When you have a home, you have a need to organize. Fact is, we all have “stuff”. And “stuff”, can end up slowing down our day, and ruffling our feathers in the evening. “Stuff” quickly becomes clutter, and who wants that?
If you have stacks of papers that belong no where, crazy and chaotic mornings, or lost car keys, check out these easy ideas.
1. This one is pretty self explanatory… Lay our everything you are going to need in the morning, the night
before, and teach your kids to do the same. Photo below by ‘BHG‘.
2. Have a central area to organize purses, keys and your wallet. Always put it there. Always.
3. Set out everything for breakfast that is non refrigerated, right down to the spoons. Obviously, this means knowing whats for breakfast the night before. No stops at Krispy Kreme, ok?
4. Write up a daily to do list for the next morning on your smart phone and put priority items first. Move items from today that didn’t get done into tomorrows list. Update your calendar. We like an app called “Cozi“. It has the capability to handle your whole families activities, and you can even keep your grocery list there. Cozi lets each family member share with one, two or all other members what their schedule is. It can also send you email reminders, like for trash day. Oh, and it’s free. Or if you prefer, you can set up a family message station with a dry erase calendar that family members can share. Photo by ‘Container Store‘.
5. Go get gas, pick up the first graders cupcakes, or get that pencil sharpener that your high schooler can never seem to find. Don’t put off errands ’till morning when everything is busy.
6. Keep your bathroom paraphernalia out of sight when not in use. Buy a plastic carry-all with a handle on top, or a pretty basket. Put all of your make-up, deodorant, hair spray, razors, etc. into the container and place under the counter. Bring it out when you need it, then always put it right back underneath.
7. Shower caddies are essential for keeping the shampoos, conditioner, face scrubs and specialty in-shower treatments from taking over the whole space. (Guilty.) This one is from ‘The Container Store‘.
8. Squeegee your shower doors after every single shower. Keeping the squeegee right in the shower makes that easier. Add a little suction cup hook if you need. If you have a shower curtain, use a daily shower spray to keep clean up from being impossible when you finally get around to a whole bathroom cleaning.
9. A strip of magnetic tape (any craft store) or a magnetic knife holder can organize items like nail clippers, tweezers and scissors handy.
10. Use those wasted corners and awkward space to put in a freestanding cabinet to add storage. Photo by ‘BHG‘. Remember to repurpose to save bucks, paint is everything!
11. Once a month, go through your bathroom cupboards and drawers and throw away old or ineffective products you never use.
13. Use wall hooks for hanging towels, robes and clothing. Behind the door is a great way to use wasted space.
14. Use drawer organizers for makeup, jewelry, ponytail holders, and other loose items. Or make your own. Try our post on budget make up storage for ideas.
15. Use pretty floating shelves to add storage and to organize above the toilet, and add value to the room. Need tutorials? DIY floating shelves.
16. Use a timer in each bathroom, and use it… This is great for getting out the door on time, AND getting teenagers out of the shower.
17. Place color separate baskets in your closet for laundry, and one for dry cleaning. This will save you time sorting clothes, and you will always know when you have enough colors for a full load.
18. If you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it. Goodwill and some other charities even take worn out clothes, as it employs people while they are redirected to recyclers.
19. Sort your clothes by season, and only keep the present season in your closet. Pack out of season clothes away in an under bed storage container. DIY under bed storage ideas!
20. Put your clothes in categories that work for you. Color, formality, type or office wear are good places to start. This will save you time putting together outfits, and save you money from re-purchasing items you didn’t remember you had, as they were buried in the closet… somewhere. Inevitably, you know they will re-appear right after the return-window on your new item has expired.
21. Recycle wire hangers. Clothes simply slide off of them to the floor. Get velvet hangers at Costco to hold even the slinkiest silk dress. Or make your own with this tutorial on no slip hangers by Diane from ‘In My Own Style’.
22. Use a system for hanging and organizing scarves and belts. Shoving them in a drawer is no good for anyone.
23. Use a shoe rack. Rotate out of season shoes just the way you rotate out of season clothes. No reason for six pairs of leather boots to bury all your cute sandals in July.
24. Use hooks on any closet wall space to hang purses, jackets, and accessories. Photo by ‘HGTV‘.
25. Use vacuum sealed bags to store out of season clothes in a tight space. Just don’t use this method on delicate fabrics, as the wrinkles could become permanent.
