A cluttered home can be overwhelming and stressful. Having an organized home can not only improve your mental and emotional wellbeing but also save you time and money in the long run. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of organizing your home.
Benefits To Organizing Your Home
Start with giving yourself a bit of inspiration. Why are you organizing your home? What are the benefits of having an organized home? Here are some things I have learned and continue to learn each day.
Having a sense of an organized space can give you the sense of control. A disorganized home can lead to feeling overwhelmed. When your space is order, it can help reduce stress levels.
Imagine getting ready for work in the morning and knowing exactly where your keys and sunglasses are.
When everything has a place then it can save you a lot of time searching things you need. Also, it can save a lot of time putting things away.
When you are in an organized space it can help boost your focus.
Especially in the workspace. If my workspace is a mess, I struggle to remain focus and find the things I need. Keeping these spaces clutter free and organized can increase productivity.
More Efficient Cleaning
An organized home is much easier to clean. This can save a lot of time when cleaning as you will not need to spend time and energy on putting everything away first.
Organizing You Home: Where to Begin
Assess Your Home
Take a notebook and do a walkthrough of your home. Asses what needs work and how much. Take notes on the areas that you think need work.
Identify what areas have a lot of clutter that will need some work to be decluttered.
What is Clutter?
Clutter is anything that takes up space in your home and does not add value to your life. Value could mean that it has an important use or just makes you happy.
Why does identifying clutter matter?
- Clutter can cause stress. A cluttered home can make it hard to relax.
- Clutter can be bad for your health. It can trap dust and allergens which can contribute to bad air quality.
- Clutter can be a safety hazard. It can make it difficult to navigate your home and create tripping hazards.
- Clutter can make it difficult to find what you need. It can be hard to find important items or papers when you need them.
Identifying clutter and taking the steps to reduce it can create a more peaceful, healthy, productive home environment.
Create a Plan for Organizing Your Home
It can be overwhelming to look at your home and think about everything that needs organized. To help with this feeling create a plan that allows you to work in smaller manageable sections.
Take a few moments to assess the areas of your home that needs organizing. I find it helpful to start with one room at a time and then break it down further into smaller sections. This will allow you to focus in one area at a time.
Once you have your list together, prioritize it. I typically prioritize in the below order.
1. Areas that are causing you the most stress:
Starting with these areas give a great sense of accomplishment when completed. They can also give you a needed boost to keep going.
Suggested Top 3
- Bedroom: This can interfere with sleep quality which can lead to reduced productivity and motivation.
- Office: If you work from home the office may be the most important as an organized office can promote productivity.
- Kitchen: The kitchen tends to have the most stuff and has a high use. The more disorganized a kitchen is the harder it is to clean up after making meals.
Your top 3 may vary on your living style so keep in mind that everyone is a little different. Do what works best for you.
2. Spaces that will help you with other spaces.
Getting to areas of storage that impact other areas in your home can be a huge help in the entire process.
Closest, drawers, and other storage areas fall into this category. If one of your main sources of clutter in your bedroom is clothes on the floor or in baskets and not in the closet, then maybe your closet should come first.
Another example is your entry way. If you have nowhere to put coats or shoes then these items may just be tossed wherever. You may want to start with figuring out your best solutions for this space first.
Suggested Top 3
- Clothes closets or drawers: Clothes are a common source of feeling cluttered and disorganized.
- Paperwork: Papers are often scattered in the office, on the kitchen counter, wherever its easy for you to drop you mail. Getting a paper organization system together will help with quick filing.
- Storage Areas: If you are lucky to have a closet or laundry room to have for storage. Clearing these out to make room for more potential storage throughout the process can be really helpful
3. Most used areas of the home.
I know I am happiest when the spaces we are in the most are organized and clean. Also, since they are the most used spaces, they are also the ones most likely to look the most unorganized. The sooner you have a solution for these spaces the better.
Suggested Top 3
- Living Room: Your living room is often used for family time and relaxing time. So, this is a good option to help reduce stress.
- Entryway: This is often a high traffic dumping ground. Getting this one out of the way can also make sure things aren’t migrating to areas they aren’t supposed to.
- Bathroom: A bathroom can hold a lot of small hard to organize items. Getting this one under control can help optimize your time getting ready for work or going out.
Once you have your list of spaces prioritized then think about how much time you can allocate to the process and when.
There are a couple options to take to planning.
- Take a day to tackle as much as you can.
- Spread out smaller tasks each day or a couple day a week.
I personally like to spread out my tasks throughout the week when I can. Do one small thing a day to keep getting closer to your main goal.
