Wouldn’t it be nice if organizing your home was as easy as snapping your fingers or twitching your nose?
Most of us would probably consider ourselves organized in one form or fashion, but life sometimes gets in the way and keeps us busy. Fortunately, I asked 15 experts this question:
What is your favorite organizing tip?
They have incredible organizing tips to share that will make life easier for those times when it’s hectic, so you’re going to want to read all the way to the end.
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Here’s what they had to say:
Ruth – Living Well Spending Less
The root of our organizational problems is almost always a problem of too much STUFF. We buy an endless stream of boxes and bins and baskets to try to get our stuff in order, shuffling it and ordering it and labeling it, but the problem often isn’t that we haven’t found the right system, but that we are trying to keep track of too many things.
Thus, my favorite organizing tip is to get rid of (or donate) anything in your home that is not currently useful, despite who gave it to you, and despite how much it cost. We often keep things we don’t need or want out of guilt, because they were expensive or because they were a gift, but the reality is that the money is already gone–you can’t get it back–and your only responsibility for the gift is to thank the giver–what you do after that is up to you. When you can implement this policy consistently, your organizational problems will go away for good!
Abby – Just a Girl and Her Blog
My favorite organization tip is to purge ruthlessly! I used to think I couldn’t be organized because my house was small or because I didn’t have the right bins, but really I was feeling disorganized because I was keeping way too much stuff! I love cute bins as much as the next person, but there is a big difference between creating a system of organization for items you need and love and just rearranging or hiding your clutter. I was guilty of rearranging clutter for a long time! Now that I am more picky about what I let into my house, it is a lot easier to stay organized because I am only working with the items that I absolutely need and/or love.
Beth – Home Stories A to Z
My all-time favorite organizing tip involves large plastic containers with lids and a label gun! Most of us store our Christmas decorations in these containers, but I use them in nearly every closet in the house. Keep a plastic bin labeled “donate” in each clothing closet and laundry closet and toss clean items that no longer fit into them. Once full, make a run to your local thrift store and donate the items to charity. This is an easy way to stay on top of closet clutter! I also use plastic labeled bins to corral and organize craft supplies, toys, sports equipment, beach items, and home decor accessories. Store the bins on shelves in the garage, attic, or basement for easy access.
Jodie and Jen – Eighteen 25
The best organizing tip is to just get rid of what you know you’ll never use. The worst mistake we’ve made in the past is purchasing bins and organizers to “organize things” that we never use and end up throwing away a year later.
RELATED: Organization Gift Ideas
Rachel – Maison de Pax
As simple as it sounds, the most helpful organizational tool for me is to have a place for everything. That place doesn’t have to be pretty, fancy, or color coded, but it does need to be assigned. This keeps piles of clutter at bay and rescues me from hunting for things. Having a place for everything doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Recycled cardboard boxes, repurposed decorative bowls or baskets, or even dollar store containers can all function well in closets, on shelves, and in drawers to help keep things organized. To keep clutter to a minimum (so those boxes, bowls, and containers aren’t overflowing!), you can see my favorite tips and habits here.
Sumitha – A Fine Parent
If I were to pick one organizing tip that has come in very handy to me over the years it is the rule to never walk away from the “clutter counter” empty-handed. Now everyone has this one spot in the house that tends to get cluttered more often than others… maybe it is the table by the front door, the island in the kitchen or the nightstand next to the bed. In our case, it’s the edge of the kitchen counter facing the front door. All of us in the family have the tendency to dump stuff on that counter as soon as we come in the front door – from the junk flyers to important mail, to the knick knacks my daughter tends to pick up. The counter gets cluttered faster than I can spell “clutter free”. Luckily the counter is in a high traffic area and I pass by it about a million times a day. By having the rule that I need to put away at least one item from the counter every time I pass it by, I can guarantee that things never pile up for more than a few minutes. This has by far been my favorite decluttering trick!
Brooke – All Things Thrifty
My favorite organizing tip is pretty darn simple. “PUT THINGS AWAY.”
After I had 10 (not exaggerating) measuring tapes and I could not find one of them in my garage, I freaked out. I came to the conclusion that if something has a place to live, we should make the effort to put that thing back in its place when we are done using it. Some of you may have learned that when you were three years old, but I’m stubborn and I waited until now to realize just how important this is.
I am not a slob my any means, I’m just BUSY. I move from one thing to the next, and putting things away takes effort. I haven’t made it a priority. I always got around to putting things away eventually, but I didn’t do it in a timely manner.
Because of my freak out, I went to Home Depot and bought a huge tool organization system, plastic bins, a sharpie and a roll of white duct tape. I labeled every bin. Now I know where those measuring tapes live, and you better bet I put them away (at least most of the time, nobody’s perfect!).
Crystal – Happily Ever Uncluttered
The first tip I always give when someone asks me about organizing advice would have to be to start. Such a simple word that holds so much power when it comes to organizing. If starting is what is holding you back, start small. It doesn’t matter the size, at least you are starting. You don’t have to start organizing the garage to feel as though you are making progress. You would be amazed how fulfilled you feel after cleaning out and organizing your junk drawer, a cabinet, or even a closet.
Once you start on your organizing journey, you just might be quite surprised how you will want to keep going and before you know it, your whole house and life will be organized. And then you can look back and realize it all happened because you started.
Here is a post I wrote all about taking the first steps to getting started and how it really just takes one step to begin.
Kara – A Kailo Chic Life
My best tip is plenty of colorful storage boxes. They can be displayed out on a shelf and are pretty to look at, but can easily separate papers, craft supplies, or kid’s artwork.
Erin – Suburban Simplicity
In a busy household, with kids going in different directions with tons of activities and interests, sports equipment, paperwork and general clutter can pile up and overwhelm a home in no time at all.
