The first step to making your home more beautiful and comfortable is to get everything organized. Now, I know what you might be thinking ─ but can’t I just get to the part where I make it all pretty? Do I HAVE to deal with the headache of organizing everything first?
If this sounds like you and organizing just isn’t your thing, you aren’t alone. For most people, this is usually their least favorite part of the process. It seems like a big headache they just don’t have the time nor the patience for. It can even get in the way of them actually reaching the decorating part because they’re so uninterested in “dealing with” the organizing part that they give up on it altogether.
While there is no way to make organizing a home “fun” in a Brady Bunch sort of way, it can go a lot faster and a lot smoother with the right process. If you can, put aside a weekend or two to get everything organized. If your schedule just won’t allow it, then tackling one small project every day or every weekend will ensure that you make consistent progress. Instead of trying to win the war all at once, focus on smaller battles!
Here are some more tips to help you organize any room in your home easily and efficiently:
HOW TO ORGANIZE ANY ROOM (THE EASY WAY)
1 Begin by choosing which room you want to tackle first and decide what its function will be. Some rooms may have more than one function, such as a guest room that also works as a home office. By knowing what the room will be used for, you can plan your goals for the space and figure out what kind of organization you will need.
For example, one goal in the guest room/home office would obviously be to have a place for guests to sleep and be comfortable during their stay. Since it will also be a home office, though, another goal would be a work space and storage for files, office supplies, and other things that will need to be hidden from view when guests are there. Think about everything you will need to fit into the space to make it work for you.
2 The next step would be to start clearing out the clutter and sorting everything into piles. This includes furniture, too. There are 5 categories for sorting to keep things simple:
- Keep/Stay: These are the things that you’ll be keeping and that will stay in the room.
- Keep/Move: These are the things that you’re keeping, but will be moving to another room.
- Donate: Items in good condition that can be donated or given away.
- Recycle: Items that, well, can be recycled.
- Trash: It is what it is – stuff that just needs to be thrown out.
If there is anything you aren’t sure about, you can start a 6th pile called TBD – To Be Determined. Re-evaluate this pile at the end to decide what you’d like to do with it. Remember: anything you get rid of (whether donating, recycling, or throwing away) means less stuff you have to worry about. It can also mean making more space for new things you’ll actually love.
For more tips to make the decluttering process easier, check out 10 Questions That Speed Up the Declutter Process.
3 Now onto organizing your storage. “A place for everything and everything in its place,” as my mom used to say.
- Find a home for each item that stays in the room.
- Keep like items together.
- Put the things you use most often in easily accessible places.
- Items that you use infrequently can be stored in more out-of-reach spots such as the tops of closets.
Asking yourself how often you plan to use something will make deciding where to put it ten times easier. It can be tempting to want to keep everything at arm’s length, but if you’re honest with yourself about only sewing a few times a year or breaking out the good china on special occasions, your organizing efforts will be much more successful.
4 After you’ve sorted everything and know where its home will be, then it’s time to go shopping! Once you know how much stuff you have and where you’re going to keep it, you can determine what storage items are needed. Don’t shop for storage items before you clear out the clutter, because you won’t really know what you’ll require. Make a list of the plastic bins, baskets, labels and anything else you need to get organized.
For example (going back to the home office/guest room scenario), things that could help in that instance could be storage bins that will slide under the bed, bookcases with doors on them or pretty baskets/boxes to slide onto shelves, and shelving for the closet that will accommodate both a small area for your guests’ clothes as well as office supplies.
If you’re working with a tight budget, no problem ─ you can still get organized! Storage doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, or even any money at all if you’re willing to get creative. There are many things around your home that you can repurpose for storage, such as:
- Cardboard shoe boxes with lids make great storage for just about anything
- Plastic butter tubs (the square ones are easier to stack and store)
- Egg cartons are good for storing small items in a drawer
- Cut cereal boxes and cover them with contact paper or fabric to make magazine holders
Target often has some adorable storage finds in their $1 and $3 section at the front of the store. Walmart and IKEA also carry a wide selection of affordable storage products, and of course, you’ll find some great stuff at the mother of all budget-friendly delights ─ the Dollar Store.
5 Finally, keep it organized. This last step is very important. To maintain the organization you’ve worked so hard for, making some small tweaks in your daily life will help you keep it that way. Be sure to put things away when you are finished with them (as tempting as it may be to set them down somewhere else). And most importantly, don’t bring anything else into the room unless you have a place to store it. When you consider buying something new, ask yourself where it will fit in your home. If you really love it, you’ll find a place for it. If you can’t think of a spot for it, then you’ll save yourself some money! This will help keep the clutter from accumulating all over again.
So, there you have it ─ 5 steps to organize any room without all the headache. I hope these tips make organizing your home a much less stressful experience.
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Before you head off to make some organizing magic…
Leave us a comment:
- What is the most stressful room in your home for you to organize and keep organized?
- What organizing hacks have helped you the most?