How to Organize and Declutter your Home
Tips for Organizing and De Cluttering Around the House
Let’s face it – “clutter happens” and clutter is one of the biggest time-wasters of your house keeping duties.
Usually clutter is a result of not taking care of a task at the point of origin – i.e., tossing junk mail, filing important documents such as bank and billing statements, personal correspondence, kids not putting toys away, and not keeping rooms clean.
Clutter also accumulates in the kitchen by not putting things away or where they belong, wrappers left on the counter, craft projects left on the table and so on.
No room of your house is immune to clutter – especially if you have a family. Let’s see how we can help you keep more organized and clutter at bay.
Basic Organizing Tips
When you’ve finished with something, put it away – where ever it belongs. If it’s dishes, glassware, dessert bowls – when you are finished bring them back to the kitchen, rinse them and put them in the dishwasher.
If it’s trash, throw it away; don’t leave wrappers, soda cans or empty potato chip bags lying around for days on end. If it’s important mail or documents put them in a basket in the kitchen, office or wherever you customarily keep important papers. If you have magazine subscriptions, stack them nicely on a bookshelf, side table or put them in a magazine rack.
Don’t leave clothes, coats, shoes and towels lying around on the floor or hanging over the banister, put them where they belong – in a coat closet, the dirty laundry basket, a bedroom closet.
When organizing some things will need to be thrown out, some things can be donated, you will keep many things, maybe you can sell some things or give them away.
These are just a few basic organizing tips but now when you want to dust, vacuum or clean the furniture, there isn’t a bunch of stuff in your way.
Organizing the Kitchen
Gather all dirty dishes and either put them in the sink where you will wash, dry and put them away or put them in your dishwasher.
Look at the kitchen counters. Pick up every item that doesn’t belong there and organize by putting misplaced items in its proper place. Put boxes of cereal in the pantry, if you have a lot of small appliances on the counters but don’t necessarily need them there; put them in a cabinet or on a pantry shelf. Kitchen counters are an attractive place to put stuff.
Organize the Pantry
Make the pantry more organized. Arrange can and jar goods by type – so vegetables together, gravy together, soups, sauces, etc. Stack like items. Keep rice and noodles together in a basket, breakfast cereals together, snacks and so forth. Keep tall items in the back and smaller items in the front.
How to Organize Cabinets
Keep drinking glasses and coffee cups in a cabinet and dishes, bowls and serving plates organized by size in another cupboard.
If you have cabinet space for things like spices and vitamins, arrange spices in alphabetical order and arrange vitamins by who takes what.
Keep fry pans, pots and pans and things like a rice cooker and crock pot together.
Organizing Kitchen Drawers
Kitchen drawers can be organized by putting cooking utensils in one (or they can be kept on the counter in a utensil holder), silverware in another, foil paper, wax paper and lunch baggies in another.
And we can’t forget the all important junk drawer where you can keep scratch paper, pens, batteries, etc.
Having the countertops clear and items put in their proper place, it makes cleaning so much easier.
Organizing the Family Room/Living Room
The family room or living room is where we spend much of our time; watching TV, playing games, doing homework and more so it’s bound to get cluttered.
- Furniture with storage
- End tables
What Should you Store Away?
- Remote controls – there’s a remote for the TV, there’s a remote for the sound bar, there’s a remote for the DVD player, cable box and so on.
- Movies, games, remote controls. Do you have a Play Station, Oculus, Nintendo, Wii. Then you know how much stuff comes with them and that is bought for them.
- Whether there are kids in the house or not. Games are a great way to pass the time.
- Books, magazines and paperwork (maybe you pay your bills in the living room)
- Kids toys. If you have kids then you know that toys can be everywhere. So while you are watching TV and they are playing, have a place for them to put their toys away when done.
If, at the end of the night, things are put away where they belong, your space will be more inviting.
To organize bedrooms, start by picking up all articles of clothing; sort according to action needed – hanging up, put in a drawer or if dirty, take them to the laundry room or put them in the hamper.
Organize the Closet
Organize closets by hanging like items together: dresses, skirts, blouses, tops, pants, etc. If you need floor space for storage containers, use a shoe rack for slippers and shoes. Over the door organizing options can be used for ties, scarves, belts, etc.
Organizing Dresser Drawers
Dresser drawers can be organized by keeping seasonal clothes in them as well as intimate items. Under the bed storage options are many and can be used for the seasonal clothes not in season.
So you don’t lose jewelry, you can buy a jewelry organizer and keep that on the dresser as well as a decorative mirror to put perfumes on.
If you have a ton of blankets, use baskets or get creative and use an old ladder to hang them from, extra pillows can go in a basket as well.
Keeping the Nightstand Organized
Nightstands are a great place for reading materials, homework, phones, electronic devices, etc. Hampers and garbage cans come in handy as well.
Organizing the Bathroom
Pick up and throw away trash, put dirty clothes and towels in the laundry basket. Keep toothbrushes in a holder and pump hand soap is much cleaner than bar soap.
Under Sink Storage
Under the sink organize shampoo, conditioners, and hair gel together. Keep body wash, loofahs, and razors together. If you don’t have drawers – toilet paper, bandages, and makeup can be kept under the sink as well – there are many nice stackable containers that can be utilized.
Medicine Cabinet Organization
If you have a medicine cabinet on the wall you can keep things like bandages, toothpaste, clippers, cologne and other items in there.
Organize the Linen Closet
If you have a linen closet in the bathroom but no medicine cabinet, not only can you keep towels in the closet but toilet paper, makeup, etc.
Organizing Bathroom Drawers
If you have drawer space and kids, give each child a drawer for their own personal items.
De-cluttering and organizing your home does not have to be an all day chore. As you have the time, pick an area and concentrate your efforts. Do that one area but do it well. Then, in a few days, pick another area to De-clutter, and so on.
The trick to keeping your home organized and decluttered is to practice regular maintenance. Get in the habit of throwing away things you don’t need, keeping dirty clothes out of sight (in the laundry room or in a dirty clothes hamper), keeping dirty dishes corralled in the kitchen, not allowing empty pop cans to be left sitting on end tables, etc.
Keep after the family to help in this process. The earlier children are taught to pick up after themselves the better – better for you and better for them.