How to Organize Your House
Room By Room Organization
Do you feel like your house is an out-of-control mess? Is clutter getting in the way? Follow these simple tips to feel more in control of your house and your life!
Keep up with the Clutter. The number one strategy for a neat, organized house is to keep on top of it on a daily basis. Every day you are bringing things into the house--mail, school papers, store purchases, etc. The key to a neat house is to put everything in its place as soon as you walk in the door. Don't make a habit of dropping your keys, your mail, and your bags by the front door or on the kitchen table. Immediately put everything where it belongs--and train your family members to do the same!
Everything Needs a Place. When your "stuff" doesn't have a place, it will begin to clutter your home. You need a system for storing things like bills and school papers. It is a good idea to keep an "in-box" on your dresser for all of those stray papers that need your attention. Other common clutter items like books, toys, magazines, and newspapers also need to have a place--they should not be left "laying around."
One mistake that parents with young children often make is to allow their living space to turn into a toy room. If you are lucky enough to have a designated toy room, that's great. But for most people who don't have a separate toy room, it is not advisable to let your living room or dining room become a 24/7 child care center. While it may seem easier to let the toys stay out (after all, they are going to be playing with the same toys the next day, so why bother putting them away?!) it's much healthier psychologically to have living space that is clean and neat at the end of the day. You deserve to be able to take pride in a well-kept home. A big toy box or plastic bin in the corner is all you need--at end of the day, put the toys inside it and enjoy some relaxation time in your clean living room!
Throw Things Away. Clutter is often the result of a failure to throw things away. But if you want a neat, organized home you need to learn to let things go. Make a habit of throwing things away on a regular basis. If you have things that are too good to throw away, create a spot to collect items that you will donate to charity.
People often struggle with what to do with all the art projects, certificates, papers, and reports that their kids bring home from school. First of all, you need to accept that fact that you simply can't save everything--especially if you have more than one child. You can't save every scribbled crayon drawing, even if it is a masterpiece! Be selective about what you save. Get a big plastic bin for each child and use it to store the select things you want to save. Keep it in a closet where it is out of the way but you can easily get to it on a regular basis. When your child is an adult and ready for a place of their own, give them the bin to take with them. They will be glad that you saved so many of their things for them!
Tackle One Room at a Time. If you are overwhelmed with the idea of getting organized, start slowly. Tackle one room at a time over a period of weeks. Look at each room and assess what storage systems you need to put in place. You may need to purchase bins, baskets, file cabinets, etc. to help you organize. The key is for everything to have a place. Clutter is the result of not putting things in their proper places--and if there isn't a place, you need to create one. Look at each room and ask yourself what spaces need to be created so that everything can have a home.
Stop Buying Things You Don't Need. Are you a shop-a-holic? Do you buy things that you don't even need just because they are good bargains? Sometimes clutter is the result of simply having too much stuff. It's an even bigger problem if you have a small house or apartment without much storage space. If buying too much stuff has become a bad habit that is contributing to your clutter problem, set an intention to stop the behavior. Before each purchase, ask yourself if you REALLY need the item, or if you are buying it "just in case." (If your clutter problem is too big to handle on your own and/or it is making your depressed, get professional help.)
Don't Do it Alone. If you live with other people, you can't expect to keep things clean and organized on your own. After all, your spouse and children are contributing to the clutter, too! Make sure that they put bags, coats, and shoes where they belong when they come into the house. Everyone should be responsible for putting away their own stuff at the end of the day. If people are leaving books, papers, mail, and other items all over the house, call a family meeting and give everyone a ten minute deadline to put their things away. If you are finding that people aren't listening to you, try creating a "Sunday Box." Take a bin and collect up everyone's clutter. Tell them that they will get it back on Sunday. Maybe next time they will listen!
Sage Carter shares ideas, information, and advice for better living. Visit her at http://sagecarter.hubpages.com/.