I suggest picking a room for that week or two weeks if you need it and breaking that room into smaller areas.
Say you chose to work on the closet this week. Your break down may look like this.
- Monday: Socks and Underwear drawers
- Tuesday: Sweaters and T-shirts
- Wednesday: Pants and Dresses
- Thursday: Hanging clothes.
- Fridays: Accessories
These smaller tasks make it more manageable. Start with a 30-minute timer. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot but you can make some really good progress in 30 minutes when you have a plan.
If you have a hard time during the week then try and do these small increments on the weekend.
Organize Your Home: Time to Start
Now you should have the below ready in order to start.
- A scheduled window of time to start working.
- A prioritized list of what you want to do.
So, what’s next? How to start organizing your home?
Let’s jump into how to get started with organizing your space. Remember, keep it in small chunks to prevent getting overwhelmed.
Decluttering your home is the most important first step to being successful. You do not want to spend time or money organizing and finding a space for items that you really do not need.
Take a look at your space that you chose to work in today.
Assess the items that you have. Ask yourself these 3 questions.
- Do you need this item?
- Have you used it in the last year?
- What is the value the item brings to your life?
2. Sort and Categorize
You need to understand what is in that space and how you want that space to work for you. To start you need to go through and sort each item. Items should be categorized so you can keep like items together.
Get Some Sorting Boxes To Help Sort
You need a way to contain your sorted items. You can just do piles that are out of the way but boxes or bags really help keep things contained and make it easier to move things as needed. I recommend at least 3 categories.
- Toss: Throw away trash and broken useful items.
- Donate: For things that may be useful to someone, but you no longer need or love it.
- Does Not Belong In This Space: Anything you know that needs to leave that room.
Sell: If you have the time and you think it may be worth a little money consider selling it. Local flea market groups make it simple to sell. However, this can be a bit time consuming and will require storage until the item is sold. Take that in consideration when making this decision.
For the items that are to remain in that room group into categories, such as books, office supplies, tools, or electronics. These categories will help you make a decision on how much space you need or what your storage needs may be.
Keeping things together will also help you know exactly what you have. That way you are not buying things you already have.
Now decide where these categories are going to go. Which space is going to be best at maximizing your group of items? Which items do you need in an easier to reach area?
These questions will help you decide where to designate the space for each category of items.
2. Deep Clean
Take advantage of that empty space and deep clean. Vacuum out drawers, polish furniture and clean the floor. Only put stuff back when the space you are working in is clean.
Remember this can be done in small sections to keep it from being overwhelming.
3. Storage Solutions
After you decluttered and assessed your space then you can start thinking about getting some home organization products. Look at the space you have and the items that will live in that space. Decide if you need things to help you optimize that space.
Here are some things to ask yourself before buying home organization products.
- If it’s a shelf can those items sit neatly on the shelf, or will they benefit from some sort of container?
- Is there empty vertical space? Can you benefit from stackable bins?
- Are you shelves adjustable? If not, maybe you need a smaller shelf to help break up the space?
- Would your items work best in a drawer? Do you need to add drawers?
- Even in the drawers would you benefit from some organizers to keep things in their section?
- Hooks to hang things. Could a broom hanger or even a smaller hanger for your bath sponges help keep things easy to reach and contained.
Before You Buy
- Shop Your Home First!
This is so important. Buying new supplies is fun and excited but you can easily end up with things you didn’t need. This is not only a waste of money but now you must organize or declutter those.
- Reuse Boxes.
I will use cardboard boxes as a “try out” this organization process. It does sometimes take a couple tries to make a space work 100% for you. So do not be afraid to use cardboard until you are sure. Then once you are confident go ahead and upgrade to a nicer storage solution.
Whatever system you choose for your home remember to keep it simple. If it’s too complicated to put things away, then it’s going to end up out of place again.
How To Organize Your Home Room By Room
Organizing your home can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. By breaking it down into smaller, more manageable steps and tackling one room at a time, you can create a more organized and functional living space. Here are some tips for organizing your home room by room.
Organize The Entryway or Mud Room
Your entryway is the first space people see when they enter your home. It’s also often a dumping ground for shoes and coats. These often end up in a messy pile on a floor or bench.
Consider what you want to keep in the entry way. Everyday coats, shoes, or seasonal things?
- Shoe Storage: Find a shoe rack or bin that you can store at minimum the everyday shoes. An under-bench storage or shoe shelf could be a great space for this. At minimum a tray for shoes that will help keep them contained and the dirt of the floor.
