Disorganization, clutter, and disarray can make it difficult to enjoy your home. It minimizes your available living space, which isn’t only annoying. All that mess can be dangerous to navigate. It’s also unattractive. Home decor and design are lost in the confusion. So is a lot of your stuff. It’s much more difficult to find the things you want and need when your house is disorganized.
Banish the mess. Surround yourself with clean, organized spaces that reflect your personality. Give yourself room to breathe, think, and produce. Fall in love with your home anew by rediscovering its purpose and beauty.01
Photos are an excellent way to memorialize your before and after home organization journey. But, more importantly, they help you visualize what you have and where you want it all to go. Pictures are helpful when you start to inventory your possessions in the next step. Be sure to snap photos of the items you donate for your records.02
Take stock of your possessions
Look at your belongings with a critical eye. Do you need all these things? How often are you using that stepper? Are you really ever going to start scrapbooking? You fell in love with that oversized ottoman 5 years ago, but how attracted to it are you now? Be honest, not reactive. Make a list. Highlight the items that you haven’t used or truly noticed in the past six months.03
Purge unnecessary stuff
Now that you’ve identified the things you can easily live without, get rid of them. Donate usable items to your favorite charity. Dump old, broken, worn items in the trash. If you’ve accumulated lots of stuff, rent a roll away dumpster for an efficient clean out. Now, it’s time to start organizing.04
Choose a room
You’ve probably read that you should start with your attic, basement, or garage. Organizers counsel you to start with your storage spaces. That way, you’ll have a place to move items to while you’re organizing other rooms. It’s a smart method and it works in most cases. But organizing is a very personal process. You may have limited time. There may be one room in the house that’s crying for your attention first. Maybe you even need to desperately locate something in a particular area of your house. Whatever the reason, let that drive your decision. Also, if you have hoarding tendencies, it may be better to wait on your storage areas. Don’t give yourself more opportunities to hold on to unused possessions.05
Make good use of your time
It took time to build up all that clutter. Don’t expect to take care of it overnight, or even over a weekend. Be realistic, and pace yourself. In the spirit of organization, set a schedule. Give yourself set time frames to tackle each room in your home. Stick to your schedule. You set it, so, you can do it.06
Bins are your friends when organizing. They’re plentiful, inexpensive, and versatile. For items you use frequently, choose see-through containers with lids. Opt for larger rubber tubs for seasonal possessions, like holiday decorations, camping gear,and sports equipment. Apply labels for easy identification. Small, metal baskets are also good, especially for your pantry.07
Tap available resources
There are tons of tips available on the internet, in the library, and at your local hardware store. You can find hacks, new products, creative ideas, and original ways to tackle organizing. Do your research. Look up solutions to specific problems you’re facing. Check for free home organization workshops in the area, too.08
Ask for help
Get family members and friends in on the actions. Outside eyes can be more objective about what you need to toss. Plus, the extra manpower is valuable for getting things done and helping with the heavy lifting.
You probably know someone who alphabetizes their pantry and color-coordinates their sock drawer. Ask her for tips and advice. They may even volunteer to lend a hand.09
Use space wisely
Look for spaces, nooks, and crannies to store items in a neat and orderly way. Under-the-bed storage and corner shelve are good utilization of small areas. Tall shelves make the most of vertical space. Commercial room organizers are plentiful and may offer creative methods for storage and organization with a decorative flair that complements home design.10
All your work is for nothing if you don’t maintain your new de-cluttered space. Pull up your calendar and set reminders for sweeps. Do them weekly, monthly, and seasonally. Stagger different rooms for review.
- Kitchen — toss out expired foods
- Closet — get rid of pieces you’re not wearing
- Laundry Room — stop clutter before it builds
- Garage — purge what you’re not using
Set your reviews realistically. But understand that these maintenance tasks will get quicker and easier over time.