How to Organize Your Home
I'm here to help you get organized.
My sister recently moved to a new apartment. In the process of the move she realized (as many of us do) that she had a lot of clutter. She called to ask for my advice and then said that I should write an article about how to declutter.
I was surprised that I had not thought of it before because in college I had a company called Klutter Busters. I would go into people’s houses and help them get organized. I did not organize it for them but helped them get it in order. This way I could get it decluttered according to their needs and I was able to give them tips on keeping their homes in order. Below are six steps you can take to organize your own living space.
1. Pick A Room, Any Room
When you’re ready to declutter your house you first need to choose a room to start in. It is much easier to organize a home one room at a time than to try doing it all at once. The question then becomes; what room do you choose?
The answer to this question actually depends a lot on your personality and what motivates you. You can start with the least cluttered room and then you will have a goal that you can meet and celebrate quickly. It will be a good motivation to keep going. You can then go to the next least and so on, continuing to be motivated by each accomplishment.
You could also start with the most cluttered room. This is a goal that will initially take a little longer to reach but once it is accomplished, you will have the knowledge that you have completed the most difficult room first and that every room after that will be easier.
Yet another option is to take a look at which room needs to be decluttered the soonest. Maybe you have company coming over soon so you need to get the family room organized, or perhaps, you are starting your own business so you need to clean out that guest room you’ve been using for storage in order to set up an office.
Whatever your motivation, use it to help you decide where to start. The most important thing is that you start with one room at a time so that you do not become overwhelmed.
2. Making Plans
Once you’ve chosen a room to declutter you’ll want to look around and decide where in the room to start, as well as, what you want it to look like when you are done.
Think about the purpose of the room and how you can make it more functional and more stylish. The way you choose to style or decorate a room can have a huge effect on how organized it looks and how organized it stays in the long run.
If you can see in your mind’s eye the way you want the room laid out that is great! If you have trouble mapping things out in your head then get out some paper, make some measurements for your furniture and map everything out. How you go about planning out the room is not as important as what you need to remember as you plan it out.
Here are some things to think about:
· What is the purpose of the room?
Make sure everything you put in that room fits the purpose of it so that it is clear.
· What furniture or storage will you need?
Look at how much storage is already in the room and assess how much more you may need. Ensure that the furniture and storage you may add to the room actually fits in it. Take some measurements to be sure. A room crowded with furniture looks cluttered even when it’s not.
· How do you want to decorate it?
This is where you can think about combining your usage, or storage, needs for the room with how you want it decorated. For example, let’s say you are working on your bedroom and you want a place to keep books but you do not want a bookshelf. You can find a storage ottoman. This would hold your favorite books without taking away from the coziness of the room. Storage ottomans are so popular now that you can probably find one in any style you want.
· What are you going to do with the items you don’t want to keep?
There are going to be a lot of items that you do not want to keep. There should be, that is a big key to decluttering. One great way to get rid of your extra stuff is to have a garage sale. Just remember that you should donate whatever is not sold. Don’t hang on to it for the next sale because that might not happen. Another great option is to donate it directly.
3. Move Out!
Time for a little demolition! Who doesn’t love that? Okay so start at one corner of the room and remove all the big stuff that is easy to move; so chairs, tables, bookshelves etc. Moving these items out of the way will give you more room to work and will give you a better view of the room itself.
Moving the larger items out of the room also gives you the opportunity to get rid those pieces you do not want to keep.Remember too much furniture can make it look cluttered. Put the things you do not want to keep in your garage or donate it to charity now, rather than later, so that you do not end up putting it back in the room.
Next remove any other items that you know you do not want. Get them up and out of the room right away and either throw them out or place them with other items you are donating or selling.
Removing these items may make a bigger change than you expect and that can be very motivating to see. It’s especially great when you realize that you do not have much left to go through after the demolition.
4. Declutter and Organize
Take a look at what is left in the room now that you have removed the larger items. As I stated before, you may not have much left. If you still have a lot of stuff do not get discouraged or ashamed. You are taking the steps you need to organize the space and that is what matters.
The key part of this step is to make space for three different piles of items. The first pile is going to be those things that need to stay in that particular room. Keep in mind that it should fit the purpose of the room.
The second will be for those items that belong in other rooms of your home. I have found that when people have clutter in a particular room a lot of it is stuff that just needs to be moved to a different part of the house. If this is the case do not walk around the house right away to put it where it belongs. This can lead to distraction and it is not very efficient. Instead, put all these items in one pile and when you are done going through everything in that part of the room you can distribute those things all at once.
The third pile is for those things you no longer want or need. Depending on how much clutter you have in your home, this should be the biggest of the three piles. Think about whether or not you really need some of the items you find. If it is something you never used, you probably do not need it. If it is something you forgot you had, maybe there is a reason you forgot about it. It may be an item you used a lot at one time but haven’t used in a year or so. Chances are you are not going to use it again. These are the items you either want to sell or give away.
Once you’ve gone through everything in the first corner of the room, move on to the next and continue until you have cleaned out and organized the entire room.
5. Start New!
Now that the room is cleaned out it is time to update it and make it your own. This is a great time to add a new paint color, or new area rug, drapes etc. Even just changing a picture frame or two can make the room new and different.
After the paint dries and the pictures are hung, start putting the room back together. However you want to make sure that it is different than it was before. If the room collected clutter previously, it may be because of the way it was set up. Setting up the room in a new way can also remind you that you’ve done more than just clean the room; you’ve made a positive change in your life and home. It is a fresh start for you and your family and you want to be able to feel that when you walk in the room.
While you put the room together remember the purpose of the room and ensure that the items going into it fit its purpose. This is especially important when it comes to purchasing any furniture or storage items you need. First of all, make sure that you really need any new furniture or storage you add to the room. You do not want anything in there you are not going to use because then it becomes clutter, something you do not want after working so hard to get rid of it.
When it is all over, take some time to relax and even celebrate a little in your new room. Once the whole house is decluttered it is time to have some friends and family over to celebrate the fact that you have reached your goal!! It’ll be like living in a whole new house so have some fun with it!
Clutter is something we all struggle with from time to time. Do not let it get you down and do not feel ashamed. Just remember that you can always change it. It takes some time and effort (one small room takes about a day) but it is worth all the work to enjoy your home again.
Take a look at the before and after pictures above and get inspired! I will add more as I find them.
Try out these organizing tips and let me know what you think!
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