Getting organized at home is a worthwhile goal, but it often feels overwhelming. By taking time to plan and schedule your projects, you can eliminate your stress and deal with your clutter. Give your home organization the attention it deserves and reap the ongoing rewards of a tidy home.
1. Make a Detailed Plan
Don’t just set a vague goal like “organize the garage.” Get specific on what you want organized, why, and what spaces you’ll tackle.
For example, “I want to organize the family room so I can spend more quality time with the kids,” or “I want to organize my closet to have a less stressful morning routine.”
Once you identify the space, break the project down into smaller, actionable steps. For the garage, steps may include:
- Clean out gardening supplies
- Sort through tools
- Hang bikes on the wall
- Discard or recycle broken items
This makes the overall closet-organizing project feel less intimidating. You now have an excellent to-do list.
2. Hold Off on Supplies
It’s tempting to buy organizing containers and shelves before starting a project. But until you start sorting and purging, you won’t know what supplies you need to create the best spaces for yourself. Take measurements and make a list. Shop for products that are functional yet pleasing so you’ll be motivated to use them.
In addition, take stock of furniture and appliances. You may also consider a combined-purpose for your closet spaces. For example, if you use the back porch for your washer and dryer or use a bedroom for an office, it is possible to work them into closet space.
3. Schedule Organizing Sessions
Now that you’ve outlined the steps, schedule time on your calendar to complete them. Treat this like any other important appointment. You’re far more likely to follow through when you’ve carved out dedicated organizing time. Enlist help from family or friends and have them schedule time too.
4. Think Like Unloading the Dishwasher
Imagine how you put away clean dishes: glasses with glasses, plates with plates. Give everything in your home a home, so putting items away becomes instinctive. Organizing is easier when items have designated places.
It is also a good time to re-evaluate spaces like attics, garages, sheds, and crawl spaces. Make the most of storage spaces that are out of sight.
5. Reward Progress
Celebrate reaching organizing milestones by rewarding yourself: get a massage, manicure or have dinner out. This positive reinforcement will help you maintain momentum. Share your progress with supportive friends and family to stay accountable.
6. Deal with Items Immediately
Clutter accumulates from delaying decisions. Counteract this by dealing with items right when you encounter them if it takes less than two minutes. Putting something away now takes less effort than re-addressing it later.
If your closets are a wreck, consider a great closet cleanout action before starting on these nine organization tips for your closet.
7. Schedule a Daily 10-Minute Tidy
Have the whole family pitch in each day for a quick 10-minute tidy-up. With a family of five people tidying for 10 minutes daily, you get nearly an hour of combined cleanup time around the house.
8. Plan Ahead
Use part of your weekend to get ready for the week: prep school items, grocery shop, and meal plan. An hour of proactive preparation saves you time scrambling during busy workdays.
9. Get Organized Together
Trade organizing help with friends. Offer babysitting duties for their assistance. Organize together at each other’s homes because you’ll stay more focused around others. Decluttering can be contagious.
Make sure that you understand the priorities of each person contributing to the organization effort, or you may work against each other unintentionally. For example, how millennials and baby boomers organize may vary.
FAQs About Home Organization
What are the essential home organization tips for beginners?
Declutter, designate a place for everything and create a schedule for regular tidying up. These are key steps for beginners.
How can I maximize storage space in a small apartment?
Consider vertical storage, utilize under-bed storage, and invest in multi-purpose furniture like storage ottomans or wall-mounted shelves.
What's the best way to organize a chaotic closet?
Begin by sorting items into categories, use slim hangers to save space, and consider adding shelving or storage bins to keep things organized.
How do I maintain an organized home in the long term?
Consistency is key. Regularly reassess your organization systems, declutter, and maintain the habits you’ve developed for an organized home.
What are some quick organization hacks for a busy lifestyle?
Use baskets or bins for quick cleanup, set up a mail station to manage paperwork, and make to-do lists to stay on top of tasks.