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.

 Evenings/Mornings:

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.

 

Bathrooms:

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.

Organize bathrooms

 

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.

12. Roll your towels and use them as decor tucked into pretty baskets or piled on a bench.  Check out our post on DYSS on DIY bathroom towel storage! Photo by ‘BHG“.

 

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.

 

Closet:

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.

Closet organization

 

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.

 

Kitchen:

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.

Kitchen organization

 

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!

 

Kid’s Room:

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.

 

Misc.

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




49 Comments

  1. Kristina January 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Wow. What an impressive post! And I love that these are all your own pictures! Pinned. I will be referencing this one a LOT! :) THANKS!

    Reply
  2. Patrice January 14, 2014 at 4:09 am

    You have some good suggestions. #35, however girls play basketball too!

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard January 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Absolutely!

      Reply
    2. Candice January 13, 2015 at 11:17 am

      That’s what I was going to say!

      Reply
    3. Nicole March 29, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      You have some great ideas here and as for the basketball hoop idea, awesome for younger boys and girls but really who notices that both play the game in this article, so not what its about. I will keep checking this one out for ideas:))

      Reply
  3. Ruth January 19, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Great ideas, just one thought – Rather than throw away the plastic bags from the grocery store, take some of them with you each time you shop or reuse them as trash bags, cuts down on waste and better for the environment. In Wales we have to pay for bags when we shop and the money goes to charity, the amount of bags used has reduced dramatically.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard January 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Good ideas Ruth. Thanks!

      Reply
    2. Rhonda September 20, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Our community uses the plastic bags for packing food for our ‘Backpack Program’. We have a collection spot at our church just for these plastic bags! When I have more than my ‘plastic bag holder’ can hold, I drop off a big bag full of these. The group is wondering what they’ll use, if there is a ‘plastic bag ban’ in our area. It is an awesome way to help recycle! I also use those bags for traveling-hold shoes, wet clothes, sandy beach stuff, etc.

      Reply
  4. ChardonnayLuvr January 21, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Is that a silverware organizer on the wall under “closet organizing” holding the jewelry? Also #8 should say “hole in the handle” instead of “whole in the handle” … That’s the editor in me coming out ;)

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard February 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Yes – 3 of them in a row! Thanks – fixed the typo!

      Reply
  5. Roni January 23, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you for such a great list; but please donate your plastic bags to your local food bank to be used for food distribution or take them to your local Walmart for recycling, do not throw in the garbage.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard February 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Yes. Definitely agree!

      Reply
    2. andrea February 9, 2015 at 11:53 pm

      I’m an American citizen and this post has great ideas for us all… now what I do with my plastic bags is my business, I love these ideas though! Thanks!

      Reply
  6. Denise March 18, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I must say your tips are great. Some tips we see for organizing include buying expensive pieces to use for storage where as your tips require little or no capital outlay and can be done quickly and easily with what it already in the house.

    Reply
  7. Angela March 25, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    These are honestly some of the best organizing ideas I’ve ever read. There are things in here I’ve never thought of doing, so thank you very much.

    Reply
  8. Marie April 2, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I love this! But I do agree with donating the plastic bags to a food bank, every bit helps the needy. Also another tip for a kids room is boxes or baskets under the bed for toys. Label each box; dolls, legos, stuffed animals, ex. Another plus is it saves space on the floor!

    Reply
  9. Lauren June 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I love all of these tips. Thank you for sharing. Another place to donate all the extra grocery bags to is the Public Library :-)

    Reply
  10. Reiki July 4, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Great list!
    I agree with Ruth and the others about the plastic bags. (In Germany we also have to pay for them in the stores and lots of people use fabric shopping bags.)
    Also instead of throwing away food that your family does not eat (#34), I think it’s better to donate the food or register on a foodsharing-website (of course only edible food).

    Reply
  11. Vicki S July 24, 2014 at 9:03 am

    There are some great tips in here, I’m really glad I read this article. Could I just make a plea (at least to the UK readers – I don’t know how it works elsewhere) that instead of throwing your plastic bags away you donate them to a charity organisation. Most organisations will, quite rightly, not waste money on producing their own plastic bags and so their shops rely on donated bags instead. Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Holly July 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I already do most of these things and I know the value of being tidy and organized ! Most times I’ll prepare everything for lunches the night before but then assemble everything day-of (think egg salad sandwiches, salads, cooking meat or hard boiled eggs, etc).

    I am also assigning hubby to have “prep duty” for the following night’s dinner. He preps everything so all I have to do is cook it- we have a young baby and if it weren’t for this, we’d have to have grilled cheese & soup daily !

    Reply
  13. Katherine August 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you for the great tips! Another great way to deal with glass shower doors is to treat them with Rain-X. It’s miraculous!

