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Reversing a Dirty House: Cleaning up the Mess

Updated on December 21, 2019

Have you been looking around your house lately and realizing that you really have a giant cluttered mess of a home? If you’ve already got a mess to tackle, then that should be your first priority. Any kind of organization is good organization, so try to separate your mess into more manageable piles. The messier your house is, the more likely that it’s going to seem like an epic undertaking, so work on it piece by piece. Focus on one area in your home at a time, and set goals so that it doesn’t seem like it is so much effort and work.

Do: Remain optimistic and tackle the journey to a clean your home room by room. It’s always easier to deal with big projects when you divide them into smaller projects. Buy some organizational tools to help you along the way and don’t lose sight of hope.

Don’t: Overspend on anything. You don’t want to buy too many organizational tools, like totes or boxes, because whatever you don’t use will become clutter and that just contradicts your purpose.

Once you’ve chosen the area that you’re going to focus on, try to organize what you’re looking at. Keep a bin for donations and a bag for trash handy, that way you can take care of it all at the same time instead of just moving things around. You can package anything up that you won’t be needing on a daily basis and store it out of site, that way it doesn’t clutter up the space that you have available for things that you will need every day. Keep it as organized as possible, so that when you have to go searching for something that you’ve put away, you know where to go to find it. Labeling things can make it that much easier, though it’s not a requirement.

When you’re down to looking at just the things that you want to keep out, then it’s time to bring out the big guns. Take care of the easy stuff first. If you have books, get them organized on a bookshelf. If you have collectibles that you’d like to show off, get them set up wherever it is that you want to show them. Once you’ve got all the trash, items for donation, and the obvious stuff put away, you should be left with random little odds and ends. Usually, these odds and ends are things that you should think twice about. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself if you’re looking at things that you really need to have in your home. If the answer is no, donate them or throw them away. If the answer is yes, then you have to find somewhere to house these things.

Once you’ve finished off one section of your home, you can move on to another until you’ve got one full clean room. Congratulate yourself, because you should never lose sight of the fact that it’s a big step and a long undertaking. You’re doing this for yourself, so it’s worth the effort, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t give yourself a few pats on the back along the way.

General Organizational Tools

If you’ve got an abundance of stuff piling up around your house with no place to put it, what do you do with it? Organizational tools are of the most important things that you can use to help keep your home clutter-free. These can range from small drawer organizers to full totes. Before you go out shopping, it’s best to look through your stuff a little bit so that you have a decent idea of what you’ll need. There is no need to overspend on organizational tools, because they’re useless unless you need them. If you want to organize your cleaning process, you can buy yourself a calendar or daily planner and set goals for yourself, then document how far you’ve gotten. It helps you remember how you want to tackle the project, and serves as inspiration when it looks like there’s way too much work left to do.

The first thing that I always suggest for those that need to clear clutter in their home is plastic totes. They’re like giant Tupperware containers for your belongings. I use mine for clothes; I have one for underwear and socks, one for pajamas, one for t-shirts, and one for pants. You can also use them to host your out of season clothing, so that you don’t have to push aside large jackets in the summer while looking through your closet for your favorite tank top. I also put all of my craft stuff into them, and I have another for Christmas decorations. Their simple shape makes them easy to store, they come with tops so you don’t have to worry about anything getting into your stuff, and they’re easy to label if you want to go the extra mile.

Another good idea when it comes to getting things organized and clutter-free is a chore chart. It’s especially useful if you live in a home with your family, or roommates. You can write out all of the chores that need to be done and then dole them out equally so that everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing on a weekly basis to help keep the house clean. All you really need is a simple piece of paper, but if you look around you can find some more aesthetically pleasing options.

One of the easiest ways to add clutter to your home is paperwork. There are a lot of things that just can’t be thrown away, so if you don’t have a proper place to put them and store them, they can easily clutter up your flat surfaces. Take a look at the paperwork that you have sitting around your house and decide how much space you’re going to need. Most people only need one multi-folder device to hold their important paper work. It makes it easy to file away your paperwork and label the little niches so that you know what’s inside of them. For those with a bigger need for paper work organization might want to look into a filing cabinet; whether it be something that you use one of your computer desk cabinets for or you actually go out and buy a new one. Not only will you get your paper work out of the way but you’ll be able to keep it safe and organized so it’s easy to find when you need it.

