This post will give you a thorough yet simple guide on how to start (and maintain) organizing your home.
Organizing your home can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We know the feeling of trying and not being able to keep up, especially with young children bursting about after work. We spent hours researching and applying these hacks to compile what works best.
Here are some interesting statistics on what home disorganization costs us:
- Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40 percent of housework in the average home (The American Cleaning Institute)
- 80% of the clutter in your home is a result of disorganization, not lack of space (The American Cleaning Institute)
- 1 in 11 American households rent a self-storage space and spend over $1,000 a year in rent (Sparefoot.com)
- Being disorganized and having lots of clutter costs families an average of 10-15% of their income. (NAPO)
It’s not just the mess. It’s about the energy and resources spent to keep up with everything, and how that affects your quality of life. Don’t worry, we got your back.
Read on for hacks to spruce up your home in a palatable manner.
5Cs of Organizing Your Home
Before we jump into arranging each room, there are 5 principles crucial to keep a balanced and orderly home.
- Before you start organizing, declutter first (read here for detailed guide). If you organize first, there is a tendency to keep clutter or buy more to store unnecessary stuff.
- You’re probably thinking that these two tasks sound the same. They don’t! Simply put, decluttering is a process of sorting and getting rid of stuff you don’t use. Organizing is arranging things in designated places for easy identification and access.
- When it comes to getting organized, a critical rule is items must fit within the storage space available. Set limits for items and get rid of duplicates except for practical emergency use i.e. batteries.
- Set a cleaning routine: Tidy up zones depend on use: daily or once a week. For high traffic areas such as the kitchen or living room, designate one place for everything you need, and it should take no more than 10 minutes to tidy up.
- If your system is still messy after trying these tips out then there could be something wrong with the organizing system itself!
- System of easy navigation: Arrange your home’s items in accordance to how frequently they’re used. Keep the things you use every day within arm’s reach. Store less frequent or occasional use items deeper down the cabinet, or in a storage area like the attic or basement. This will make items more accessible and less of a hassle to organize, which in turn motivates a more efficient routine.
- Command station: One way to keep the system running smoothly is to create a command station! This will consolidate all the grocery lists, coupons or recipes that are important.
- Use smart storage solutions to maximize space: It is a superfluous act to carve out space only to stuff items in. Use dividers, organizers, containers to box, bag or bin items for a refined space.
- Use stackable organizers and floating shelves to tap on vertical features. This will double the usable space.
- Multi or repurpose furniture: A great way to save costs on storage solutions and sniff out space is to use multi purpose furniture such as ottomans, trunks and racks.
- Think out of the box and repurpose furniture such as cabinet drawers into wine racks (and vice versa).
- Choosing items to coordinate either by color or use will please your eyes. It will also make it a breeze to take stock of when to refresh, replenish or trash. Label for easy identification.
- Concealing or bundling troublesome wires will reduce the woes of fumbling around.
- Why not turn that awkward recess into a nifty place to store your bedding and soft furnishings? Built-in shelving units or slim pull out cabinets create the perfect haven for storing what you need with little floor space.
31 Hacks: Room by Room Organization
In this section, we explore how the 5Cs apply to each room, along with handy tips and strategies.
- Create a flow: The current mess could be due to layout rather than habitual issues. Rearrange your furniture around a focal point such as the TV, fireplace or feature wall. Place the sofa and table for easy movement. If there are children, leave a designated space for reading or play.
- Contain and conceal: Use multi purpose furniture or a catch-all storage basket to capture everyday use items. This helps to make the living room look neat, and fosters fast and simple organizing daily.
- Top it down: Instead of leaving space on the shelf to collect clutter, decorate with a maximum of 3 pieces on each shelf. Place a tray on open countertops to hold frequently used items such as wallets or remote controllers. This helps not only to mindfully limit items left about, it helps with specified access when needed.
- Hang: If you want to give your kitchen an edge, hang some pots and pans. You’ll be able to see all the ingredients while cooking or washing up. Install a simple copper pipe or towel bar from the local hardware store.
- Cut: Are you a messy cook who always seems to have more cutting boards than room on your shelves? A simple solution is the “hanging” wire bin for storing them. Simply hang it back on the backside door handle of any cabinet!
- Spin: Rotating trays or “lazy Susans,” are amazing. They organize your kitchen cabinet or dinner table in seconds flat and are utilized for everything from storing food to accessing hard-to-find items like spices and herbs! Do you find yourself running out (or after) of ladles when it’s time to cook? A handy rotating caddy will keep them within reach.
- Categorize: There are many ways to organize your drawers so they don’t look like a jumbled mess. The best way is by keeping similar items in their own category, and then grouping everything else together.
- Customize: If cutlery organizers leave wasted space, consider small bins from the dollar store where you can create custom-sized compartments for a “no-gap” cabinet.
