If your home is not as neat and organized as you would like it to be, it may take a major initial push to get it that way. Schedule yourself some time to get started. If you cannot do the whole house at once, go room by room on subsequent weekends. Enlist help from friends or family members if you can, but only if they have the same vision you do and will join in wholeheartedly. Otherwise, it is best to have them out of the way.
Before you begin, make a plan. Decide how you would like your home to be and work towards that ideal. Assemble the tools for the job. You will need cleaning products such as a duster, broom, and vacuum cleaner. You will also need containers for sorting, including a garbage can for real garbage, another for recyclable items, and boxes for charity give-away items.
Purge Unneeded Items
The first step in organization is to ruthlessly purge whatever you do not need. Consider getting rid of the shoes and clothes you and your family members have not worn in the past few years. If there are books on your shelves that nobody is likely to read, sell them at a used bookstore or toss them in a library donation bin. Anything that seems to have no practical value and looks like garbage probably is garbage. Doing the purging first makes it easier to organize what is left.
Find a Place for Everything
Everything you need or want to keep needs to have a specifically designated space. Go room by room. As you sort, categorize everything. Set aside anything that has found its way into the wrong room. The hanging space in your closets looks much more attractive if it is not crammed with unused clothes. Seasonal clothing items are best banished to trunks in the attic or basement, but if you do not have these storage areas, you can innovate. Use wicker or plastic bins that can be slid under beds or stored on closet floors. If drawer space is not sufficient for socks and underwear, use mesh baskets on closet shelves. In drawers, separate clothes according to function and keep them folded. For small items like jewelry and makeup, use drawer organizers. Each room of the house can be categorized and organized in a similar fashion. In the kitchen, add extra shelves if necessary, and sort everything according to function and day-to-day utility. Move occasionally used items like turkey roasters to the pantry in storage bins.
If you live in tight quarters, you need to maximize the space you have. Use free wall space for shelves. Corner shelves are a very efficient use of space. As a long-term project, take a close look at your furniture and be sure it is space-efficient. Beds should have storage space underneath. Dressers and cabinets should be vertical and not horizontal. Have a coffee table that opens up and has storage space inside. In addition, light wall colors and plenty of light from windows and fixtures help create an illusion of more space.
Once you have done the major work of reorganizing your home, it is important to try to keep it that way by keeping everything where it is supposed to be. Also designate a time for monthly organization maintenance to pick up and return all stray items to their proper places.
This article was provided by Kelly Elder, live-in nanny and self-professed ‘neat freak’. If you’re looking to take control of your disorganized home, Kelly recommends garage organization systems from Cutting Edge Closets.