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The more disorganized your home is, the harder it is motivate yourself to take care of it! Tackle one room per week to avoid getting overwhelmed, and try the following 12 tips for a more organized home.
1. Arrange Your Entryway
Put a small dresser, night stand, or cube storage system (with a fabric bin for each member of the family) in your entryway. Stock it with everything you need when you leave the house: gloves and hats during the colder months, backpacks and purses, umbrellas, etc. This will eliminate the last-minute scramble to find your belongings before heading out the door to work or school.
Image by Katie / Flickr
2. Use a Cedar Chest
Place a large cedar chest at the foot of your bed and use it to store all of your extra blankets and pillows. It frees up closet space and keeps your bedding clean in between uses.
3. Two-Compartment Hampers
Invest in hampers with two compartments, and place one in each bedroom or bathroom. Teach everyone in the family to sort light and darks as they place laundry in the hampers to make laundry day quicker.
4. Weed Out Clothes You Don’t Wear
Arrange the clothes hangers in your closet with the hooks facing out toward your room. Whenever you wear something and return it to the closet, turn the hanger back in. At the end of the season, anything you haven’t turned around can be donated.
5. Deal with Mail Immediately
Open the mail over a wastebasket or recycling bin, and toss junk mail and envelopes as soon as you open them. Immediately file or take care of everything else to avoid the buildup of the pile of mail on the counter.
6. Take Pictures of Objects and Then Declutter
If you tend to hold onto objects for sentimental value (even those you’ll never use again), get into the habit of photographing the items and then donating or tossing them. That concert t-shirt you wore on your first date that’s now two sizes too small? Take a photo. The five Lego creations your son made for you last week? Take a photo and return the Legos to his inventory.
7. Clean One Room Each Day
Cleaning the whole apartment or house is overwhelming, especially for people already pressed for time. Instead of trying to clean the whole home all at once, pick a room for each day of the week and make it your mission to organize and clean just that room on its assigned day.
8. One In, Two Out
If you feel like your home is in a constant state of clutter, adopt the one in, two out philosophy. Every time you come into the home with a new item, donate or put two other items in the trash.
9. Furniture that Does Double-Duty
In small spaces, opt for furniture that performs two functions. A coffee table with shelving underneath, or an ottoman with storage space inside are two great ways to maximize your space.
10. Transition to a Paperless Home
Use a scanner to digitize paperwork and save it in file folders on your computer. Back it up with a cloud-based storage solution (so if something happens to your computer hard drive, you have another copy) and shred the physical copies of anything whose originals you don’t need. Organize your file cabinet or use an accordion file system for all of the documents you do need to keep.
11. Maintain the Medicine Cabinet
Whenever you change the batteries in your smoke detectors, also go through your medicine cabinet and clean out any expired prescriptions and medications and give the shelves a good cleaning. If you need more storage for these items, consider adding shelves or a small cabinet in the wall above the toilet.
12. Organize Toiletries
If your cosmetics and other toiletries are overflowing on the counter tops and bathroom space, hang a plastic shoe organizer on the back of the bathroom door and fill each of the pockets with your items.