Getting your home organized might seem like a monumental task. Most of us have lots of stuff, and it piles up quickly. Once the closets are full and the basement is overflowing, our possessions start to take possession of countertops and corners. And it’s a proven fact that clutter of any type, left unchecked, multiplies on its own.
Having a designated spot for all objects makes it easy to store and retrieve stuff. If you know where it goes, you know where to put it. If you know where it is, you know where to look when you need it.
Organizing, like so many things in life, becomes easier with practice. Yes, some people are just better at it. But anyone can learn.
We have closets and cupboards for a reason. These are spaces specifically designed for organizing things. So you’ve already got the framework you need to get started (assuming you have closets and cupboards). If your closets are jam-packed with stuff you’re not using, this is the root of your problem. You’re using your storage space inefficiently.
The same goes for dresser drawers and kitchen cabinets and shelves in the garage or basement. We actually use a finite number of items in our day-to-day lives. Don’t hang onto things that are no longer useful to you. These things are serving no purpose in your life other than to weigh you down.
If your countertops and corners are harboring piles of stuff that belongs in closets, cupboards and drawers, you must make room for these objects by purging unnecessary stuff.
Any organizing project begins with the elimination of unnecessary objects. After this step has been completed, whatever you’re left with is then sorted into groups of related items. At this point, you can see what you’ve got to work with. From here, all that’s left to do is figure out logical places to keep things.
For example, if you’re a quilter, all of your quilting supplies should be stored in the same area so you’ll know where they go and where to get them when you want them again. All your home office supplies should be stored in the same space. Tools belong in the garage. Coats and shoes belong in the coat closet, mud room, or in individual closets.
Think of it like this: you don’t store baking dishes in the bathtub. Likewise, don’t store your nail polish in the den. It’s ok to take it there, but put it back where it belongs when you’re done using it.
As you arrange objects, make good use of shelves, totes, baskets, bins, caddies, boxes, and racks. Label boxes with lists of the contents. Keep in mind that your goal is to easily find items when you need them again. This is not an out-of-sight-out-of-mind endeavor.
Arrange objects on shelves so that taller items are in back so you can quickly visually scan the area to find what you need. Don’t overcrowd objects. Don’t pile things up so you can’t easily access stuff on the bottom of the pile, and don’t create hazards.
Also leave room for growth unless you plan to never bring another object home again. Or establish a new policy: for each new item introduced into your space, another item must go.
Once you get the hang of it, organizing is easy. The hard part is keeping possessions to a minimum. Think about what you bring into your living space before you bring it in. Consider if you have the space, where you will put it, and if you really need it at all. Don’t clutter up your space (and your life) with junk that you don’t need.
Staying organized is a continuous process. Put things away when you’re done using them. Find a spot for new things immediately. If you notice piles starting to accumulate, get rid of them.
Designate a basket for each household member and deposit any stray items into the appropriate basket. If the household member doesn’t deal with their basket in a timely manner, hold it for ransom.
Maintenance is the name of the game, and it’s easy if you keep doing it day in and day out. Practice makes perfect and if you keep practicing, you’ll be perfectly organized.
Want more house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my book Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, available on Amazon.