We all dream of a space that is clear of clutter and so neatly organized that it appears to be a photo from a magazine. The reality is most of our homes have that “lived-in” feeling and we need a little assistance in the staying organized. So we have come up with 12 tips to organize your home to point you in the right direction.
#1. Begin With One Area
Generally, people have more than one area they wish to organize so you are not alone. Focus on one place and start with that. It does not have to be an entire room. It could be a closet or the children’s space in the corner of the basement. The point is to pick somewhere that is not too overwhelming or daunting to tackle so that you can utilize the other tips to organize your home that will be mentioned in this article.
Once you have decluttered that area, stand back and relish in it for a moment. That feeling of accomplishment may provide you with the motivation to move onto another space.
#2. Give Yourself Ample Time
You woke up today and are feeling super motivated to get your place organized. Step back a bit and realize that you will need considerable time and thought to achieve the picture in your head. Cleaning the children’s space in the basement is going to take far longer to deal with than the bathroom.
#3. Categorize Items
Once you have chosen your area, thoroughly go through its contents. Decide what needs to be thrown away, donated, or kept. Try your best to think about this logically. Why have you been holding onto these items? Have you really used them in the last year or two? If not, it is likely time to get rid of them.
Sometimes it is helpful to get an objective point of view if you are struggling with purging. Find a friend or someone with little to no attachment to these items as they can make a quick decision for you. You will be surprised by the amount of additional space you have created.
#4. Everything Has a Home
Once you have cleared your space of those items, which are no longer useful or necessary, examine what is left. Ask yourself a few questions.
- Does it belong in this area?
- Is there a more logical space for it?
- Is there another area in the home that it can be stored so you will use it more?
- For instance, is your bread maker in a closet in the basement?
- Do you love fresh bread but the idea of digging through that closet prevents you from ever using it?
Every object should have a home and a home that makes sense.
#5. Use Wasted Space
Storage space in many of our homes is at a premium, especially if you have decided to live in an older home or condominium. This is the time to put your creative thinking cap on and find wasted space that can be used to store your belongings.
Often under the stairs or under beds is overlooked but it is a great place to store things like Christmas decorations or winter jackets during the summer months.
#6. Capitalize on Vertical Space
I am a short woman, so the vertical world is not even on my radar but vertical space is often overlooked. Look up and consider how that space can be instantly utilized to create more storage space. Adding a few shelves or hanging a couple of hooks will give you places to store those things you do not use frequently.
#7. Divide The Space
Dividing the space does not mean you suddenly living in an assortment of office cubicles. Your closets are prime opportunities to create more useable space by dividing it.
The top shelf in your bedroom closet is likely a disaster at the moment. It starts off with your jeans and sweaters all neatly folded but eventually everything is toppled over. Add an extra shelf and this way you can keep everything neat and tidy.
Another space we miss is our kitchen cupboards. I am a spice fanatic but the cupboard where I stored many of my spices had a tremendous amount of wasted space. I added an additional shelf and now I can store twice as many spices! This could be one of the most useful tips to organize your home.
#8. Use Mobile Storage
Carts with wheels are super handy to assist you in keeping clutter under control. They hold a ton of bits and pieces in a small, controlled space. The handy thing is the cart can be wheeled into a corner or closet when it isn’t being used. Children’s craft supplies work extremely well in such a cart.
Labels can be added to the drawers and everything is self-contained. I also use one for my painting supplies – brushes, paints, rags – everything is all in one place.
#9. Use Color to Organize
Using color to organize is beneficial for everyone involved. Our brains are able to recognize colors and we begin to associate certain colors with certain tasks or areas.
If you use different color bins in your children’s playroom, they can begin to put their toys where they belong. Not only are they helping to keep the area tidy, they are also learning life lessons for their future.
Papers (bills, newsletters, receipts, flyers) are my personal enemies and create havoc on my dining room table. I now file them into color-coded file folders that I place in a pretty box as soon as they enter my house. Everything is orderly and I can find anything quickly if I need to reference it.
#10. Accessibility is Key
When you are deciding on where to place your objects, examine how often you use those items. If it is something you will need on a fairly regular basis, put it where it can be easily reached.
Similarly, situate those things that you rarely use (seasonal items like decorations, summer clothing during the winter months) on higher shelves or further back in the closet. If you cannot get at it easily, you will likely not use it.
#11. Choose Clear Containers
Do you have boxes that contain things you haven’t seen or used in years? I am currently hanging my head in shame.
We tend not to use things we cannot see so choose containers that are transparent and can be labeled easily. One of the tips to organize your home that I found to be most helpful is to label the container on all sides. You never know how that container will be stored.
#12. Have a Flexible Storage System
Inevitably, your storage needs will change as your life changes. What you need in your college years is not what you will need when you have three children. Think about a storage system that can change easily with your organizational needs.
Creating an organized, tidy space is not always the simplest of tasks and will take some time and thoughtful planning. However, be patient with yourself and with these tips to organize your home, you can reach your goal. Who knows? Maybe you will have that picture-perfect space!
Leave us a comment with your creative ideas that you use to organize your space!