By StatePoint

From the walk-in closet to the kitchen pantry, catch-all spots make all the difference in daily routines — but only if they’re kept neat and tidy.

Family organizing expert Jessica Litman, also known as The Organized Mama, is on a mission to help families declutter and stay organized. She’s sharing her pro tips for getting your home in shape for this busy time of year.

Clear Away Cabinet Clutter
‘Tis the season for autumn chili, stew, and other comfort foods. That means it’s also time to put your essential slow cookers and pans where you can reach them, so food prep will be hassle-free.

“When the weather starts to cool, I swap out summer cookware for winter bakeware,” says Litman. “I put the grilling items in the back of the cabinet and pull the turkey roaster and baking dishes to the front.”

For added storage, Litman recommends using a shelf rack or vertical organizer to keep cutting boards and pie pans neatly upright and easily accessible.
Prep the Pantry
Create a system that gives grab-and-go snacks and cooking necessities a home. This will help keep the kitchen tidy during busy work and school schedules.

“Do a pantry cleanout,” Litman says. “Remove everything from the area and wipe down the shelves. Take the canned goods you didn’t eat and donate them to a local food bank.”

“Set up items similarly to grocery store shelves by placing like items together,” Litman suggests. “When you do this, it’s like you are shopping in your pantry instead of hunting for things.”

Out with the Old
Before pulling out your fall wardrobe, declutter the piles of “stuff” from the closet. This will make your space seem bigger and more organized.

“Remove clothes from this past season,” Litman recommends. “Look through each garment. If you didn’t wear it, donate, toss, or sell it.”

Now that there is more room, hang an over-the-door shoe rack for work shoes and use a closet organizer to store accessories, such as belts, purses, and scarves. Litman also recommends dry cleaning winter jackets now so they’re ready to wear when cold weather comes.

Find Balance in the Bathroom
Whether it’s the primary bath or the kids’ washroom, make the most of your space by organizing everything into different categories, like towels and haircare. Once everything is grouped, you can decide what will be kept where based on the available areas. Use a tray on the counter and bins in pullout drawers.

Litman says to wipe and line surfaces, especially under the sink, with Solid Grip EasyLiner with Clorox before putting essentials away. Antimicrobial agents inhibit mold and mildew growth to protect the liner and will catch makeup smudges and water spills to give the area an extra clean feeling. She also recommends waiting until after the organizing process to buy bins and caddies, so you know exactly what you need.

Once these organizing projects are complete, your home will be ready for all the fun fall festivities and family gatherings.