Inside: When your house is a mess do you lose your cool? Get frustrated? Overwhelmed? Use these proven tricks to learn how to organize your house in a calm and effective way (because we all know throwing a hissy fit isn’t going to fix the problem).
One morning as I was making my way to the kitchen to brew my daily pick-me-up, I was halted in my tracks when I realized something.
Our house was a ferocious mess. If I didn’t know better, I would have assumed that someone broke with the deliberate intention of taking all of our belongings and throwing them through a giant fan – aimed straight into our living room.
It was a mess.
But I knew it wasn’t a matter of someone breaking in with the motivation to mess up our house. This wasn’t something that happened overnight.
This was something that happened from months upon months of neglect. Months of ignoring the accumulating mess because it wasn’t “that bad” yet. Months of putting off tidying up our house “just until tomorrow”. And months of collecting items without ever getting rid of anything.
All that putting off was a recipe for disaster.
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. YOU CAN READ OUR DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE.)
And finally, disaster struck. I was left steaming like a boiling kettle left on the burner for too long.
Why is our house always such a disaster?
Why do we have so much stuff? We don’t even use half of it.
Why can’t Marie Kondo come deal with my house? Clearly I can’t manage it on my own.
The Damaging Side Effect of Being Unorganized
Meticulously stepping over baby toys as to not get my feet gouged I’d gather a handful of things from the floor and put them away where they belonged.
The only problem was, something else had already taken up residence in the place where these items belonged. And now they had no place to live other than in a pile on the living room floor.
“Why do we have this stuff if we don’t even use it? My house is a disgusting mess!”
Frustration quickly bubbled over to anger and overwhelm.
Anger because this was a daily occurrence. Overwhelm because no matter how hard I tried to organize our house, the mess always came back.
This mess-induced tantrum wasn’t a rare occurrence. It would come out to play just about daily – because every time I saw the mess in our house, I would start to get worked up.
And every time I tried to clean up the mess, I would either…
- Give up
- Try and fail
- Try and succeed, but the mess would return a day or two later
The disorganization in my house was causing me to be stressed day after day, it was causing disconnect with my family thanks to my mess-induced tantrums, and it was making it nearly impossible to do anything productive with my day because I would end up spending an hour looking for something specific amidst all the mess only to end up giving up and moving on to doing something else.
I knew what I needed to get rid of from my house. But despite all my efforts, I just didn’t know how to be organized at home (or anywhere, for that matter).
It wasn’t for a lack of trying, either. I tried until tears of frustration were pouring down my cheeks and I had a tight chest that felt like it could burst. Every time I tried, I failed. It wasn’t until after months of failures that I realized I was missing the bigger picture.
Why Can’t I Get Organized?
The real problem with being disorganized…
I tried just about everything when it came to organizing – I read every article I could get my hands on, got motivated by listening to ladies talk about their organizing systems (a little nerdy, I know), soaked in every word of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up like a sponge, and even went a little crazy with organization containers.
But the problem still remained…
Our house wasn’t getting any more functional (in fact, if anything it was getting less functional because I kept on bringing more stuff into it – stuff that I thought would help our situation), I was still spending 25 minutes navigating through our junk to find what I needed, and, we still had too much stuff.
Despite all this, the big problem still stood strong: Everywhere you looked, stuff. And me getting frustrated and snapping at my family because our house was such a mess (as if it was somehow more their fault than it was mine).
So I did more research, because what I had learned thus far hadn’t worked for me. This time I didn’t just take any advice that came my way – I researched what the experts had to say about how to organize your home (and how to organize your day, and yourself).
I didn’t need more head-knowledge and I definitely didn’t need any more bins to store stuff in (no matter how nicely they complimented my home decor).
The real problem? Too much stuff.
Download:The Home Organization Kit
How to Organize Your Life + the Unbearable Heaviness of a Disorganized Home
The way I felt about our cluttered and unorganized home wasn’t unique. In fact, studies have shown that clutter has been known to isolate a person and is also linked to feeling dissatisfied in life.
It makes perfect sense. That’s why despite all my best efforts to organize my house I wasn’t able to get anywhere.
