Have you looked around your house lately and thought “If my mother walked in right now she would be thoroughly… impressed!” Yeah, I didn’t think so.
We have all been there. The living room rug looks like the dog made it his bed, the dining room table has become the at-home office, and the kitchen pantry- just don’t open the door.
With spring approaching it will soon be time to throw open the windows, beat out the sheets, and deep clean. But before you put your gloves on- here are simple steps to a decluttered and organized home.
Identify your problem area
What needs the most improvement right now? Another way to ask this would be- what do I look at and my reaction is to shut the door and walk away?
Is it the playroom, your closet, the office? Pick one and began there. By choosing one area, you make the daunting task a little easier.
Yes, I know, it sounds counteractive to make a larger mess. However, when you remove everything (your clothes, pantry items, Tupperware dishes, play toys, etc.), you can see the space you have to work with and you actually know what you have.
I think you knew it was coming. Throw away what you haven’t used in a year. Get rid of anything that is broken. Donate items that no one in your family will ever use again.
Now, if you are anything like me, you may need help with this step. My suggestion is to do this twice. Go through all the items you have pulled out and make trash and donation piles. Then, reassess your ‘keep’ pile and be honest. Ask yourself, “Is this item functional?” or “Does this bring me joy?” If the answer is no, Let It Go.
Begin the organization process by grouping similar items together. Think to yourself, “What items will I use in the same situation?” or “What items perform the same function?”
Each room, closet, and drawer in your house serve different functions. Grouping items in them will look different depending on what you are organizing, another reason to organize by ‘problem area’. Some items will need to be more accessible than others. If you are organizing cleaning products, be mindful of where the dangerous chemicals are and who has access to them.
For ideas head over to The Home Edit site and see their projects and tips for grouping similar items for the room/closet/drawer.
Personally, one of my favorite parts of the organizing process is buying the materials. It is best to buy organizational materials after you have grouped your items, that way you know exactly what you need.
I am also a big fan of using household items as compartments to save money and recycle. Search for old shoe boxes, Tupperware dishes without lids, mason jars, or any food container you can wash. If you do go to the store, search for wire or weaved baskets, wire racks, and stacking boxes.
Labeling and Assigning
Now that everything is in its drawer, container, or shelf, it is time to label. Labeling your storage materials does more than making the area visually appealing. Assigning a label is the equivalent to assigning a spot. When you label, you are stating that the items within that label are to remain on that label. Everything has a place and when you store it, put it there.
Also, when labeling, don’t do anything too permanent. Your needs will change and you may realize a better layout for your items and have to do a quick switch. That is okay! It is great actually, it keeps you aware of the things you own and reinforces that everything has its place.
Keep It Up
Great Job! You have successfully organized and decluttered- don’t let your hard work go to waste by not following your own organization. Do a monthly check and be aware of the items you have acquired, what you haven’t used, and what groupings are not working for your life.
Tell us what your favorite organization tips are AND share your favorite organization materials. A few of ours can be found at www.thehomeedit.com and on their Instagram page. Comment and let us know what rooms are the worst for clutter and unorganization.