If you’ve ever spent time digging around in your closet trying to find an extension cord or rummaging through your junk drawer trying to find a pen that works, you know the frustration of disorganization. The fundamental slogan of organization is, “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” but that maxim isn’t easy to follow when you don’t know where to begin. Here are some of our tips to getting started on getting your clutter under control.
Make Long-Term Plans
Probably the most important thing to consider when you begin organizing your home is whether you need short-term or long-term storage solutions. To put it another way: are the items you’re organizing things that you need to regularly have access to, or are they items you can easily put out of sight and out of mind for several months? Some items like holiday decorations can be safely put out of the way for an extended period of time in a garage or storage closet. Since you won’t be checking on them often, you want to try and weather-proof them. Putting these items in large plastic storage bins should protect them from insect activity or damp weather. Be sure to label the bins for ease of identification later on down the line.
Make Your Furniture Multifunctional
If you live in a place where storage is hard to come by, you can make your furniture pull double duty. There are tons of options to expand your storage space with a little creativity. We love beds with built-in drawers underneath. Not only does it give you extra storage space, it makes it so that detritus can’t accumulate under the bed. If you’re not looking to invest in a new bed and you have some DIY skills, you can make your own rolling drawers out of wooden crates and casters. Don’t forget to affix a handle to the end so you can pull them out more easily.
Storage ottomans are kind of a big trend in decorating right now. Footstools in general are already pretty multifunctional in that you normally use them to prop your feet up, but they can also serve as alternate seating for guests. Storage ottomans triple the functionality by offering a great place to stash books, blankets, the remote control, or whatever else you need to keep out of sight. Storage sectionals are also becoming more and more on-trend: typically, the chaise part flips up to reveal a hollow center. A wooden bench with storage in the seat on one side of your kitchen table, on the other hand, is a timeless classic.
If kitchen drawer space is at a premium, you don’t have to resign yourself to having chaotic drawers crammed full of stuff. Install a pegboard on a kitchen wall and display your measuring cups, measuring spoons, spatulas, serving spoons, and more. It will add a bit of creative flair to your decor, free up some much-needed room, and also provide easy access to the tools you use most when cooking.
You can also apply a similar principle to the rest of your home. A lot of times we end up cluttering our counter space with things we use every day but don’t have a true designated place for. Install hooks by your front door so you can hang up purses, kids’ backpacks, jackets and sweaters, keys, etc. Hooks can also help squash family squabbles. Get hooks personalized with the first initial of each family member so everyone has a spot to hang their towels. It’s a simple and effective way to keep damp towels off the floor.
Organization isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition: in order to adapt a system on your own, it helps to understand some overarching principles. These tips should make it easier for you to formulate a game plan. Overall, you’ll have the most success if you get creative, and if you work out a system that will suit your lifestyle. Getting organized won’t happen overnight, but it’s so worth it when it all comes together.