Are you looking for ways to get your home organized? Are you tired and frustrated by the mess around you all the time? Are you tired of searching for the things you know you have but cannot find? Getting organized at home can help. But first you need to know where to start.
Before kids, my home was immaculate. I mean seriously immaculate! I remember one of my neighbors coming into my home and asking how I kept it so clean!
Well, things are waaayyy different now. With two kids and a dog, after school activities, and homeschooling, things just don’t get done they way the used to.
But you know what, I have found a way to manage things. It took me a while to find my mojo, but once I did, I didn’t let it go. And I want that for you. I know how overwhelming it can be to live in a messy home.
You car constantly stepping over things to get into a room, you are digging through drawers and shelves trying to find that thing that you know you bought a few weeks ago!
I get it, believe me I do. So it is time to stop the stress of living in the chaos and reclaim your home! It is time to start making your home a sancuary again!
So let’s start getting organized!
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Getting Your Home Organized: Where To Begin
When you begin organizing your home, you may feel overwhelmed and a little crippled by the mess around you. I’ve been there, but figuring out where to start will help you achieve your end goals.
Though, it is hard to just dive straight into organizing. So instead, I recommend starting by getting rid of the unnecessary things in your home.
Don’t freak out! I am going to give you some step by steps so you don’t get overwhelmed!
Many times, the reason we cannot get organized is because there is just too much stuff to fit into our homes.
So the best advice that I can give you to get organized at home and stay organized is to follow the steps below!
Step 1: Purge It With Purpose
The first step to getting your home organized: where to start, is to purge the area you are about to organize. Why? Because before you can fit the items of your home into smaller spaces like shelves, cabinets, and bins, you have to get rid of the extra stuff.
The trick I learned over the years is to purge with purpose!
PURGING WITH PURPOSE means that you go through your items one at a time, only keeping what you actually use, in or around, the space you are purging.
When you start to purge any area, whether it is one bathroom drawer or an entire closet, make sure you are storing the right items in that space.
Then, you need to divide the items of the area into categories. The categories are listed in Step 2!
Purging the contents will allow you to get everything out of the space so you can see what you actually have to work with. Then you can decide what kinds of organizational equipment will work in that space.
Purging is where you need to started on the journey to organizing your home.
Step 2: Divide It With Purpose
Next, you want to divide the items that you purged in the last step. There are 4 categories to use for this division of items, each with a very important role to help you become more organized, so stay with me!:
Pile 1: Garbage
Throw away the things you don’t use. This can actually be quite therapeutic.
If you are organizing a bathroom drawer, then you may find old makeup that is expired or you just haven’t worn since your Prom! YIKES!
Sometimes we keep things for sentimental reasons and that is fine, but if the sentiment is gone…TRASH IT! Or put it in the move pile. Becuase if you are not using it every day, you don’t need it there.
I don’t make many rules for throwing things out, I feel you know best. EXCEPT with makeup and other body products.
You need to throw those items away at certain times. Here is a list of when to throw out beauty products from Good House Keeping.
Pile 2: Donate
When I donate items, I like to make sure they are in decent shape and would function for the person receiving it. Becasue let’s face it, if they are shopping at Goodwill, they most likely need this to be in decent shape.
Some donation centers have stipulations about what they will take, but most accept anything from clothing to old toys, to outdated pictures and furniture.
You can find a donation center near you on www.Goodwill.org.
Also, if you decide to clean out your pantry, a lot of unexpired food staples can be taken to the local food pantry.
You can look up a food pantry in your area at FeedingAmerica.org.
Pile 3: Move Things With Purpose
The ‘Move Pile’ is for items that do not belong in the area you are cleaning out. If you start cleaning out your vanity drawer, you should not have a can-opener from the kitchen in there!
So… the can opener would go in the ‘move pile’.
It is a good idea, if you have things like extra tubes of mascara in your vanity drawer or extra bottles of lotion in the linen closet, that you find a different home for the extra tubes and bottles until it is time to use them.
Extra items would also go into the Move pile since they need to be house somewhere else until they are needed.