- Clarity: Clear canisters are a stylish and efficient way to organize your kitchen. With different sizes for stacking, they provide the perfect balance between beauty and functionality. You won’t have any problems finding what you’re looking for with these containers!
- Compact: Do you have an overflowing pile of plastic bags taking over your cabinet space? Stash them in empty tissue boxes or mount bag dispensers for super- compact storage.
- Stack: The best way to store food in your fridge is by using zip-seal bags and then filing them vertically. This will prevent spills while availing room for other bigger and inflexible items.
- Skin: Don’t forget about the skinny space between your fridge and the wall. It’s great for storing canned goods with a crevice/pull out rack. Slim racks are an ingenious way of utilizing dead space to maximize limited capacity.
Bedroom / Kids room
- Makeup madness (No more!): I got you ladies! Need a mess free and quick access countertop while glowing up on the daily? Consider sticking your makeup on magnetic boards or hanging your jewelry on a pegboard. Frame with soft colors and your vanity becomes a personalized statement in the room.
- One in, one out rule: It’s healthy for kids to understand the finite nature of storage and that accumulation leads towards clutter. When they get new toys or clothes, send old items off so it can find its home in charity. This process can develop their responsibility and opportunities for parent-child bonding.
- Pile it: This might sound contrary to organizing but there are merits to heaping toys (especially the big huggies) into one big basket. A convenient way is to lay a big blanket on the play area. You can wrap up any loose pieces and then dump everything else into the storage bucket for easy tidy ups later!
Wardrobe / Closet
- Small and handy: Compartmentalize smaller clothing (ie underwear and socks) and accessories with organizers. Corral them in drawers.
- Master file or roll folding: Enclosing items alone would often leave the drawers feeling like a booby trap. Flipping towels or t-shirts over allows clothing to stay upright. This gives us an all-encompassing view. Sort according to colors and seasons. Light ones might mean summer clothes while darker shades would signify winter items like sweaters & gloves.
- One ring to rule all: Shower rings are the perfect solution for organizing accessories such as scarves, belts and small bags. Instead of flinging them around the house, wrangle them together and hang the ring across a bar or hanger in the closet.
- Shoo mess: The headache of storing and choosing shoes is a thing of the past with this organizational method. You can maximize space by organizing your shoes from heel to toe, giving you time and energy for more wardrobe choices in seconds flat.
Bathroom / Laundry
- Shelve it, Rack it, Hook it: Tap on thinner shelves above the sink or toilet to store toiletries and towels. Mount retractable racks on the wall, or hooks behind the door to hang towels and laundry (or even the ironing board). This helps to unclog space while easing access (Sorry I couldn’t hold it in!).
- Mesh wet bag: Instead of leaving bath toys around the bathroom or in a tub which encourages mold build up, use a mesh bag to keep and dry out.
- Sorting station: Laundry days need not be as tedious or back breaking. Use baskets to sort out individual laundry rather than dumping in one bin. This helps to speed up the sorting process and alleviates the strain of dragging a heavy laundry bag. It also creates opportunity for family members to develop a habit of tidying up after use.
- Create a ‘cloffice’: Hide your desk behind wardrobe doors or drapery and install floating shelves. By expanding upwards and shutting the work area, there is little impact on the rest of the room’s style. Even if left open it acts as a surprising feature and while taking up no extra space.
- Get with the program: Digitize your documents for an organized and efficient data management.
- Update regularly: Sort documents into three folders: “File,” “To-Do” and “Trash.” Have a trash bin located at the desk to maintain a clean work space.
Garage / Storeroom
- Corral everything: It is very tempting to shove items into the garage or a storage space and leave it there. It doesn’t take long for a new project in decluttering to be undertaken as the room is often not visited. Invest in utility shelving and containers such that every item has a designated home.
- Overhead space: Space is a premium for many homes nowadays. Consider overhead storage to extend usable space. Use pulldown racks to store seasonal items, or hang bars on doors to hook gardening tools.
- Sport items: Try using bungee cords as a hack to restrain balls in an enclosed space. For yoga mats, roll them up (after drying) and hook them up on a rack or stash them together in a bag. .
- Repurpose bags and containers: Whilst organizing the rest of the house, there might be excess containers, bags or cabinets. Relocate and use them to store items in the garage or storeroom.
- Integrate pet areas: Consider colors that complement your rooms when choosing pet furniture. Place the furniture in existing spaces, such as under an open cabinet, or turn an awkward nook into Buddy’s haven to assimilate the décor.
- Dispense smartly: Sometimes it is easier to manage your pet’s diet when you can see the food all at once. Instead of scooping from a bag that flops around and spills everywhere, pour kibble into an open bin or dispenser. It will more likely stay in one place until consumed!
There are a lot of reasons to organize your home. But beyond all those benefits, there’s something fulfilling about having everything neat and tidy. With the 4Cs in mind and 31 room-by-room hacks, keeping your house spick and span will be easy peasy.
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