Mastering home organization might sound like a job for the world’s best organizers, such as Marie Kondo or The Home Edit. However, home organization is attainable for anyone, including you.
1. Start With a Plan
When it comes to turning a messy space into an organized one, it’s best to start with a home organization plan. The experts at The Home Edit advise that you want to begin by prioritizing your rooms from those that need the most work and those that need the least. Make a list, and put the room you need to tackle first at the top.
Next, stand in the middle of the first priority room and look around. Take an inventory of the space. Ask yourself:
- What clutter is my eye drawn to?
- Do I have piles of things on the floor?
- Is there too much furniture in this space?
- What about this space works for me?
After you answer those questions, you’ll start to see your plan begin to take shape as you spot where to start. Writing down your answers will help you stay motivated and on track as you get to work.
2. Make Goals and Dates
The first step is done, you know where to start, and you have a plan. However, you might still feel a bit overwhelmed by the size of your project. The best thing you can do right now is to make goals and set completion dates.
Remember that top priority room? Break down the larger tasks you want to finish in that room into smaller chores. These smaller items will become your list of home organization goals for that specific room. Each time you complete a goal, check it off your list.
Setting a completion date will help you stay focused on your goals, so you don’t get sidetracked looking at old photos or trying to decide what should go where. Choose attainable due dates depending on the goal you’re trying to accomplish. Soon, all of your tasks will be done and you can move on to organizing the next space on your list.
3. Declutter in Steps
Everyone has some amount of clutter, and over time, that clutter grows into somewhat of a monster. The best thing to do for any amount of clutter is to declutter in steps. You will feel more motivated and less stressed when you break it all down. How?
- Start with one drawer at a time: Eventually, you will get through the entire desk but all you need to focus on right now is one drawer, then the next.
- Have a trash can ready: You don’t need all those old dinner receipts or mail from last year. Anything that isn’t an important document or sentimental item you need to keep, belongs in the garbage.
- Make small piles for important documents: For anything important, organize those documents by what they are. For example, you might have piles for bank documents, IRS documents, bills to pay, and nostalgia.
- Place all documents you want to keep in labeled file folders: Even if you don’t have a cabinet for these kinds of items, you want to keep them organized and easy to access.
4. Keep It Simple
Simplicity is key when it comes to home organization. You want your home to be organized and free of clutter, so you can easily find the items you want when you want them. Professional home organizer, Kathy Jenkins, created the SIMPLE system to help give the home organization process more structure. But what does SIMPLE stand for?
- S: Sort
- I: Identity
- M: Make a home
- P: Put
- L: Label
- E: Establish routines
When you put the SIMPLE system to work, you organize, find a good home for your items, know where to find them later, and start a new routine for putting those items in their new homes. Now you won’t fall back into old habits because you have a system that actually works.
5. Maximize Your Space
To become a home organization master, you need to maximize your space, especially if you live in a small home. A functional space goes a long way in keeping your home organized long term. Have you ever considered using your ceiling for items that are hard to fit in cabinets or take up a lot of floor space? What about having your furniture double as storage? Small changes like these can make a big impact on your floor space, and more floor space makes your home look larger. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Hang large hooks to your ceiling for bicycles
- Put up a ceiling rack to hang your pots and pans in your kitchen
- Have hidden storage in your furniture, such as a bed with storage below
- Use an antique chest as both a coffee table and for blanket storage
- Put corners to use with a corner cupboard, desk, or coat rack.
- Utilize decorative storage and cabinets
Taking home organization to the next level doesn’t have to be stressful. With these five tips, you’ll have an organized, peaceful space in no time at all.