You’ve got junk drawers coming out the wazoo, your closets need rebar to keep ‘em closed, your family room looks like a bomb has exploded, and you need to let your loved ones know where you’ll be whenever you need to go into your kids’ bedroom so they can call in a search party if you aren’t out in 30 minutes.
Does this sound familiar? If so, check out these tips to organize your home so you can spend more time doing what you want to do, and not hours trying to find those bloody rechargeable batteries that you just know were in the kitchen drawer.
Top 26 Tips to Organize Your Home
1. Use checklists. Make a list of what needs to be organized and check them off as you go.
2. Ask yourself are you really going to use it? If something’s been sitting in a drawer since you moved in 15 years ago, you’re probably better off throwing it out or donating it.
3. When organizing cluttered spaces, get three garbage bags or boxes and label them “Keep”, “Throw Out” and “Donate.”
4. To stay organized, keep a donation box in your garage so things can be tossed in there as they are no longer wanted or needed. Once the box has enough in it, take it to your local thrift shop or have a garage sale.
5. Organize all those papers by getting a filing cabinet or, at the very least, some sort of system that will help you organize. For example, use an accordion folder for bills/invoices, instruction manuals, receipts, and other need-to-keep papers.
6. For kids’ artwork, put up a corkboard to display their masterpieces, or run a piece of string/wool along the wall, using clothes pins to hang their work. Rotate the artwork once a month. When you rotate the artwork, the ones you take down should immediately go into a photo album or scrapbook of some kind, and throw away the rest. If you have a hard time throwing out your child’s painting and drawing, use your digital camera to take a picture of it so you have a digital copy to have as a keepsake instead.
7. Baskets are your friend. Use wicker baskets to organize papers, toiletries, or anything else that doesn’t have a proper home around your house. Baskets are a great way to utilize shelf space too.
8. Label the front of containers or stacked boxes so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.
9. One year in? One year out! Go through your closets, linen cupboard, and even the toy box. If you’ve had it for 6-12 months without ever using it, you probably don’t need it! Donate it to someone who could.
10. Put your take-out menus into a folder and keep them with your cookbooks or where you keep your phonebooks.
11. Use a shallow plastic container to store all those gravy and seasoning packets (or cut the bottom of a shoebox out and use that).
12. Keep a list of needed groceries on the refrigerator – let everyone in the house know that if they use the last of something to write it down.
13. You can take it a step further and create a template which categorizes various shopping needs. For example, divide the piece of paper into large squares, each having a title such as “Cleaning Supplies & Toiletries”, “Dairy”, “Meat”, “Fruit & Veggies”, etc. Then when you go grocery shopping, you aren’t running up and down the aisles like a chicken with its head cut off.
14. Reuse empty baby food jars to organize various small items, like screws, nails, thumbtacks, paperclips, etc. If you don’t have access to empty baby food jars, you can purchase small plastic containers for cheap.
15. Use a mesh bag to store the kids’ bath toys. Hang it on the faucet so they can drip-dry.
16. Get rid of old newspapers and magazines. Start a scrapbook or use a binder to store cut out news items or stories you’re interested in.
17. Zip-lock bags are great to help organize everything you stuff into junk drawers. Use a bag for rechargeable batteries, one for Band-Aids, one for hair elastics, one for … you get the idea.
18. Another way to help organize your junk drawer is to put a plastic cutlery tray in it or several shallow plastic containers (without their lids).
19. To help eliminate some of the paper clutter, get a white board or chalkboard and hang it by the phone. Make this the place to leave phone numbers, messages, or notes to each other.
20. Another way to reduce the paper laying around the house is to get your bills sent to you electronically. Having your bills sent to you via email is a great way to reduce paper clutter (and better for the environment too!).
21. Only keep out the shoes/boots suitable for the season you’re in. If it’s winter, stash the flip-flops and sandals in a bag in the garage or shed. When summer comes, switch the snow boots and wellies with the previously store summer footwear.
22. Do the same for winter/summer clothes and outerwear.
23. Organize one room at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed and ditch the idea entirely.
24. Go through all the cupboards/cabinets in your bathroom and get rid of all the lotions and potions you haven’t used in over 6 months.
25. Check the expiration dates on all the meds in your medicine cabinet and dispose of the ones that are out-dated (make sure you dispose of them properly. A lot of pharmacies will get rid of old pills for you – you shouldn’t flush them or toss them yourself.).
26. When shopping, don’t buy larger quantities than you are realistically going to use. Sure, it might seem like a better deal to buy the 500 count of Tylenol over the bottle of 100, but not if you’re only going to use 50 of them before they expire! Same goes for buying in large bulk – if you aren’t really going to use that ginormous tub of mayo or that massive Costco-sized jar of pickles, do yourself a favour and purchase the smaller option! Not only are you wasting your money, these items take up a lot of precious space in the pantry!
Share your home organization tips!
We’ve shared our tips to organize your home, now it’s your turn! Leave a comment to let us know your top home organization tips!