I often hear from people who are sick and tired of being overwhelmed by clutter. They want to feel organized and in control of their space, and they know that de-cluttering is a necessary first step. But there’s more to organization than just getting rid of stuff! To really get your home in order, you need to think about how you use space vertically, make a system for what you’ll do with things that are getting put away, and make it easy to be organized. So let’s take a look at some tips for each of these areas:
De-clutter before you organize
Before you organize, remove everything from the room. Put things in boxes or bags for storage. You may have to go to a storage unit if you don’t have space at home. Don’t put things back until you’re done sorting and organizing!
It’s tempting to put things away as you go, but this will cause more clutter because you won’t see the bigger picture of your space once it’s filled back up again. Skipping this step will also encourage you to procrastinate because it will be easier for your brain to justify putting something away without thinking about how much more work there is left (and thus how long it could take).
Think about how to use space vertically
The thing is, you can use vertical space to maximize storage. Here are some ways to do that:
- Use hanging storage. This is the easiest and most accessible option, because it’s right in front of you wherever there is available wall space. Hanging file folders, clothes on hangers, and even Christmas lights are great items to hang up when they’re not being used or needed.
- Use shelves. Like hanging storage, shelves are easy and accessible—but unlike hanging storage, they provide a little more depth for storing things like baskets beneath them (which makes them great for storing small items). Shelves also allow you to create multiple levels of organization within the same surface area as one shelf might take up alone—so if your office desk has three large drawers or cupboards underneath it but only one narrow shelf above them all (or some other combination), consider adding at least two further shelves above those drawers/cabinets so that there’s room for smaller boxes/baskets above them instead!
Make a system for what you’ll do with things that are getting put away.
If you’re doing a task over and over, make a system for what to do with the things that are being put away. If you’re tossing a lot of paper into your recycling bin, set up recycling bins throughout the house so that you don’t have to walk far with it or make multiple trips. Or if you tend to toss everything into one big plastic trash bag, separate them out when they get full and put them in their own bins instead.
If there is an item that gets donated or recycled often (say, old electronics), designate where those items go so that they aren’t just lying around waiting until they pile up again before getting rid of them—putting things in piles often leads people to forget about them altogether!
Use air tight bins
Air tight bins are a great way to store items that have strong smells or need to be kept dry. If you have items that have a strong aroma, such as herbs and spices, an air tight bin will help keep the smell contained. This is also true for foods like coffee beans and tea leaves.
If you’re worried about moisture getting into your storage containers, airtight options can keep moisture out. This is especially important if you live in a humid climate where things tend to get damp easily.
Another reason why airtight storage is so popular: bugs! Bugs love damp places (it’s how they breed) and food sources (like your kitchen). An ideal environment for bugs would be one with warm temperatures and lots of food available—which means your kitchen cabinets fit the bill perfectly! The only thing standing between those pesky critters getting into your cupboards is some good old-fashioned sealing up with an airtight seal on each container’s lid or top opening…
Find a home for your stuff
- Find a place for everything.
- Use containers to store things.
- Store items where they are used, not in the wrong place.
- Don’t throw away everything, use space wisely and store items in easy to access locations
Make it easy to be organized
- Use containers that are easy to access.
- Keep things in the same place.
- Store items where you use them.
- Use labels and color coding.
- Keep it simple; don’t overcomplicate things!
Clean one room at a time
It’s tempting to try to do all the rooms in your house at once, but that won’t work. The best approach is to focus on one room at a time. If you have too much stuff, then focus on one area of that room; for example, if you have a lot of clothes and shoes, narrow down to only the piles or places where they are currently stacked up.
As you go through each room, make sure that you’re starting with easy tasks first—the ones that are most likely to yield immediate results. For example: clearing off surfaces is something anyone can do quickly and easily (and it makes everything look better). It doesn’t matter whether it’s an old coffee table or an entire countertop—just wipe it down! Organizing bookshelves into categories makes sense if there aren’t many books yet; but if there are hundreds of titles in every genre imaginable crammed into every possible crevice behind glass doors and on top shelves, then organizing those will take more time than a quick surface clear-out would offer
Store things where you use them
- Store things where you use them.
- Don’t make your home a maze of junk drawers and cluttered closets. Instead, store items in easy-to-access locations so that they’re quickly available when you need them.
- Keep like with like, or similar items together—so that all your socks are in one place, all the silverware is together and so forth. This reduces the amount of time spent searching for an item and reduces frustration when looking for something specific later on (like a wooden spoon or whisk).
Teach your kids to clean up after themselves as soon as they can move things.
Teach your kids to clean up after themselves as soon as they can move things. When they are babies, have them pick up toys that have fallen on the floor and put them back in their toy box or bin. As they grow older and learn how to move around on their own, give them a few pieces of furniture to keep tidy (like their bookshelf and desk) or even just teach them how to put away laundry when it comes out of the dryer. This way, you won’t need to remind them all the time about putting things away—they will want to do it because it makes sense for the space that belongs in their life!
Teach your kids how important organization is by setting an example yourself; make sure there are clear rules about what belongs where in your home so everyone knows where they should be throwing stuff when they’re done with it
Don’t throw away everything, use space wisely and store items in easy to access locations.
As you start to clean up, don’t throw away everything. Use space wisely and store items in easy-to-access locations.
- Keep things you use often close to where you use them. For example, keep your toothbrush near the bathroom sink so that it’s readily available when you brush your teeth at night.
- Keep things you use rarely away from where you use them. For instance, store your holiday decorations in one of many storage bins rather than cluttering your living room with them year-round.
- Keep things that aren’t needed out of sight so they don’t tempt us into using them unnecessarily: a spare pair of jeans can easily disappear somewhere in the back of the closet; an extra set of keys on the counter next to the door is an invitation for thieves who might break into our home while we’re out running errands (or sleeping).
If you apply these tips to your life, you’ll be on the road to being more organized and less stressed. Remember that organizing is a process, not an event. You can’t just do it once and expect everything to stay put forever after that. The key thing is to keep at it!