There’s no right way to get your home organized. Whatever approach you choose, your lifestyle, habits and preferences just have to work with. But there are a number of tried-and-true techniques that can boost any system’s effectiveness. From being mindful of clutter hot spots to finding red flags that your organizational system doesn’t work, we’ve learned some smart strategies from the pros to get organized so you can save the time, money and stress that comes with living in a den of chaos.
Start in one place
If you have multiple areas in your home that you want to take control, begin with just one. You determine which one to start with — is it the area that gives you the biggest headache, or is it the area that visitors see most easily in your home? Pick one field and stick to it regardless of your preferences. When the challenge of cleaning up the entire house seems overwhelming and folks give up, several attempts at organizing fail. Once one field is complete, rejoice and then move on to the next.
But, if that’s the best you want. You should start with your bed, since you start and end the day from your bed.
Straighten the covers, fluff the pillows and smooth the duvet down. It takes about 30 seconds, and how clean and organized your bedroom feels makes a huge difference!
Choose the easiest area to organize
Don’t expect planning to occur overnight. Depending on the area that needs to be organized, plan a few hours each day to focus on organizing the area. It will take more time to get a garage whipped into shape than it takes to organize a linen closet. To begin with, completely empty out the room. When clean, vacuum, dust or wipe the shelving down and spray the room with a natural linen mist. This gives the design of a practical linen closet a blank canvas.
Purchase Right-Size Container
Restrict items in a package to one drawer or container such as memorabilia or craft supplies. Purge when it gets full! (And buy no more bin.)
Toss Old Clothing
Clothes that you haven’t seen need to go out in two years. The two-year rule allows for warmer than usual winters or unseasonable summers when you are not allowed to wear anything that you would usually wear. It also accounts for the clothes that you saved for tasks such as yard work or painting, without requiring you to hang on to those things forever. If you don’t want to take the time to do something to prove you really love it, you can let it go.
After eliminating extraneous objects, take a look at what’s left. Is it a part of here? Is it prudent to keep this here? Is there another location where you have more room to keep it, or another area where it would be easier to get to for your purpose? Take, for example, the professional-grade mixer you kept in the back of your bedroom, and bring it to the kitchen. If tackling the area of the home is time, you should integrate the mixer into the kitchen’s new storage strategy.
Kitchen storage: get rail
Make space in your kitchen by adding a stainless steel rail from which kitchen utensils, pots, pans and more can be hung. This is a great solution for storage if you have unclaimed real estate on ground. It serves as a great place to stack dishtowels and oven mitts and/or dry them out. If you’re interested in this idea, you’ll probably also love the design for this ceiling-mounted organizer of pots and pans.
Use drawer dividers
Wide drawers are perfect for paperwork storage, but small items from the desk should be divided into small sections with drawer dividers to help keep everything in order.
Add tower rack to linen closet
They’re not just about toilets. An over – the-door hanger provides storage space for extra tablecloths, throws or towels beyond sight.
Organize with color
Whether you’re trying to organize the family room or attempting to monitor your home office, using color to enhance your efforts. Assign a different colored container to each child to keep their things in, and hold them accountable for cleaning up after themselves. Organize tasks, bills and other important papers in your home office, by feature and color.
Visibility, accessibility and flexibility are the three rules for organisation. Using containers which are either transparent or can be easily marked to help identify the contents quickly and save valuable time.
Create a mail station
To keep paper coming into the home office under control, establish a mail station. For each member of the family create a folder for incoming and outgoing mail, mail to file, bills and a folder.
Once the mail is in, file it in the mail station. Then, take a few minutes once a week, and go through every tab.
Practice file folding
Folding upright towels (or even t-shirts!) helps you to see in one glance everything you own. Color coding for additional colour, from light to dark.
Verify that the things you most often need are the easiest to reach. Likewise, position the things on a higher shelf or in another location that you don’t need to get to as much.
Corral sports gear
This sturdy ball corral houses a herd of balls and makes it easy for kids to catch the balls at the bottom without unloading all the ones at the top. It is 3/4-in installed. Plywood and with 2x2s. We made our 24 in ball corral. Widex 33 in. Tallx 12 in. Deep down.
For children and adults alike, the hooks on Bungee cords can be a safety hazard. So cut off the hooks from the cords (or use the available elastic cord at campsites, sports goods and hardware stores). Thread the cord through predrilled holes and use knots to protect it. Drill the holes slightly larger than the cords to allow their threading.
At the outside of the corral, we installed plumbing hooks and shallow gutter troughs to make it easy for children to hide smaller balls, helmets and mitts.
(source: goodhousekeeping.com, hgtv.com, and familyhandyman.com)