Because every time I looked at our belongings strewn about our house, cortisol (the stress hormone) let loose and my mind was left simmering in a great big pot of cortisol stew, which meant I couldn’t function properly.
I wasn’t able to grasp what needed to be done, because at the thought of having to organize such a disorganized home, stress let loose and my mind went berzerk, which meant I couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand.
Finally, I was able to understand why I couldn’t get organized, which meant I could start working on a solution.
The tipping point for me? Learning that the average American household owns 300,000 things.
I was appalled. We definitely did not need that many things in our house.
Here’s the Best Way to Organize Your House + Keep Your Home Organized, Based on Science
Still, even though we had way too much stuff and that was the reason why we couldn’t stay organized, it’s not like the things we owned were junk.
We couldn’t just toss the stuff we owned into the trash and move on with our lives in a feeble attempt to be more organized.
Plus, it seemed like everything we owned we did use at some time or another, so knowing what stuff to toss and what stuff to keep was more overwhelming than helpful.
So if getting rid of everything we owned and only keeping 20 things wasn’t the answer, what was the solution to our problem of a chronically unorganized home?
Thankfully, I was able to find a solution that worked: A Home For Everything.
If you haven’t heard of it before, a home for everything just means that everything you own has a designated place to live in your house where it stays neat and tidy. And it’s “home” can’t be on the living room floor.
Your belongings can’t be stacked on top of other belongings (unless it’s a surface that is meant to hold items, like a shelf). Anything that doesn’t have a home either has to be tossed/donated or if it’s something you need, something else has to go to make room for the item you want to keep.
“At the end of the day, being organized is about having more time for yourself, and enabling you to live a more balanced life,” – Eva Selhub Source
Why Having a Home For Everything You Own is the Perfect Solution for An Unorganized House
When I first came across the idea of making a home for everything I owned, I was skeptical. I was busy enough as is, I didn’t have time for another project, especially a project I wasn’t even sure would be worth my time.
I knew taking on the big task of making a home for everything would require a lot of time, and I didn’t know if it would even work for our house.
But after months of spending hours looking for important papers and uprooting the house to find the car keys, I knew I needed to do something, and after reading about all the benefits of giving everything I home, I decided to try it out.
- Cutting down on the number of things lying around in your house significantly saves you time when looking for things you need.
- Organizing your belongings makes cleaning your house easier since you no longer have to move 155 items just to dust the countertop. You also won’t have to clean as often, since the fewer items you have, the less dust will collect (and the better of a clean you’ll be able to do).
- Keeping your things where they belong will lower your stress. Clutter and disorganization have been shown to cause stress, particularly in women. The less clutter you have around, the less stress you’ll feel.
- This surprised me, but having a home for everything you own can actually improve your sleeping habits. The disorganization in your room can cause you to be stressed, even if you don’t realize it, which will cause you to sleep poorly at night, and not as deep as you could be.
- You can save money by giving a home to everything you own since you’ll know what you have, so you won’t buy duplicates.
- Without distractions waiting for you no matter where you look, you’ll supercharge your focus and concentration and get things done much faster.
- A home for everything fosters an appreciation for the things you own because you’ll be able to appreciate the things you have and use them to their full potential.
Download: The Home Organization Kit
How to Organize Your House Like an Expert By Using the “A Home For Everything” System
Creating a home for everything you own doesn’t have to be complicated, you can keep this system as simple as possible.
The awesome part about using this home organization system? It works regardless of the size of your house.
Trust me, my husband and I have lived in everything from multiple tiny basement suites (with NO storage room) to two-stories to bungalows with TONS of storage room. And this system? It has worked for us in all of them.
It’s simple: if you don’t have room for it, get rid of it.
(There’s a bit more to it than just that, but that’s the gist of it.)
Quick tip: For the best possible results with this home organization system, download my free Home Organization Kit that includes step-by-step instructions on making a home for everything you own, an inventory log for your belongings, and an organization cheat sheet.
1. Get Game Day Ready
Studies show that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down on paper. Source
So, before you get trapped in the middle of a room under a pile of your belongings, you’re going to want to get yourself ready by gathering supplies and making a game plan.
