The Inbox Zero movement and the KonMari approach have given the United States a case of organizational fever. It’s easy to see why. The home organization may help you save money in a number of ways, including reducing waste, saving time, improving your sense of control, and even generating money off of your unused belongings.
Many individuals put off getting their houses in order because they believe it would cost too much. Home organization shows on television often recommend purchasing a wide variety of containers and labels. Some have even proposed purchasing items such as garage cabinets, closet systems, coffee tables, storage ottomans, and bookcases as a means of organizing the space.
Spending so much money completely cancels out the savings you would see from becoming organized. However, the reality is that it is possible to get your home in order even with a completely empty wallet. One of the first steps in every successful organizational project is to get rid of clutter.
Don’t go broke buying expensive storage solutions from places like The Container Store. Containers from Amazon or the dollar shop, or even repurposed bins and boxes from around the house, will suffice to keep everything in its place. Getting your house in order doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. If you follow these simple guidelines, you may enjoy the monetary rewards of a well-organized house.
It’s common to get discouraged and give up on an organizing endeavor shortly after getting started. A major activity might be intimidating, but by dividing it up into smaller steps, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed.
All the options you have are valid, so pick the one that appeals to you the most:
- Group like things together. The founder of the KonMari system, Marie Kondo, suggests taking little steps. The author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” recommends categorizing one’s possessions into five groups: clothing, books, documents, komono (miscellaneous objects), and sentimental goods. As a means of overcoming our connection to our possessions, she recommends swiftly clearing the categories. The general rule of thumb is to start with the least difficult items, like clothing, and work your way up to the most difficult, such as emotional keepsakes.
- Get Room-by-Room. One Year to an Organized Life,” by Regina Leeds, recommends taking it one room at a time while you’re first getting started. One room at a time is how Leeds suggests approaching it. Rather than racing to get everything done at once, as we frequently attempt with spring cleaning, her strategy provides you plenty of time to tackle huge jobs. Plus, making gradual adjustments over time increases the likelihood that the new routines will become permanent.
- Get things in order by the project. Simply Clean author Becky Rapinchuk suggests starting with a tiny task, like cleaning out a junk drawer and working on it for 10 minutes at a time every day. Taking on organizational tasks in this manner increases the likelihood that you’ll be able to fit the process into your already hectic schedule.
The most important part of getting organized is making the decision to do so. Set aside some time for your organizing endeavor on a certain day or date that works best for you. Making a goal and committing it to paper increases the likelihood that you will achieve it.
To implement your strategy, you should head straight to the first line item. Make a central location where you may drop off items to be sold, donated, discarded, or kept.
Then empty the area to assess the resources at your disposal. Sort through everything you own and decide what you can get rid of and what you should keep.
Here are some suggestions about what to put in which pile:
- Sell. Making money off of your organizing efforts is conceivable if you happen upon objects that are collectable or in pristine shape. Used clothing, especially if it is of high quality and was purchased from a reputable boutique or designer label, can be resold through a consignment store or a sharing economy app like ThreadUp or Poshmark. eBay is a good place to sell collectibles, video games, and gadgets. To find gently used books, you may either order them from Amazon or look for a local bookseller like Half Price Books. Furniture, in particular, sells well on secondhand websites like Letgo and in local resale Facebook groups. Search Facebook with “buy, sell, trade” and the name of your city to locate one near you. A website like Decluttr is another option.
- Donate. Donating your belongings to those who can make better use of them is another choice. Dress for Success is an organization that assists low-income women to find employment by providing interview attire. Donate to Goodwill any additional gently-used items that you no longer wear but that is still in good shape. Furniture and household goods in good condition can be donated to Goodwill or the Restore at Habitat for Humanity. Your local library is always in need of donations of new and gently used media. Used baby gear may be purchased through Baby2Baby. They disperse it to places like homeless shelters and pediatric hospitals. Make sure you itemize your deductions and exclude the total amount you donated from your taxable income if it is a sizable sum.
- Toss. Mattresses, pillows, obsolete kid safety seats, and medical equipment are just some of the items that should be thrown away if they are damaged, discolored, or worn beyond repair.
