Have you thought of your New Year’s Resolutions yet? How about this one: “Be More Organized.” We all have moments where our homes can be messy and chaotic, and as much as you may not think you like to clean or stay organized, it’s undeniable how stressful a messy space can be. Have you ever visited a family member’s house that seemed perfectly put together? Your home can be that way too, it simply takes a little initial effort and some solid habit-forming, and before long your home will be organized with minimal effort to keep it that way. Here’s where to start:
Optimize the Space Your Have Before Buying More Storage
Look at each drawer, shelf, and cupboard and determine the specific function of each space. Sometimes simple and intentional rearranging can be exactly what you need. Add draw organizers to section off items and create space for more. Place another shelf inside your cupboards or closets to create more shelf space without adding another shelving unit. Add magnets inside of cabinets to hang small items such as tweezers, make up cases, or spices (you’ll need these in small, magnetic containers). Fold and stack things neatly and you’ll be surprised at how much less space they take up than the messy pile they were in before.
As you accumulate more things throughout the year, schedule specific points in the year to evaluate what you are not using anymore and give away or repurpose these items. Give away any clothes you have not worn in the past year. Go through your refrigerator and cupboards and throw out anything that has expired. If you’ve had an ingredient sitting in your cupboard for a while, find a specific recipe to use it up. Combine bottles of partially used lotions, shampoo, etc. Shred papers and place important documents in files you’ll be able to easily find later. Many people dislike giving or throwing things away, but it’s crucial to maintain an organized home. If you have trouble, mark specific times on your calendar to de-clutter certain areas in the house and create a set of guidelines or expiration dates to keep yourself honest. If you’re unsure about certain items, put them in a box and label the box with the day’s date. Open in the box in six months to a year. If you haven’t needed any of the items inside or if you haven’t thought of them, then it’s time to get rid of them.
Find a Space for Everything and Get in the Habit of Putting it There
Make it a rule that you must only place things in their intended places in your house. So often we get home from work, we take off our coats and place them on the back of a chair, our shoes are kicked near the door, our bag is placed on the floor somewhere, and the mail we picked up on our way in gets tossed on the countertop. Already your entryway is beginning to feel cluttered and most people do not have the time or motivation to clean their houses every day. We see this same disorganized routine with discarding our clothing on the floor at the end of the day, taking a snack up to the bedroom and not returning dishes to the kitchen, and throwing miscellaneous pillows from the bed in the corner of the room without the intention of rearranging them tomorrow morning. All of these instances are routine, so it’s up to you to create a routine to counter them and to help your home stay organized. Hang your coat and place your shoes in the closet, hang your bag on a hook near the door, have a mail file on the wall near the door, etc. Think of the items that seem to always be finding their way to the floor or spreading themselves across counters and tabletops, and find a specific place for each of these items. “Junk drawers” do not count.
Create a “Landing Spot”
Sometimes putting away everything immediately when you walk in the door isn’t a reality. For only the instances in which you absolutely don’t have time to return items to their proper places, create a “landing spot” off to the side such as a place in the laundry room or an area out of the way near the door. Make it a rule that items that work their way into this “landing spot” must be returned to their proper places within 24 hours. The purpose is simply to avoid having multiple, unintentional landing spaces throughout the house.
Find specific places for items and label what goes in that place, even if you know you’ll remember. Labels are a subconscious reminder to yourself that this place is only reserved for the item that is named on the label. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to throw leftover receipts in the “pens” drawer or buy doubles of ingredients because you return them to a different place in your cupboard each time you use them. This is also a great way to keep everyone in the household clear on where to find what and where to put everything away.
How are you planning to be more organized in your home this year? What techniques have you used in the past that have revolutionized your home organization? Share with us in the comments section below.
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