(And writing that game plan down on a piece of paper.)
Save yourself the trouble of starting to organize but then having no way to keep track of what you’ve already done, what still needs to be done, and what order you should be doing things in.
You’ll want something to write your game plan down on, as well as a handful of baskets, trash bags, and a couple stackable storage containers. Here’s your to-the-point supply list:
- Smart Planner (optional. Any paper notebook works, I just like the Smart Planner because it includes monthly planning sections to set bigger goals and weekly planning sections to break those goals down and stay on track.)
- A cardboard box (or two)
- Baskets, like these ones that double as home decor
- Trash bags (I recommend the Hefty brand, so they don’t rip)
- Plastic storage containers, like these stackable ones
The number of baskets and storage containers you will need will vary greatly depending on the amount of stuff you’re dealing with. Having at least two of each is a safe place to start.
For your game plan, you’ll want to determine which order you will tackle the rooms and areas in your house in. Which area will you do first, when you want to be done that particular area by, which one will come next, and so on.
It’s also helpful to set a deadline for yourself – a date by which you want to be completely done organizing your entire house.
“Your goals must have a deadline. Again, this means that you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker.” – MindTools
Note: If you want to successfully organize your house, don’t skip this step. This step, particularly planning and writing down your game plan, will likely determine your success.
2. Communicate Your Plans
Springing something like this on your family out of the blue won’t go over well. You’ll spend hours cleaning up messes and trying to organize, while your family doesn’t have a clue what’s going on and continue to contribute to the mess, without even realizing it.
Don’t expect your family to pick up on what’s going on if you don’t sit them down and lay it out for them.
Tell them that you are planning to completely re-organize the house by getting rid of many items and giving everything a home. Show them the game plan you created in the first step, and go over it with them.
I don’t suggest, however, having your family pitch in. While delegating tasks is a fantastic way to keep household chores at bay, when it comes to organizing your house like an expert, chances are your spouse and children aren’t going to feel the same way as you do about an organized house.
If they don’t feel passionate about it, it won’t get done right.
And if it doesn’t get done right, everyone is wasting their time.
Here are a few different ways you can approach this conversation with your family:
- I don’t enjoy having to ask you to pick your clothes/shoes/belongings up off the floor every day and I know you don’t like living in such a messy house that makes it hard to find what you’re looking for. A friend suggested to me to try creating a home for the things we own, this way our belongings have a designated place in our house and we don’t have to waste our time cleaning up big messes. We’re going to try it out and see how it goes.
- I’m sorry that I keep losing my temper when our house is a mess. Having stuff all over the place stresses me out. I know our belongings are important to all of us, so I’m going to give everything we own a home, that way we can always easily find what we’re looking for and we won’t be tripping over shoes in the middle of the floor when we walk around.
- When we have so much stuff everywhere in the house I get stressed out, I would like to organize our house so that I can work on being a happier and more relaxed mom/wife. I’ll be spending the next few days/weeks/months organizing our belongings and will be getting rid of a lot of our stuff, too. Before I get rid of anything that I know is important to you, I will run it past you.
3. Make a Mess
It’s time to start. Go to the room that you decided to start in (in your game plan).
Place a basket and a box near the door and have at least 2 trash bags ready to go. The basket will be used to collect items that are out of place and belong somewhere else in the house. One of the trash bags is for – you guessed it – trash. The other is for items you will be donating. We’ll talk about what the box will be used for in just a second.
(When it comes do decluttering and donating items, using a trash bag is better than a box or container. When you use a box or container, you can easily see the contents inside – which may cause you or another family member to shuffle through the items and pull things out you decided to get rid of. You can’t see into a garbage bag and you can simply tie the top off once you’re done, taking away the ability for you – or your family – to sift through the items.)
Now, it’s time to move everything to the middle of the room. Everything.
Take things off of shelves, out of drawers, off the windowsill, out of the coffee table, take everything in that room and place it in a heaping pile in the middle of the floor. (Everything besides the furniture, that is.)
The sight of this big mess may make you want to run for the hills, so it’s time to deal with it.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point, remind yourself that this is the last time you’re ever going to have to deal with all these things in one big mess again!
