Keeping house is no easy task, whether you are starting a major home organization overhaul, or are just simply behind on your cleaning duties. But one of the easiest ways to make cleaning your house easier is to organize it. Organizing your home means making a place for everything, then putting everything in its place. We’ll talk about two big problem areas of the home, and walk through processes that will help to reorganize and declutter them.
PROBLEM AREA #1: STORAGE CLOSETS
Closets can contain a remarkable pile of random stuff. Closets are notorious for being a depository for everything under the sun. It can be a real mess, but even if things are piled neatly in tubs, boxes, or drawers, you still may not be using your closet efficiently.
Before you tackle your closet, first ask yourself how you want the storage space to function, and what needs to be kept there. Your answers will help you decide what stays and what goes.
Then let the sorting begin! We suggest making three categories: things to keep, things to pitch, and things to give away or sell. You will be left with your keeps pile and your closet. How you store those items will depend on how they are grouped and how you want to access them. Drawers and bins are for things you want to keep together but not necessarily fold or “display”. For example, winter hats and gloves are easy to pick out of a bin—you don’t need separate containers for each pair. Scarves don’t keep as nice scrunched up in a bin or drawer, but they look nice when hung, and are easy to get to. If you have a storage closet purposed to keep all sorts of different things, labeling your boxes or bins will help you find things more easily.
PROBLEM AREA #2: KITCHENS
Cookware, food, appliances, and utensils all help make the kitchen one of the most densely occupied areas in the home. It’s not easy to find a spot for everything, but with a bit of careful planning and creativity, you can find extra space in unexpected places. You may also find that better storage solutions will make working in the kitchen faster and smoother.
To find the maximum amount of space in your kitchen, some purging has to happen here too. This includes food: pitch any expired, rotten, or otherwise spoiled items. That box of macaroni best used by August 2003 is taking up needed space. With everything—even appliances, utensils, pots and pans—consider age and frequency of use. If it’s so old it doesn’t work properly, or if you never use it, get rid of it.
There can be a lot of unused vertical space in a kitchen. Stemware and pots and pans can be hung on a wall, underneath cabinets, or on a ceiling-mounted rack. Hanging racks are inexpensive and easy to install, and they can add a level of sophistication to your kitchen. Other cabinets and shelf racks will allow you to store items vertically instead of in piles in your cabinets. Dishwashers, for examples, economize space by positioning items upright. Cabinet pullouts and shelf racks can make a huge impact on the amount of hidden storage space you uncover in your kitchen.
What storage solutions have you discovered for your home organization?