The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your House
1. Take Everything Out Of The Space – Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better! That is often the case with organizing, it is best to start with a blank slate. Once you clear out the whole space this helps you see what you have and helps you decide what needs to be labelled as trash, donation, expired products etc. This also allows you to have full access to the space you are cleaning, and it allows you to make the most of the space.
If you are working on cleaning out and organizing an entire room, it may not be practical to remove everything out of the room at once. In this situation it will be best to break it down into smaller parts and tackle one by one.
For instance, let’s take the kitchen, we could start the process in the fridge, then move to the pantry and then organizing the kitchen cabinets. In the bedroom we can tackle sorting through the closet, then our nightstands, dressers and move onto other surfaces.
If you start to feel overwhelmed by the process and the number of things that need to be completed break it down into smaller chunks and make a list of what needs to be done daily to keep yourself accountable and allowing your space to be organized in no time.
2. Declutter Like Crazy – If you haven’t used an item in the last 6 months to a year, that is a good indication that it can be discarded. If an item is broken is goes in the trash pile or if something is stained or worn out, it’s time to get rid of it.
The more items we can get rid of the less cluttered the space will feel. We can either have the space or the stuff – however not both.
We have done all this work to clear out our space and have a blank slate in front of us. We want to ensure we are only putting back what is necessary.
Sometimes we tend to hold onto items because we may need them “someday” however in reality we barely use these items and forget they even exist so be truly honest with yourself if it’s a must keep or if you can part with the item.
3. Put Like Items Together – Once you start removing items from spaces and decluttering, we can start to separate like items into groups.
For example, if you are organizing your kitchen, you can group all your spices together, all your canned goods, baking items and Tupperware containers together etc.
When items are divided up by type, it allows us to see exactly what we have at home. Sometimes we go to the grocery store thinking we have no vanilla extract at home however once you get home you realize you have doubles of the items. This will also make your grocery trips easier and allows you to save money by not over-shopping.
4. Correlate Like Items – The next step in the organizing process is to take our categorized items and find a way to store each category in a neat and accessible way.
You can go to the dollar store to keep it budget friendly and buy some bins or be creative and see what you have at home for storage that can be re-purposed. Getting organized does not need to be expensive.
You can take it one step further and put bins inside of bins. This can help control the clutter even more because it allows each item to have it’s own specific spot. When you take an item out and use it, they have their own space to go back to and you are more likely to put everything back correctly.
5. Label Bins, Boxes & Organizers – Labelling is the fun part! Labelling allows you to quickly determine what is what and allows for faster access to get the items that you need.
There are many ways you can label. You can print a simple tag from the computer, you can use your Cricut machine to make adhesive vinyl labels designs, you can use a label maker to create a label and you could handwrite a chalkboard label – there are so many options!
In addition to labeling outside of your bins, you can also create a list of the contents and attach it with your bin. This would be great for a craft closet, sewing room etc.
6. Refill The Space – Your space has been sitting empty up till this point, now it’s time to start putting all your items away once you have everything separated and organized into bins and labelled.
It is best to start with the items that you use most often and put them in the most accessible spot. Items used infrequently can go on higher shelves or in harder to reach areas. From there you can fill in the gaps until everything has a home and always keeping in mind that like items stay together.
7. Train Yourself To Put Things Back In Their Spot – In Step 5 we discussed making sure that everything has a specific home. Once we have organized everything and put it back in it’s place, the only way to make sure it will stay that way is if we get into the habit of putting our items back where they go as soon as we are finished with them.
Most people find this the most challenging part of the process. You have worked hard to create a great organizational system so if you want to maintain it, you must commit to returning items to their place when you are done with them.
One way to get into the habit of putting items away is to give yourself a visual cue, for instance start with the kitchen and put a post-it note on the fridge that states “Put it back!” or try a similar note on the bathroom mirror.
New habits take 66 days to form, they do not happen overnight, however if we create smart organizing systems and make it a priority to maintain them over time, putting away items back to where they go will feel more like second nature and less like a chore.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Change Organizing Systems That Aren’t Working – Lastly, don’t be afraid to tweak systems that aren’t working for your lifestyle. We have all been through the process of setting up a system, making it look pretty, however once it came to day-to-day use, it just wasn’t practical or workable.
When we feel like everything is unorganized it can be overwhelming to try and bring it back to order, however if we attack one small area at a time and follow these simple steps, we really start to see progress more quickly then we think!
Plus, there is no better feeling than the satisfaction of having a freshly organized space.
Written by Caroline Gawlik (email@example.com)