- Keep. You should only add items to the keep pile that you will truly use, love, or find difficult to part with since everything else will be returned to your home.
How to Make Keeping Decisions
There are three questions you should ask yourself when you evaluate each item.
1. How Do You Like It?
Asking yourself if each item “sparks joy” is what Kondo advises. Toss it, in other words, if it doesn’t make you happy. The goal is to only surround yourself with things that improve and enrich your life so that you can have a clutter-free home that can offer you more happiness and prosperity.
Kondo recommends creating a mental picture of the life you want to lead and getting rid of anything that will prevent you from living it. She thinks doing so will cause a significant and constructive change in your life.
However, her approach is regularly criticized in a number of ways. We maintain a number of items in our houses for practical purposes, such as brooms, vacuum cleaners, and toilet brushes. Toilet brushes are useful to have even though the majority of us don’t enjoy using them.
Second, the approach doesn’t function well in situations where there are other people living there, especially in families with young children. One person’s joy may not be another person’s happiness.
While it’s true that arranging may teach kids valuable lessons about money, it’s a bad idea to ask a child if anything they own makes them happy. Anything can be exciting to a child under the age of seven, even a damaged item they haven’t played with in a long time. Compared to adults, children relate to their possessions extremely differently.
So instead of asking children if their possessions make them happy, consider simply packaging up the items they no longer use. Then, if it has been a year or more since they have requested them, reassess whether to donate or sell their stock.
Avoid throwing away children’s belongings behind their backs at all costs. While it’s far simpler to purge without their input, trust, which is crucial to parenting, is swiftly damaged.
2. Is It Practical?
Consider its utility if it fails to bring you joy. It’s unlikely that owning a vacuum would make you happy on its own, but having a clean home would. You should also think about how valuable it might be in the future.
While minimalists like Kondo stress the importance of not falling into the someday trap, there are some items that are better kept for the future. If you are intending on having future children, it is more cost-effective to reuse baby items such as clothing, high chairs, cribs, and strollers rather than buying them all over again.
However, Kondo warns against falling into the someday trap, which includes keeping outgrown adult clothing in the hopes of fitting into it again. Ask yourself carefully if you think you will actually need it down the road. What you think is hope is usually just unnecessary baggage.
Additionally, throw away anything that is damaged or missing a necessary component. And before you get rid of something that the whole family utilizes, be sure you’ve asked everyone’s opinion. Purging should always be done as a family to prevent rifts and maintain trust.
3. Is There Any Way to Do Without It?
There are items in our possession that could be quite helpful in certain situations, yet we seldom ever utilize them. I have an electric roaster that gets used once a year to cook the turkey for Thanksgiving.
Now we have to put it in the garage instead of the kitchen, where space is at a premium. But if you’re tight on storage room, you should reconsider buying this item. Is there any point in buying that extra equipment when you can just roast the turkey in the oven?
Additionally, we frequently keep items that provide us joy, such as books, video games, or colorful pillows, for convoluted emotional reasons. They may be the most troublesome of your possessions to get go of.
How to Purge in an Emotionally Difficult Situation
As I went through my mother’s belongings after she passed away, I was overcome with emotion. Even though much of it wasn’t something I’d have ever desired or chosen out for myself, her belongings got so inextricably bound up with my memories of her that getting rid of them felt too painful. It’s not just me, either.
The 2017 Ikea Life at Home survey found that the act of purging is often the most challenging part of the process because of the deep and nuanced connections people form with their possessions. As a result, sometimes the significance of meanings is higher than the significance of the things themselves.
In fact, the poll found that the meanings we give to our possessions go much beyond the practical use of those items. Tossing out a guitar we’ve always wanted to learn to play could represent throwing in the towel on a lifelong ambition.
And yet, it isn’t beneficial to hoard things that add nothing positive to one’s life. Data demonstrates that a cluttered environment is bad for productivity. According to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2011, mess makes it harder to concentrate, which in turn reduces productivity.
A 2017 study conducted jointly by Syracuse and Cornell Universities also indicated that clutter influences people to make unhealthy dietary choices. A 2009 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin confirmed that clutter is associated with elevated levels of stress and despair.
