An organized house is a clean house. I think I'm like most people. I like to come home to a space that is free from clutter. Everything I own has its place.
Following some basic guidelines is the key to staying organized and enjoying your home:
Purge what has expired or what you don't need on a regular basis.
Go through each room of your home. For example, get rid of expired food items from your fridge or pantry. Toss expired medicine an old make up from the bathrooms or linen closet. We have a rule in my house that if you haven't worn something in a year it's time to donate it.
Take five minutes and put it away.
That includes bills and other mail that tends to sit on the countertop for days on end. Clean laundry and winter coats have their place too. Put away your winter gear in the off-season.
Make it a team effort.
Get the whole family involved. Everyone has their part maintaining an organized home.The toy room stays tidy because my kids know the rules. It's easy to find the ingredients you're looking for in the pantry or fridge because it's organized so items are easy to find.
IN THE KITCHEN:
- Organize your cookbooks so they are within an arms reach.
- Organize your cabinets so every day dishware is within easy reach and items for special occasions are up above.
- Likewise, organize your bakeware, cutting boards and pots and pans in cabinets below your countertop for daily access.
- Organize your kitchen utensils; potholders and towels; plastics, foils and storage bags; and plastic containers in drawers so they are close by when you need them.
- Clean out your junk drawer and organize it using dividers to store like items.
- Purge expired items from your pantry and fridge and relegate items to certain shelves according to category (canned goods, baking, dry goods.)
IN THE GARAGE:
- Use pegboards and hooks to organize hand tools, hang lawn and garden tools, sports equipment such as golf clubs, baseball bats, tennis rackets and extension cords. Most hardware stores carry hooks, brackets, jars and baskets of all sizes so you can hang nails and screws, garden hoses, folding chairs, or even bicycles.
- Store pesticides, paints and anything else that can be toxic if ingested on high shelves or in a locked cabinet.
- Store balls and other small toys in bins on shelves for easy access.
- Hang ladders on hooks high off the ground.
- Extend the life of your concrete floor from the damaging effects of winter by putting down matting or rubber tiles.
IN THE MUDROOM/LAUNDRY ROOM:
- Used wall-mounted shelving keep items off the floor and above heads and install hooks to keep coats and bookbags tidy.
- Store shoes in wooden cubbies made specifically for flip-flops, sports shoes and tennis shoes.
- Keep cleaning supplies out of reach in cabinets. I store my cleaning supplies in a red bucket underneath my skirted utility sink.
IN THE BEDROOM:
- Invest in a tiered shoe rack to store all your favorite shoes.
- Store bulky items like blankets, bags, extra sheets and seasonal items in under the bed storage bins.
- Install a hanging jewelry organizer in your bedroom closet for necklaces and bracelets if you've outgrown your jewelry box.
- Use a specific hanging racks available to keep belts and purses organized.
- Purchase or create a scarf hanger to keep your scarves together and neatly organized. Pinterest has many DIY ideas if you are crafty.
- Keep toys in their place by using wicker bins or plastic storage containers. Keep the bins neatly stacked on the bookshelf or in the closet.
IN THE BATHROOM:
- Keep labeled storage bins for medicines and other toiletries underneath the sink or in the linen closet.
- Store hairdryers, curling irons, and other hair accessories in bins under the sink.
- Use over the door hooks to hang extra towels.
- Use expandable drawer organizers in shallow drawers for hair accessories, make-up and other beauty products.
- Store and even display make-up brushes, cotton swabs and other items in ceramic or glass jars.
IN THE OFFICE OR DEN:
- Keep a labeled filing system for your bills and other important papers.
- Create an inbox for incoming mail and bills that need to be paid.
- Organize your desk drawers so notepads, envelopes, greeting cards, checkbooks are similarly grouped.
- Use drawer organizers for smaller items like paperclips, thumbtacks and flash drives.
- Use desktop organizers for pencils, pens and letter openers.
- Install vertical shelving to keep photo albums and books neatly categorized.
- Use woven baskets to hide bulkier items, like household manuals, cable and computer cords and devices and computer paper.