We’ve all felt that frustrating and almost suffocating feeling when we realize that our house is an unorganized disaster. Shoving everything in a closet is great… until the closet is full! Many of us are in school, raising a family, working, and maybe even all three at once. That makes it near impossible to find time to brush our teeth and get anything resembling a few hours of sleep. Organizing the house definitely falls low on the priority list. (Until someone drops by.)
Here are a few ways you can start organizing your home a little bit at a time. Just take 5 minutes every day to work on a small goal, and you’ll be on your way to breathing easy in no time! Here are some tips for getting started.
Take it one room at a time.
Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking everything needs to get done all at once. Limit your distractions by staying in one room until it’s done. That’s nearly impossible with kids, we know, but just keep your eye on the smaller goal you’re trying to accomplish. That might be something like: “I’m going to clean out this ONE closet in this ONE bedroom. Then I’ll move to cleaning out under the bed.”
Bring a trash can and donation bucket.
Organizing stuff you don’t want or need is a waste of time and energy. Get rid of things you don’t need. Items that can be reused, like clothing or toys, can be donated. Personal items that you don’t use should be thrown away. If you’re feeling thrifty, you can also list items in good condition on sites like eBay and Vinted.
Eliminate your junk drawer.
Everyone has one. That one drawer in the kitchen that is the catch-all for things you might use someday and don’t want to risk throwing away, but also full of junk your kids sneak into the house. That drawer.
Take a really close look at everything in there. If you haven’t used it in the past 6 months, chances are you’re not going to use it again in the next 6 months. Toss it. If you have used it recently, find a place for it besides a junk drawer. For example, I’ve got rubber bands and a tiny screwdriver in my drawer. I decided the rubber bands should go with office/craft supplies, and the screwdriver should go with my tools. You get the idea.
Reduce the number of flat surfaces in your home.
This may sound strange, but hear me out. The more bookshelves, end tables, vanities and dressers you have in your home, the more flat surfaces you have to put stuff on. If you have a short bookshelf by the entryway, the kids could drop their backpacks on it and water bottles and sports gear the minute they walk in. The idea is to get organized, not just find places for extra things. I’m not saying to go and chuck all of your old furniture, just eliminate pieces that don’t serve a purpose, and if possible, rearrange so they’re in areas of the house that will lessen the chance of collecting junk.
A good alternative for these surfaces are hooks for coats, drawers for staplers and trinkets, and bins in closets for other things. Find some great home decorating and organization tools here.
Keep a color system.
Organizing by color is one of the simplest ways to keep your house in order, especially if you have children. Give one child a pink toothbrush, pink storage bins and pink cups to drink out of. That way, you know what belongs to him/her, and it makes it easier for her to know where her things belong.
These tips are just skimming the surface of home organization, but starting out with small and simple goals will get you amazing results! Don’t try to think of finishing the whole house in one day, you’ll just get overwhelmed. Take it five minutes at a time. You can do this.