When you finally start adding organization to the area you are currently cleaning out, you will be really happy you moved the extra stuff out of that space.
This can also be a good strategy for stock products like toilet paper or paper towels. If you try to keep them all right where you use them, things will get cluttered and disorganizied. Find an “out of the way” area like the basement or supply closet to house overflow items.
You starting to mov things where they need to go is the next great step on your journey to organizing your home!
Pile 4: Keep Pile
This is where you get to hang on to all of those things that you KNOW you will use. AND they get to stay in the area you are cleaning and organizing! YEA!
Your favorite lipstick, your favorite cozy sweater. Those things get prime real estate in whatever space you are cleaning out!
Step 3: Divide Up Your Keep Pile
I don’t want this step to be confusing, because I have found it to be very very important in my own organizing. So make sure you do not skip this…
If you are organizing your closet, your “keep pile” may turn into many piles… such as sweaters, sweatshirts, nice shirts, casual shirts, pants, scarfs, shoes, and button downs.
If you are organizing a makeup drawer, your new piles may be… lip makeup, eye makeup, face makeup, makeup brushes… you get the idea.
This is an ESSENTIAL step! The extra division will help you as you get closer to actually putting things away and organizing it for accessibility!
Step 4: Visualization…for Ultimate Accessibility
This is the part where you actually start to make things work for you.
By putting some thought into how you want the space to function you can create Ultimate Accessibility!
Visualize the space that you just emptied out.
Think of the categories that you just divided your keep pile into.
Examples Questions To Ask Yourself…
Say you are visualizing your closet…
What do you use most often?
Would you rather fold your sweaters or hang them?
Do you need some shelves in the closet?
Would it be better to use this space for something completely different than you have been?
If it a drawer you are organizing…same concept.
What do you use most often?
Maybe your favorite lip gloss, mascara, and powder are the things you wear most so you want them to be the easiest to get to — A.K.A the front of the drawer.
Making things accessible is incredibly important with organization. It is the one thing that will save you time in the long run and benefit you the most!
If you wear t-shirts and sweatpants every day, don’t put them in the back of the closet or in a bottom drawer.
Keep the things you love and use often in easily accessible spaces—A.K.A. in the front of the closet or in the most accessible drawer of the dresser.
That way when it is time to throw on your clothes… on that ONE morning that everyone slept in… and then you realize that little Jimmy has a doctor’s appointment in 30 minutes across town!!
You can get to what you need to get out the door… quickly and easily.
And hopefully, you won’t be quite as late as you would have been !
Step 5: Finally! Put It All Away! This is where you start Organizing your home!
That’s right, it is time to put your keep pile away!
As you begin putting things away, notice how your items fit in the space.
Let’s use the makeup drawer in your vanity as an example again. Most likely when you started this process, the drawer was a huge mess of makeup and you could never find what you were looking for.
Instead of letting the makeup all jumble and roll around together again, try adding something that will keep them separated.
Remember how we divided our keep pile into sections like lip makeup, face makeup, etc? Well, find a few small bins at the dollar store that will help you keep your categories separate. Here is a look at my own two vanity drawers.
When you use the process of creating categories and a system to keep those categories separated, you will find that your organized home actually stays organized!
This system also works in your closets. Label bins for your sheet sets in the linen closet. Buy a hanging pants rack for your pants in your closet. Label bins in your pantry for different items you use regularly, like kids snacks and pasta.
And when you put everything back in the drawer or the closet I bet you will notice three things.
First, how much less stuff you have…which is always a fantastic feeling!
Second, how nice and neat everything looks.
And third, how Empowered you feel!
You just took control of your clutter and figured out where to start organizing your home! You showed it who was boss and told it that it wasn’t going to slow you down or make you unhappy any longer!
Pat yourself on the back! You did it! It was a big job, but look how incredible it looks now! Look how incredibly FUNCTIONAL it is now!
You can use these 5 basic steps to organize any part of your home!
If you are not quite there yet, check out these other posts to inspire you:
P.S.~ If you need ideas about getting rid of your clutter first! Check out …