The house is a mess. The kids are constantly playing with toys and they’re not old enough to put them away yet, so you’ve turned into a professional toy picker upper. You work full time, so the thought of picking up toys or doing dishes or laundry is exhausting because you’re tired and you want to spend time with your kids. However you do want an organized house, you just don’t know where to start.
I believe routines and habits are a huge part of successful organization. It takes discipline to use the system or it’s no good.
The best way to start is high level, you want to establish some basic systems before you start diving into specific rooms and projects. You’re basically going to be touring your home and making it functional as you walk through it.
Here’s how you can do it:
Create an entryway or door entry system– When you walk into your house establish a system where you can hang up items immediately for jackets, backpacks, handbags, etc. Hooks are a great organizing tool to establish this system. A stand alone hook pole works but wall hooks work best. In this area also include an area for your keys either a tray or a smaller wall hook specially designed for keys. One more thing to include in this space, is a place for your shoes. Use a shoe rack or storage bins to easily store them. Michaels and Home Goods are a great place to start for bins. I prefer bins because they are easier to “throw” them into versus setting them on a shoe rack. It’s all about creating a system you know you will use so if you know you will place them on the shoe rack, use it. The shoe rack does make a space look more organized.
Establish a Command Center– Create a central place where you can manage your mail and calendar. Use a chalkboard or dry erase board for a calendar. Having a visual calendar will help keep your life organized. Even if you only use a digital calendar, establish a visual calendar for your household so that it’s always in front of you. The best place for this is somewhere in or near the kitchen. Pottery Barn has an excellent system that allows you to customize it to the space you currently have to see what will fit there. You can play around with a few different pieces to see what you like before making a purchase.
Analyze your Den/Living Room- Go to your den or living room and see what you can do there to improve it. Use baskets and bins for blankets and remote controls. Do you have a coffee table? Do you need one? If you have one, what is on it and can you use storage baskets there for organization? If you need one, search for one that opens and closes so you can store items in there or allows you to keep a basket or bin on it.
Analyze your Kitchen- (this step is interchangeable with step 3, it depends which area you walk into first in your home). Take a look at your kitchen countertops, eliminate anything that creates clutter. If you use keep small appliances on the counter, make sure they are used daily, for example a coffee maker. If you don’t use it daily, storage it away. For example, we have a Vitamix and make smoothies a few times a week but we don’t use it daily so we removed it from the countertop and it has eliminated clutter. If you have an island, clear anything on there that doesn’t need to be stored there. Chances are you will have items in the kitchen that you’re not sure where they should go, use a storage bin or basket to keep them there for now.
Use a Toy Organizer- If you have kids, chances are you have more toys than you ever thought you’d imagine. Get a system that allows you to easily put in them in storage bins. Get a system that allows you to have multiple storage bins available. IKEA has quite a few to chose from that are flexible and easy to use. Amazon also has a wide variety to choose from. Cube organizers with felt bins are another option if you want something that’s a bit more modern and can fit nicely in a den/living room.
These five simple steps will get you started organizing. Once you have these steps completed, then you can start working on specific projects in each area.