Clutter may be a sign of a creative mind, but an organized home can make you feel better, according to WebMD. It happens to the best of us. With busy lifestyles, stopping to get organized takes time that you might not think you have. But with a few new home organizing habits woven into your routine, decluttering might be simpler than you think.
Here are 7 tips for tackling the problem areas in your home:
Home Organizing Tip #1: Keep Paperwork Together
Bills, letters and other papers can stack up or get rumpled and lost without a dedicated spot. Binders with plastic sleeve inserts are the perfect solution. Plastic sleeves let you slide in papers without punching holes. And binders stand neatly on a bookshelf.
More and more people are avoiding paper altogether by storing information, like utility bills, product installation manuals and warranties, online. If you like storing information in folders, then DropBox.com is probably a solution you will like (we use it to share photos across our team at Home Tips for Women). If you are comfortable storing information as single pages/documents and tagging them for search, Evernote.com might work better for you.
Home Organizing Tip #2: Make Mornings Neater
A caddy filled with everything you use in the morning can help keep your bathroom counter clutter free. A blow dryer, hair brushes, curling irons, styling products and everything else fit neatly inside. And when you're finished, the whole caddy can go under the sink or in a closet.
But what if you don't like having to put the caddy away? You have 3 choices to avoid bathroom clutter, all of which require creating someplace to store everything:
- Wall organizers are great because they leave you with the most counter space, but you'll have to look at it all the time.
- A counter top caddy might work but from experience, I find things start to collect around the caddy.
- A hand-held, storage caddy you put in your vanity or bathroom closet is the cheapest solution, and works really well in shared bathrooms.
Home Organizing Tip #3: Work with Your Personality
If you go into organization with the notion of a sweeping, comprehensive change, chances are you won't stick to it. Work with the way that you live, and you'll have a better chance of decluttering success. For example, shoes come off inside the doorway, so provide a spot (baskets works well) near the door, instead of trying to retrain yourself to walk through the house to a closet.
Home Organizing Tip #4: Downsize Downsize, Downsize
Do you really need all of the stuff you've got? Probably not. Think about what you use regularly, what you honestly need, and what you absolutely cherish. Everything else can safely find a home elsewhere. Or at least it can find its way into storage tubs in the attic. (Read: Yard Sales are Great for Clearing the Clutter)
What happens when you collect too much stuff is, you stuff your closets and can't find things when you need them. Then when you're out shopping, you buy a second, or even a third … can opener, iron or whatever. When packing for our move to Arizona, I really did find three irons which is crazy, especially when you realize I only use an iron when quilting.
Home Organizing Tip #5: Rotate Decorative Items
You've probably seen photos of charming homes with knickknacks everywhere. But you might be better off displaying only a few things at a time. When you want to show off a new vase, put one that's already out back into the box for a later time. Storing sentimental items is a good idea, says Real Simple magazine, because it lets you keep them without adding to your clutter and workload.
Home Organizing Tip #6: Avoid Horizontal Surface Storage
It's only natural to set whatever is in your hand onto a flat surface. But tables and countertops aren't storage. If your desk and other flat spots in the house are catchalls, remember that everything needs a proper home. You can also find pieces with hidden storage inside. (Read: Conquer Clutter in an Open Floor Plan Home)
Home Organizing Tip #7: Do One Productive Thing a Day
Defeating clutter can sometimes take weeks of organization. But when you think about it that way, the job can be overwhelming. Instead, tackle one thing a day. Commit to nothing left on a table or bathroom countertops at day's end, and spend a week getting into that habit before moving onto the next task.
Clutter isn't inherently bad, and a little clutter can make a home feel less like a museum. But if the idea of a drop-in visitor makes you break out in a cold sweat, it's time to set a few new priorities and take baby steps toward making them stick.
Do you have any tricks and tips for taming the clutter beast? We'd love to hear about them!