Practical tips for organizing your home

Tips for organizing your home

 

Yes!  You can organize your home.  These tips for organizing your home are both practical and easy to apply.  As a working mom and wife, I am constantly trying to figure out how to keep my home clean and organized.  In a perfect world, I would hire someone to clean, organize, and repeat every two weeks but that is not my story. So I knew I had to come up with a system to organize my home that is both practical and functional.

Like many of our readers we are working moms balancing home, marriage, motherhood, and COVID-19. Over the past eight months, I have spent more time in my home than I ever thought possible. During that time I was able to reassess how we do things in our home and how we can do things better. One of the areas that needed improvement was home organization! So I buckled down and took on the beast one day at a time. I must admit I still have a few more rooms to tackle but I am making progress. Hold on tight because I am going to share my tips on how to organize your home.

Self-Assessment

I believe that assessing one’s motivation and the why behind organizing their home is very important.  When deciding to declutter, clean and organize my home; my “why” is that I like order and disorder causes me great anxiety.  I was doing it because I wanted peace of mind and a clean home makes me smile.   When I am motivated to do something I am willing to work hard to get the task done.  I will press through even when I am tired to see the work done to completion.  Doing the work of organizing your home can be overwhelming and tedious but with the right motivation, tools and an understanding of  the “why” it can be done.  I encourage you to take a few moments to determine your why.  

Organization Assessment

The first step in organizing your home is to complete a home organization questionnaire. The questionnaire is broken down into the four categories that I believe most clutter falls into: 

  1. Clothes
  2. Toys
  3. Papers/Documents
  4. Small appliances/electronics

Be sure to download the questionnaire because each category has specific questions that will help you determine what will stay and what will go.  Keep in mind the questionnaire is designed to address each article of clothing, piece of paper, or toy individually.  Each question will help you make a decision about your clutter before you even touch an item.  Let’s go into the organization process with a clear mindset and plan.  This is one small but very important part of the “why” behind organizing your home.  You will want to have the questionnaire nearby when you begin to declutter your home.  Again these questions are meant to be a guide as you go through the decluttering process.  Let’s begin! 

Organize your clutter

The first step is to declutter your home. A few weeks ago we discussed the three phases of decluttering. Here is a crash course in those three steps:

  1. Choose a room to declutter
  2. Choose a specific area within the room to declutter
  3. Create piles (keep, trash, and donate)

In order to organize your home, you must get rid of all the extra stuff that creates clutter and disorder. We want our spaces to be functional and if there are piles of clutter hanging out in a corner it is not functional. In my home clutter either needed to be trashed, donated, or placed in a specific usable area. Once I was able to determine what needed to be done I could then move forward with organizing that space. This leads us to our next step.

Create a functional space

It’s amazing what happens when you declutter your room. Remember the process of decluttering a room is broken down into baby steps. As you go throughout the room decluttering a specific area you can then begin to determine the function for each space. For me, it’s like starting from a clean slate.

Take, for instance, if you have decided to declutter a closet in your bedroom you can easily identify its function. Our closet is meant to store clothes and shoes only. To go a step further all the clothes will be hung up on hangers and the shoes will either be in a shoebox or on a shoe rack. Once you determine the function of the space anything that does not fit within those parameters will not be allowed in the closet.  You must set some ground rules for keeping the space organized once the specific space is decluttered and organized.  If not you will be repeating this same process in a year.  We will discuss how to develop an organizational system a bit later.  

I use my kitchen drawers to store recipes whereas you might use those drawers to store school supplies.  It’s all about your things having a designated area where it makes sense functionally for your household. One of the benefits of knowing the function of a space is it creates personal accountability for you and your family.  My children know that the back stairs are we store our shoes.  When we get home from work and school they know to place their shoes on the back steps and not in the middle of the floor.

 Create spaces that will be easy to maintain and declutter throughout the year.   Encourage your family to assist in the process because that will foster responsibility and a willingness to keep the area clean. 

Tools to organize your home 

We have already mentioned the questionnaire but now let’s talk about other items to get your home organized.   You have identified the items that you will keep and have an idea of how you want the space to function.  Now it’s time for us to place those items in a neat and organized manner.   Listed below are some of the items that we use in our home.  

  1. Hangers
  2. Labels
  3. Folders
  4. Decorative baskets/bins
  5. Storage bins
  6. Three-ring binders 
  7. Storage bags (Gallon and sandwich)
  8. Security Safe

Your neighborhood Dollar Store, Big Lots, Walmart and Target are great places to gather these items.  I recommend using items that are aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.  One of my favorite organization tools are my decorative baskets because they fit my style and are versatile.  These tools will help you keep your home organized.  Have fun shopping!

Home organization system 

Congratulations!   You have done the hard work of decluttering and organizing your home.  Now it’s time to implement a home organization system! A home organization system is broken down into weekly, bi-weekly and monthly chores.  Chores are tasks that simply keep your home clean and organized.  I created a chore list and for me it is realistic and doable.  Be sure to download the chore list as well.  For example, the essential chores such as cleaning the bathrooms are done weekly while cleaning the pantry is done monthly.  These tasks will create a system that will allow you to declutter throughout the month instead of once a year.  Overtime cleaning and organizing your home will consist of maintenance instead of a complete overhaul. 

This is just a brief overview but I hope you will see how this system is meant to make organizing your home simple.  Feel free to make adjustments or additions to the chore list based upon your preferences. 

Final thoughts

I hope that these steps will help you as you begin to organize your home.  I believe that with a bit of guidance, discipline and action you are well on your way to an organized home!

Practical tips to organize your home

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