An organized house is a functional house, providing a sense of calm in the midst of the chaos of daily life. There are lots of reasons to become more organized. Maybe you’re tired of losing your keys somewhere inside your house. Or perhaps the clutter around you also manifests emotionally, making you anxious.
Some organizational techniques recommend organizing room-by-room, while others suggest going item-by-item. There are countless organizing tips available — you’re certainly acquainted with some of them. The thing about organizing is that sometimes it can get overwhelming, especially if you have a big house. So you seek advice from a personal organizer. But what if we told you that you can save some money?
Yes, you can skip this expensive step because we’ve talked to a few industry experts to get some organizing tips. Not only will you save time, but also money.
Here are 18 organizing tips to help you keep your house clean and organized!
1. Create Five Piles
Organizing things in your house also means being organized during the process. If you used to keep a lot of things thinking you’ll be using them one day, then this organizing tip will definitely help you. When organizing, you should sort all the stuff into five piles: donate, throw away, give to someone you know, move to another room, and the final one, the “marinating” pile.
Basically, all those items you almost never use but don’t want to donate or throw away are marinating items. Pack them up and label the box with the precise date when you’ve created it. If you never open it in a year, you can safely get rid of all those things. This organizing tip is very helpful as it helps you to actually ditch clutter you don’t use.
2. Avoid Lids
The second organizing tip would be to avoid lids on bins, laundry baskets, and other containers. They simply make it more difficult to put stuff away. Without the lid, you can store some extra things in your containers.
For other things, here are some clear sweater boxes you may like. Not only are these kinds of containers perfect to store sweaters in your closet, but they are also ideal for holding rice, pasta, beans in your pantry, even kids’ toys, and so much more. They fit on nearly any shelf in any house, and you can store most of the things you own.
3. Your Main Goal Is to Clear the Clutter, Not to Create Extra Storage Space
The first thing most people do after deciding to organize their homes is to go out and buy containers, hooks, and baskets. Folks who think they aren’t that organized tend to do this a lot. Whilst those containers and baskets may help you to store some things here and there, you shouldn’t skip an important step which is sorting through your stuff first.
Let’s say you buy some containers without doing this. Once you come home, you’ll realize that you didn’t buy the right size or type. That’s just backwards. Those new containers won’t help you too much; on the contrary, they will end up adding to your clutter.
Keep reading to find out about some other great organizing tips!
4. Get Rid of Paper Clutter
Living in a paperless society tends to sometimes be entirely fictitious. It seems like most people aren’t willing to get rid of it. If you’ve also made a habit of keeping too much paper, it’s time to bring this organizing tip into play! Here’s a piece of info you may not know: 80% of the paper you receive is unnecessary. So it’s important to keep weeding out on a daily basis, whether it’s catalogs, magazines, receipts, mail, or anything else.
Here’s our advice: avoid tossing out all of your paper clutter. Try instead to recycle it. Contact your local recycling center to see exactly what you have to do.
5. Let Go of Sentimental Clutter
If you keep some items that no longer fit in your house for sentimental reasons, such as your favorite aunt’s blue recliner or Grandpa’s chandelier, remember that you should cherish memories, not items. Here’s an organizing tip the experts shared with us: take a picture of the things that hold sentimental value to you and then find them another house. There must be others that will love them and have space for them.
That being said, if you truly cherish your grandma’s old photos, that heirloom quilt, or paperweight collection, why let them get moldy, ruined, or eaten by moths in boxes in the attic? Honor your most favorite keepsakes by putting them on display and donate those you know you won’t ever use again.
6. Selling Things on eBay May Not Be the Best Idea
It is known that you can sell a lot of things on eBay. There you’ll find millions of sellers and buyers around the world. According to personal organizers, selling stuff on eBay tends to eat up quite some time. That’s why they recommend asking yourself: do you want to finish your organizing project or start a new career selling secondhand items?
Unless you need the money asap or sell things online all the time, using eBay to get rid of stuff isn’t worth it. Instead, go for the classic organizing tips: donate, repurpose or throw away unused things.
7. Keep an Eye on Flat Surfaces
Think about your kitchen countertop. You most likely keep a lot of things on it: keys, bills, laptops, phones, books, and the list can go on. Having more flat surfaces in your house doesn’t mean you cannot store things on them too.
The thing about this kind of surface is that it can easily become cluttered. One day you declutter it, and the next day you already have a couple of items that seem to breed on your table or countertop. No matter how many organizing tips you’ve tried, those areas are cluttered most of the time!
Unfortunately, there is no magic trick that will help you with that. However, organizing experts recommend making a habit of putting items back where they belong after using them. When it comes to tables, they also suggest putting a floral arrangement in the middle. It’s a trick that helps to prevent clutter.
8. Don’t Postpone Organizing Your House
Organizing stuff at home requires a certain kind of mood, which isn’t always there when you need it. And that’s totally fine. But don’t put organizing your house off for too many long. Postponing will only make things worse, which means you’ll have more work to do later.
The same thing goes with small daily tasks. If you delay those tasks that take a couple of minutes, it adds up, and all at once, you’re looking at many hours to clear the clutter. Here is one organizing tip that experts shared with us: always do the dishes immediately after using them, open your mail right after receiving it, and store things in their places as soon as you’re done using them.
9. Get Rid of Your Storage Unit
Do you have a storage unit where you keep everything that doesn’t fit in your house? You’re not the only one, as only in the US are there 48,500 storage facilities totaling more than 2.3 billion square feet of stored items.
If you have a storage unit, ask yourself the following questions and try to be honest with yourself:
- How often are you at your storage unit?
