We’ve all experienced it before—the case of the missing bill. You rummage through your junk drawer, sift through takeaway menus, credit card bills, recipes, you name it but the bill is nowhere to be found. The clock is ticking. Roll your sleeves up. It’s time for a little decluttering.
According to IKEA, the average person spends 6 minutes searching for their car keys each morning.
Why do we do this to ourselves? It probably has something to do with the speed at which life moves nowadays. We get up, go to work, and come home tired; the kids have blitzed the house. The last thing we want to do after a hard day’s work is break our backs tidying up—especially when we know it’ll soon resemble a bomb site again.
So we invent “junk drawers” and create random piles, which offer us a fragile illusion of organization, out of sight, out of mind, so to speak.
Whether it is spring cleaning time or you’ve had enough of losing possessions in the depths of your home, we’ve got some time—and life-saving, home organization tips for you.
Take back your living space with these top ten ways to organize your home.
The stuff you don’t need
I call them the “maybe tomorrow” items. You know what I’m talking about, we all do it—collect “things” we think might serve a use in future. Deep down, we know it’s not true but there’s something primal deep within us, an urge to hold onto objects we no longer need, just in case.
It’s time to take a stand. As much as you don’t like it, you have to finally admit that those trinkets, books, dusty appliances, clothes and odds and ends are nothing but clutter. The first place to start then, when organizing your home, is to throw out the stuff you don’t—and won’t ever—need.
Another solution for those “maybe tomorrow” items is to bag and tag them. Once you’ve stored them and tagged them so you know what they are, keep them somewhere like your garage, in a corner. This way, if “tomorrow never comes”, you can bid them farewell once and for all, and they won’t be taking up valuable space in your house.
This might seem like a huge job but you don’t need to do it alone. If you have kids, have each one create an inventory of their room. You can even invite a friend over to help you count your items of clothing. Once you have an inventory of each room, put the inventory into a plastic sleeve and hang it or stick it somewhere on the wall. Never again will you buy the same thing twice, or lose track of what you own. As you sell, throw away or replace things, you can cross them off the list. It’s also a great thing when it comes to your next spring clean, because you can look at the list before you start and decide what goes and what stays.
After you have taken an inventory of every room, you can assess your storage needs. I don’t know about you but I love containers and container shopping. Still, only buy what you need, and if you’ve already taken inventory, you’ll know when you step into the store to search for storage solutions. Key-hooks, remote holders, bins for laundry, filing cabinets for family photos, bills, receipts and all those otherwise loose pieces of paper that clutter drawers.
This works great with tip number seven on color-coding.
Assign storage space
The average American wastes 55 minutes a day searching for things they own but have lost somewhere in their house. That’s 12 days a year down the drain! You can avoid those panicked, hair-graying moments of tearing through your house, late for work and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, if you assign storage space.
There’re the obvious things like tinned goods, for example, tinned fruit on one shelf, beans on another but always in the pantry under the stairs.
Store each type of item such as electrical appliances and cleaning products, in their own space or room. Bikes in the garage, tools hanging on the walls in the shed, you get the picture. You could even go as far as placing car-key holders around the house. When you put your keys down, for example, you place them on the nearest key holder or hook. The same goes for remote controls (you’ll never have to dig deep down into the innards of your sofa again).
Hire a personal organizer
If all else fails or you simply don’t have the time, you can place the responsibility in the hands of a professional. That’s right. I said “professional”. Home organizers are becoming more and more popular these days with many a disorganized home benefitting from their organizational gifts. It is stressful working a full-time job and running a household at the same time. Hire a personal organizer to organize your home and leave you with the means to make sure it stays that way. Looking for a professional organizer in San Francisco? Check us out!
Say goodbye to your junk drawer
Junk drawers—who needs em? Everyone, it would seem. It’s that dark recess where we cram our miscellaneous items like bills, old notebooks, receipts and wads and wads of dust attracting paper. If you have one, start there and never look back. Junk drawers are the eaters of car keys, bills and even invitations to weddings. Get rid of it once and for all.
Color-code your abode
Not only does color coding work a treat as an organization tool, the added color in your home will lift your mood and add a nice splash of color. Use stickers to label shelves, cupboards drawers, and surfaces, then assign each color a type of object. In the bedroom, green drawers for socks, blue for t-shirts. In the kitchen, red shelf for spices, yellow for condiments, for example. You can even buy colored containers and bins and assign each person a color for laundry and for bathroom storage etc.
Color-coding is a bright and fun way to organize your home.
Keep like with like
This is an obvious but seldom adhered to rule for most homes. In the kitchen, store bowls with bowls, plates with plates, spices with spices and so on. In the bathroom, shampoo and conditioner on one shelf, shower gel on another. The same applies to everything in fact you can combine this tip with the color-coding tip to ensure you know where everything is at all times. Can you imagine that? Never again will you ask: “Where’s the coffee?” or “Where did you put the remote control?” because you’ll know exactly where to find it.
A path to organization
From your front door to your bedroom, you should foster the organization habit by building an “organization path.” This means placing:
- Key trays by the front door
- Shoe racks in the hallway/entranceway
- Coat pegs in the hallway
- Paper and junk bins in every room
- Bookshelves to avoid stacking
- Filing systems for bills, family photo albums etc
- Color-coded bins for washing, dry clothes etc
When you walk through the front door and the tools to be organized are right there, at hand, staying organized will be easier than ever. That organized mindset will only be strengthened further, if each part of your home is setup in this way.
Oftentimes, the downfall of any home organization project is staying power. In an ideal world, we’d be home to monitor the situation 24/7—but we’re not. This means then; that you need to ensure you:
- Develop good habits
- Put things away immediately
- Make sure the entire household sticks to the plan
- Put things back where they belong
- Create a “donation” box for items you don’t need
- Find homes for new items ASAP
Don’t forget that this has to be a team-effort. Get your whole family involved. The hardest part is always that first step, the first junk filled drawer you pull out, but if you work together, you’ll soon see the light through the mountains of junk. An uncluttered home is so much more spacious and cheerful, not to mention the fact that you’ll finally be able to find those bills in time.