Therefore, how can we determine what is essential and what can be sacrificed? Having possessions can evoke a wide range of feelings in us. Some authorities advise keeping an item you’re having trouble discarding for a while if you’re having trouble letting go of it.
Professor Richard Belk, a leading authority on the meaning of possession and collecting, was interviewed for the Ikea study, and he disagrees with the advice of other decluttering experts by saying that giving yourself some time is healthier than instantly dumping your possessions. Grieving the loss of a beloved possession is a natural human response due to the deep personal connections we form with our possessions.
So, create a holding space for whatever you’re not sure about. It could be a garage, a cellar, or even just a cardboard box in the depths of your closet. Alternatively, you might set up a method that reveals the things for which you have no use or need.
Many professionals in the field of organization advise waiting six months to a year before discarding clothing, for instance. Expert organizer Peter Walsh recommends that Oprah.com readers switch the orientation of their hangers so that the hooks are now facing outward.
Generally speaking, you should get rid of clothes that you haven’t worn in a year you can tell by the orientation of the hanger. And the same approach may be used for almost any problem.
If you want to get rid of clutter in your kitchen, Walsh suggests doing things like tossing all of your cooking utensils into a box. Don’t let it sit in the box for more than a month before throwing it away.
When we put something aside for a while and don’t use it, we often see how little value it actually has. Obviously, there are some possessions that hold a special place in one’s heart and that they would be impossible to part with.
To paraphrase The Guardian, even Kondo says it’s fine to keep these things forever. The key is to determine which items are essential to your happiness and then find inventive uses for them, such as framing your kids’ artwork or sewing a quilt out of their old onesies.
Why Should I Even Declutter?
Them is not enough to just arrange your items and call them organized, no matter how difficult the cleansing process may be. There’s a good reason why clearing the clutter is the first step. Debris piles can be a major source of tension, as has been repeatedly demonstrated in studies. In 2017, Ikea conducted a poll that revealed too many things were the leading source of domestic tension.
Clutter has been linked to lower levels of happiness in other research as well. A rise in the stress hormone cortisol was one of several physiological responses to clutter that was observed in a 2017 study published in Current Psychology.
This, according to Joseph Ferrari, a psychology professor at DePaul University, is because too much stuff creates an unorganized and chaotic atmosphere at home, as he said in an interview with The New York Times.
In addition to hindering productivity, procrastinating can make it difficult to keep track of our possessions. And while it may seem like having more alternatives is a good thing, in reality, having to make more choices can be exhausting.
As decluttering expert Mia Danielle explains, it hinders rather than promotes our capacity to make choices about what we use and love, such as selecting an outfit for the day. Additional research published in 2016 in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science indicated that excessive clutter leads to lower levels of happiness.
The study found that excessive clutter can lead to a dysfunctional home environment that can cause physical and mental harm to its inhabitants. It’s a factor that can add to a sense of isolation and despair.
Clutter makes your home and lifeless functional. If the papers on the dining room table are too high, for instance, it will be difficult to have a nice lunch together as a family. As a result, fewer people are able to form meaningful relationships with one another. De-cluttering your home is essential to your happiness, so do it even if it’s a hassle.
Organize your items into categories before deciding where to put them. Makeup, soap, body lotions, face lotions, and prescriptions may all be sorted into separate piles if you’re renovating a bathroom.
Pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, sweaters, jackets, and accessories are all good places to start when planning a closet layout, but you may be creative and use whatever system works best for you and your clothes.
Once you’ve determined how to divide things up, stack like objects together. Before determining where and how to keep your belongings, it is essential to have everything out where you can see it and have your items sorted.
The first rule of organization is to assign a place for everything. Productivity expert and author of “Decide; Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example” Steve McClatchy claims that putting away household items should be as simple as putting away cutlery.
Forks, he says, have a home in the hands of every human being. You would realize that the sofa cushions or the back of the closet are not the proper places for a fork, and you would put it back where it belongs without hesitation. This is the way things always ought to be.
The goal of becoming organized is to reduce stress, which is why having a designated spot for everything is crucial. When you have a designated space for your possessions, you can stop wasting time hunting for them. Having this ability also means never having to wonder what you have.