There is a wide variety of other little organizational tools that can make cleaning, organizing and remaining free of clutter a simple task. For those with a lot of jewelry, a jewelry tree might be a good investment. They come in many different shapes and sizes. You can get something that you can put on display on your dresser, or something that you can hide in a dresser. There are even different ones that you can attach to your wall so that you can display your jewelry on your wall without taking up valuable counter space. You can find ones that match your interests and decorative style, so that they look like they’ve always been a part of your room.

Jewelry isn’t the only thing that can easily clutter a room. Shoes are another big thing, especially if you have a lot of them. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and styles, so you’re sure to find one that matches your needs. Some of the easiest ones can be laid across the bottom of your closet, and look like little stairs that you can use to host your shoes. If you don’t have room for that, there are other varieties as well. If you want to keep to using your closet to store your shoes, there is a hanging shoe tree that you can hang as though it were a regular hanger. Another variety can be hung on any door, so that you can use that surface for your shoe organization needs.

What about the rest of your smaller possessions? Jewelry and shoe trees aren’t the only space savers for your smaller items. There are cabinet and drawer organizers that you can slide into your storage spaces to make them more organized and effective. They put little dividers into the storage space that you already have so that you can use it more effectively. With these, there’s no more opening a drawer and having to sift through a clutter of little things. Everything will have its own place, which will make it easier to find and nicer to look at.

Organizing Your Collectibles

Are your collectibles messy and all over the place? Do you need a little TLC to make your collection look as special as it feels to you? From coins to clocks and everything in between, this guide will show you how to begin the process of organizing your collectible items.


The first thing that you need to do is to ask yourself how you want to view your collectibles. Do you want to display them out in the open? In that case, you'll have to find some means of presentation that isn't just lining them up in a straight row on whatever clear surface you may have available. Do you want your collectibles to look creative or do you just want them displayed for organizational means? If you're collecting things like figurines, do you want them to be in action poses or do you want them in organized rows?


The next step is to categorize your collectibles so that you can group your collectibles together while coming up with your ideas for displaying them. If you want them to be neat, you can organize them into categories. An example would be displaying your coin collection by year, which would give them a museum-like feel while making it easy to keep them neat and tidy. If you collect action figures, you can recreate scenes from the appropriate work, though it's important to make sure to have boundaries between each scene to avoid making your collection look messy. If you’re recreating scenes that these action figure characters participated in, then you want to make sure that it’s obvious and doesn’t just look like a messy shuffle.

The third step is to invest in organizational accessories. If you've got a collection with larger objects, going with display stands and/or risers would allow for more space and a better look. Shelves are an appropriate accessory for almost any collection because they help raise your collectibles to eye level for easy viewing. You can buy little stands for each of your collectible figures as well, so that if you decide that you want to display them out of their boxes, you can be sure that they stay in the position that you want to display them in. If you collect coins or cards, you should consider coin or card books to protect and neatly display your collection. Of course, there is an abundance of different things that you can buy that will help you organize and display your collections. It might be a good idea to go visit a hobby shop so that you can look at all of the different things that are offered, so that you are sure that you’re putting money into something that will work better than anything else for you. Remember that this is your collection, this means something to you. So you don’t want to settle when there might be something that will work better for you.

How can you effectively organize your collectibles without it looking way too neat and tidy to be personal? You can also mix and match your collectibles, which'll create more a more creative and personal presentation. For example, don't keep comics in one place and posters in another. You can create shelves in tribute for your favorite characters, comics, movies, or people. If you really want to get creative while doing this, you can also add things like collectible stickers or other appropriate items around the center to make your collectibles appear more interesting if you're interested in displaying them. Think about what these collectibles mean to you and what space you have to host them. You can recreate the styling that reminds you of where your collectibles came from. Or you can incorporate it into the decorative style that your home already provides. Make it something that you will be happy to look at every day, because they will always be there.

Keep creativity in mind when you’re trying to decide what to do with your collectibles. If the above steps don't work for you, you can find numerous other ways of erecting shelves and tables for your collectibles or even consider using an entire room for them. In any case, you should always take into consideration how much space you have. You can also look at other people's collections and get inspired like that.


Organizing your collection on paper might also be good idea because keeping a list of what you have and what you don't have is a good way of avoiding buying the same thing twice. It also makes it easy to figure out if something goes missing, and it can help you keep track of everything if you ever move. You can keep track of your collectibles using computer programs like Word or Excel. Depending on your collectibles, there might also be websites befitted to your specific tastes.

