If you’re like most people and not a topnotch housekeeper whose home would pass the white glove test at any given moment, you can still keep your place organized with everything neatly in its rightful place. Keeping clutter at bay while also having things easily accessible is actually possible with just a few simple ideas and just a tiny bit of elbow grease.
1. Keep like items together
It’s really common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people store like items in various locations throughout their homes. Teach the kids to keep all of their school work and similar items in one designated area. This not only cuts down on clutter but keeps their homework safe in a central location. It also saves time and eliminates the frustration of searching for papers that mysteriously get lost.
Toys and sporting equipment should also be kept together instead of shoes and uniforms thrown in the hall while bats and catcher’s mitts land in the living room. Use medium to large, inexpensive plastic containers and clearly label them. If you have a garage or some separate area such as a laundry room or entrance way, install shelves and stack the containers there for easy access.
2. Creatively tackle clutter
Keep a small and decorative basket or container of some sort at the bottom of the stairs. Instruct family members to use the basket for things that need to be put away or that need to be returned upstairs. Be sure to make use of hidden areas like under the bed and put shelves in closets to add even more storage space.
Cabinets or bookshelves that are tall but narrow take up the least amount of space and can be put just about anywhere. Make use of vertical spaces as well as the empty space around the ceiling that’s perfect for either storing or displaying items on shelves.
3. Organize in increments
Instead of feeling overwhelmed and depressed at the prospect of trying organizing your entire house in one day, give yourself a break and tackle the task in smaller increments. This way you’ll be more productive and actually accomplish a lot more in the long run.
Take a leisurely walk throughout the house and jot down all the areas that desperately need some serious organization. Try your best to see your home with a fresh perspective and then create a schedule or plan and stick to it. Post it on the fridge or somewhere you’ll see it often as a reminder of your vow to keep your home neat and organized.
4. Maintain your newly organized home
Set aside 15 minutes each day to walk through every room in your house, de-cluttering as you go. Carry a laundry basket with you to easily carry the items and transport them back to their rightful place on your return trip.
Have a designated bin or container to keep all of those to-do lists or important mail, receipts and papers in one place until you can deal with them, which should be at least once a week to avoid a pile-up of clutter.