Dealing with your cluttered closet, messy living spaces and chaotic cabinets? Good thing you don’t have to live this way. Here’s how to make your home feel remotely liveable again.
Step 1: Commit to organizing your house.
You won’t finish the project if you organize a few things here or there. To get a really organized home, you need to plan to cover your entire home. Make a list of the rooms in your house and decide exactly when you’ll organize each one. Start researching organization ideas — half the battle is deciding what approach to organization works best for your space, lifestyle and personality. And hire a home organizer who can create a custom plan for you. They can give you advice specific to your home and give you an outsider’s perspective when you’re attached to something you need to let go.
Step 2: Get rid of everything you’re not keeping.
A professional organizer’s first rule is to get rid of absolutely everything you don’t need first. You can’t have a clutter-free home until you throw out all the things that are unusable, expired or outdated. That means the ragged towels and orphaned pillow cases stuffed in your linen closet, the spices in your kitchen that are so old they don’t even smell like anything anymore and the mismatched Tupperware filling your kitchen cabinets. It all has to go — and it will feel real good to throw it all away.
Step 3: Try these organizing ideas in every room.
Before you tackle each room, remember these rules:
- Make things you use often visible and accessible
- Keep things you use in each room in that room
- Only buy storage accessories you can’t make out of something else
- Clear storage containers, hooks and drawer dividers are your allies
The key to clean rooms is having a place for everything. Find a rack for magazines, a caddy for remote controls, a bin for toys. Don’t go wild on throw pillows — they end up on the floor. Stow board games or books you’re currently reading in covered cabinets or a storage ottoman. Get shelves installed in the bedroom or buy nightstand drawers for more storage. Remember, organizing your home is also an opportunity to decorate it. Interior designers can make great recommendations for furniture that is both functional and stylish.
Step 4: Get your counter space back.
It’s too easy to stuff things in cabinets and pile up your counters with things you haven’t found a place for. But your counters are supposed to be for prep space — not storage. Install a lazy susan drawer in the kitchen to make pantry items easier to get. Mount a wall shelf in the bathroom to keep clean towels within reach. Look for space-saving devices and storage supplies, and hire a handyman to make it happen.
Step 5: Don’t let your hard work go to waste.
Yeah, this is going to get emotional. You’ll want to hold onto that dress that fit you before you had kids, the tennis racket you used all the time before work got hectic (10 years ago), the book from college that you’ve been meaning to re-read. We allow clutter to accumulate is that many objects have sentimental value. But keeping things that take up space and serve no purpose doesn’t help. Say goodbye, grieve the wasted time and money if you have to, but don’t miss the opportunity to learn what really matters to you. And if you’re worried that the mess will come back (hey, you’re only human), consider hiring a house cleaner to keep your newly organized home clean, fresh and clutter-free.