By Lesley Porcelli
Toss anything that's discolored, lost its scent or flavor—or is more than one year old. Keep a permanent marker handy to date spices. "And if you prefer, try a shoe box instead of a shelf system," says Julia Wright of geniusorganizing.com. "That way, you can pull the box out like a drawer to locate what you need."
Set up automatic bill pay.
When a monthly expense arrives, find the company website where you can sign in and designate the payment option. Once the amount is scheduled, you no longer have to think about it, says Meryl Starr, host of Let's Get Organized on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.
Set up an inbox and outbox on your desk.
"Everything that needs attention goes on top in the inbox," says Nicole Abramovici of geniusorganizing.com. Put what you want to hold on to in the outbox on the bottom and recycle the rest.
Pro tip: Wait until the outbox is full before filing.
Neaten the hall closet.
Designate a single small bin for family gloves and mittens, one for hats and another for scarves, recommends Andrew Mellen, author of Unstuff Your Life! If you have an additional five minutes, hang outerwear according to type and length—shorter casual jackets on one side and longer dressy styles on the other—so they're easy to find. Check that a few extra hangers are on hand for company.
Do a quickie clothes closet makeover.
"Face all hangers in the same direction to reduce wardrobe search time," advises Wright. "And group like items together—pants, shirts and so on."