Putting things where they belong demands considering how you utilize them. For all your life, maybe you’ve kept your towels in the linen cupboard off the second-floor hallway. However, if there is enough storage space in the bathroom, keeping towels there is preferable to having to search for them after getting out of the shower or bath.
The frequency with which you utilize certain items is the next factor to think about. Items you use regularly should be kept where they’re quick and simple to get, while those you use less frequently should be stored elsewhere. If you use a slow cooker frequently, for instance, keeping it out where you can see it every day might be most convenient.
However, if you only use it sometimes, it’s better to store it away in a cabinet so that you can keep the items you use more often out on the counter. Spices should also be kept close to your working area, such as in a drawer under the kitchen counter, rather than in a far-off cabinet.
In addition, divide the space you have for storage into sections and put items together as much as possible. Keep your kid’s Legos in the playroom, your sports gear in the garage, and your own craft stuff close by or in the space you use for crafting. When looking for a certain Lego piece, your child will have a hard time if they have to trek back and forth between the living room and the playroom.
In the end, we need to find methods to store our belongings, which might require some creative problem-solving. Additionally, there is a wide variety of ingenious storage options. Some of the most searched-for topics on Pinterest in 2019 were, as reported by Search Engine Journal, ingenious methods for organizing drawers and refrigerators and concealing children’s toys.
However, this is the stage where we are most likely to run into financial difficulties. If you’ve ever been to Target’s or Costco’s home organizing sections, you know how easy it is to spend a lot of money on various containers, plastic wraps, and labeling gadgets.
Having a row of water hyacinth baskets with metal blackboard labels looks good, but if you spend too much money on containers, you’ll negate the objective of becoming organized in the first place.
Furthermore, many of these ingenious gadgets do not actually prepare you for long-term organizational success. For example, Kondo discourages the use of nearly all commonplace forms of storage.
According to her, they merely make it seem like your storage problems have been solved. She suggests using translucent containers and drawer dividers instead, which allow you to view the contents at a glance. And you can get them cheaply or even manufacture them yourself!
Ideas for Cheap Containers & Storage
Prioritize getting creative with inexpensive purchases from the dollar store, do-it-yourself containers, or repurposing stuff you already own before blowing your budget on a $50 basket or $5,000 worth of bespoke closet cupboards. And doing so need not exclude fashion sense. DIY projects can result in cost savings and fashionable solutions, particularly if you choose to make something yourself.
Here are a few concepts for each room:
- Divide clothing into sections and rows by using shoeboxes in the dresser. Take a lesson from Kondo’s Hikidashi storage boxes and use patterned paper to cover them if you’d like something fancier than a plain box. On Hunker, you can get complete directions.
- Vertically arrange your wardrobe. It’s revolutionary how you organize your dresser. Organize your dresser by folding and arranging your clothing vertically, as seen on Woman’s Day, as opposed to horizontally piling items on top of one another. The process of selecting an outfit becomes quicker and easier because you can see every item in your wardrobe at once with this method. Check the drawers of your children as well. Making preparations for school in the morning is made easier by the fact that I do this for my 4-year-old kid.
- Put Your Jewelry in a Drawer of Your Dresser by Using an Egg Carton. Your jewelry won’t collect into one tangled jumble if you put one set of earrings or one necklace in each egg cup. Additionally, it enables you to easily select the ideal accessory for your outfit while clearly displaying what you already own. Use a coat of spray paint in a color that goes with your decor to glam up your egg carton organizer.
- A bowl can be used as a catch-all. To organize loose objects like watches and rings on your nightstand, get a nice glass or ceramic bowl that you don’t use. Use a stylish glass or ceramic cup to carry items you want to keep close at hand, such as pencils, hand lotion, reading glasses, or even the TV remote.
- Create Your Own “Baskets” for Storage to Hold Closet Extras. Although baskets are a stylish way to store things, their price tag sometimes makes them unaffordable. Create a basket yourself out of a cardboard box to keep everything organized and aesthetically pleasing. Buy some cheap jute rope, then wrap the box with it using rows of rope that you hot-glued on with a glue gun. When finished, the basket resembles a genuine high-end one exactly. On BuzzFeed, you can find the complete directions.
