Organize your Home with these 8 Tips
Clutter is stressful; it causes us to lose things, and waste space and time. Some people are naturally neat and tidy at home, but others must make a conscious effort. Whether you are an organizational pro or are just getting started, these eight tips for home organization will make your life easier.
1. ORGANIZE DOCUMENTS IN LABELED FOLDERS
We have paperwork for our homes, vehicles, finances, insurance, and so much more. It is tedious and stressful to sort through piles of papers looking for the one you need. Avoid that headache by organizing your documents in labeled folders to store in one place, like a file box or filing cabinet, for easy access when you need them.
Have one folder for vehicle documents, such as title, insurance info, and maintenance records. Use another folder for tax documents. Better yet, have one folder for each year’s taxes. Another folder can store your medical records, birth certificate, and social security card. Use whatever organizational system makes sense to you so you never have to stress about finding the right document in all that clutter.
2. KEEP SHOES UNDER YOUR BED
Whether you have one pair of shoes or 20, it is a good idea to store them in one place so you never lose them. Some people keep shoes by the door, but unless you are meticulous about keeping them nice and neat, shoes by the door can create a messy first impression of your home. The closet is another option, but not every closet has space for shoes. Under the bed is a convenient and efficient place to store your shoes so they are easily accessible but out of the way.
They should not be so far under the bed that you have to crawl under to retrieve them. Line your shoes up just far enough back that they are not in plain sight and close enough that you can easily reach them. You can also use an under-the-bed shoe organizer. This simple trick will save space, reduce clutter, and ensure you always know where to find your shoes!
3. ORGANIZE CLOTHES IN YOUR CLOSET
Putting clothes in the washer and dryer is easy. The tedious part is folding and hanging them afterward, but unless you are prepared to dress out of a basket every day, putting them away is a must. You might as well do it right and implement an organizational system for your wardrobe.
There is no right or wrong way to organize your clothes. Use whatever system works for you. A simple one is to organize shirts by sleeve length. You can also use level of formality, e.g., around-the-house clothes that are torn and stained, casual clothes to wear out and about, and formal clothes for special occasions.
You can step up your game by using tabs or dividers to separate your clothes so you no longer have to sort through them to find where one category ends and another begins. There are several ways to do this. Use different colors of hangers for each category, or just alternate between two colors to clearly distinguish them. You can also tie pieces of string to the rack to separate clothes or use sticky notes to label categories. You can even buy little tags made specifically for this purpose!
4. MAKE YOUR OWN DRAWER DIVIDERS
If you need to organize items in a drawer or stop them from shifting, you can use a piece of cardboard to make dividers that are exactly the size you need. Measure the drawer and cut a piece of cardboard with those dimensions. Make sure to cut the cardboard just slightly larger than the space you measured so it wedges firmly into place and stays there. If you make it the exact same size as the space you are dividing, the cardboard will not be held in place by the sides of the drawer and will move freely.
If you want a more elegant and permanent solution, and have the time and tools, you can also make dividers out of wood and secure them with screws or wood glue. Just make sure your wooden dividers are cut to your exact dimensions of the drawer.
5. STORE DRY GOODS IN REUSABLE CONTAINERS
From baking ingredients to rice, pasta, and cereal, our pantries are full of dry goods that come in less-than-ideal packaging. Some people use chip clips or rubber bands to try to reseal these items after opening, which is hit-or-miss for preserving freshness. Disposable paper, plastic, and cardboard packages are also prone to damage and spills. Avoid all that by using glass or hard plastic containers with lids to store your dry goods.
Start with staple items that you buy in bulk and always have stocked, such as sugar, flour, rice, pasta, and cereal. If your containers are not see-through, you can label them with markers, sticky notes, or a label maker if you are really committed.
In addition to looking nice, preventing spills, and keeping items fresh, this practice also gives you a pile of recyclable materials every time you come home from the grocery store. Once you take your items out of their original packaging, you can do your part for the planet by making a single trip to the recycling bin.
6. ORGANIZE YOUR REFRIGERATOR
How many times have you found expired items buried in the back of your fridge that you forgot were there? How many minutes have you spent searching your fridge for an elusive item? Avoid these annoyances by creating and sticking to a system of organization for your fridge.
The bottom shelf should hold the heaviest items as well as raw meat. Liquids, like gallons of milk and two-liter bottles of soda, run the risk of collapsing a shelf and/or leaking. Raw meat should also go on the bottom to minimize potential mess and health risks from contamination.
Apart from what goes on the bottom, there is no right or wrong way to organize your fridge. Play around with it and find what works best for you. Placing tall items farther back and short items in the front lets you see and reach them all without rummaging through. Grouping similar items together, like condiments and dips, can also be helpful.
7. STACK KITCHENWARE AND HANG POTS AND PANS
Stacking is a simple way to organize items and save space throughout your home, but it is especially useful in the kitchen. Glasses, plates, and bowls are all easy to stack if you have matching sets. Pots and pans are more difficult to store since they are larger, and some are prone to damage if stacked together. If you have more wall space than cabinet space in your kitchen, hanging pots and pans may be the answer.
You can do this the old-fashioned way by putting a nail or screw directly into the wall for each item you want to hang. To minimize the number of holes in your wall you can also mount a board with multiple pegs or hooks on it and hang items from those, similar to a rack you would hang clothes from. Finally, you can buy a pegboard. These are more typically used in garages, sheds, or workshops to hang tools, but they are also great for hanging items in the kitchen.
8. COUNTERTOP CONTAINER FOR LARGE UTENSILS
If you store large kitchen utensils (e.g., spatulas, wooden spoons) in a drawer, you know how frustrating it can be to dig through them looking for the one you need. Solve this problem and free up a drawer by keeping utensils in an upright container, like a small bucket. They will all be visible at first glance and easily accessible. If your utensils have holes in the handles, you can also hang them on a pegboard with your pots and pans! Another option is to mount a magnetic strip to hold metal utensils.
KICK BACK AND APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE
It can take a lot of work up front to declutter your home, and it takes ongoing effort to keep it neat and organized. If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get the job done, it will make everyday tasks so much easier, like cooking and getting dressed.
We hope these tips give you a spark of inspiration to take control of your home and banish the clutter for good. If you would like some in-person assistance, feel free to contact us to learn about our services and get a free quote!