Organizing your home can be a daunting task when the piles are overflowing, the laundry is scattered, and the office is flooded in papers. Fortunately, there are systems and tools that you can use to organize every room in your house. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Everything has a home.
To keep your life organized and sane, you must assign a home for all of the objects in your house. Have a specific place for your keys, pens, pencils, incoming papers, and mail.
You can do this with a variety of organizing tools, including drawer organizers, shoe racks, magazine racks, filing cabinets, drawers, and shelving units.
You should never just toss stuff in a drawer. Instead, make sure that everything has a proper holding spot. Whenever an item has been removed from its assigned home, make sure that it is immediately returned to its homes when no longer in use.
Everyone needs a filing system.
A filing cabinet is one of the best organizing tools. They help keep all of your important paperwork organized. File away all of your manuals, your tax information, finance information, school report cards, family documents, etc.
Of course, if you want your filing system to be of any use, you must also label all of your folders based on the items they hold.
Pick up as you go.
One of the keys to keeping an organized home is to pick up as you go. Don’t let the piles of toys, dishes, and paperwork take over. Instead, clean up everything as you go along.
Do a quick wipe up of the shower each day. Pick up a few things as you’re walking through the house. Spend 15 minutes each day organizing your office. You’ll be surprised at what a huge difference these daily habits can make.
Organize your drawers.
Drawers can become a home of havoc. Although everything might look nice and tidy on the outside, a peek behind the closet or inside the drawers often reveals the truth.
Fortunately, there are simple steps to organizing your drawers.
The first thing you must do is to empty everything out of the drawer. The best way to clean something out is to start with a clean slate. Next, remove all of the unneeded junk from the pile and throw it in the trash. This alone is a big accomplishment.
Simply clearing out the junk will make things look a lot tidier.
Once you have finished removing all of the junk, go through the remaining items and sort them into 3 piles: stuff you want to keep, stuff you’d like to give away, and stuff that needs to be put somewhere else. One of the best ways to organize these piles is to use large boxes or bags and label them “Keep“, “Move“, “Trash“, and “Donate“.
Now put everything that you want to keep back in the drawer. You should now have a much smaller pile. To keep everything nice and organized, I would recommend getting a drawer organizer. A drawer organizer can be especially useful for organizing office items such as pens, paper, tape, scissors, staples, and paper clips.
This general procedure can be used in almost any part of the house: empty everything out, toss out all junk, create 3-4 piles, and only put back the essentials. Use this 4-step method to clear out the closet, organize your bookshelf, and transform your garage.
One of my favorite organizing tips is to dump it! Anything that you haven’t used in the past year probably needs to be thrown away. Throw out those clothes that you never wear. Get rid of the shoes that are 10 years outdated. Give away the books you’ll never read. Do you have kitchen appliances gathering dust? Give it away to Goodwill and gain some valuable counter space. Getting rid of your junk will greatly help organize your home and give you more space.
Keeping your home organized is an ongoing process. However, with the proper systems in place, your home will soon be the talk of the town.
So, what are your best organizing tips? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential GTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need a Braindump, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and Free Yourself From the Inbox.