- What would you miss if your storage unit flooded?
- Is the value of the stuff you’re storing worth the amount of money spent on the annual rental fee?
Keep in mind that the money spent on storage doesn’t include the cost of the moving truck. Also, when it comes to organizing tips, experts in the field always focus on this principle: in most cases, the things you own and keep in a storage unit aren’t worth as much as you believe.
10. Make Your Kitchen Feel Roomier
If you love cooking, then you must spend some time in your kitchen. Those who have a small kitchen may especially feel the need for some designing and organizing tips to maximize the space. Even those who have a medium-sized kitchen may feel sometimes that their kitchen isn’t big enough. Luckily, we have some solutions for you!
Adjusting cabinet shelves is definitely a great organizing tip that will help you to create much more space. Also, get that bread machine, popcorn machine, and other large appliances off your kitchen countertop. If you don’t need it on a regular basis, store it in a cabinet or even in the basement or attic if it’s something you rarely use.
You may want to read: 10 Best Ways of Decorating a Small Kitchen.
11. Load the Dishwasher Properly
Everyone believes that they load the dishwasher properly or that it makes no difference how you do it. Well, little do we realize, but there is a specific way to ensure all the plates, glasses, utensils, and so on come out sparklingly clean.
So, yes, you should follow some organizing tips even when you only do the dishes. Here’s what you should do: every time you load the dishwasher, make sure you do it in an organized way. Instead of tossing all the silver cutlery into the utensil box, put the spoons in one area, and the forks in another. The knives should be in another area as well. This way, it will be easier for you to unload the dishwasher and put everything in its place.
12. Hang Everything From Your Closet Backward on the Rod
This organizing tip is pretty unconventional, but it will help you to sort all your clothes — at least the ones you keep on the rod. It may feel weird to hang your clothes backward, but it’s not something you’ll have to do on a regular basis. Doing this once a year should be enough. Basically, you won’t have to spend time sorting everything as the whole process will be completed by default.
Once you wear a piece of clothing, hang it as you would normally do. If you still have some items still hanging backward one year after using this organizing tip, you are definitely not wearing them, so think about donating or throwing them away.
13. Have Only One Type of Hanger
This organizing tip is a life-changer. We bet you have several types of hangers in your closet. Most of the time, those hangers get stuck on each other, which can sometimes even ruin some clothes. On top of that, if they don’t have the same height, the whole area may get a little chaotic.
To prevent this from happening, switch to only one type of hanger. Choose the one that you like the most. The hangers covered in velvet, for instance, are a great and elegant choice. Since they are super slim, they won’t take too much space, which means you’ll be able to store more clothes in your closet. Also, every piece of clothing will stay in its place without slipping off the hangers.
Try this organizing tip. You’ll thank us later.
14. Maximize Your Closet Space
Sometimes we wish we had more space to store all the clothes. But don’t worry, the experts we talked to shared with us some great organizing tips that don’t include replacing your closet with a bigger one.
For instance, you can try to add an extra tension rod where you can hang your shirts on top, leaving the bottom side for pants and skirts. Don’t forget about using hooks to hang scarves and jewelry — in case you have some extra wall space. And that’s not all. If you have enough space, consider adding some extra shelves to your closet.
15. Use Hanging Shoe Bags
You may think that you can only use a hanging shoe bag to store shoes. Think again because this common organizer is going to surprise you!
Its savvy pockets can hold many things helping you to keep clutter at bay. Don’t have enough space to store all your makeup? Try a hanging shoe bag on the back of your bathroom door. It has enough pockets to organize items by finish or color. You can also use this hanging solution for your hot hair tools, but make sure they have cooled off before storing them to avoid melting the plastic.
Don’t have enough room in your pantry? Try a hanging shoe bag to keep your most-accessed items easily in reach. Even cleaning supplies can be kept in this hanging caddy. There are plenty of options, you just have to get a little creative.
16. Ditch the Cardboard
Here’s a little story one personal organizer told us: “One client of mine asked me to help her carry some cardboard boxes. When we got into her newly renovated home, I opened the first box. In the next second, hundreds of cockroaches came out. That’s why you should keep cardboard away from your house. You name the pest, and I guarantee it loves in a cardboard box.”
This happens because cardboard is prone to humidity and moisture, which seems to be the perfect mix for many types of insects. So our organizing tip would be to use plastic bins instead. Not only are they more secure, but having clear boxes lets you see what’s inside.
17. It’s Totally Fine to Have a Junk Drawer
Being organized doesn’t always mean every item is in its place; sometimes, it means every item has a place. If you can clean your house for a surprise guest in only 30 minutes, then yes, you’re definitely organized.
Having a junk drawer is always helpful as it helps you keep random items together and keep counters clear. One personal organizer said: “Believe it or not, I have not one but two catch-all drawers in my kitchen”.
Even if a junk drawer is meant to store different items, don’t forget that there are some organizing tips for it as well. Try to declutter it once a month, sorting all the stuff you keep in there.
18. Organize Your Photos
Technology is great and very helpful, but it has its downsides. It seems like nowadays, smartphones have replaced the need to print our photos. The truth is, nothing compares with a physical photo album that holds all your special memories together. Traditional photos are simply more special.
If you have a big collection of printed photos, you must know how challenging it can be sometimes to have them organized. But here’s an organizing tip: organize and label your photos and your kids, grandkids, and grand grandkids and, well, you got it, will be so grateful. An even better idea would be to stick a note on those favorite photos to explain their significance.
If you find these organizing tips helpful, you may also like this article: 11 Ways to Keep Your Fridge Clean and Organized.