Snowed in?

While there’s almost nothing that makes kids happier than hearing “snow day,” for everyone else, well, cabin fever can set in quickly. Before long you’re dreaming of your next vacation—definitely a getaway from cold weather. But, here you are…so, if you’re stuck inside anyway, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of an unexpectedly clear calendar and tackle a few indoor activities that will make you feel productive.

Here are seven steps to a snow day spent organizing your home that will leave you feeling like you’ve been far more productive than just lazing around.

1. Pick a Room and Start Decluttering.

Most decluttering advice includes deploying the five box method where you categorize items in one of the five piles:

  • Keep
  • Move to another room
  • Donate or sell
  • Trash
  • Don’t know

This method is always a great place to start, but especially in this type of situation since you don’t know how long your snow day restriction will last. In other words, choosing one room and using your boxes allows you to start small and completely finish that task before moving on to the next. Then if the snowstorm is but a memory tomorrow, you won’t feel that angst of having your whole house torn apart.

2. Stock a Virtual “Yard Sale”

Since you can’t easily jet out in the snow to donate your unwanted items, focus on anything you want to sell instead. Give it a good once over for value, and then start listing the best pieces online right now….like right this minute. The more you put off this task, the less likely you are to actually do it. If you have kiddos home with you, call them in from their snowball fight or other snow day activities and invite them to help photograph and list items. Promise them a cut of the profits and they’ll be in.

3. Figure Out What Can Go to Storage

“Don’t know” box…we’re looking at you. If you’re truly not sure if you want to keep something or not, don’t put the item back to clutter up the closet or garage just so you can take it out and re-assess on a future snow day.

Make a plan to take those “don’t know” boxes to a nearby storage facility as soon as it’s safe to drive so that you can get the items off-premise, but not so far away you panic when you finally realize what that charging cord is for.

4. Organize the Keepers

Now it’s time to repopulate those shelves, drawers and cupboards. Another bonus of starting an organization project when you’re snowed in is that you won’t be tempted to head out to buy all the organizer items you “just can’t live without.”

Face it, typically that shopping expedition is just an expensive form of procrastination. By immediately figuring out where things will go, you’ll be able to identify what organization items you truly need and buy accordingly.

5. Make a Movie

Yes, your kids might be busy making TikToks but you’re going to make a much more important movie—an inventory video of all of your items for insurance purposes.

If a tragedy happens and you have to make a claim, most people struggle to be able to detail what’s actually in the house. This the perfect day to do a walk-through of your home and capture all your valuables, including size, brand, etc. so that you are able to figure out replacement costs should the need arise.

Why should you do this today? Because right after a declutter is the perfect time to track what you have. Just don’t forget to add new purchases on a regular basis.

6. Tackle the Paper Clutter

Paper piling up higher than the snow drifts outside? Today is your day to fix that, too. Use some of these organization ideas to get it under control once and for all, using a system that seems intuitive to you so that you’ll stick to it. You also might want you digitize and store certain papers electronically—again, this is a job for the kids. (And we’d recommend you take a look at your digital clutter, too, but…we know you can only take so much.)

7.  Reward Yourself!

Nice job on this snowy day reclaiming your house. Now it’s time to reward yourself. Make some hot chocolate with marshmallows (or snow ice cream…whatever works), curl up in your newly organized living room with board games, have a movie marathon on Netflix, or play some video games on your Nintendo Switch. Invite the whole family in to watch, or send the kids out to enjoy snow day activities of their own, like sledding, making a snowman or catching snowflakes.

You can wave from the window and catch your breath for when they come in, bringing their wet snow day clothes with them.

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Cathie Ericson