- Make a Makeup Caddy Out of Paper Towel Tubes. Decide first what to include in each tube, such as cosmetic brushes, lipsticks, mascara, and eyeliner. Then, depending on what you want to put in each tube, cut the paper towel tubes to a variety of different heights. Next, cover each tube with coordinating ornamental paper using Mod Podge, and then add a strip of coordinating ribbon to the top of each tube.
- Create the base of the caddy by cutting a circle from a piece of cardboard that is slightly larger than the tubes that are clustered together. After covering it with ornamental paper, glue each tube to the foundation. Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza can provide you with the whole instructions.
- Use plastic storage drawers for little items. Grouping tiny objects can be difficult if your sinks have bathroom cupboards rather than drawers. When you run out of possibilities for stacking, you waste a lot of vertical space and they are unlikely to continue being easily accessible. Small plastic drawers for storing items like hair bands and makeup can be found at the dollar shop, while large ones can cost you in the double tens.
- Repurpose Glass Jars for Counter Storage. To keep items like cotton swabs and balls of cotton organized on your bathroom counter, make your own apothecary-style jars. That places them in a convenient grasping position and adds a chic ornamental touch. Glass jars for pasta, salsa, pickles, or jam should first be washed and dried before the labels are removed. You can keep them plain or use Mod Podge to add attractive tissue or scrapbook paper decorations. Spray-paint the lids with metallic paint, like oil-rubbed bronze, and adhere some lovely drawer knobs in the antique style. On Little House of Four, you may get the whole directions.
- Utilize Command Hooks and cheap dollar store bins within cabinets. To arrange little, loose items, install Command hooks inside your bathroom cabinets and hang small, narrow plastic baskets, which you can purchase at the dollar store or on Amazon. Alternately, hang a cheap metal or plastic magazine holder to hold hair dryers and curling irons with Command picture-hanging strips.
- Bath Toys Should Be Kept in a Mesh Bag. Invest in a cheap mesh bag from the dollar store to prevent the bathroom from becoming overrun with children’s bath toys. Suction cup wall hooks can be used to suspend it above the bathtub so the toys are always within reach and can air dry after usage.
- Put stuffed animals in a “Bean Bag” chair to contain them. You can create a cute and useful storage solution by sewing a sack from the fabric of your choice and filling it with your child’s stuffed animals. On HGTV, you can get comprehensive directions.
- Use Fabric-Covered Bins to Store Clothes, Toys, or Books. Cover cardboard boxes in beautiful fabric to transform them into chic storage. Then utilize them to arrange seasonal clothing in your child’s wardrobe. Toy boxes covered in the cloth are another option for storing your child’s possessions. Ensure that similar products are grouped together. Put all the Legos in one bin and the dolls in another, for instance. On IHeart Organizing, you may find comprehensive instructions for creating fabric-covered containers. Even your child’s books can be organized using these bins. As demonstrated at the Center for the Collaborative Classroom, place the bins on top of a dresser and arrange the books vertically, like a file, so your child can simply flip through them.
- Toys can be organized using plastic containers. Toy storage containers from the dollar store are inexpensive and colorful and work well if you’d rather not DIY. Purchase them all in the same shape and color, as displayed on Clutterbug, for a unified appearance.
- Crates Can Be Used To Create Vertical Storage. If you’ve run out of floor space, consider thinking vertically. To create the appearance of shelving, get cheap plastic or wooden boxes and mount them to walls. On Hometalk, you may get a complete list of instructions.
- Create Labels With Images. Making it simple for children to maintain is essential when organizing their belongings. If you have young children who aren’t yet reading, label things with pictures rather than words. Use self-laminating sheets to design your own labels for fabric bins by printing clip art onto cardstock. Then use some hot glue to securely attach them to your bins, or choose removable labels by poking holes in them and tying them to the handles of your bins like tags with some rope or ribbon. Print your own labels on sticker paper if your bins are plastic.
- How to Organize Your Fridge and Freezer with Dollar Store Bins. You’ll always be able to see what you have and waste less food due to spoilage if you keep like products together and organize them into bins such as snacks, veggies, meat, fruit, and condiments. Discover DIY inspiration at Kimspired.
