A cluttered home won’t only make your head ache—all that clutter will also slow you down. Five minutes spent looking for a missing sock here and ten minutes spent looking for missing keys there can really add up, robbing you of time you’d rather spend with your family. Use these 7 smart organizing tips to simplify your day!
1: Keep Working Rooms Ready for Work
Some of the rooms in your home are mainly for leisure, while others are mostly functional. If your functional rooms—such as the kitchen and bathroom—are disorganized or cluttered, life quickly becomes chaotic. That means that smart home organization should start in those rooms. Here are five tips for organizing your kitchen, including setting up smart work zones. Storage is a key challenge in bathrooms, where space is limited; here are five space-saving bathroom storage ideas. Your basement, laundry room, garage and shed are more functional spaces that can be organizationally tricky; here are tips for tackling those areas.
2: Rein in the Snail Mail
The amount of mail that even one person receives in a week can be hard to believe, so the mail is one of the easiest and quickest things that can get out of control in your home. If you’re just throwing your mail in a pile to deal with later, that pile can quickly become an overwhelming mess that would take ages to deal with.
Your best bet for keeping your mail streamlined is to have a simple system in place. Instead of just dumping the mail in a pile when you bring it inside, quickly sort it into groups that each have their own place: magazines in the magazine rack, coupons and ads in their own spot, and personal correspondence in its own spot. Keeping an easy organizing system near the door makes this system easy to stick to, such as a decorative file box with dividers.
For bills, The Week Magazine recommends keeping a decorative box with everything you need to pay your bills inside—checkbook, ink pen, stamps, your bills as they come in—under your coffee table. That way it will all be right there at your fingertips during the commercial breaks while you’re watching your favorite fall programming.
3: Keep Schoolwork Organized
You want to save your kids’ schoolwork and art projects to look back on as they grow, but all of that paper can quickly turn into a disorganized jumble. One way to stay organized is to buy large, slim-style plastic storage containers with lids that you can slide under your kids’ beds, and label one for each school year. You can store your child’s schoolwork from that year in the proper container and keep it free of dust and moisture, and take digital photos of larger projects if you aren’t able to keep them.
4: Store Medicine in the Kitchen
Pharmacists actually don’t recommend storing many medications in the bathroom medicine cabinet because the damp environment can be harmful to them. Instead, store your medicine on a high shelf in the kitchen, out of reach of children, in labeled sealable plastic tubs. For prescription medications, each person can have their own container with their name. For non-prescription medicines, label one container “cold/flu,” and another “first aid,” etc., for quick, easy access to what you’re looking for.
5: Keep Special Occasion Items Organized and Ready to Go
There are some things that you don’t use all the time, but you really need them to be there when you need them. One example is holiday decorations: you use them once a year, and packing and storing them the right way is the key to making sure that you can find all of them next year. Use these smart holiday cleanup tips to keep your decorations ship-shape!
Another thing you may mostly do on holidays is bake. Baking requires a specific set of equipment and ingredients that you don’t use for other things, but you need them to be there when you want to bake again. The Week Magazine recommends using a small movable cart to make a baking cart. Load the cart with everything you use for baking, from cookie sheets, to flour, to baking soda, and keep it in the back corner of the pantry. When it comes time to bake, you can just wheel out your baking cart, and you’re ready to go!
6: Keep a Donation Bin
We all like to help those who need it, and if it can also help you stay clutter-free, it’s a win-win! One clever organization tip is to keep a small donation bin somewhere near your home’s door, so when you have a gently-used item that you no longer need, you can simply drop it into the bin on your way out. This way you are de-cluttering a little at a time and also keeping your mind on giving back to the community. When the bin is full, take it to your local charity for donation.
7: Be Prepared with Storage Containers
This is a simple idea, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the most important. Make sure that you have plenty of appropriate storage containers for your closets, shelves, and drawers. Drawer organizers make all the difference between a jumbled-up “junk drawer” and a drawer with handy odds and ends, and having plenty of storage bins for your shelves—even if you don’t have anything to put in them yet—will ensure that things stay in their place when you do start filling the shelves. And storage containers don’t have to be boring: here are some fun DIY mason jar storage ideas. Style it up!
Did you know that de-cluttering can create positive Feng Shui and benefit your health? Read up on the basics of Feng Shui and how you can apply it to your life with our blog post here.