s expired and needs to be replaced? (When I did this, I had plenty of ibuprofen but no acetaminophen, which is a must for this particular ailment.) A non-steroid inhaler can make the difference in keeping you out of the hospital should you get sick. Do the same with your supplements. Do you have enough vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc?
Don’t waste money on what you already own.
Knowing what you have (e.g. knowing your things are all in one place, labeled and not scattered) means you avoid wasting money on what you unknowingly already own.
It took me less than 15 minutes to pack up everything that my dog and I needed to head to the house where we are now quarantining. When your things are in place, you have fewer places to look for the essentials.
Spend far less time cleaning and sanitizing.
Keep counters, floors, and other surfaces clear.
Enjoy having less to physically and mentally manage in a stressful time.
My friend who is recovering from being sick said that having her things organized gave her brain a much-needed break so that she could find things quickly and focus on recovery. Spend some time decluttering what you don’t need or use.
As you optimize your home for these unique circumstances, here are some organizing principles in mind: 1) Reuse containers you already own. It’s safer than shopping for new items right now. 2) Label everything you organize. This is a must if you live with others. Nobody can argue with a label. It keeps everyone on the same page.
In “normal” times, getting organized allows us to be better version of ourselves; we get clarity on what’s most important. Knowing where everything is and having a system actually makes us more effective citizens, workers, artists, family members, and friends. Throw in a pandemic, and it’s a skill that becomes, well, life-saving! Take care of you and yours. Then take care of your community. Personify generosity and pass along to others what you don’t need. This crisis is challenging all of us in countless ways, but it’s also an opportunity for us to grow. Start with taking stock.
—Eliza Cantlay is a certified professional organizer and the owner/operator of Simplicana in Kansas City. Her motto? “Life can be simple. We deserve to begin and end the day in a space that’s beautiful, uncomplicated, and inspiring.”