After today, all these things are going to have a home. They’re going to be organized. And some of them will even be gone. Woohoo!
4. Sort and Purge
This is the most important step in the whole process.
If you skip purging your items, you’ll just end up rearranging your clutter. Everything that has been cluttering up your home is simply going to get put into a new spot where it might look nice for a while, but it won’t last and all your hard work to get here won’t pay off.
It’s time to let go of the past – and the fear of letting go – and purge like crazy.
You can decide for yourself whether or not you’ll include the rest of your family in this step. It will likely go a bit slower if you do include them, but it is a good opportunity for them to learn the important lesson of decluttering and purging their belongings.
Having your family participate in this step will also likely cause them to think more thoroughly before making a purchase in the future because they’ll know that that purchase could very likely end up getting donated or tossed in the years to come.
But, as we mentioned earlier, the more people included in this step, the more opinions there will be to deal with, which means the slower it will go.
By this step, you’re probably going to be ready for it to just be done. But it’s important that you don’t speed your way through this, or else you’ll end up with too many things left behind and all this work you’ve put into organizing your house won’t last.
When you’re ready to tackle the pile of belongings, there’s one important rule to follow: Pick up one item at a time and ask yourself these questions:
- Is this item broken? Put it in the trash.
- Do I have another one of these/something else that does the same job? Yes – Donate it. No – if it’s a necessity, keep it. If you don’t need it, donate it.
- Do I use this often? No – donate it. Yes – keep it (as long as you don’t have something else that does the same job).
For the whole list of Decluttering Questions Flowchart, grab The Clutter Buster here.
If you come across an item that you really, truly, don’t know if you should keep it or not (or you know you don’t need it but you just can’t get yourself to get rid of it), place the item in the empty box that you put near the door at the beginning of this step.
That box is going to be your “6-Month Box”. Meaning, once you’re done organizing your house, you’ll tape that box up and write a date on it that’s 6 months from today.
Then, over the months if you find yourself needing anything from the box, simply take it out and find a home for it in your house. Don’t return it to the box (unless you know it was only needed one time and you won’t be using it again).
At the end of the 6 months, anything left in the box gets sent straight to a donation center.
It’s important that when you go to donate this box, you do not look at the things in there or sort through it. This will just cause you to think, “Oh! I forgot this was in here… I’ll keep it just in case I need it.” If you haven’t used it in 6 months, you don’t need it.
For items you’ve decided to keep, place them in another pile on the other side of the room, being careful to make sure they don’t get mixed in with the pile of belongings you’re currently sorting through.
The goal with this step is to get rid of the clutter so that all you’re keeping are the necessities and the things you use often.
Sort the pile of belongings one item at a time, asking yourself the decluttering questions and placing each item in the correct spot.
If you come across something that doesn’t belong in that room, for example, a stash of cleaning rags in the office, put those rags into the basket by the door, then once you’re done organizing this room bring the items from back basket to the room or area they belong in.
Note: If you want to make decluttering your belongings easier, you can grab a copy of the Clutter Buster to follow through as you sort through the heaping pile of clutter on the floor.
5. Find a Home
Now that you’ve successfully sorted all of your belongings into different piles, boxes, and bags, it’s time for the fun part: Finding a home for everything you own.
Start by taking the garbage bag, donation bag, 6-Month Box, and out-of-place basket out of the room. All that should be left in there are the items you are keeping.
The hardest part of your home organization system is over. Now it’s time for the fun part – putting everything into its designated area.
Don’t panic if the pile of stuff you’re left with is significantly smaller than the pile of stuff you started out with. This is a good thing. The things you have left are the necessities, and everything else was causing wasted time and making your life harder.
Pat yourself on the back and sneak a quick bite from your chocolate stash. The hardest part is over. Now it’s time to spend a bit of time planning where you want to keep things and how you will organize them.
There’s no right or wrong place when it comes to finding a home for everything you own. Make sure the homes that you designate for your belongings are somewhere out of the way, easy to access, somewhere that looks neat and tidy, and not cluttered.
Use this step to take some time and make your house look nice.
