Some folks seem to have a knack for organization and keeping things tidy. Others…don’t. If you fall into the latter category, you may feel like cleaning up your cluttered, disorganized home is impossible. Or you may be embarrassed about your lack of organizational skills. You might even hesitate to invite friends and family to your home because you don’t want them to see the mess. However, while common, these feelings and thoughts are unnecessary. According to a survey from Decluttr and the National Association of Professional Organizers, 54 percent of Americans are overwhelmed by clutter. And 78 percent have no idea how to deal with it.
In other words, you are not the only person who struggles with home organization! Chances are, someone in your family or social circle has the same problem, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
If you are ready to kick clutter to the curb and organize your home once and for all, getting started is the hardest part. Whether you invest in space-saving products like laundry soap sheets, clean off your desk or even tackle a project you’ve had on the back burner, there are many ways to get started. Keep scrolling to discover a few easy ways to start organizing your home.
1. Upgrade Your Cleaning Supplies and Organizational Tools
Try buying some new environmentally friendly cleaning supplies if you are having trouble getting motivated. It may seem silly, but doing so can give you the boost you need to get started. Invest in some reusable paper towels and you’ll likely find yourself clearing the clutter from your kitchen counters just so you have an excuse to try them out. And if you decide to try new eco-friendly laundry products, you might look forward to sorting and washing the mountains of clothes in your bedroom.
While you are at it, pick up some organizational tools. This is especially beneficial if your home has limited storage space. There are countless options, and knowing you have the right tools on hand makes dealing with clutter easier. Instead of wondering where to make everything fit, you’ll have solutions for efficient organization. Check out some of the most popular home organization tools for inspiration.
2. Tackle One Room at a Time
Trying to organize your entire home at once leads to overwhelm and makes you much less likely to complete the project. Instead, stick to cleaning and organizing one room at a time. The bathroom is an excellent place to start since most are small and not terribly difficult to tidy up. Plus, you likely have expired personal care items, old medications, products you tried but didn’t like, old cleaning products and similar things that are easy to get rid of. Starting here provides a quick sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to continue the project.
Tackle bedrooms and closets next. Then, move on to your entryway. Finally, declutter and organize your living room and kitchen. You’ll find things that belong in other rooms as you clean. Don’t take them to their correct location right away. Start a bin or even a small pile for things that need to go in other areas, and put everything away once you’ve finished decluttering a room. Taking something to another room right away pulls you away from the task at hand and throws off your momentum.
3. Edit and Take Inventory
Getting rid of things you no longer use or need is an essential step in the organizational process. Professional organizers call this step “editing.” Start by searching for obvious items to donate or trash. Some examples include personal hygiene products you purchased but didn’t like, clothing that you don’t feel confident in, books and movies you didn’t enjoy and even gifts and hand-me-downs. Instead of holding onto these things out of obligation or guilt, let them go so you can enjoy a more organized home.
Once you’ve done your editing, you should be left with significantly less stuff to deal with. If not, you might want to consider re-editing! Take inventory of what you still have, and be mindful of duplicates, outdated materials, broken things you plan to fix, etc. to identify further editing opportunities. If you take your editing seriously, your remaining inventory should only consist of things you need and regularly use, along with a few sentimental items that truly hold meaning for you.
4. Store Things Where You Use Them
Something you use in the living room is unlikely to get put away after each use if you keep it in your home office or another room. You might have good intentions, but you’ll probably end up leaving the item where you use it rather than putting it away. Save yourself from this all-too-common problem by storing things where you use them. Doing so makes cleanup easier while ensuring that you’ll be able to find things when they’re needed.
In addition to storing items where you use them, group like items together. For example, keep all of your jeans in the same drawer rather than stuffing them in various drawers at random. Store your household tools in a toolbox, keep all of your craft supplies together, store office supplies near your computer (not in the kitchen junk drawer), etc. You’ll have less trouble finding exactly what you need when you store similar items together — and you’ll likely find it easier to maintain an organized home when you know exactly where to put things. You also want to make sure that you have enough storage space at home. You can even make your home more functional and organized with cabinetry. Installing quality cabinets and drawers with sturdy drawer slides that can handle a significant amount of weight is important, especially if you’re going to store a lot of things in them.
5. Do What Works for You
There are countless ways to declutter and organize a home. The tips above are excellent starting points, but all in all, you need to figure out what organizational strategies work best for you. You’re more likely to stick to your plan if it resonates with you. So, don’t feel bad if the idea of getting rid of things that don’t “spark joy” doesn’t appeal to you or you can’t group all of your like items together for one reason or another. Everyone is different!
Whether you’re organizing a tiny studio apartment or a McMansion, getting started is the most important step. From there, it’s all about utilizing organizational strategies that work for you and committing to keeping everything tidy. Start with one small room or area and you’ll make progress faster than you think.