It’s the first day of Spring! In with warmer temperatures, flowers in bloom, and people ready to shake the cobwebs out of their homes! However, sometimes organizing one’s home can seem like an impossible task: one recent study found that the average household contains upwards of 300,000 items! And since we’ve never met a child who wasn’t a master mess maker, these tips will have you cultivating a calmer, more organized home and leave plenty of time for enjoying the weather and maybe plant that flower garden you’ve been putting off.
A common organizing mistake people make is to take a half-hearted, piecemeal approach, which typically results in half-sorted piles all throughout the house…and makes you wish you had never started organizing in the first place.
1 Put like things together. (Our #1 rule!)
Not only will this rule make your space appear more streamlined and put together, grouping like items together will make future clean ups much easier and faster (especially for the little ones). The Container Store has a genius product line of “Like-it Bricks” which are modular storage containers perfect for organizing and storing everything from office and art supplies to everything and anything in your pantry!
2 Take stock.
Knowing what you have is so important before you can really effectively dive in to the organizing process. Grouping like things together is a great step in helping take stock of what items you have…and can perhaps convince you that you don’t need yet another elephant figurine the next time you stop at the antique store. We like to keep a mindset of simplicity when choosing the things that fill our home. As a result, questions like “Do we really need 10 different types of ketchup/64 coffee table books out every day/enough wine glasses to through a ball when we entertain a small group of friends twice a year?” are important when trying to pare down and organize.
3 Touch it, then move it.
Our solution to the problem of discard and “move” piles is to put things in designated bins in each room to keep floors and areas clear even while you are still in the organizing process. The bins can then be more easily moved to other levels or to the curb. Once you have achieved an organized home, these bins/organizers will continue to be useful: we recommend setting them at designated locations on each floor to help manage the constant movement of items and clutter between floors.
4 Give everything a home with labels.
Labeling also goes a long way: we have all made piles, left to run an errand or tackle some other task, and then returned unsure of what our plans for said pile were. Labeling helps after the organizing process is complete as well; instead of rifling through cabinets or drawers, you simply have to glance at the label to note what lies within.
5 Find storage solutions that fit your budget and your home aesthetic.
H&M’s home line has a wide variety of visually pleasing bins and baskets at an affordable price. You don't have to compromise your personal style with a budget!
6 Involve kids in the process.
Kids are going to accumulate stuff, so helping them corral and organize it from an early age is key. We recommend the IKEA Kallax series for its affordability, versatility, and ability to hold and display lots and lots of toys.
Empower kids to partake in the organizing process as well: all that stuff may look like “just junk”, but it’s their stuff and giving them agency over it will help prevent a battle of organizing wills. If your children truly have an overabundance of toys (which ironically can make it harder for them to decide what to play with), encourage them to pick three things a week to get rid of. This will hopefully reduce overall items and help provide an in/out mindset when they get more toys for birthdays or holidays. Parents should take a back seat during this process, although they can always pick items from their child’s “Toss” bin and store it in the attic for sentimental safekeeping.
Having an organized home can :
*Save time: You know where things are instead of spending hours looking for them
*Help you find more space: Getting rid of unwanted/unused items means you can arrange, display, and use the ones you want to keep.
*Save money: You will have a better grasp of what items you have and can use them accordingly instead of running out to buy pieces you already have. When you do decide to buy something new, being organized will help you find the perfect fit for your space.
*Inspire a less stressed YOU: You can relax without living among clutter and take comfort in the fact that your free time doesn’t need to be spent cleaning/rearranging. embolden
Taking the time and energy to effectively organize your home is well-worth the effort and a wonderful, invigorating way to start Spring off right!