With the start of a new year, many resolve to get organized & declutter. Never has organizing been so “on trend.” However for most it’s a daunting task, but if you follow these tips from professional organizers, you’ll conquer your clutter once and for all.
1. EDIT! Before you buy containers, boxes, bins, trays, new hangers etc. EDIT!
You will find you really need to purge quite a bit and will actually need less storage units than you think. Always remember it is much easier to remove clutter than to create extra space. Establish rules in this process – have a last time used or worn time frame.
2. Find the easiest place to start!
If you really need to organize your entire house, it can be overwhelming. So find easy places to begin, perhaps start in the kitchen with a pantry or your refrigerator – throw out expired food and then group the rest (seek out systems that you think will work best for you … check out Pinterest or awesome books like The Home Edit.) Having success and gratification will propel you to keep going. Next, move on to your linen closet or coat closet (group towels, toss old sheets, make sure coats still fit and all items have a use, otherwise REMOVE them.)
(tip: tackle the fridge just before your weekly shopping trip – less to go through. We love these BPA glass storage container sets. They allow you to see the contents and are stackable which helps save space. Purchasing a few organizer bins will also assist in keeping your fridge on track. And don’t forget to store your berries with these ceramic berry baskets.
3. Something IN – something OUT!
Fall in love with a new lamp? Or maybe a super cute sweater? It’s ok to bring it home— but then you need to get rid of one (or something) you already have. Make it a rule to only buy things you LOVE LOVE and know you will use right away. Clothing that you want to take the tags off and wear as soon as you get home or home decor that enhances your space right away!
p.s. what to do with the purged items…. take the old and turn it into cash. There are so many ways to do this these days. There are local swap sites through facebook like marketplace and local neighborhood groups. Also in my area we have Nextdoor which is an awesome app. It is a forum for people to post local happenings and they also have a “For sale & Free section” which is a great place to sell or unload unwanted items.
4. Only keep necessities out in the open.
Your desk will appear much neater if you only keep a few personal items and necessities out – like a lamp, an organizing tray, a pen holder and your computer. Everything else should be stored in a drawer or cabinet. Your night stand will be tidier if you just have a few beautiful decorative items and your retainer, water bottle, glasses, phone charger are all placed in the drawer as soon as you wake up.
5. Look up & down to find more storage.
This one seems so obvious, but so few people actually do this! Add shelfs to the top of a closet or cupboard or a foot up from the floor. And, if you have a shelf height that isn’t working for you…change it! This goes for kitchen cabinets, pantries, bookshelves, media units, medicine cabinets, refrigerator shelves, closets, etc! Check out this expandable closet tension shelf and these cute clear shoe boxes – both from Amazon.
6. Only touch an item once.
One of the most popular secrets of professional organizers is to only touch it once. What this means is, just put it where it goes the first time. For example, don’t walk in the door and kick your shoes off, throw your keys on the table, put your purse on the counter and drape your jacket over a chair. Chances are, you may not go back and pick them up to put them away—and if you do, it will seem like a much larger task than just putting them where they belong in the first place. If you start the new process of touching it once – it soon with just become a habit.
7. Containment of Items.
Purchase like containers, hangers and bins. Put like items together – it will make a space look and be more organized. We love clear or white storage as it make items easier to see. For your closet, buy all the same hangers… that alone will make a huge difference. Next put like things together and then like colors. Doing this will allow you to see what you have and where the voids are.
(Here is an example of how just putting like items together can make a big difference. We went to my friend Kelly’s closet – 30 minutes later. She discovered that she had no idea she had so many pairs of black pants. Now she can see exactly what she has and what she needs.)
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