It’s easier to make your home cluttered than it is to keep it clean. If you live with a family, that’s not just a statement — it’s a fact. It can be hard enough to just keep things together, let alone organized.
However, if you keep going through with that kind of attitude, you’ll never organize your home. There are plenty of simple and effective organization tips that can help make your home easier to manage and your life a little more productive.
1. Label, Label, Label
One of the easiest ways to improve your organization is to label everything. Whether you have a box with old knick-knacks, shelves with different book genres or a cluttered spice cabinet, labeling these parts of your home can make it easier for you to find something in the future.
Don’t go too specific with your labeling — no need to list every single CD you have, for example — but make it clear enough that you’ll be able to know what goes where when you’re cleaning. Grab some Painter’s Tape and a permanent marker or invest in a nice labeler if you’d rather have a cleaner look.
2. Don’t Leave a Task Unfinished
When you were younger your parents probably told you to wash your dishes after you use them, or to put your toys away when you were done playing with them. At the time, this seemed like so much work, but — as per usual — our parents knew what they were talking about.
When you use a dish, put it in the dishwasher instead of the sink. If you’re working on a project, try to finish it right away instead of pushing it off. See each task and chore to the end instead of leaving it half-finished.
3. Clean Out What You Don’t Use
There are plenty of items in your home that you don’t really need — those old ratty slippers you never wear, the dish you got as a gift that you never use, and old sweatshirts you’ve had since high school. Go through you old stuff and get rid of the things you never use anymore. You can help narrow your clothes down by putting your hangers in backwards — when you wear an item, you can face the hanger the correct way. You can get rid of the stuff that has been left backwards for an extended period of time. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to keep everything organized when most of the clutter is gone.
4. Put Everything Back Where You Found It
It’s a simple concept, but amazingly effective — when you’re done using something, put it back where you found it. The DVD you were watching can go back in the box and in the movie cabinet, rather than sitting in the DVD player until the next time you watch a movie. The book you were reading can go back on the bookshelf, not the coffee table. Taking the extra energy to put things away as soon as you’re done using them will drastically cut down on the clutter you’ll have to clean in the long run.
5. Get Creative with Your Space
If you’re living in a smaller home, every bit of space is valuable. Instead of piling the clutter everywhere, make the most of your space. You can hang scarves, jewelry or ties on command hooks and use s-hooks to store your pots and pans vertically (which saves on space and makes it easier to find the pot you’re looking for). You can even relive your college days and use bed risers to help store some suitcases filled with out-of-season clothes — just use a dust ruffle to hide them.
6. Have a Filing System for Papers
The world is becoming more and more paperless, but unfortunately some bills still come in the mail. Plus, there may be paper items that hold sentimental value, such as art or schoolwork from your kids. You can get some filing cabinets to help organize these papers instead of letting them sit on your kitchen table. Have a system for your papers, such as alphabetical organizing or arranging by date or purpose. Whatever you decide to do, stick with it.
7. Recycle and Reuse Old Items
There’s no need to buy new organization tools when you already have plenty in your home. If you have tons of small knick-knacks, you can use an old shoe box to store them. Suitcases can hold out-of-season clothes. If you have an old bookshelf, you can use that to store your shoes by your entranceway. You can even use an old drying rack for your scarves and belts.
Each person has a different organization system that works for him or her. Find something that works for you and your family and be sure to stick with it. Doing something as simple as putting your books away or hanging up your pots and pans can be the inspiration you need to create a more organized home.