First step: ask the right questions
Whenever someone asks me about the best way to organize their home, I suggest they start by answering a few questions.
Walk through your home with the eyes of someone who’s never been there before. Which items feel out of place? What should be stored out of sight? Are there things that really should be tucked out of sight? What can be thrown away or donated? You know the rule: if you haven’t used it or worn it in the past two years, let it go.
Then once you’ve answered those questions, you can start choosing the right storage options and move on to your plan.
All storage is not created equal
Sure, we know that storage is essential in any home. But too much storage can be a waste of space that ends up feeling like clutter itself. Use simple storage like baskets, boxes and bins to organize closets and cabinets.
If you lack shelf space, a modular storage system can work. Magazines, bills and other papers that tend to pile up can go in boxes or bins.
Organize room by room
Once you’ve picked out which storage solution you’re going with, it’s time for a room-by-room plan.
Kitchen – Take full advantage of cabinet space by using plate and cup racks. Most cabinet manufacturers offer slide-out shelves, built-in drawers and vertical dividers; some can be added after installation. Look for small appliances that install below the countertop and swing up when you need them.
Bathroom – If possible, swap undersink cabinet shelves with drawers. Bathroom products can get lost on the back of a shelf, whereas drawers keep things easily accessible. If you can’t switch, add lightweight bins that pull out easily.
Living room – Look for multipurpose items like storage ottomans or tables with built-in shelves and drawers. Tuck DVDs, CDs and video games into bins; stash your favorite magazines in upright magazine boxes.
Bedroom – Search for a storage bench to keep at the foot of your bed. It’s perfect for linens, out-of-season clothing or family heirlooms. Your closets can hold more than clothes. Keep shoes, belts, ties and handbags off the floor with special hanging racks that accommodate each. Mount shoe racks to the backs of closet doors, and look for hangers designed to hold multiple garments.
Playroom – Inspire the organizing gene in your children with playful items that encourage them to clean up. Hang color-coded nets from the walls for each child, and let them toss in their stuffed toys and other lightweight items. Or use vertical storage shelves to allow more floor space for playing. Cubbies along one wall are a great way to provide each child their own space.
What do you struggle with the most when it comes to organizing your home?