    Reply
  14. Nikki October 23, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Oh my what fantastic tips and tricks- for the top picture all of our mail is cluttered on our eat I’m kitchen table I love what you have done to remedy that situation. Where did you get the bins for organizing mail and the bags for the family’s stuff? What should I be looking for?

    Reply
  15. Veronica November 20, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I used the hanger and shower hooks to hang up my son’s caps and he was amazed. It worked very well. That was a great idea. Will share this with family and friends.

    Reply
  16. Sharon December 10, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    some good (new) ideas but #33 bothers me – plastic grocery bags can be returned to the grocer for recycling instead of filling up landfills. Cheers to organization!

    Reply
  17. beedabec December 21, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Why not recycle the plastic bags at your local grocery store?

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard December 30, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      We agree, great idea!

      Reply
  18. Jennifer Lowry December 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

    #33 should read, “…and recycle the rest” rather than “…and throw the rest away”!

    Reply
  19. Maureen Perry January 9, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Instead of putting 10 plastic bags inside one and throwing out the rest why not do that to all of them and bring back to store where they will recycle them instead of throwing them in trash. So bad for the environment.

    Reply
  20. Maureen Perry January 9, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Sorry hadn’t read other comments I see many agree

    Reply
  21. Maureen Perry January 9, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Also there are people like me who can’t where high heel shoes but I was lucky enough to have the room in my closet to put in an inexpensive ikea book shelf to hold all of my flats that were in, yes, boxes. But for me it was the perfect solution.

    Reply
  22. Maureen Perry January 9, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Yup it’s me again I love your ideas many of which i use others that I will use, on #47 when my kids were little I used to play music like in musical chairs and when the music stopped we would see who had picked up the most. No prizes just the satisfaction of being the winner.

    Reply
  23. Candice January 13, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I’m now inspired to install a basketball hoop over my daughter’s laundry basket and it’s not going to be pink.

    Reply
  24. HAAN January 14, 2015 at 8:17 am

    What an awesome list! Every single one of these tips are very helpful and will definitely provide a less stressful lifestyle to those who implement these ideas in their everyday lives. Thanks and Happy National Organize Your Home Day!

    Reply
  25. jus lue January 26, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I’m so inspired by ur budget “repurposing ” ideas, creating something useable out of your clutter to organize the clutter has always impressed me! NOW…Anybody with ideas on how to make said “husbands/children” maintain/participate after I do all these amazing organizations? LOL! Uve inspired my eternal optimism….so try try again I shall!

    Reply
  26. Fiona Patterson March 1, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Dont think you should advise people to throw away plastic bags. Recycle or re use them!

    Reply
  27. Judy June 11, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I live in Ontario , Canada . We have a program that weaves clean milk bags into mattresses & blankets for third world countries. Washable & last forever. Maybe could also use plastic grocery bags? Good to do the 3 r’s .

    Reply
  28. Izze J June 28, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Number 35 is sexist. What if girls like to play basketball too?

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard July 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      We agree! Girl’s too!

      Reply
  29. Karen March 18, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I know this post has been up for a couple of years, but, for those like me who are reading it for the first time… If you have clippings or pieces of paper with recipes written on them, take a photo with your phone and save the recipes in an app like Evernote. You can do the same thing if you only make one or two things from a cookbook, take a photo of the recipes you use, instead of keeping the whole book (and donate the book!).

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard May 3, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      Love this idea! Thx Karen!

      Reply
  30. Monica April 28, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    #35: this works equally well in a GIRLS room as well, yannow. :)

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard May 3, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Of course!

      Reply
  31. maria October 25, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Lovely article. But recycle the magazines too please

    Reply
  32. Tsegi November 24, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Wow. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing this. Good luck.

    Reply
  33. Grandma Betty January 26, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Just read post for first time. To commenters, hey girls, she’s got it, on bag recycle and girls play basket ball. As smart as this post is, I’ll bet she’s well aware of both. I am pinning & will refer to these tips frequently. You go, great post!

    Reply
  34. Brenda February 18, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Hi, Kathy! I read this a couple weeks ago. Great ideas, thanks
    for sharing them. I was curious about the very first picture, the
    3 cute white bags. I was wondering if you would tell me where you purchase them from. Please email me, I would really appreciate it. Thank You!!!

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard May 8, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      Im sorry Brenda, its not our photo, so we have no idea! Any of our readers know and can help Brenda?

      Reply
  35. Vanessa June 10, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Hi Kathy! Love your ideas! For those who are asking about the bags…if you have even the most basic sewing skills, there are thousands of pins with patterns for generic bags that could be adapted for this purpose. You really would only need to add one (sturdier) handle and reinforce the bag to hold it’s shape using heavy plastic mesh or something similar. Now, if I can just get the rest of my family on board with my organization and decluttering, I’d be in great shape! Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to change a tiger’s stripes!

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard June 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Thx for the tip Vanessa!

      Reply

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