An organized home can make a huge difference for your peace of mind. But not everyone has the talent or time to keep the home neat and tidy every day.
Because your home is essentially made up of several parts, we will tackle the issue of organizing your home first in the general sense, and then with more specific tips for each dedicated space.
General Organizing Tips
Here are some general tips for organizing your home that can help increase your peace of mind and your productivity.
1. A place for everything and everything in its place.
Almost always easier said than done, this old adage is one of the basic tenets of home organization.
Try to create a dedicated space for everything you own, and remember to put the item back in its place when you’re done using it.
In this way, you’ll never have to wonder where you left that pair of scissors, or find your kitchen cabinet overflowing with miscellaneous items that could be better placed elsewhere.
2. Toss what you don’t need.
One of the greatest enemies of home organization is too much stuff. Advocates of minimalism encourage you to toss anything you haven’t used in the last six months. However, we can easily justify keeping these items by saying we might need them in the future.
The KonMari decluttering method uses a helpful alternative for deciding whether to get rid of extra things. Ask yourself, “Does this item bring me joy?” If the answer is not a resounding “yes,” toss it in the trash or in the donation bin.
3. Label everything.
Labels are a great way to keep track of where everything should go. You can use label makers or write on cut colored boards for added style.
For an extra hint of artistic flair, stick chalkboard stickers onto drawers and jars. Then you can use chalk to easily change the labels any time you end up changing the contents.
4. Use storage solutions.
Use storage bins to organize similar items together. Consider using drawer dividers to split up space in large drawers. Tackle boxes are a great tool for organizing small items like batteries, buttons, jewelry, and hardware.
5. Store items where they’re used.
Another handy tip is to think about where an item is most used, and find a storage solution for that item there.
For example, if you run a home based business that includes a lot of shipping, you will likely need to keep all your packing and shipping materials in your home office. But if not, you may want to store these items in another location.
How to Organize Your Home Room by Room
Now, let’s take a look at the best strategies for organizing every room in your home.
Organizing Your Pantry
These specific tips for organizing your pantry will help you find your snacks easily and also make cooking a joy, because everything is easily accessible:
1. Use a Lazy Susan for easy access of round bottles.
An important tip for maximizing space is to organize round items in round containers. Using a lazy Susan inside your pantry can make your spices and condiments easily accessible. Just spin to find what you need!
2. Use tiered storage for canned goods.
The best way to store your canned goods inside the pantry is by using tiered platforms, rather than stacking items directly in front of one another. That way, you can always see the labels at a quick glance.
3. Store dried goods in airtight containers.
Dried goods have a long shelf life, but you have to know how to store them properly to maximize their lifespan.
Airtight containers are the best way to store dried goods. Label the containers to save time locating what you need.
4. Maximize the inside of cabinet doors.
Thinking outside the box may be as simple as looking inside your cabinet doors. These are great places to hang extra pocket organizers, or even your pots and pans.
5. Consider using transparent containers.
If you don’t like labeling things, transparent containers are your next bet. This way, you can see the contents of every container, making it easy to find what you need.
Organize Your Closet
Marie Kondo has popularized the vertical way of storing clothes, but it may not work for every person’s drawer. Here are some handy tips for oganizing your closet:
1. Use closet dividers for easy sorting.
Sort your clothes into tops and dresses, and hang them separately. A closet divider can help you make this distinction.
2. Try color-coded hangers.
If you want to be even more detailed, color-coded hangers or hanger labels can help you organize the clothes you hang: for example, tops can take blue hangers, while dresses can go on pink hangers. That way, a quick glance can tell you where each one goes.
3. Stack non-choice driven clothes horizontally, choice-driven outfits vertically.
This simple hack will make things easier for organizing your drawers. For items like pajamas where you only need to pull out the next available item, feel free to stack them horizontally.
But for clothes that you will be making a choice about, such as tops, consider organizing them vertically so you can easily pull out what you need without going through everything.
4. Consider using bungee cords for storing sports gear.
Tying bungee cords to form a flexible net makes a great storage solution for bulky items like exercise gear and sports equipment.
You can easily reach in and take what you need, and the cords fall back into place to keep everything else in order.
How to Organize Your Entryway
Often, one of the messiest areas in a house is the entryway or mudroom, because everyone who enters has a bag, coat, or skateboard to drop. These tips should help you get your entryway organized.
1. Set up a locker area for each member of the family.
A dedicated space assigned for each person in the family means that they can all hang up their hats, bags, and jackets in their own cubbies.
If you don’t have space or budget for a bulky locker-type organizer, simply adding hooks over a bench can make a big difference.
2. Use magazine racks to organize mail.
As soon as you bring in the mail, take the time to sort it into three categories: to toss, to take action on, or to archive. Magazine racks serve this purpose well.
3. Set up an area for keys and loose change.
You can do this by hanging a keyring over the bureau, or using a decorative bowl to serve as a catch-all for items that you normally take with you on your way out, such as keys and loose change.
How to Organize Your Bedroom
The bedroom should be the place where you can relax and recharge after a busy day.
As such, you need to minimize clutter in the bedroom most of all. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of things in this sacred space.
1. Invest in storage and shelving.
One major cause of clutter in bedrooms is the lack of storage space. Keeping everything hanging in plain sight is hardly ideal. Instead, consider investing in shelving, and use pretty storage options like baskets and bins to keep things looking nice.
2. Maximize storage space under your bed.
If you have a small bedroom, consider using the space under your bed for storage. Plastic boxes can hold linen and bedding. Consider using transparent boxes, or labelling non-transparent ones for easy access.
3. Clear out your nightstand.
The nightstand is one area of the bedroom that tends to act as a catch-all. Instead, decide to keep only one book that you’re currently reading on your nightstand and return everything else to its proper place.
Alternatively, you can use a basket to hold all your knick-knacks while keeping them relatively out of sight.
How to Organize your Home Office
If you work or run a business from home, another area that you need to organize is clearly your home office.
An organized home office setup will help you become more productive by reducing clutter and saving you time when you need to find something.
1. Create a filing system.
Organize incoming mail and paperwork according to where they should go: on a to-do list, in an archive, in the trash, or in the shredder.
For things you archive, you can use filing cabinets with appropriate labels. For projects and to-do’s, find a way to collect them in an accessible location.
2. Use pegboards for storing various-sized items.
If your business includes a lot of oddly-shaped items, such as craft supplies or digital equipment, a pegboard can be a great way to hang those that you need more frequently.
3. Keep frequently-used items in easily-accessible drawers.
To save you time, keep items you use often (such as office supplies) in drawers right by your desk.
Drawer organizers can help you divide up the space and ensure that everything stays neat when you roll the drawers open or closed.
Organizing Your Home
Organizing your home may seem like a daunting task at first, but as you work at it, little by little, you will start to see results. Remember, it’s not a sprint but a marathon, so start with a small area of your home and keep working your way around the house.
Every habit begins with one small step, and as you continue to work at it, you will soon find every room in your home in much better shape than it ever was before.
How do you organize your home? Share your best tips in the comments below!