Super-Satisfying Organizing Tips
Organize Your Home in a Month in Less Than an Hour a Day!
A super-easy plan for getting organized without adding to your home-is-school, home-is-work, home-is-everything time burden.
Have you ever noticed that your self-improvement pacts with yourself are action-oriented? Walk 10,000 steps a day. Fix that leaky faucet. Register for VolunteerMatch.
But “get organized”? It’s a goal so broad that just trying to figure out what action to take makes you wonder what you were thinking in the first place. It’s like you need an organizing plan for your organizing.
Here it is. Follow these steps, spending less than an hour day (sometimes just a few moments), to a better-organized home:
1. Do That Project
“What about your space is making you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed?” asks Amy Trager, a professional organizer in Chicago. Is it the paperwork disaster in your office? The pile of clothes teetering on your dresser? Or that mess that surrounds your doorway? Start with what’s annoying you, she says. One hour on that task will rev up your organizing engine.
2. Create a “Go Away” Box
Put anything you’re planning to donate in it (or give to a friend or take to recycle). And keep it by the door so you can easily grab it when you’re leaving.
3. Create a System for Your Entryway
Set up a “command center” so your front door doesn’t become a lawless accessories arena, especially during the winter months. Add hooks for coats, bins for shoes, and a mail sorter if you need it. (Remember to keep a place for your “go away” box.)
4. Wrangle Your Pet Supplies
Minimize the time spent scrambling when your pup is desperate for a walk or eager for a meal. Hang hooks and cubbies near the door and keep leashes, kibble, bowls, and toys in one convenient spot.
5. Organize Your Spices
Arrange your herbs and spices alphabetically, by cuisine, or by brand — whatever makes them easier to find when you’re in the middle of your noodle stir fry.
6. Pare Down Your Utensils
You’ve accumulated several dozen kitchen utensils in your culinary career: can openers, microplanes, four (what?!) wine openers. Pare down the collection and use drawer dividers to keep the remainder in order.
7. Reconfigure Your Pots and Pans
Stop digging around in your shelves for the oversized, cast-iron skillet. Donate the pots and pans you hardly use and install cupboard organizers to help manage the rest.
8. Throw Away Expired Foods
You never use Worcestershire sauce — except that one time. Go through your refrigerator and pantry and ditch or donate anything past its prime or that you won’t use.
9. Stack Your Pantry Staples
Make better use of your pantry by sorting through your staple dry goods — think flour, sugar, pasta, oatmeal, dry beans — and put them in airtight, stackable containers. You’ll free up a ton of space, too.
10. Reassess Your Display Shelves
Shelves crammed with knickknacks, books you’ll never read, and stuff you somehow accumulated are just a waste of space. Donate books to the library, discard the junk, and arrange what’s left in a way that pleases you.
11. Deal With Your Cables
With a Roku, PlayStation, DVD player, and cable box, it’s no surprise your entertainment center is a mess. Create ID tags for each plug from bread tags or cable ties and bundle the clutter together with Velcro strips.
12. Corral Your Accessories
Belts, scarves, purses, hats — all the accessories that don’t have a drawer or spot in the closet can end up everywhere. Buy an accessories hanger or install a simple series of hooks to give your wardrobe’s smallest members a home.
13. Purge Under the Bed
Under-bed storage is ideal for out-of-season clothing. But when out-of-season becomes out-of-sight and out-of-mind, clear out those clothes you’ll never wear again from this precious storage space.
14. Get Rid of Mystery Electronics
Admit it. You’ve got a drawer where black mystery cords, chargers, and oddball electronic bits go to die. Free that drawer up for better uses or at least get rid of the ones you know for sure are “dead.”
15. Pare Down Your Personal Care Stuff
Your intentions were honorable when you bought that curl-enhancing shampoo — but it expired two years ago, and you haven’t used it since. Throw away any expired potions, salves, hair products, and medicines.
16. Tackle Under-the-Sink Storage
Clean everything out. You’ll be amazed at what you find (like those Magic Erasers you could never find). Then put back everything you’re keeping in bins you can easily pull out so nothing gets lost again.
17. Hang a Shelf
Wall storage is so often overlooked. Find a spot in your home where a shelf would solve a problem and hang it. Maybe it’s for some toiletries in the bathroom, or laundry supplies, or for your kid’s stuffed toys.
18. Organize Your Junk Drawer for Good
There’s no shame in a junk drawer — but why not organize it? Dump the whole thing on one surface and sort everything into piles. Use drawer dividers to keep each pile in its own space.
19. Store Your Tools the Right Way
Finding the right Phillips-head screwdriver to put together that cute IKEA bookshelf shouldn’t be so hard. Track down your hammers and screwdrivers and arrange them in one easy-to-access spot, such as a pegboard.
20. Plan for the Future
See how much you’ve accomplished! Look around your newly organized home, noting any spaces you missed. Then dream a bit about your next home project. Maybe paint that dining room, finally?
Wiebe, Jamie. “Realtor® Content Resource: Organize Your Home in a Month in Less than an Hour A Day.” HouseLogic, https://members.houselogic.com/articles/how-to-organize-your-home/preview/.