Free Organizing Tips
How To Organize Your Home
Ever get that sinking feeling when you walk into your home and find it looking like King Kong has been hanging’ out there? Crumbs, snack dishes, empty soda cans … magazines, books, newspapers all combined can make your home look like a disaster area.
Homes with children get disorganized quickly – coats, shoes, socks abandoned where they were taken off, toys hauled out of place and left scattered on the floor. Even grown-ups contribute to messy rooms by carrying items from one room to another and not putting them back in the right place.
It takes patience and persistence to organize your home. If all of the occupants will make an effort to form good habits and keep it in a reasonably organized state, the burden and responsibility will not fall only on your shoulders. Organizing your home and keeping a clean, well-maintained living environment does not mean you should be able to eat off the floors. It only means your house should not look like you do!
There’s No Place Like Home!
When your house is organized, every item inside has a home of its own. When the item is no longer being used, it needs to be returned to its special place so that you can readily find it the next time you need it. If you don’t think this is important, consider how many times you’ve looked for a pair of scissors that ordinarily “live” in a kitchen drawer. However, when you really needed them, they weren’t there. You might locate them later – after the need is over – laying on a counter in the bathroom. Sometimes we just don’t take the time to put things back after we’ve used them but, in the long run, you can save a lot of time by returning them to their “home”.
Basic Rules to Better Home Organization
Following are some free tips that will help you end clutter and organize your home.
Put Like Items Together
Your home is full of items that are similar and can be grouped together. For instance, in your home office or at work, designate a shelf or drawer in your desk or cabinet to store your supply of paper and envelopes. Consider storing pens, pencils, staplers, staples, Scotch tape, paste, etc., in close proximity along with anything else you would typically use in conjunction with the paper product.
Just as you have a special area for your small kitchen appliances, towels and linens, designate storage locations for your holiday decorations, laundry, cleaning supplies, even sports equipment. Every item you bring into your house belongs in a group – whether it’s hardware, clothing, food, soap, whatever – to organize your home, keep like items together.
Make Things Convenient
Take those frequently used scissors for example. Keep them handy in a kitchen drawer where you can grab them easily when needed and then put them back when you are done. Place things that are most frequently used within easy reach and visibility – at the front of the shelves, at eye level in cupboards. Place shorter items in front, taller in the back. Items that are used less often can be stored in an easily accessed cabinet, such as in your laundry room or garage, where they are out of sight but not out of reach. You can almost never have too much storage space. There are a lot of helpful storage products in home improvement stores to help you organize your home.
Clear plastic bins are wonderful for storing items because you can easily see what’s inside. But if you use opaque boxes or cabinets with doors, you might consider putting labels on the boxes, on the inside of the doors, or on the outside of the drawers. Anyone who has every spent time in a doctor’s exam room has seen labels on the outside of the doors and drawers that remind the doctor or practitioner which supplies are located inside. There are a number of pressure sensitive labels available that will not mar or permanently stick to your nice wood cabinets. If that’s an issue, stick the label inside the door where you can see it easily when the door is open, but where it will not be unattractive from the outside. By using a labeling system, family members will have no excuse for not knowing where the garden hand tools go, where the scissors belong, or where to find the item they need without tearing everything else apart! Labels help organize storage containers.
Weed It Out
Weeding isn’t just for gardens. Weed out damaged, broken, useless tools, appliances, toys, etc. Most of us do not have one “fix-it gene” in our bodies but we have millions of “possessive genes” – “It’s mine and I’m going to keep it for ever and ever, even if it doesn’t work now and will never work again. It’s my stuff and I just can’t part with it!”
Get over it, my friend. Weed it out of your life. Trust me, if you can’t use it, you’ll never miss it. Free yourself! Learning to part with unusable items is a basic rule in becoming organized.
Handle It Once
Handle it once – well, maybe a few more times than that which means bring it home and put it away until you use it, then throw it away or store it to use again later. The important thing here is that you only handle the item when you need to and then keep it where it belongs the rest of the time.
Make It Your System
Practice being organized. Use the label system for storage and make a habit of returning items to where they live. The only secret to being organized it to be consistent. When you bring something into the house, immediately put it where it will live until you use it. Group like items together. If possible, use clear containers for storage so you can easily see what’s inside. If that’s not practical, use labels on the outside of boxes, the inside of cabinet drawers. Don’t procrastinate – be persistent. The more often you practice these free organizational tips, the more free you become. As they say, practice makes perfect!
If any part of your overall organizing plan doesn’t work, try something else. If you’ve tried keeping specific items where you thought they would be more accessible but find it doesn’t quite work, choose a different location. Experiment until you find the organization key that works for you. Be flexible and open to new ideas. Look in magazines and read articles from the pros. Above all, don’t be discouraged and don’t give up.
Get Help When Needed
Don’t be reluctant to research help for your specific needs. Don’t hesitate to remind other occupants of your home that they bear responsibility in maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of your habitat. If you have a family and also work outside the home, obviously it’s too much to expect one person – you- to clean up after the whole she-bang. Teach children responsibility in picking up after themselves and taking care of their playthings.
The professionals at Mrs. Clean, Inc., are always ready, willing and able to help you get organized and then to keep your home in maintenance mode. You are welcome to peruse our website 24 hours a days and take advantage of our free advice. There is also a free forum where you may post questions or share information with others. Please feel free to encourage your friends to visit, share and learn.