- Coat Racks: Do you have room for a coat rack? Do you need to consider a shorter one for easy reach for kids? If you don’t have a closet where you can easily hang coats, then consider a wall coat rack or cubbies for storing each person’s coats.
- Shelves for Accessories: Take advantage of vertical height. Add a shelf above your coat rack to have baskets for scarves or gloves. Even to store purses.
Organize The Living Room
Your living room is where you spend most of your time relaxing and entertaining, so it’s important to keep it clutter-free.
- Media Storage: Make sure you have a place for your DVDs and Video Games. A TV stand with storage is a huge help. Minimize the space of you need to by putting the DVDs in a CD binder. Control your cord clutter so that it’s not a tangled mess.
- Blanket Storage: Do you have a lot of blankets or pillows? You can keep a couple on the back of the couch for easy use. Or you can get a cute basket or ladder to store the blankets neatly out of sight.
Organize The Kitchen
The kitchen can be one of the most challenging rooms to keep organized.
- Food Items: Go through your pantry and cabinets and get rid of any expired food. Then using the above sort and categorize method try to group like items together so you can see what you have to avoid over purchasing.
- Dishes and Cookware: If you have room in the cabinets for everything great! Keep like items together. If you have a smaller kitchen look at areas that you can add some vertical storage or utilize wall space. Maybe a magnetic knife rack or a pot hanger can be used if you do not have the storage space.
Organize The Bathroom
The bathroom can be a small space, but it’s important to keep it organized to make the most of the space you have.
- Medicine Cabinet: If you have one or the option to get one this can be really helpful for small frequently used items. If you need to add the storage space this may be an option to give you a little more room.
- Under Sink Storage: Maximize your under sink storage with drawers, lazy susan’s or bins.
- Over The Toilet Storage: There are a lot of great options out there for cabinets that are meant for over the toilet. Some have closed storage or shelves so your items are easy to see.
Read More: For inspiration on ways to maximize your organization in the bathroom.
Organize The Bedroom
Your bedroom is where you should feel the most relaxed, so it’s important to keep it clutter-free and organized.
- Clear The Dresser: The dresser is a common space to drop keys, jewelry, makeup, and clothes. This can easily pile up. If you need a place to put small things find a small decorative basket to keep things contained or a jewelry holder that can display your jewelry in an organized way.
- Clothes: Make sure your clothes have space. Start with the closet and dressers to make sure you can put all of your clothes away.
- Under the Bed: There is a lot of space under the bed. Consider using under the bed storage for extra linens or seasonal clothes.
Read More: Hanging closet organizers to help maximize your closet space.
Organize The Office
Whether you work from home or use your home office for personal tasks, keeping it organized is crucial for productivity.
- Papers: Have a system for all of your papers! This is important for reducing mail clutter and finding items when you need it. Consider a filing cabinet or file boxes to keep things organized.
- Desktop: Clear your desktop. Find ways to neatly store items within easy reach but keeping your desk top free of clutter. Desktop organizers can really help contain these smaller items.
- Wall Space: Use your wall space. A bulletin board or white board can help with creating a command center.
Read More: For some ideas on office must haves for a productive workspace
By following these tips and taking the time to organize your home room by room, you can create a more functional and relaxing living space.
5 Tips For Maintaining an Organized Home
Now that you have decluttered and organized at least part of your home, the challenge is keeping it that way. Here are some tips to maintaining an organized home.
- Develop a daily cleaning routine: Create a routine that includes quick tasks like making the bed, wiping down counters, and doing a load of laundry. Keeping up with these smaller tasks will help keep messes from piling up.
- Have a Daily Declutter task. At least once a day go through and pick stuff up off the counters and floors to put stuff away. Once you get in the habit of doing it daily it gets quicker and quicker.
- Use the ‘one in, one out” rule: For every item you bring in the home get rid of one. This is most helpful with clothes. It’s pretty easy to overstock your wardrobe. By getting rid of an older item when you get a new one this will help keep things under control.
- Clean as you go: Try to get in the habit of cleaning up as you go throughout your day. For example, if you are cooking clean up dishes while you wait for your chicken to roast or pasta to boil.
- Stay on top of your paperwork: Paperwork can pile up quickly. Develop a system for managing paperwork as soon as it comes in the house. Open mail right away and throw away the junk. Keep paper you need to address in a ‘Needs Addressed’ Folder. File away paper that can go away immediately.
By implementing these additional tips, you can maintain all of your hard work in an organized home.
With the tips and tricks in this guide, you can transform your cluttered and disorganized home into a functional and welcoming space. Remember, home organization is an ongoing process, so make sure to maintain your space and enjoy the benefits of a clutter-free life!