Organizing Your Home

Organizing your home by organizing closets
Are you wondering how to organize your home? Nothing brings more stress than when your otherwise spick-and-span home has piles of clutter sitting around. You may have just a small issue with clutter, or like many, you are struggling with finding a place for all of your stuff, while still having easy access. Stress no longer! We have accumulated a list of tips to help you with decluttering and organizing your home.

How to Organize Your Home

1. Simplify. Look around your home, and especially in your most unorganized spots. What can you get rid of? The most overlooked and simple way of organizing your home is simply by decreasing the amount of stuff you have. Each item in your home is potentially just another piece of clutter, so if you do not use it or find it beautiful, get rid of it. If you have found yourself saying, “Well I never got around to wearing that this winter, but I will next winter,” chances are you won’t. It is just taking space. Fortunately there are many great options for getting rid of stuff. If you need to earn some extra cash, try ebay or a community online yard sale. If you do not have time for that or if you are in the mood to give, check out the salvation army or the American Red Cross. True, sometimes we do not know if we really need an item. But there are easy ways to find out. For example, take all of your cooking utensils and put them in a shoe box. Over the next month, when you need an item, put it back into it’s original space. After a month, anything that is still in the shoebox should be donated. And don’t forget about your makeup. Most makeup does in fact expire. The closer to the eyes, the shorter the item’s lifespan. If you have makeup that has been sitting around for years, it may be time to toss it.

How to Organize Your home- Maximize your closet with fun shelves, baskets, and other containers.

Organizing your home starts with an orderly closet.

2. Organize your Closet.   Be sure your closet is sectioned with closet rods and shelves to maximize the space.  There are great kits available at home improvement stores. Add baskets and/or hooks for accessories.  A shoe rack will do wonders for helping you find your shoes.   After you closet is ready, find a friend whose style you admire. Recruit him or her to go through your closet with you and throw out those items that really don’t look great on you (or are not in style any more.)  Next, divide your closet into sections – summer, spring/fall, and winter.  Now hang your clothing by color.  For instance, in the summer section, organize your short sleeve shirts into groups by color, followed by your summer slacks, etc.  Do the same for the other seasons.  You may find that you wear the same slacks year round, and vary the shirts and sweaters by season. Then put the slacks in the middle, with summer shirts on one side and winter shirts on right side.  Of course, all of this will vary depending on your closet style.  But finding something to wear will never be easier.

3. Organize Your Paper. One of the most common forms of clutter comes in receipts and old bills. Especially since many people deal with bills online, paper copies always seem to be just laying around. We recommend that you have a file with with a folder for each month. Put all copies of bills and mail in that month’s specific folder. Do this weekly. When the year has passed, shred everything in that folder since there is likely no need to have copies. This means that every month you clear out a folder and then immediately start filling it up. But what about the receipts? We know that the only thing more pesky than a pile of receipts in your purse is not having the one receipt you actually need. To solve this problem we recommend getting a receipt spike. Getting in the habit of sticking receipts on the spike daily will help reduce purse clutter and still allow you have have the receipt at hand.

4. Label. Labeling is one easy way to make sure that everything has a place. Even the infamous junk drawer can be labeled. How? Empty out Altoid boxes and label each box: safety pins, staples, erasers, etc. But make sure you label correctly. Using a label maker or permanent marker is great when you know for a fact that the container will be used long term for what is actually labeled. If you are not sure, use a post it note for the time being. Nothing screams unorganized more than hastily scratched out attempts at labeling. And for those of you with messy hand writing, make sure you print out your labels. Especially when it comes to a garage, where a box may be five feet above your head, having clear and easy to read labels will save you the time and stress of having to guess and climb up ladders.

5. Keep a basket that travels up and down stairs. Even if it is just you and your husband, things tend to just pile up on the counter. When you see something sitting there, put it in the basket. Before you go upstairs, put everything that belongs down stairs away, take the basket up and put the rest of it away.  Doing this daily will help you and your family build the habit of cleaning up after yourselves. Worried about the basket just adding to the clutter? Make sure you get one that looks nice with your decor. That way you can fill it up, but  feel like it is not just adding to the mess.

6. Make each other pay for items left out. If either spouse has asked the other (or a child) to pick up their item and they do not, then the spouse can put the item in a box that is kept in a closet. When a person goes looking for the item, they can check the box and see if it is there. If it is, then they have to pay up. Obviously most spouses share money and do not want to punish their spouse like a child. Then make it fun! Instead of paying with money, trade for a massage or a date or do extra chores. It can be a win-win: either you and your spouse improve in organizing your home, or you spend quality time together.

How to organize your home - Declutter. Get rid of those things that bring no value to you

Consider what items are must keeps and no keeps. Then get rid of those things that bring no value to you.

An organized kitchen brings a sense of calmness to the home.

An organized kitchen brings a sense of calmness to the home.

7. Keep your food and kitchen organized. First let’s start with the fridge. Making sure there is a designated spot in the fridge not only reduces the amount of food you have to throw out, but it also makes it a lot easier to find an item. Label the shelves in your refrigerator with the types of food that belong there. This can be especially beneficial if you often have leftovers. Everyone can see that the leftover food is to grab. Or if you often plan special meals that require specific foods, designate a spot in the fridge that nobody can eat from. In order for this to be effective, your family has to be on board. If they are unwilling to do it, or often forget, it may not work. Starting with small post it notes will allow you to test if they are up for the challenge! Another way in which the kitchen can be organized is by having an inventory of items. Start off by making a list of each spice, ingredient, and food in the house. If you ever are running low or have run out, make a note of it. This will help not only your pantry to be organized, but it will also help you to avoid extra trips to the store!

8. Overwhelmed? Break it into pieces. Plan to be organizing your home for 30 Days.There are likely parts throughout your house that could use some extra attention. You may be overwhelmed by the task ahead, but devoting a little time each day for a month makes the task a lot easier and a lot less daunting. Start by visualizing yourself doing the task and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the task. The first day of the 30 days should be devoted to making a schedule of when you will do each task. But don’t worry. If you have to change the designated time or miss a day altogether, you can always do it a different day. Thirty days is simply the ideal and is a long enough time to get a job done while not feeling burdened.

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