- Stackable Bins Can Refresh Your Pantry. Comparable to your refrigerator and freezer, your pantry can benefit from grouping like products together with dollar store bins. Stackable containers are very helpful in the pantry. Produce like potatoes, onions, apples, or avocados can be stored using them effectively. On IHeart Organizing, find inspiration.
- Canisters for coffee creamer can be used to store dry goods. Remove the labels from the used coffee creamer canisters; these are the ones with the flip-top lids and clear plastic behind the label. To store large dry foods like popcorn, chocolate chips, and nuts, wash and dry them beforehand. Each canister is visible, and pouring is made simple by the flip-top lid. On FrugElegance, you can find all the details.
- Wraps and baggies can be kept in a cereal box. Utilizing Command strips, cover a cereal box and hang it inside a kitchen cabinet. Ask Samantha Kamilos for the complete instructions.
- Put pot or storage container lids on a dish rack. As demonstrated on Good Housekeeping, you can “file” pot lids to keep them orderly by purchasing a cheap dish rack from the dollar shop.
- Create Your Own Sleek Rope Bins for Blanket Storage. Create your own rope basket by hot-gluing the rope, layer by layer, as you work your way around a temporary mold, such as a metal garbage can. Make sure to bind the rope to itself and not the mold. Once you’ve gotten to the top, you can take out the mold, leaving you with a lovely, expensive-looking basket for displaying blankets. Nadine Stay can provide you with the whole instructions.
- Keep Board Games Close at Hand with a Hanging Clothes Organizer. In the coat closet, a cheap hanging clothes organizer may keep board games readily available and stop the terrible avalanche that happens when youngsters randomly pluck one out of the bottom of the stack.
- Toys can be organized by using bins on bookcases. Bins placed on the lower shelves of bookshelves or other pieces of furniture you currently use in your common family area, such as an entertainment center, can keep children’s toys organized and tastefully hidden. Make baskets out of cardboard boxes or wrap them in fabric for the bins. Visit HGTV or Living Well Mom for comprehensive instructions. And for smaller children, make sure to utilize image labels.
- Make a Tray Out of an Old Picture Frame to Organize a Coffee Table. An old picture frame with glass should be taken out and painted with spray paint in the color of your choice. Then let it dry before applying some ornamental paper or cloth to the glass using Mod Podge. Use your new tray to store your remote controls or other small objects after attaching some drawer pulls to either side of the frame and replacing the glass. Visit My Sweet Things for complete instructions.
- Visit a thrift shop and purchase some multipurpose furniture. We turned an old dresser into a TV stand for our living room. It serves as a storage dynamo in our cramped area, holding everything in its drawers from wires and remote controls to candlesticks and tablecloths. Another option for hiding trinkets and keeping them organized is a coffee table with several drawers. Repurpose your old, structurally sound furniture or turn a find from a thrift shop or flea market to keep this advice on a tight budget. Even if DIY projects terrify you, this one is rather beginner-friendly. Even the ugliest furniture can be made to look elegant and high-end with thorough sanding, some spray paint, and new hardware. On The Spruce, you can find comprehensive instructions.
- Put Pens and Markers in Recycled Glass Jars or Soup Cans. Glass jars used for pickles, pasta sauce, jams, jellies, etc. should first be labeled off before being washed and dried. Then, as shown on Little Helsinki, decorate them with washi tape. With reused soup cans, you can accomplish the same task. Only make sure to round off any edges that are sharp or uneven. Instead, you might use Mod Podge to coat cans with beautiful paper. Ask Erin Spain for detailed instructions.
- Utilizing cereal boxes and toilet paper tubes, make your own desk caddy. Decorative paper can adhere to cereal box bottoms and toilet paper tubes with Mod Podge. Afterward, use glue to adhere all of your boxes to a circular wooden plaque that has been painted in a similar or comparable color. This will create a unified organizer. Visit Mod Podge Rocks for the complete instructions.
- Using toilet paper tubes, arrange your extra cords. When not in use, bundle each cord inside a toilet paper tube to make it simple to remember which cords go with which gadgets. With a Sharpie, then, label each tube. By adding some pretty washi tape, you can make them more appealing. Check out One Good Thing for complete instructions.