One of my best organizing tips that’s worked since the kids were young is HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING. This way the whole family knows where their stuff and everything else goes. By using this simple method, it’s easy for them to help keep things clean and organized, too. If “stuff” has a place, it’s more likely to be put away so you can enjoy a clutter-free home!
Jan and Kelene – Less for More Life
My favorite organizing tip is to focus on decluttering rather than organizing. I used to have 2 drawers full of cooking utensils. One day I dumped them all on the counter and started sorting. Then I thought about what I needed and actually used to prepare typical meals. I ended up keeping 2 big spoons, 1 flipping spatula, 1 scraping spatula, 1 set of tongs, 1 set of measuring spoons, a can opener, a cheese slicer and an ice cream scoop. It all fits neatly in 1 drawer, no further organizing needed. All the duplicates and unused items went in the donation box I keep handy. The best part is I kept my favorites and so I really enjoy using them!
Jessica – Fantabulosity
Keep everything in its own space. Although cluttered at times, and a bit unorganized on its own, I ALWAYS make sure to at least keep everything in its own space. This means keeping all items, that are typically related to one another, in the same location.
- Shoes/Purses/Backpacks/Outgoing Mail/Etc. are always kept in a space by the door that we always leave through. This reduces the amount of “looking for X,” before we are getting ready to head out the door.
- New purchases. Anything purchased (that is sent through the mail, or brought in from a store) is placed in our designated spot, waiting to be used, installed, built, or put away.) Because when you get home from a shopping trip or receive a package in the middle of the day… more than likely, it’s not ready to be opened/used at that moment. So we always keep those items in the same location, until they’re ready to be opened/used. This way, when it is time to use the item, we know exactly where to go, to grab it.
- If hosting a party, we keep all products purchased during the party planning process, in the same corner of the house. That way, on party day, all of our party goodies are in the same spot, where we can easily see what all we have, and it’s all in one location to begin decorating and setting up.
- Incoming mail. Incoming mail is always sorted through immediately. Junk in the trash, bills in the bills folder, etc., and placed in its correct location. This way, mail doesn’t get lost during the dinner shuffle, and it’s where it needs to be when needed.
Stephanie – Somewhat Simple
My favorite organizing tip is to have one basket where you toss all your “junk” as you tidy up your house. It is a great way to get a room presentable in just a few minutes before guests come, and it makes cleaning each room super fast and easy. You can stuff that basket in a closet or someplace out of sight until you are ready to organize and take care of it all. Be sure not to get too carried away with this though – make sure you stick with filling one basket and not ten or twenty!
Erin – The Humbled Homemaker
Doing one load of laundry per day, from start to finish, makes my whole world feel more in order.
RELATED: Organization Gift Ideas
Linda – Burlap & Blue
The easiest organization tip for my family involves simplifying, decluttering and just having less “stuff” to organize in the first place. For the things we DO feel we need to keep and organize, though, just having a place for everything, whether it’s a drawer, spot in the linen closet, basket, etc. goes a long way towards keeping us and our home organized. I have several other home organization tips on this post: 50 Clever Organization Ideas.
Suzi – Start a Mom Blog
- Have a designated place for everything and return it when you remove it. It only takes a few minutes, but sticking to this rule keeps my house tidy.
- Use large, but discreet, storage items for toys. We have an ottoman in our living room that is filled with toys. It is also super easy to clean up all the toys after my toddler plays by just throwing them back into the ottoman. We also have a hallway bench with storage for more toys.
- I hang my clothes in my closet by color. It makes your closet look less messy and makes picking out clothes more fun.
- I use time blocks throughout the day to organize my time. It helps me be more productive as a work from home mom. Here’s my Mommy Schedule.
Emily – Grace and Good Eats
I’ve tried a lot of different systems, and even different products, to try to keep my home organized but I would say that the thing that works best for me is living by the rule that “everything must have a home.” I only keep out what has a proper place- minimal items on shelves, counter tops, and tables. This rule works for inside spaces as well, such as cabinets and drawers, to keep them from becoming too cluttered. It makes it easier to pick up because I can immediately see what’s out of place and helps to prevent random piles from accumulating. (Like the dreaded “drop off zones” and stacks of paper I used to have!)
It has also changed the way I buy things. Instead of first looking at the cost, I stand back and think- “where would this live inside my home?” I no longer purchase something just because it’s on sale with the intent to find a spot for it later. That alone has helped keep me organized by making use of what I have and being conscious of my available space.
Jessica – Four Generations One Roof
My favorite organizing tip would be to use baskets of all sizes to keep things organized. I have baskets everywhere in our house. On counters, drawers, closets, toy boxes and even my car. Baskets come in all shapes and sizes and will keep things organized.
Heather – Setting for Four
Use your vertical space to maximize storage capacity when organizing a room and use out-of-the-box ideas to store everyday items. Here are some examples:
Declutter your kitchen countertop by using a bookshelf for storing recipe books and kids homework: Bookcase Family Organizer and for storing extra dishes, napkins and platters: Kitchen Storage and Display Bookcase.
Use square cube storage shelves to hold staplers and tape dispensers that will free up the top of your desk. Candle votives, thrift store vintage glasses and regular drinking glasses are inexpensive ways to store paper clips, pencils and markers: 5 Easy Organization Ideas to Create the Chicest Desk Ever.
Don’t you just want to take these organizing tips and organize something RIGHT NOW? Get a printable list of all the tips below.
Share your takeaway in the comments below from these ladies’ amazing tips. You also want to head on over to their blogs because they provide so many other wonderful ideas, and I’m sure you will find something useful.
32 Tips to a more ORGANIZED HOME >>>
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