Home Organizing Ideas
How To Organize Your Home
While clutter may be a fact of life, it doesn’t have to be a way of life.
Clutter is truly the scourge of an organized life. Once it sets in, chaos reigns – you can spend hours looking for something you “just put down” because it fell prey to clutter as soon as your back was turned.
The National Association of Professional Organizers reports that 25 percent of us say we pay bills late because we misplaced them.
Out of the 80 percent of our clothes that are actually hung up, we only wear 20 percent. (No doubt the rest of the clothes are either 1) stored, 2) laying in a heap in the closet or 3) being recycled through the laundry room.)
Isn’t it reassuring to know there is a National Association of Professional Organizers? There is hope for the rest of us – and following are some simple tips to show you how to organize your home.
Organizing Tips For Your Home
Organize Your Morning The Night Before
It doesn’t matter whether you have a large family or not. Mornings can be disasters even if you live alone – if you are prone to clutter and disorganization.
You really need to take a few moments before you go to bed at night to assure that your morning goes as smoothly as possible. If everything is pre-arranged, you’ll avoid stress by frantically searching for last minute remembered or misplaced items.
Here are 6 ways to organize for the morning:
- Lay out the next day’s clothing.
- Make sure your wallet or handbag, briefcase and car keys are in a specific place. Be consistent.
- Set out breakfast materials (cereal, bowls, etc.)
- Make school kids lunches and put them in the refrigerator.
- Make sure “lunch money” is left in an agreed upon location.
- Plan ahead and be sure you have plenty of gas to get to work in the morning.
De-clutter the counters by placing everything in a plastic laundry basket or a large cardboard box. Scrub the counter with a household sponge dipped in hot soapy water; wipe dry. Do the same to the sink/s.
As you replace the items and accessories on the counter, there will be some products that do not belong on the counter. Place them in the cabinet or drawers.
Throw away old lotions, empty prescription bottles, old razors, outdated over-the-counter medicines, make-up, perfume, sunscreen, etc.
If you have a magazine rack in the bathroom, be sure that outdated printed materials are removed and thrown away.
Keep robes, night clothes, towels hung on racks.
Organizing Your Closet
Here are 5 ways to keep your closet clean and organized:
- Keep laundry in one basket on the floor, and dry cleaning in another.
- Go through the clothes and determine those which are seasonal and should be stored.
- Face reality – if you do lose or gain weight, will that cute little dressy dress still be fashionable – or is it already out of date? Local charities and shelters are desperate for all types of clothing that still have wear in them. Don’t forget the shoes.
- Organize the clothes in your closet. Hang sweaters, blouses, shirts together. Hang skirts, slacks, trousers together. Hang jackets and sports coats together. Women’s dresses and suits, and men’s suits belong together.
- Organize the clothing appropriately: sports/casual, business/work or cocktail/formal.
Organize Your Kitchen
- Organize your kitchen storage cabinets categorically. Put all glassware together, including plastic glasses for kids.
- Cups, plates, and soup/cereal bowls belong together.
- Mixing bowls, bake ware (casseroles and pie plates), plastic food containers, all belong in their own area.
- Keep counters free from clutter. After using spices, sugar, etc., put them back.
- Don’t let plastic grocery bags accumulate. Store a few in a drawer and recycle the rest.
Organize The Kid’s Room
- If your child likes basketball, putting a basket ball hoop over the laundry basket is a “slam-dunk” for getting clothes off the floor and into the basket.
- Hang a clear shoe bag with compartments over the closet door for storing small toys and stuffed animals.
- Encourage your children to keep their books in a bookcase.
- Use the “star” system or give a special privilege to reward children for keeping their room tidy and organized.
Additional Organizing Ideas
- Don’t hoard things that cannot be used. If they are broken or worn out, throw them away. If they can be repaired but you won’t do it, recycle them.
- Leave extra replacement bags at the bottom of the trash container. That way, whenever someone takes the trash out, they can replace the bag.
- Pick up a few of the large plastic storage boxes from a home improvement store and place in your child’s bedroom or play room. Encourage them to pick up their towns when they are done playing with them.
- Before bedtime, have every person in the house gather their clutter, put away what they want to save, and throw away trash. Many hands make light work.
- Have a family message board for reminders about appointments, meetings, important phone numbers, and for kids to report to parents what their plans are.
The best tip for organizing and de-cluttering your house is: When in doubt, throw it out. Keep kitchen and bathroom counters clean. Avoid using your counters as catch-alls.
Keep loose clothing picked up, hung up or in the laundry room. Don’t let your junk mail accumulate. Put valuable mail in a secure spot – on your desk or in a filing system. Keep a tidy and clean floor. Sweep hard surfaces then damp mop. For quick grooming of carpets, use a carpet sweeper.
Being clutter-free is the first step in being organized. Don’t keep stuff you can’t use, wear or eat. If there are some family heirlooms you are saving to hand down to your kids, give it to them now – if they already have their own home.
Anything you cannot pass down in the present, wrap lovingly and place in a storage box. Be sure to identify the origin and the sentimental value. Then seal it and put the recipient’s name on it. That way, there will be no doubting your intentions – and … you’ve gained some storage space.