The beginning of each new year brings a sense of new beginnings and a fresh start. With that comes the desire to organize the spaces around us, especially our homes. Just like gardening, organizing isn’t one of those “one and done” projects, it actually takes tending to from time to time. Of course it’s nice to have a fresh perspective on how to handle the most used spaces in our home, in hopes of bringing forth more function and efficiency. However, there are common pitfalls associated with organizing, and you’ll want to make sure you avoid those, you can read about those here.
Any organizing project comes with the initial purge of the items that no longer serve a purpose in your home. It’s a good practice to try to do this when the seasons change if possible. By picking a couple of times a year to tend to your organized spaces, it’s less overwhelming than to do a major reorganizing project once a year. Here are some tips to consider when reorganizing the most used spaces in your home.
There’s two types of cabinets that you might need the most help organizing. That’s your medicine cabinet and your kitchen cabinets, or pantry. For your pantry, use containers to decant boxed items to make it easier to see what you have, and how much you have. Nothing is worse than reaching into an empty box of disappointment. You can also make an eco-friendly choice to use glass containers if going green is important to you. If you’re a fan of labels, don’t be afraid to label the shelves too! You can do it by breakfast items, snack items, or even have a shelf dedicated to the foods your kids love.
Organizing your home office can be a daunting task, especially if you’re someone who works from home often or has hobby that utilizes that space. In order to reduce paper clutter in your office space, try to request your bills to be sent electronically, otherwise, be sure you have a file cabinet or an accordion folder to easily stow away documents. When you get your mail, sort immediately and shred any items you know for sure you don’t need. Keep important documents like insurance policies, tax documents, real estate transactions, wills, etc. in a fire box and keep in a safe space.
For your medicine cabinet, you might not need a ton of organization tips. But, did you know that it’s not recommended to keep your medications in the bathroom? It’s better to keep them in a place that doesn’t have temperature fluctuations or extreme moisture. We keep ours in an upper kitchen cabinet, which also makes it easy to monitor, especially making sure kids stay out.
For our coat closet, we decided to use this space for our kiddos and not so much guests who came over. Inside, we placed hooks for hanging backpacks and coats. We also stored their shoes and socks which helped make getting out the door in the mornings a lot more efficient! A spot that’s a little more intimidating that a coat closet is probably going to be your personal closet.
Want to know if you’re really wearing all of your clothes? Try flipping your hangers around so they’re facing the wrong way. As you wear clothes and put them back into your closet, turn the hangers the right way to easily see what you’ve worn and what you haven’t. At the end of the season, take a good hard look at what’s left and whether or not you really need to keep it. If you’ve ever considered a capsule wardrobe, one that utilizes staple pieces spices up with seasonal accessories, you can read about how to create a capsule wardrobe here.
Speaking of hangers, the thinner velvet hangers are my personal favorite. They take up less space and clothes stay on the hangers as opposed to slipping off– and a bonus, they come in kid sizes too!
Last but not least, let’s talk about organizing your linen closet. Keep one extra set of sheets per bed in your home. Fold the sheets and store them inside one of the extra pillow cases. This will create a “package” that you can easily grab and looks way nicer than a bunch of folded pieces. I also recommend using bins to group items together and if you’re a fan of labeling, you should also utilize that to make it easily known what is where!
Possibly the toughest beast to tackle of the bunch will be your garage. If this is a daunting task to you, break it up by sections. Organize lawn tools first, then items used for outdoor hobbies, home improvement next, and so on. Use a track system to hang up tools and other items, this will help to eliminate floor clutter. Don’t forget to use vertical storage and be sure to use the ceiling for storage possibilities as well. Also, try not to store any paint in your garage. Similar to the medicine cabinet reasoning, temperature fluctuations can impact the paint and make it go bad quicker. We chose to store our left over paint in labeled glass jars in a temperature controlled room.
These are just a few ideas to help organize some of the most used spaces in our homes. Just like learning to cook, organizing can be a learned skill that with practice, you get better over time. Giving things you own a space to live, makes it easier to know where it goes whenever anyone in your home is done using that item.