Organizing Your Closet

There's no point in owning the latest and greatest in fashion trends if you can't find what you’re looking for in your closet when you go to look for it. A tidy, well-organized closet allows for the easy location of all of your favorite things and stops you from cluttering the rest of your home with your clothing and other personal items. A closet is a hefty tool when it comes to keeping your home clutter-free because it opens up a nearly endless supply of storage space. Even better, it’s conveniently located behind a door, so it means that you can store things that you need to keep close while also keeping everything out of sight. However, as useful as it may be, the task of organizing your closet might seem like a daunting one, but at the end of the day it will be well worth all of the effort that you put into it.

What if you’re not satisfied with what you have at your deposal? What if you need some professional help? Depending on the amount of clutter that has collected inside of your closet and the amount of new things that you want to store inside of it, it might be too much for you to organize on your own and in that case, calling a professional might be an appropriate plan of action. It could be more affordable than you think. Not only can you find someone that will help you organize your personal belongings so that they fit into your closet better, they can also help you design a new closet that will better suit your needs. Major closet companies can design your dream closet in a way that fits both your style and your budget. Professionals suggest setting your closet up in a way that allows you to see your purchases. Using slim hangers is also a good idea because it gives you twice the space that plastic or wooden hangers would.

Hiring a professional isn’t for everyone, so if you want to deal with reorganizing your closet on your own, then it will be easier if you make a plan. Take a look at everything that you want to put into your closet and everything that you have at your disposal that you can use to organize it with. It’s easier to tackle a big project like this if you have a plan of action already set out and ready to go. That way you’ll know what you’re doing when you start digging into everything.

The first step to making sure that your closet ready to give you its full potential is to get rid of old clothes that you no longer wear. While it might not be an easy task, it's necessary to freeing up valuable reality in your wardrobe. It might be a good idea to donate anything that hasn't been worn in a few years that has little or no monetary or sentimental value. Clothes that are one or two sizes too large or two small need to go too. An effective way to decide what you want to keep and what you don't want to keep is to ask yourself if you'd buy that article of clothing today and if not, you're most likely better off getting rid of it. You can donate all of the clothes that you want to get rid of, so that someone less fortunate can make use of them.

For the clothes that are still out of season that you plan on continuing to wear when the weather is right, it might be easier to organize them if you remove them from your closet. Wherever you decide to put them, there are storage bags that you can use to reduce the amount of space your clothing takes up. You can fold up the clothes that you want to pack away, stick them in the bag, and then vacuum all of the air out of it so that it reduces in size. Then you can be sure that you’re not wasting space and making the most of what you have when you put it all away.

The next step is to start organizing you clothes so that it will be easier to put them all away in the most organized way. Different articles of clothing are organized differently. If you've got the space, experts suggest hanging everything set up so that you can see it all, because if you can see it, chances are you'll wear it more. Very heaver sweaters should be folded so they don't lose their shape whilst on a hanger. Using cedar hangers can prevent moths from finding a home within your wool and cashmere sweaters and experts suggest replacing the cedar every six months. Color coding sweaters by weight with dividers can also help with your organizational needs. A sweater folding board can help you achieve perfect creases. The organization of jeans is based on your personal choice and preference. You can organize them by cut, color, brand, style, size or various other options. You can also hang them by the hem and organize them from light to dark.

Pants, skirts and shorts, oh my! A good way to organize your pants, skirts and shorts is to hang them using clips and fold the sides in, making for a more uniform look and a neater look overall for your entire wardrobe.

Some experts recommend hanging dresses by length and others recommend hanging them by color. You can also organize them by type, such as strapless to long sleeve. It's not a good idea to leave your dresses in garment or dry cleaning bags because the chemicals can cause damage. You can also use length and season as a means to organize your dresses.

Purses are better out of their dust bags and on display because it's more difficult to change bags when you aren't able to see what you're working with to begin with. Generally, purses don't get damaged whilst out of their dust bags so you can enjoy the view without having to worry about any negative consequences. Organizing your scarves by color and material makes it easy to pull a single scarf out without messing up the organization of the others. For hats, keeping them in hat boxes while having a photo of each hat on the outside of the box can free up space.

Shoes can be organized by style and by color with one toe out and the other heel out so that you can easily see what you're planning on wearing. Tennis shoes and flip flops, which are somewhat unsightly, can be hidden in the less visible places of your closet.

You can organize lingerie by color and type. You can rotate bras and underwear so that you aren't always wearing the same pairs all the time. You can line your drawers in silk to avoid getting your garments snagged on any loose splinters.

If you don’t decide to use a jewelry tree, a built-in drawer in your closet for your jewelry can help you keep everything neat and in one place, in addition to enabling you to see what you have while keeping it hidden from plain sight at the same time.

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