Do you find yourself wishing that your home was cleaner, tidier, and more organized? You’re not alone. With the rising popularity of minimalism, it’s clear that many Americans are searching for ways to make their homes and their lives more peaceful and orderly. Don’t worry, there’s no need to throw away 90 percent of your possessions to achieve a serene, organized home.
We’ve been organizing homes and offices for years at BritLin Cleaning. Today, we’re sharing 10 home organizing tips from our time-tested expertise to help you get a head start on organizing your home, so you can enjoy your living space again.
Tip 1: Set realistic home organizing goals
Organizing an entire house, or even just a single room, can be a substantial project. It takes time, planning, and energy to transform a home or space from cluttered chaos to tidy perfection. Don’t expect this to happen overnight.
When planning a home organization project, first decide what you want to accomplish. Do you want to finally get all of the boxes from your last move unpacked? Do you want to turn a spare bedroom full of old clutter into a studio space? Do you just want to be able to see most of your floors? Jot down what you need to do to get your home where you want it to be.
Next, consider how much time and money you have for the project. Do you just have a few hours on weekends? Could you devote a couple of evenings a week to the project? Will you have help? While decluttering is usually not expensive as home projects go, consider what costs you may have for storage supplies like organizing baskets or boxes and shelves.
Based on your objectives and the resources you have, have a realistic idea of when you can plan to have your project accomplished. You’ll be much less likely to get discouraged when the project takes a while if you had a realistic timeline in mind from the start.
Tip 2: Have a vision for your organized home
When you are planning your home organization project, think about why you want to declutter and organize. Do you want to create a welcoming space for entertaining friends and family? Do you need to get rid of old stuff now that the kids have moved out? Do you want to make it easier to find things and keep your home clean?
No matter what your motivation is, keep it in mind when you’re planning and executing your home transformation. A final vision will help keep you on track if you are unsure how to approach a decision about what to keep or how to sort specific items.
Tip 3: Identify root causes of clutter in your home
Think about what tends to cause a buildup of clutter in your house. Maybe you don’t have enough time to keep up with everything, and home organization has fallen to the wayside. Perhaps some family members are prone to keeping things they no longer need. Maybe you have enough space for everything, but you just need a system to keep it tidy.
Try to figure out why your house is cluttered. This will help you figure out what you can do about the problem. If the root issue is a lack of time, maybe you can dial back another commitment or get help with organizing. If the problem is the lack of a home organizing system, make a plan to sort and organize your possessions.
Tip 4: Get help from family or friends
Even if you live alone, you may have a friend who enjoys organizing and would be willing to help out a bit. But if you have family or housemates living with you, you should not have to tackle a home reorganization alone. Some people have higher levels of tolerance for clutter than others, so be sensitive to how your family or housemates feel about decluttering shared spaces. Try to communicate your vision for how an organized home will benefit everyone.
If there are children in the household, get them involved too! Explain at an age-appropriate level what you want to accomplish, and find small ways for kids to help out. For instance, you might explain that you need to make more space to play by cutting down on how many old toys are piled up in the playroom. Tell kids that their chores will be easier if there’s less mess to clean up and that giving away gently used toys they’ve outgrown and don’t use anymore is a great way to share with younger kids.
Tip 5: Use a systematic approach to attacking home clutter
Come back to your goals list. Break down each major goal into manageable tasks. For instance, say you have 6 rooms to declutter. You might plan on doing a room per week. Breaking down each room, you might plan to start with creating keep, throw away, donate, and sell piles. Once you’ve removed the excess items, you can see what you have left to organize. Then, you can acquire any organizing supplies you need, like plastic totes, baskets, closet organizers, etc., and put away everything you are keeping.
As you are putting away your “keeper” items, have a system for that. If you’re working on organizing an office, assign an area for office supplies, an area for files, an area for books, and so on, and keep related items together. Depending on the room, you may want to consider labeling systems. This could be as simple as a Sharpie and a stack of plastic totes, or as sophisticated as a QR-code-based digital tracking system (there’s an app for that).
Tip 6: Be realistic about what to keep
The hardest part of organizing a home is the initial decluttering. Be honest with yourself about what items you really need, and what you would be better off donating, selling, or throwing away. Particularly if an item has been out of use for a long time (think items in the attic, the back of the garage, or stuffed in a closet), there’s a good chance you no longer need it.
Ask yourself, “Could someone else use this? Will I likely use it in the next six months?” and you may find quite a few things to let go of.
You may also have items taking up physical space that could be digitized, like old photos or home movies. Keep the memories, and toss the cardboard boxes!
Tip 7: Get a little home organizing inspiration
Check out places like Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. There are a lot of people with creative home organizing ideas, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Having visual references can help you solidify your vision for your home and give you ideas about what types of organizing approaches might work best for you. Having a few tangible ideas can be a huge help when you are facing a daunting wall of clutter and unsure how to start turning a room back into a usable space.
Tip 8: Keep track of your progress towards an organized home
One of the simplest ways to stay motivated on any home improvement project is to keep track of your progress. The easiest way to do this is to snap a few photos of your space as are transforming it. A before and after picture of one room will be a big motivator as you move on to tackling the next room!
Tip 9: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice
If you know someone who has a super organized home, consider asking them how they achieved it. Creating an organized, clutter-free space is a lot of work, and it doesn’t happen by accident. You might pick up some insights that could save you effort in the long run if you get input from other people who have achieved homes similar to your vision.
Tip 10: Be honest when you need help organizing your home
Taking a home from cluttered to organized is a huge job, and there’s nothing wrong with needing some help getting started. If you are struggling to organize your home or feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it, you may want to consider consulting a professional.
A professional home organizing service can bring years of experience and a proven system to organizing your home, and knock out the job much faster than you could on your own. At BritLin Cleaning, we offer a variety of home organizing packages, which we can tailor to the needs of the individual client.
Our in-home consultation gives you a chance to craft a plan with an experienced organizing professional, and develop a strategy that works for your lifestyle and your budget. Life is short – don’t spend yours tripping over mountains of clutter.
Give us a call today at 512-566-3292 to schedule an in-home consultation and get started on transforming your home!