Getting rid of clutter and developing a sense of organization is one of those home projects that everyone struggles with at some point. Keep reading for helpful tips on figuring out how to tackle this daunting task.
- Assess Your Organizational Style
- Decide On The Proper Location for Items
- Take Everything Out of the Closet, Cupboard or Drawer
- Put Back Only What Belongs in That Space
- Find a New Space or Get Rid of the Items Left Over
Assess Your Current Organizing Style
People have different ways of grouping and categorizing the things they have in their homes. One person’s style might be to have everything within easy reach for tasks they perform on a daily basis. Another person may use baskets and storage bins. Yet another person wants to have everything in a cupboard, drawer, or closet where things are completely out of site unless they are being used.
Each of the styles listed above are great ways of organizing things, and easily adaptable to a wide variety of personalities. So, why is it, you might ask, that my home looks like a hurricane just blew through?
If your style isn’t working for you, one of two things may have happened: either the layout of the space you are trying to use is wrong for the style, or the things you are trying to manage do not belong in the space.
Part of the problem is with all those small items that we don’t really know if we should keep them, throw them away, or give them away. We find ourselves thinking that we shouldn’t get rid of something because it could be useful… someday. Guilt keeps us from tossing it out, and so we stuff it in a cupboard or drawer to defer the decision making to a later date. Pretty soon, our cupboards and drawers are bulging with things we seldom—if ever—use, and there isn’t room for the items that actually do belong in the space.
How to Overcome This Dilemma
- Evaluate the space you want to organize. Ask yourself what activities you want to perform in that space. What is your blue sky goal? What is realistic for the space you have? Take note of where your electrical outlets are, and decide where gadgets and appliances will need to be in order to be used regularly.
- Set a budget for revamping the space. Is it time for a remodel? Maybe you can add some shelving units, cubes, or cubbies. And when all else fails, buying some plastic storage tubs can go a long way toward freeing up the space you have to work with.
- Decide what items you need in order to perform only the main activities and to use the space for its intended purpose.
- Make a final decision about the organizational style you will use for this space. Will it be everything out in easy reach, such as with a workshop or craft room? Will you use baskets and bins to keep things nearby, but out of site? Or will you find a way to keep everything completely out of site in a drawer, closet, or cupboard, and take them out only when being used? Each of these options can be made to look attractive. Keep reading for tips on how to do it.
Organizing For Easy Access
This style is especially good for busy people who need to get things done quickly so they can move on to the next activity on their list. You can make your kitchen or work area look attractive, yet perform with functionality that helps you keep the rest of your life under control.
To do this, pay attention to colors and shapes. Group like objects and items together using containers for kitchen utensils, for example. A unique container that is attractive and fits with your color scheme can be placed near your stove to hold stirring spoons, tongs, ladles, etc. For spices, select a drawer or two near the workstation, and keep out only the go-to spices you use regularly, storing them in attractive shakers. For spices like garlic, or paprika, consider using a collection of salt shakers. You could label them, color them, or just find interesting shapes at your local second hand store. In this way, your main spices can be out within easy reach, yet still add to the décor of your space.
Remember not to crowd the shelves and counters with too much stuff. If you find you have trouble with this, go through those items, whittle it down again, and include only the ones you use almost every day, or every time you work on a project. The other items can be kept nearby, but in baskets, or attractive storage bins.
The important thing to remember with this style is to put things back where they go, and to leave yourself enough work space to actually do what it is that you want to do in the space. Often times we get something looking really nice, but then we find we don’t have room to work because we have too much stuff sitting out.
Organizing With Baskets, Containers, and Canvas or Cloth Storage Bins
Using this style, you can really pack a lot of stuff into a cupboard or drawer. Be aware of the weight the shelf is carrying. Making stuff too heavy can result in damage to shelves, drawers, and cupboards, or cause them to warp or even come off the wall where they are mounted.
Again, group like items together, so that when you pull out a bin or container, you will have a good chance of finding what you are looking for.These containers can be deep or shallow, depending on the size of the items grouped, and how easily you want to find them once they are in the container.
When choosing the baskets and containers, remember to keep in mind the colors and textures you like. To make the space look nice, be sure that all of the colors and textures work well together if these containers will be visible on a regular basis.
Out of Site Organizing
If your goal is to have your house look like a magazine feature at all times, you will want to find a way to keep everything out of site except when it is being used. This type of organizing requires that you be fairly ruthless about what you will keep and what goes.
If the layout of your home is not conducive to the style you want to achieve, there are two ways you can go: Get rid of, or store items somewhere else, or spend some money and time to do some renovations, or remodel the space. You will need to set a budget and then brainstorm ideas to get the most improvement from the allotted funds.
Here are some things you can do:
- Add a Pantry / Home office Combo. This gives you lots of storage for both your food and appliances, as well as mail, pens, staplers, envelops, magazines and even tablet or laptop storage.
- Expand your closet space. Enlarging a closet or adding shelves can be a great beginning do-it-yourself project, and if you hire a contractor the job is usually not overly expensive. Having a walk-in closet large enough to store things like golf clubs and other sporting gear, along with bulky cold weather clothes and boots can go a long way toward keeping your bedroom, mud room, or entryway looking great all the time.
- Add to kitchen counters and cabinets. Whether you are a gourmet cook, or live on takeout food, kitchens are the heart of the home. You use them every day in some way or other. Adding shelves, cabinets, and more counter space always pays off in the long run.
- Add an appliance garage. Storing vacuums, mops, rug cleaners, and cleaning supplies can be a real problem depending on the size and layout of your home. Finding or adding some sort of closet or cubby for these items makes for easy access, easy put away, and is a great use of available space.
Your individual sense of style, and the way you live is critical to finding a way of decluttering and organizing your home. What works for your best friend may not work for you. Spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve and ask yourself if it is realistic for your budget or circumstance.
Explore storage options online or in stores before making a purchase. Decide on a method of organizing, and avoid the temptation to overcrowd shelves, cupboards, and other storage areas.
Put things away after using them. When you reorganize a space, it takes a little time to get used to putting them back in their new home. If you cannot easily put something away or get it out, then it is either in the wrong place, or you have too many other things grouped with it.
Be aware of colors, textures, and styles of containers. Choose containers that will blend well with your décor, and the other colors in the room. Cloth and canvas storage bins can be spray painted to create a uniform color scheme.
Finally, be sure to organize according to how the room or space is going to be used, and avoid overcrowding. Get rid of all those little things you have collected and never use. You will find this alone can free up tons of space. And remember to group items according to the best location and how often they are used. If you aren’t sure whether to keep or get rid of items, get some plastic storage bins, and store those items for a period of time. If you don’t use them in six months to a year, consider donating or having a yard sale, unless they are keepsakes to be passed on to children when they grow up.
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