Organize! Organize! Organize!
Do you struggle with home organization solutions? Did you make a resolution to get organize or declutter this year? You’re not alone!
One of the things I try to do several times a year is organize the “high traffic” areas of my home. Whether its my closet, garage, kitchen or any other room in my house, it’s important to me to keep clutter at bay and get rid of items I don’t need, use or want any longer.
Sometimes I’m motivated to take everything out of my closet, reorganize, clean and donate unwanted things. But boy is that a BIG job! Most of the time I just try to focus on one shelf, drawer or cabinet at a time, occasionally tackling an entire room.
With that being said, my kitchen was WAY overdue for a massive cleanout. Everything from dishes, cooking and serving pieces, food, spices, it all needed to be cleaned out and reorganized. I took everything out of my cabinets. Literally, everything! I created such a mess by doing this but it was well worth it in the long run because when it was all said and done, I donated a full box of dishes and kitchenware to charity; I trashed lots of cooking & baking products and minimized excess spices and seasonings.
I went from feeling like I had no room in my cupboards (they really were filled to the rim!), to having TWO FULL CABINETS THAT ARE NOW EMPTY! Can I get a hallelujah?! How on earth? Well, I attribute the bulging disaray to a) loving dishes and not being able to pass them up especially when they’re a bargain-hello! who’s with me? b) not having items organized c) poor use of space.
Here’s an example:
I told you I created a mess! This is everything that I pulled out of the cabinet that gave me the most trouble. I don’t have a pantry, so I have to use kitchen cabinets for most of my food storage.
This cabinet below housed all of the food items you see pictured above; all the way back there on the far right is a dead zone in the cabinet. Anything that gets pushed back to that area is gone forever because it’s not visible. I’ve tried putting baskets, racks, bins, etc. back there but it inevitably always disappears and we all know what’s out of sight is out of mind.
Instead of using it for food storage, I decided it was much better suited for dishes. Especially those that don’t get used every day but you still want them to be easily accessible-like the margarita pitcher-which I placed in the deep abys of the cabinet but can still be seen and retrieved when taco Tuesday rolls around and I want to make a pitcher of margs! Other pieces that are used frequently are within easy reach making it so much more functional. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!
By using stackable shelves and baskets, everything stays visible, accessible and neatly organized.
Grouping like items together and placing frequently used items within easy reach creates great function.
By using baskets, trays and bins filled with like items such as baking products, spices and seasonings you make it easy to access, visually appealing and decrease the possibility of purchasing excess product since everything has its place leaving nothing hidden.
I love the feeling of having a well organized home; now that I tackled the kitchen, it’s time to move on to the other rooms of the house. Lord help me when I clean the garage out this year! I’ve decided to purge a lot of items I’ve been holding onto for years thinking I will “get to them” but have not had the time. I know myself well enough to know that two days after I rid the space of these items I will need one (or all) of the items I get rid of (sigh). I’m having heart palpitations just thinking about it!
Here are a few tips for tackling a major organizational project.
Home Organization Solutions:
- Allot yourself plenty of time to complete the project. The last thing you want to do is create a mess and leave it that way for any length of time.
- If you don’t have time to do the whole room or space, devote adequate time to complete one drawer, cabinet or shelf. Do one a day until you’ve completed the entire space.
- Go in with the mindset you probably have things that you need to purge, be willing to get rid of things.
- Keep a box or storage bin in the garage or someplace easily accessed for ongoing items to be donated. Once the box is full, take the contents to your favorite charity drop off.
- Have at least one box or tub dedicated to things you will donate, sell and throw away.
- Empty everything. This is a tough one because most of us want to do a quick fix. If you truly want to make the most of your efforts, it’s best to get it all out there where you can see it, group it and organize it.
- Group like items together. For instance, when I reorganized my kitchen cabinets, I put all “morning” items in one cabinet. So, all coffee, tea, cereal, breakfast foods, etc. are housed there. The same is true when organizing any room/area of your house.
- Put items back in their place every time you finish using it. This goes for spices, tools, hairspray, all of it!
- Label boxes, bins, baskets, etc. if you cannot see the contents. It’s a useful visual aid so you don’t forget what’s inside and end up purchasing more of what you already have.
- Maximize space by using organizing aides on those problematic areas: use baskets, clear tubs or bins on shelves; use drawer organizers or dividers for large drawers or makeup drawers.
Now lets look at home organization solutions for each of the high traffic areas of your home.
The items below are affiliate links for your convenience, you can find similar items at IKEA, big box stores, container store, etc.
Kitchen Organization Solutions
I love these items for additional kitchen organizational solutions. If you lack storage for skillets, dishes, baking sheets, cutting boards, etc. these items can make a huge impact in your space with little impact to your wallet!
Oh, the blessed closet! Don’t we all wish we had that dream closet full of custom drawers, shelves and cabinets beautifully accented with a massive area rug and chandelier? They seem to be the catch all drop zone, one of the hardest spaces to maintain. Remember the tips I mentioned previously, in a closet especially, it’s critical to group like items together NOT color coordinated. When grouping items together by color, it certainly is visually appealing but it isn’t practical. It’s much more efficient to group all jeans, pants, skirts together; all blouses; dresses; shoes. All should have a designated space grouped together. These items can help keep everything in its place even in the smallest of spaces.
In my mind, the bathroom is probably one of the easiest spaces to organize. It’s also the easiest to accumulate unnecessary items. Do you really need 12 bottles of lotion? Or 20 eyeshadows? Unless you’re a masseuse or makeup artist, I doubt it. This is where purging comes in extremely handy. If it’s old, broken, unused in a year, do yourself a favor and toss it. Place like items in bins and baskets; use a stand like below to store all of your hairstyling instruments and products; use pretty trays and glass jars to display frequently used items such as cotton balls, swabs, etc. Don’t forget to put it all away when you’re finished! The bathroom is the most untidy place in the entire house but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll be glad you put it all away every time you go in there because it will be clean and clutter free. Try several of these items for the most problematic areas of your space.
Garage organization is so personal because it’s completely dependent upon your lifestyle. Some people have plenty of attic storage for all those holiday decorations and others have to store that in their garage. Some folks enjoy golfing or bike riding which requires their own storage solutions. Whatever your lifestyle is, sticking with my philosophy of grouping like items together is key to great organizational solutions. Create a place for everything and put everything in it’s place.
Keeping your home organized, especially with busy families, can be a full time job. Get everyone in your home onboard and accustomed to keeping things put in their place and not only will your house run more smoothly but your will notice a difference in the way you feel about your home. You won’t have a heaviness or overwhelming feeling and you will enjoy coming home to a tidy, well organized space!
Until next time friends,