Organizing Your Home One Room at a Time
Most of us would like to be more organized than we are. Messes can create frustration and stress in our lives, particularly if we can’t find something we need because of the mess. Here are a few tips for organizing your home.
One Room at a Time
Instead of looking at the whole house and getting overwhelmed, tackle one room at a time. Try to set manageable goals, such as organizing one room per week. Each room that is organized and decluttered will inspire you as you work on the other rooms.
Tackle the mess first in the room that is likely to stay organized the longest (such as your room rather than your child’s room) or the mess in the room that bugs you the most (perhaps the living room, where you spend most of your time).
As you go through your home, take note of objects that haven’t been used in the last year such as toys that your children have outgrown, clothes you no longer wear, items that haven’t been as useful as they seemed when you bought them.
If some items (such as an old T-shirt that no longer fits you or all your children’s preschool art projects) have sentimental value, take a picture. You could store these pictures in a photo album, a photo box, or even just on your computer for those moments when you want to walk down memory lane.
If you think you might use them in the next year, consider putting them in a box in a garage or storage area. Label them with the date. If you need the item in the next year, you know where to find it. If, at the end of that year, you have never looked in the box again, send it to the thrift store.
As you clean and organize each room, consider what storage solutions might help prevent clutter and disorganization in the future. This needn’t be expensive; for example, you can cut down cereal boxes or other cardboard boxes to hold items in any room of the house. If those boxes work, you can invest in sturdier or more decorative boxes. If those boxes don’t serve their purpose, then research other storage options.
Clear plastic bins are a great storage option for most rooms of the house. These can hold seasonal items in the front closet, shoes in the master bedroom, toys in the children’s room, etc. Labels for boxes and bins are also a good idea so that every family member can see at a glance what’s in the box.
Be creative with storage solutions. When my oldest daughter outgrew her wooden cradle, we turned it into her toy bin. When I needed the cradle for my youngest daughter, I moved my daughter’s toys into a blanket chest.
Consider storage when buying furniture. For example, captain’s beds make it easier to take advantage of the space under the beds for storage. These drawers close to the floor are easier for children to open and close and access their toys or clothing. Living room furniture can also come with built-in storage; consider ottomans that have storage inside or coffee tables that have shelves underneath.
One In, One Out
Have an ongoing decluttering mentality by getting rid of one item every time you buy a new item. For example, if you buy a new shirt, give away one shirt from your drawer that you no longer use (or throw out a shirt that has gotten worn out).
Consider a Yard or Garage Sale
If your pile of no-longer-used items is large enough, consider having a yard or garage sale. (You may want to consider decluttering your house in January and February to hold the sale in the spring.) This can earn you a few extra bucks and save you a few trips to the thrift store. It may also encourage you to declutter more to have enough stuff for the garage sale. At the end of the sale, box unsold items for the thrift store.
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