If you have a lot of small items using a simple plastic container or a cute basket to keep everything contained, together, and from becoming a big mess is a good idea.
For drawers, I recommend using adjustable drawer organizers to keep drawers from becoming chaos. No matter how well you organize a drawer, it seems that after a number of times being opened up, shuffled through, and closed again, it becomes a mess.
Drawer organizers will keep the drawer contents where they belong even when you shuffle through a drawer, open it quickly, or slam it shut.
If you’re struggling to find somewhere to house some of your items, try to get creative. Use things like cardboard boxes cut in half and wrapped in pretty paper to store wrapping paper. Or use an old wire basket to keep your toilet paper together.
If you absolutely need to keep something but don’t have any room to keep it, you may have to get rid of something else you don’t need as much to free up some space for the item you need to keep.
It’s important not to make any acceptions to the rule of only keeping things you have room to store neatly. If you start making acceptions for one thing, it won’t be long before your back closet is crammed to the brim and ready to burst with items that you’re keeping “because you need it… but you don’t have anywhere to keep it.”
If you have a single-use item and a multi-use item that do the same job, get rid of the single-use item and keep the multi-use item – this way you aren’t having to find space to store 10 single-use items when one multi-use item would do that job.
Once you’ve found a home for everything you own, it’s time to…
6. Teach Yourself to Put Things Away
When you use things and leave them out, or put them somewhere they don’t belong, or put them back in the same area as they belong but not the right spot, it won’t be long before your house is a cluttered mess again and you’re left wondering how that could happen when you just spend hours organizing it perfectly.
If you have a tendency to move from task to task, leaving a trail of things behind you as you go, try to be intentional with teaching yourself to put things away as soon as you’re done with them.
This way your house won’t be organized just for the short-term, but it will stay organized long-term.
Common Questions About Home Organization + the Answers for You
If you’ve been wanting to tackle home organization for any amount of time, chances are you have a few questions about how to do it right and how to organize your home as quickly as possible.
We’ll go over each of the following questions you may have about how to organize your home and make it a success below:
- How often will I have to organize and re-organize my house?
- What do I do when there’s one particular area in my house that is constantly messy?
- How can I stop my family from leaving their shoes (and the dirt that comes with them) all over the house?
- How do I keep drawers organized when utensil holders just don’t work?
- My kitchen counters are cluttered with small appliances I use occasionally, but enough to not get rid of them. How do I keep them organized?
- What’s the best way to keep my house organized?
- What if we don’t have enough room for everything we absolutely need?
- How do you organize a pantry? Mine’s always bursting at the seams.
- How do I keep my linen closet organized? I can never fit all our bedding in there.
- How do you become super organized? (And how do you stay organized?)
How often will I have to organize and re-organize my house?
This will depend on a few factors: how messy your family is, what organizing systems you have in place in your house (if any), if you plan on keeping your house organized, and so on
After you initially organize your house, if you do small organization tasks each day to maintain an organized house, you shouldn’t ever have to do such a large re-organization of your house.
The key here is to keep your house organized. Not to organize once, then sit back with your feet up while the chaos creeps right back into your home.
You can do small things like keep a miscellaneous basket in the living room and entryway to catch clutter before it has the chance to land on the floor. (All a miscellaneous basket is is this.) Then, at the end of the day, you’ll empty the miscellaneous basket out and start over again tomorrow. This keeps things off the floor when you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to put items back where they belong right away. (Although it should never be used as an excuse not to put something away.)
What do I do when there’s one particular area in my house that is constantly messy?
Every house has those areas that are constantly messy and seem like no matter how much time you spend cleaning them, the clutter grows back like bacteria in the matter of an hour. These areas are called clutter hot spots.
And unfortunately, every house has them. Even if a house is always clean, it still has the hot spots – that just means that this family has figured out how to keep them clutter-free.
Clutter hot spots require special attention to keep clean, which means even if you’ve organized your entire house, you’re going to have to be intentional every day to keep the hot spots clean.
Using a miscellaneous basket in the clutter hot spot is an effective way to keep everything together in one place and from getting scattered all over the area.
For our house, the clutter hot spot is the kitchen island and the coffee table.
