If your home is looking cluttered, messy and in desperate need of organization, take a deep breath. There are plenty of ways to organize your home without spending a fortune. You can spend a few dollars here and there on storage products at your local home improvement store. The key is to get what you don’t need out and everything you do need in its place — somewhere that’s manageable and easy to reach. Here are some quick tips on getting your house in shape:
- Get rid of unnecessary items. Go through every room in your home — garage, basement, bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc. — armed with boxes and trash bags. Separate the necessities from items you don’t need or use anymore. Donate usable items to people who can use them. Giveaway, recycle or put everything else in the trash!
- Start sorting. Once everything old and unused is out, get everything else in some semblance of order. Cluster items like books, clothes, shoes, linens, etc., grouping like with like.
- Containers are your friend. Find ways to put smaller items like shoes, books and linens in containers, when possible. By putting them in storage bins and boxes, you will always know where to find and put them. It’s also easier to store them in easy-to-manage containers, especially if you want to put shoes in bins underneath your bed or winter clothing on closet shelves when it’s summer.
- Group by family member or season. If you’re sharing rooms or common spaces, color code and label areas and bins so you’ll always know where clothes, toys, and other items go. In situations where you need to label by season, you can use colors like pink for spring, yellow for summer, and so on. This is especially useful for storage bins with season-specific clothing and shoes.
- Use racks and holders. Racks are especially useful for shoes, spices, tools, office materials and so forth. Make use of them in the entryway, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom to hold coats, hand towels, curling irons and the like.
- Don’t forget about small items. Assign your small items — office supplies, keys, phones, etc. — a specific storage space.
- Keys: Hang on hooks near the front door or by the door to the garage.
- Phones: Store in a linen pocket on a hook by the door. (Some have a hole near the bottom for the charger to go through.)
- Office supplies: Organize in a drawer or keep a basket atop a desk or table to fit pens, stapler, and other assorted items.
- Always label! This cannot be stressed enough. Labeling prevents clutter, and it should be enforced in areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Knowing where certain items go at all times puts in place a regulatory practice and cuts down on the misplacement of everything from medicine to spices and pots and pans.
This can all seem overwhelming, especially if you live in a large home and have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. If you prefer, you can hire a professional organizer to come in and help you with the process. The main goal is to get the clutter out and turn your home into an organized, clean oasis for the whole family.