- Utilizing a shoebox, make a charging station. A shoebox’s bottom and lid should be spray-painted. Next, make as many little rectangular holes as there are gadgets you wish to charge along the box’s long side. For a final appearance, place a metal bookplate over each slot. Tasha Chawner can provide you with all the details.
- Organization of office supplies using cereal boxes. Create drawer organizers using cereal box bottoms to keep rubber bands, paper clips, staples, pens, and pencils organized. Put ornamental paper over them to make them appealing to look at when your drawer is open. Check out IHeart Organizing’s complete instructions.
Though Kondo insists that once you’ve cleaned and decluttered your home, there’s no need to do it again, most individuals will find that maintaining a tidy home necessitates regular effort. This entails regular tidying and organizing as well as the discipline to put things back where they belong every day.
Changing over to new routines is the most important aspect of upkeep. If you always bring in your mail and throw it on the kitchen counter, replace that habit with one in which you deal with it right away, even if it means filing it away in a to-do bucket.
Some suggestions for forming new routines that can aid in the organization of your home and family are as follows:
- Incorporate the process of decluttering into an activity you already like. During tax season, for instance, it’s a good idea to do a financial spring cleaning in order to go through and file away any unnecessary documents. Sort through your closet as the seasons change. And before you go grocery shopping, get rid of any old, stale food.
- It’s the “One In, One Out” rule. Get rid of an old item to make room for a new one.
- Place Boundaries On Your Space. Listen to your home to see whether you need to clean it out. If your closet or dresser is already stuffed to capacity, for instance, you should get rid of some of the things you no longer use.
- Before making a purchase, think of a permanent home for the item. Do not make a purchase until you have a specific place in mind for it.
- Don’t let decluttering sit on the back burner till the new year. Instead of waiting until spring cleaning to get rid of old clothes, maintain a donation box in each bedroom’s closet.
- Develop consistent daily habits for reducing growing stacks of unfinished work. Every day before you go to work, throw a load of clothes into the washing machine to keep track of the rising stacks. Be sure to unload the dishwasher every morning and then reload it every night. Always take something with you when you leave a room so that you have somewhere to store it. Every night, devote 10–20 minutes to a quick clean-up and spot-check. By breaking down duties into manageable chunks, you may save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run.
- Do as much as you can in one minute. If it can be done in one minute or less, do it right away. That prevents minor chores from accumulating into major ones.
- Develop Drop Zones with Natural and Reasonable Structures. Create an entryway system with baskets and coat hooks for everyone in the family if, for instance, they have a habit of throwing their belongings on the kitchen counter as soon as they walk in the door. That way, when individuals go home, they can just toss their belongings into a spot that will sort them up for them. “Logical and natural” refers to solutions that make sense in light of how you really use your area.
- Make sure the things you tend to lose the most often have specific homes. Seventy-one percent of us lose the TV remote at least once a month, according to a 2017 poll by Pixie, a company that manufactures monitoring devices for your goods.
- Locate permanent resting places for these things. A key rack or basket might be kept beside the front entrance. Alternatively, you may make it a point to form a new routine, such as leaving the remote next to the TV each time you turn it off.
- Classify All Objects. Labeling everything ensures that everyone knows where it belongs and can follow the plan.
- Go for Improvement Instead of Perfection. Keep in mind that the pursuit of perfection is the enemy of completion. But even if you only manage to accomplish one item that simplifies your life or reduces your expenses, you will have made some headway.
The time and effort it takes to get your home in order may seem like it’s not worth it, but you’ll be amazed at how much better your life will be after you do. And keep in mind that you need not accomplish everything all at once; in fact, many authorities on the subject of organization advise against doing so.
Therefore, if you are feeling overwhelmed, spend simply 10 minutes a day organizing your belongings. Put the items you want to retain, give, or sell in separate baskets or boxes. Then, every day, drop a few things in and let the timer run its course.
Remember to keep everyone in the loop no matter what you do. It’s important for everyone in a household to have a say, whether the adults are parents or roommates. Discarding someone else’s belongings without their knowledge can damage relationships. And if you want your systems to last, everyone should have a hand in developing them.