Home organization can feel like the new “keeping up with the Joneses.” Never fear; you can have a stylish, well-organized home that will impress friends and family but won’t make you feel pressured to attain an impossible standard. What we’re going for here is a comfortable home that looks good without being too fussy or chaotic.
We’ll show you how to effortlessly organize every room in your home for an uncluttered look that creates a place for everything. Once that’s done, it will be easy for you to keep everything in its place!
The Basics of Home Organization
There’s no avoiding decluttering in home organization, but it needn’t be an overwhelming task. Take it slow so it won’t seem like a lot of effort.
Choose a method: either the category method (clothes, shoes, books, toys, etc.) or the room-by-room method. Then you can sort using the “save, give away, toss” method. Make three piles or boxes of things that take up space.
Let go of guilt about giving away gifts you never use, or items you spent too much money on. Unless your object has increased in value (which is rare), accept that that money is gone and that the object isn’t enhancing your life.
Another important category is “put it in storage.” This last group is for holiday decorations and seasonal clothing or décor. You can only keep as much stuff as the available storage space you have. If you overstuff your storage space, you can’t find anything, defeating the purpose of the project.
If you still have too many things lying around, you need a few great pieces to help you stow or display the items you simply can’t toss. Those items usually have sentimental value, and sharing the stories behind them is a wonderful way to connect with friends and family. That’s where home organization comes in.
Some useful tips for effortlessly organizing your home include:
- Use multi-functional furniture, like ottomans or benches that open for storage.
- Find unused space under beds or couches to stow boxes of clothes or décor.
- Add decorative items that are both attractive and functional. Shelving, baskets, trays, and wall hooks can enhance your home’s look while keeping items in their place.
Start by playing a game of “What doesn’t belong?” Your living room is for relaxing and entertaining. But your family may have a different idea, cluttering coffee tables with hobby or craft items, tossing jackets on the couch, or leaving a trail of toys behind. And glassware, bowls, and plates have a way of lingering, instead of traveling back to the kitchen and dishwasher where they belong.
The living room is where organizational décor can make a true difference. Use magazine racks to contain current issues, and recycle issues that have been lying around for too long.
Add floating or geometric shelves to display vases and a few selected books, contained by bookends. Use decorative tabletop trays and floor baskets to corral items that belong in the room.
The living room is also a good candidate for multi-functional furniture, like storage ottomans or tables with shelves below the tabletop.
Probably the most visited room in your home, the kitchen is also one of the toughest rooms to keep organized. If you have children, you know that there is an endless stream of used cereal bowls, cups, glasses, and utensils piling up in the sink.
If you love to bake and blend, you probably take pride in your appliances. But your kitchen countertop shouldn’t be the place to store them. Put your blender, toaster, and food processor away in under-counter shelving when they’re not in use. If you don’t have enough shelf or cabinet space for them, you probably have too many other things in your cabinets. Purge items you never use.
Adding open shelving to your kitchen is a smart solution to add storage space that doesn’t consume countertop acreage. Take a critical look at all your pots, pans, baking tins, and cookie sheets. Which of these do you use most often? Save the ones you use and give the unused ones away.
Take a critical look at the jumbled mess of plastic containers you’ve saved. Do you really need that many? Have you tried matching containers with lids? Recycle food storage items that have lost their lids, become stained with curry or tomato sauce, or are simply more than you need.
Under sink cabinets are your friends, but if yours is overflowing or you have a pedestal sink and no cabinet, add wall shelves or storage solutions, like a small cube stack to store towels. Corral the toothbrushes in a toothbrush holder. If you don’t have a medicine cabinet or drawers to stow toothpaste and floss, use shelving or baskets to store tooth-cleaning related items in small baskets or colorful plastic boxes.
Purge your linen closets to get rid of old, frayed, or worn towels. Many towns offer textile recycling, so you don’t have to feel guilty about reducing the crowd on your linen shelves. Only put one round of towels (hand towel, washcloth, bath towel) for each person who uses that bathroom in the room at any time, and switch them out for laundering frequently.
This room is supposed to be your retreat. So why do you have multiple pairs of shoes you never wear, out of season clothing, and too many hangers in your closet? Why are your dressing table drawers filled with loose bobby pins and stray picture hangers you just tossed in there?
The goal is to purge vigorously, using the 80-20 rule. This rule states that 80 percent of the time, you only wear 20 percent of the clothes you own. Get rid of that 80 percent! Store out-of-season clothing in clothing bags or boxes on closet shelves, or under the bed. Don’t treat your vanity drawers like junk drawers. If it doesn’t relate to personal grooming, it doesn’t belong in or on your dressing table.
Your entryway can quickly become a jumble of jackets, boots, and mail tossed on mudroom tables. Get organized with wall hooks for coats, a shoe rack or storage cubes for boots, and trays or baskets on a narrow table for keys and change. Make a habit of sorting mail as soon as you bring it in. Recycle the envelopes and junk mail, put the bills in a mail holder where you won’t forget them, and stow magazines or catalogs you want to read in a magazine rack by your favorite comfy chair.
Organizing every room in your home requires an investment of time, but it won’t be as difficult as it sounds, and it will pay off in stress reduction and comfort. Your goal is to achieve some blank space on your closet shelves, in your kitchen cupboards, and on your countertops.