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Decluttering your house is usually the hard part for many people. Once you get rid of the clutter, it’s important to spend some time organizing the items you want to keep. An organized home makes it easy to find what you need and easy to put stuff away, leading to time savings for you and a home that’s always tidy. No matter what room in your house you are trying to organize, there are some basic organization tips to follow. Below are simple home organization tips to keep in mind when organizing any room in your house.
Organization Tips for Any Room
For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.
1.) Make Room
Overstuffed spaces lead to clutter and complications. Making room and having enough space to organize your belongings is crucial. If the item is easy to put away, you’re most likely to do so. If you’re shoving or cramming an item into a space or not putting it away at all because it’s too difficult to put it where it belongs, then you know you have too much stuff in that location. It’s time to decide if you need to get rid of some stuff or relocate it to a more appropriately sized spot.
When I was recently putting away laundry I was struggling to fit some blankets in the linen closet. After a quick scan, I realized I was holding onto some basket liners and tablecloths that I know I’ll never use again. I was also storing life jackets in that closet (side note: I have no idea why I originally put them in there!). Once I removed the stuff I no longer needed and things that didn’t belong, I had plenty of room for what did belong.
2.) A (Labeled) Place for Everything
Every item should have a dedicated and defined space. This is especially true of things that aren’t going to be in your home for long, like certain paperwork or store returns. If you don’t have a place for something then it’s going to end up on the counter, floor or shoved into a drawer until you are searching for it in a panic.
I’ve worked really hard to come up with solutions for all the paperwork that comes through my home. But then I noticed I was still getting a pile on the counter. The culprits: broken toys, store returns and gifts I’ve purchased in advance. I determined that those type of items were a recurring problem so I needed to find solutions. I put a basket in the entry for store returns so it’s right in my vision when I’m leaving the house. Broken toys now go in a basket in the office if I can’t fix them right away. I never save toys that aren’t worth fixing. For the ones that are, sometimes I don’t have time to fix it or I need to buy something, like glue or batteries before I can fix it. Gifts for upcoming occasions now have a place in a box in my husband’s closet.
It helps to use labels so everyone knows what belongs where. It’s easy to make labels on the computer with a set of Avery labels. But I typically don’t fire up the computer when I just need a small number of labels. Instead, I use my trusty label maker. I’ve had my label maker for years and I absolutely love it. I use it for labeling file folders, storage boxes and bins, and kids school supplies. They no longer make the version of label maker I have. This one is close but it’s actually better than mine because it comes with more fonts and symbols to make prettier labels. Pair it with different color tape to color code or liven up your labels.
3.) Don’t Over Organize
You might not even think that’s it’s possible to be overly organized. But you may be doing it without even realizing it. If your organization system is too detailed or complicated, then you (or your family members) are less likely to stick with it.
When my oldest daughter was younger, she had the small Polly Pocket-sized dolls with all their tiny accessories. I bought a fabulous three-tiered box with handle to keep all her dolls and their stuff in. There were all kinds of compartments that I thought were perfect for separating the little shoes from the purses and the shirts from the dresses. The problem: it was too complicated for her to put away so she just didn’t. Then I would spend way too much time putting each little accessory away only to have her dump it all out the next time she wanted to play with it.
Instead, I just needed one box for her to be able to quickly and easily put it all away. She didn’t care if it was all mixed together. She could still find what she needed.
So if your family is dropping their coats on a bench instead of hanging them on hangers, consider using hooks instead.
Think of storage solutions that will actually be used instead of what is pretty or hyper-organized.
4.) Redefine success
Toss the idea of a “magazine staged” home out the window. That’s unrealistic for most of us. We have to live in the space, not just take pictures of it.
Instead, focus first on functionality and then layer on aesthetics. If it’s pretty but not useful then chances are it won’t stay organized. Of course, it’s possible to have it both pretty and useful but don’t stress yourself over it or let it give you a reason to put off your organization project.
While I’d love to have custom solutions for closets, the pantry and laundry room, it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. I’m working with what was already in the house when we bought it and adding in solutions that make sense for our needs.
5.) Think Outside the Box
Don’t limit organization just to cabinets, drawers and closets. Expand your available storage area by making use of the backs of doors and cabinet doors or adding shelving and other organizational products to walls. This is good not only to maximize small spaces but to provide convenient storage solutions.
Use over-the-door shoe organizers for more than just shoes. It’s also perfect for winter gear, like mitten and hats, water bottles, cleaning supplies, first aid supplies, small toys.
Get the piles of paper off the counters or desk by creating a family command center.
Related: Clever Spice Organizers
Use over-the-door hooks for hanging robes, towels, coats, hats or bags.
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