26. Organize your kitchen cabinets into categories. Make sure your cups are near the fridge so you can easily pour that afternoon juice, and your utensil drawer is near the dishwasher so you don’t have to make ten trips across the kitchen. Pots and pans? Near the stove. Kids plates? On a lower shelf so they can get to them without calling you from the first bath you have had in a month. Getting it? Also, keep your drawers organized including the misc / junk drawer that we all have. There are all kinds of household items that can be repurposed to help keep everything contained and organized.
27. Keep whatever you use for a pantry immaculate. No where does clutter make more of a mess than with food. Try our post on organizing your pantry.
28. Add a kitchen island to a small kitchen to increase storage and prep space. No worries, we’ve got that covered for you too. DIY kitchen islands, and more DIY kitchen islands! Want some more? Try this DIY rolling kitchen island from Jen at ‘House of Wood’!
29. Use an inexpensive plastic lazy-susan in the back of deep cupboards, so you never forget whats hiding back there!
30. Try to organize tupperware in a drawer rather than a shelf, as that way you will always be able to find a matching lid.
31. Only keep things on the counter you use often. We only keep the Vita Mix and the Keurig on the counter, even the toaster goes in the pantry and gets brought out daily when needed. And if I could convince my other half, the Vita Mix would go under the counter too! (Not the Keurig folks, at this very minute I’m sipping its second offering of the day.)
32. Do you have cards and scraps of paper with scribbled recipes on them? I don’t even care if they are printed from your computer, time to come into the 21st century people. “Evernote” is a free app, where you can take photos of each recipe with your phone or tablet, add them and even organize them into folders. (Thanks to reader Karen for this tip!)
33. Have a whole closet full of plastic grocery store bags? Tuck 10-20 into one or two bags to hang onto, then recycle your plastic bags folks!
34. Keep your fridge clean. Every time you go to the grocery store, make sure to clean out the old food and toss. Rotate older food into the front so it is used up first. Try these 7 steps to an organized fridge. Jessica at ‘Four Generations, One Roof‘ uses containers to hold items in her fridge. Love this idea!
35. Hang a hoop over a laundry basket for slam-dunking dirty clothes.
36. Or, place a two-compartment hamper in your kid’s room so he or she can organize light clothes from dark clothes as they undress.
37. Use poster putty in your child’s room and have your child display his or her favorite artwork all on one wall, gallery style.
38. Hang a net from the ceiling to store stuffed animals, dolls, or action figures.
39. Add wall mounted bookshelves and help your child organize their books. Make sure you remember if you place a large bookshelf in a child’s room, bolt it to the wall for safety. Need ideas? Try our post at DYSS on creative bookshelf projects.
40. Buy the kids their own alarm clocks and teach them how to get up on time. By themselves. Without you.
41. Make sure everything in your house has a home. Teach all family members to mind their own messes. For example, if you take it out, put it back; if you open it, close it; if you throw it down, pick it up; if you make a mess, clean it up; and so on.
42. Put wastebaskets in every room and place several unused trash bags in the bottom of each one. This will eliminate countless trips to retrieve new trash bags and give all family members a place to throw away their trash.
43. Make sure the remotes have a drawer, basket or shelf to live on. How often have you found it under the sofa?
44. Use a plastic caddy to store cleaning supplies in and tote it from room to room.
45. Use a plastic laundry basket for quick pick up and transport of toys to their proper homes each evening.
46. Make a designated area for homework, crafts or sewing. You can create a very organized space in a small area, and that prevents you from having projects strewn all over the house. Photo of this craft area by ‘Country Living‘.
47. Each night before bedtime, have all family members pick up clutter for 15 minutes. Make a game out of it and see who can pick up the most things in the shortest amount of time.
48. Have one designated spot where kids are to leave school flyers, permission slips that need to be signed and school photo envelopes. Make this part of the nightly “laying out for tomorrow” habit.
49. Make a master grocery list on the app or website of your choice. Categorize the groceries into sections such as frozen, dairy, and so on. In each category, list the most frequent items that you buy. Organize the grocery list according to the way your favorite grocery store’s isles are set up. Make sure each adult or teenager has the app loaded on their phone as well. If they forget to add Pop Tarts to the list, then they are eating oatmeal.
50. Don’t leave things ’till later. Procrastination is the number one cause of clutter and mess. Take care of it right then and there.
Make sure your home runs as smoothly as it can, and that you can take the time to enjoy it, instead of always dealing with clutter and chaos. Need more ideas on how to organize your home?Image Credits: Container Store, BHG, Good Housekeeping, Container Store, Interior Design Inspiration, HGTV, House of Wood, Four Generations, One Roof, Country Living