These surfaces collect clutter faster than any other surface in the house. Every afternoon I clear the kitchen island and coffee table, putting the items that have collected on them back where they belong. And every evening before going to bed I do another quick sweep of the areas to ensure they’re clear of any clutter.
This is why organizing a house is never “one-and-done”, because there will always be new things coming into the house, belongings will get moved around day after day, and things will become unorganized if you don’t keep on top of it every day.
How can I stop my family from leaving their shoes (and other junk) all over the house?
One way to stop shoe clutter is to catch it at its source. The source is the second they walk into the house – the entryway.
Set up a shoe rack (I like that this particular one utilized verticle storage) just inside the doorway and engrain the habit of taking off your shoes and putting them on the shoe rack into every member of your family.
Not only will this stop shoes from being left all over the floors, but it will also cut down on the number of times you have to sweep and vacuum each week.
If your family leaves their belongings lying around the house, my favorite solution is to have a drop bin somewhere in the house and anytime something gets left where it doesn’t belong and you go to clean up, your family member’s belongings get thrown into the drop bin. This means clothes, mugs, books, etc.
You can give your family a grace period after organizing the house – sort of a warning – to let them know this rule is going into effect and if they continue to leave their belongings out, they’re going straight to the drop bin. This may mean their favorite shirt doesn’t get washed this week (and if they ask “Where’s my shirt?!?” you can shrug your shoulders and say there’s a chance it’s in the drop bin.)
My favorite part of a drop bin is that it takes the load off of my shoulders. Clothes get left out? Great – I don’t need to wash them this week because they’re not in the hamper. Travel mugs left on the coffee table? I don’t need to wash it, either, because it wasn’t by the sink.
You get the idea. As a mom, there are MANY things that fall on your shoulders every day. Cleaning up after your family after you have repeatedly asked them to put their belongings away doesn’t have to fall on you. The drop bin is a great way to teach your kids responsibility.
How do I keep drawers organized when utensil holders just don’t work?
The whole point of organizing is to have more time for yourself and less time wasted. Remember that quote mentioned earlier? –
“At the end of the day, being organized is about having more time for yourself, and enabling you to live a more balanced life,” (Source)
So if you’re forcing yourself to keep using an organizing system that clearly doesn’t work for your household, but you keep using it because you were told that it works – you’re missing the whole point of organizing.
But, organizing doesn’t come naturally. It’s something you have to train yourself and your family members to maintain. Keeping your drawers organized is no different.
The best way to keep drawers organized is to use drawer organizers. But don’t stop there. Go one step further by labeling the bottom of each section of the drawer organizer with labels of the items that belong in each section, this way everyone will know exactly where to put back that thing they took out of the drawer.
(These vinyl cassette labels work well.)
How do I keep small appliances organized? (And off my counters?)
Appliances that don’t get much use but you do use sometimes should be kept out of sight but easily accessible. If you have room in your kitchen cabinets or drawers, installing sliding drawers inside a cabinet is your best bet to keep everything out of sight but easy to reach. You could also store the appliances on the top shelves in your cupboards – up high where you don’t store anything because you need to stand on a chair to be able to reach it.
If you don’t have room in your kitchen – hence the reason they’re being stored on your countertop – then installing shelves in your basement or garage and storing these small appliances in storage containers on the shelves is the next best option. Although less ideal, it’s still better than having them sitting out on the countertops.
What is the best way to keep my house organized?
Maintaining an organized house works only once you’ve done a complete overhaul in the first place unless your house isn’t very messy or disorganized to start out with.
The best way to keep your house organized is to implement organization habits into your daily life to keep your house organized long-term, not just as a short-term fix.
Download my FREE Daily Organizing Checklist as a bonus for joining my newsletter: 21 Daily Habits to Keep Your House Organized Free Printable
Download my FREE Daily Organizing Checklist as a bonus for joining my newsletter: 21 Daily Habits to Keep Your House Organized Free Printable
What if we don’t have enough room for everything we absolutely need in our house?
If you need it bad enough, you should always be able to find somewhere to keep it. However, there are some exceptions to the rule.
In that case, if you’ve gotten rid of absolutely everything else you can get rid of to free up space but you still don’t have enough storage room, the next step is to utilize vertical storage.
