Home organizing hacks: Tips, tricks, and other ideas to de-clutter successfully.
February 15, 2018
Spring is sneaking up on us, but why wait to start your spring cleaning? While you’re feeling home-bound, focus your unused energy on de-cluttering and re-organizing your home. Check out these tried-and-true home organizing hacks, tips, tricks and other ideas to de-clutter your household.
- Buy a label maker. Unless you live alone, other hands will be diving into your newly de-cluttered and organized spaces. As you organize, make sure everyone knows what goes where. You don’t need an expensive label maker. For less than $20, you can purchase an easy-to-use, handheld label printer so you can generate labels for everything from what’s in your cabinets to the bins in your closets.
- Start small to make big progress. Don’t try to organize your entire home in one weekend. Focus on one area or room. Tackle it. De-clutter it. And move on to the next challenge.
- Discard, divide, and conquer. Your kitchen probably has at least one junk drawer and very cluttered cabinets filled with dishes, pots, pans, lids, glassware, plus herbs, spices, and non-perishables that are past their expiration date. Work one drawer or cabinet at a time. Remove everything. Everything! Discard anything that has expired, is chipped, or simply doesn’t work. Place anything worth donating in a separate box. As for the junk drawer, ask yourself how many pens, pencils, notepads, and paper clips you really need. Chances are you have an over-abundance.
Place a drawer divider or utensil insert into drawers. This allows you to designate a space for each and every item that has earned a return to your de-cluttered life. Organize your plastic wraps, aluminum foil, and other go-to supplies by attaching a metal magazine holder inside a cabinet door (under the sink is a great location). Those long boxes of wraps fit nicely in this container. Install pull-out shelves and drawers in cabinets. This allows you to easily access pots, pans, skillets, and lids without rummaging around on your hands and knees. Take a good, hard look at your dishes and glassware. Do you have more coffee mugs than space? Purge. Is your servingware presentable enough for serving guests? If not, discard or donate, and invest in something more deserving of cabinet space.
- Be ruthless. Commit to purging your home so you can infuse the calming sense that organization provides. It is not a time for sentimental journeys. You don’t need to keep every piece of artwork your child ever created. Be selective and save the truly treasured mementos in a safe place, like a box or portfolio. Apply the same approach to everything. In most cases, the pieces you’ve saved have fallen into the deep dungeon of the garage, basement, or farthest corners of the closet. In these instances, is it really worth keeping?
Oh, and let’s be brutally honest about all the jeans, dresses, shirts, and other wardrobe pieces that you want to fit into “someday”. If you’ve had a piece of clothing that you haven’t worn for six months or more, you probably never will. Donate it. Someone will get use from your decision and you’ll organize the closet.
- Use your storage space smartly. As you re-organize, don’t simply place things back where they used to be. Instead, think about how often you use the item and where it should be stored for best access. Off-season clothing, for example, takes up space in your closet. Pack it in a vacuum-sealable bag to reduce the amount of storage space required. In a child’s room, add rolling casters to a wooden crate (available at home stores and craft centers) so they can stash their toys and roll them out of sight. Hang collapsible fabric or vinyl shelves on your closet’s rod. You can use them to organize clothing, shoes, accessories, or sundry items like ribbons and bows, craft supplies, or stuffed animals.
- Keep it together. While you’re in organizing mode, take steps to keep things in order. Pack each sheet set together inside one of its pillowcase. Place small items (rubber bands, picture hangers) in zippered bags. Organize items into small storage boxes, baskets and bins, label the container (e.g., Hardware & Hooks, Light Bulbs, Tape & Glue), and store them where you can easily access the contents.
- Purge your magazines but organize the good stuff. Do you have stacks of magazines kicking around your home? Invest in three-ring binders and sheet protectors. Spend a few evenings flipping through the back issues and tearing out anything of value (recipes, creative inspiration, how-to’s). Slip the pages into the plastic sleeves and organize them into binders, according to topic. Then, once again, label the binder. You’ll probably never reference material that’s among the pages of a magazine somewhere in your home, but you can easily flip through your binders to find what you want.