Instead of organizing your house horizontally – by placing objects on desks, counters, tables, windowsills, etc. start organizing your house vertically by utilizing the wall space.
- Hanging spice racks
- Wall-mount mug holders
- Over-the-door storage compartments
- Hanging storage for the closet
These are all great examples of utilizing storage areas in your home vertically instead of cluttering up the surfaces.
How do you organize a pantry? Mine’s always a mess.
The best way to organize a pantry is to set it up in a way that you can see everything in there. This way you won’t go out and buy multiples of something you didn’t realize you already had 5 of at home.
If you have a section in your pantry where you store short items, like canned goods, install an extra shelf above that section to utilize the space to have twice the amount of storage.
You can also install open shelving units in the basement to store non-perishable and dry goods to free up some more space in your kitchen pantry.
When organizing your pantry, use plastic containers to keep small items that are awkward to store contained together. I use a clear plastic container to keep all my spice packets contained and from becoming a chaotic mess.
How do I keep my linen closet organized? I can never fit all our bedding in there.
Extra blankets and pillows are a storage-hog, and finding somewhere to keep them that doesn’t look horrendous is even more difficult than keeping everything in the bursting linen closet contained.
First, make sure you don’t have an excessive amount of extra bedding. 2 sets of sheets per bed are sufficient, as well as 3 – 4 extra pillows and blankets (in all… not per bed).
The best way to store these extra bulky items, blankets in particular, is to place them in a large plastic bag and vacuum all the air out of the bag, then seal the top. (You can do this by purchasing big plastic bags and using your vacuum to suck the air out and fasten the top with an elastic.)
Then, store these items on the hard-to-reach top shelves of the closet. If there isn’t enough space for all of them, I use a large storage bin similar to this to keep all our extra blankets and pillows stored away.
How do you become super organized?
(…and how do you STAY organized?)
Your best bet for becoming super organized at home is to follow the 6 steps we went over above. Possibly the most vital of all 6 steps is #4, decluttering. If you don’t declutter your house before you start organizing, all you are really doing is re-organizing your clutter. You’re not making your house any more organized.
In fact, you’re wasting your time by trying to make your house appear organized when all you really did was shuffle clutter from one area to the next and hide as much of it as you could.
The key to getting – and staying – organized is to declutter your stuff. Get rid of as much of it as you can. Chances are, you won’t realize how much of a hold clutter has on your life until you get rid of it.
“clutter can negatively impact mental well-being, particularly among women. Clutter can also induce a physiological response, including increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.” – The New York Times
Unfortunately, organizing doesn’t stop once you’ve achieved your organized house. It does, however, get easier. Once you’ve done the initial organization of your house by finding a home for everything you own, you’re able to relax and kick your feet up a little bit, as long as you keep on top of the things that come into your house and make sure that at the end of every day everything is back in its own home, neatly tucked away.
Getting into the habit of maintaining your organized home will save you from having to do another big overhaul and spend more hours, days, and even weeks, just organizing.
Download Your Free Printable:Your Home Organization Kit
To get started giving everything you own a home right now, you can get my free Home Organization Kit, which includes a quick single page step-by-step guide on making a home for everything you own, an inventory log for your belongings, and an organization cheat sheet to keep you on track. Here’s how to get it for free:
- Download the free kit. As a bonus for joining my newsletter, you’ll get the free printable home organization guide. You can click here to download and subscribe.
- Print it off. Both color or black-and-white work for this kit. It’s not the looks that matter, it’s using the kit to keep yourself accountable and on track while you organize your house what matters (even though I did go ahead and make the kit super cute and fun). Don’t skip this step – remember, you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down.
- Use it. As you work your way through your house learning how to organize each room, keep the kit with you so that you can refer back to it often.
How to Organize… Your Turn
What are some of your foolproof home organization tips that you use often to keep your home neat and tidy? Share in the comments below!
Related Articles You May Find Helpful:
The Ultimate Guide to an Organized Home + Life
21 Daily Habits That Will Make You Extremely Organized
4 Hacks That Will Make You a House Cleaning Genius