No matter who you are, there comes a time when you finally can’t find something in your home and your patience pool collapses: “Enough is enough! We desperately need some home organization here!”.
… Or you’ve been thinking about organizing your home for a long time now, but never push yourself to start because there are so many questions!
In this article, I’m sharing my step-by-step story of what I did to make our home organization fast, pleasant, and smooth as butter. I’m pretty positive it can make this whole home organization idea less scary to you, and improve your chances of doing it successfully!
A Real-Life Home-Organization Approach From Someone Who Gets It
You see, when I was living in my first apartment, I barely knew what the heck home organization is. I wasn’t someone living in a mess all the time – I like cleaning! But since I didn’t really understand why organizing and decluttering are so essential, I had some colossal living space problems. If you haven’t started your home organization yet, you’ll probably notice that you have these problems too. Let’s start with them!
1. The Tell-Tale Signs You Need Home Organization (ASAP!)
- First of all, you might notice that it is getting harder and harder to find things in your home, get ready in the morning, or even relax after work.
- Or you can feel overwhelmed every time you start cleaning your home because there’s just so much of everything.
- Another thing you can notice is that you’re simply having too much stuff. I’m not talking about the useful or pretty stuff. I mean stuff that’s just sitting up there in the closet waiting to be used… literally never. Or the massive amount of random items that were supposed to have a function (like to be a decorative element), but all it did was make cleaning incredibly hard and long.
Speaking of never-used things, I don’t even want to remember my closet.
It was a nightmare closet, filled with tons of clothes that I never wear because:
- it’s too small
- it’s too big
- it’s not my color
- it’s outdated
- it’s ragged
- it’s not mine
- “well, maybe I’m gonna need it someday… but it’s NOT today!”
Multiply it by two because I was already living with my boyfriend who didn’t understand a thing about organization either.
What a mess! I thank God for the day I started reading and learning about home organization.
Little by little, step by step I learned about decluttering and my home slowly but surely became less and less cluttered.
Right now I live in another apartment, and I only have the stuff that I need or use, neatly organized, allowing me to spend minimal time cleaning.
It took me around three rounds of decluttering (yes, I had that much clutter!) to achieve this state but even though it was a lot of work, it was also enjoyable and therapeutic!
Nothing feels better than waking up in a completely organized, sparkling clean home and going around with your routine without any clutter or stress.
In the next sections, I will be sharing the exact steps I took to achieve that blissful environment and how you can make your home organization a piece of cake!
2. Before You Begin Your Home Organization
… And this is completely optional – I want to introduce you to the KonMari method, which was a huge game-changer for me (and yes, I’ve learned it before it was cool!).
The KonMari method is taught by Marie Kondo – a beautiful Japanese organization guru who became a real superstar because of her ideas. The central concept of it is to go through your stuff and see which items spark joy in your heart – these things deserve a place in your home.
On the other hand, things that don’t spark joy for you should be donated, gifted, or thrown away if their condition is bad.
There’s a lot more to this whole KonMari concept (like a secret to perfect clothes folding), but I don’t want to spoil it for you if you decide to try it (and I really encourage you to)!
You can master the KonMari method by taking her online course on Udemy.
3. Step-By-Step Home Organization Guide – Let’s Do This!
1. Start with a single room or space
Let’s be real. With any home organization, there’s a lot of work to do.
Don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, take one room at a time and then divide it into sections.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you want to organize your kitchen.
The kitchen has several main sections:
- The pantry
- The cupboards
- The drawers
- The fridge
- Other sections
Take it one section at a time, thoroughly review the items in it, clean the surfaces, and then organize it neatly using tips from the next step.
Then take the next section in your kitchen and do the same.
Repeat until your kitchen is done and then move on to the next room.
To make this process easier (and organize your organization), I really recommend you to use this free printable Project Planner.
It will help you plan your home organization process, divide rooms into sections, and track your progress, for a little motivation (every checked task is a dopamine-releasing achievement!).
2. Get rid of anything that you don’t use, like, or need
Organized clutter is still clutter. Don’t sabotage your home organization’s efforts by leaving hidden clutter behind.
To organize your home once and for all, you must let go of the things that have zero value in your life. I’m talking about those shoes you never wear, bags that don’t match your style anymore, old and damaged things, books you never read, clothes you never wear, old electronics…
It may feel hard at first because there’s always that nagging thought “but what if I need it someday?”. This thought is sneaky and seductive, but you need to counter it.
Think about it – if you haven’t used a particular thing at least once in a year, chances are that you won’t need it for the next year too.
Keeping that kind of item is costly because it needs your energy to clean it, it collects dust and takes up space which could otherwise be taken by something you like.
I can’t even count how many times I hesitated to say goodbye to a particular item, but every time I did it, I literally forgot about it the next day and never remembered it again.
P. S. If you have a lot of clutter, consider getting a roll off dumpster for your junk!
3. Sort your things into boxes, jars, bags, holders, baskets, and containers
When you move forward with your home organization, these become your best friends!
The key to a successful home organization is to sort the things you have and put them in their places, where they will stay neatly organized.
All these containers, jars, and boxes work like little houses for every thing in your home.
They can contain a single item or a whole family of similar items.
Once you decide on a home for every little thing in your home, it will become so much easier to find things when you need them!
You will also tidy up around your home much faster because you will already know where to put the things you find (that’s right – back into their little homes!).
Amazon has a wonderful selection of various organization items. Here are a few ideas I love:
You can use boxes for so many things, like:
- Children’s toys
- Pet items
- Cleaning supplies
Tip: put small boxes into drawers so they can divide your drawer into sections.
Use jars for:
- Nuts, Seeds, Oats, Pasta
- Tea, coffee, sugar, salt, flour
- Small stationery
- Tide pods, dishwasher pods
- Cotton pads
- Soap bars
- Anything that is (relatively) small and multiple!
Use bags for:
- Plaids, pillows
- Plush toys
- Anything that’s soft and foldable.
Tip: I recommend choosing matching colors whenever you buy items for your home organization. It will help you create a consistent color palette and achieve that modern, minimalistic look.
To organize various documents, buy simple binders and then dedicate a separate binder for separate categories like:
- Bills & payments
- Tax documents
- Car documents
- And other documents you have.
4. If needed, go through it all again
As I mentioned in the beginning, it took me three cycles of decluttering until I finally achieved the state where working around my home doesn’t leave me stressed anymore.
If you want your home organization to be long-lasting, you may need several rounds too.
It may sound daunting but in reality – it gets easier every single time since you have less stuff to work with.
Decluttering in several cycles is also beneficial if you have a hard time letting go of things or if you’re a person who quickly gets anxious or overly excited (like me).
5. Keep it clean and tidy
Once you’ve done your home organization, you want to keep everything that way.
There aren’t many shortcuts here – you will need to review your stuff from time to time but here are the things that help me stay organized:
- Buy intuitively – always give a second thought to anything you’re planning to buy. Do you really need this? Are you going to use it? Will it provide you with joy?
- When you bring your groceries and purchases home, organize them right away. It means pasta going out of the bag straight to the jar, clothes should be washed and hung or folded right away, laundry pods put in their container… You get the idea!
- Make a decision always to hang your clothes, wash your dishes after eating, review the items in your fridge once a week, and also – always throw out empty packaging, broken stuff, and ragged clothes immediately.
And here’s a ton more of my favorite organization tips: 99 ways to get seriously organized
Home Organization Is Liberating
… And it’s absolutely worth it! You won’t believe how nice your home can feel when everything is neatly organized and clutter-free.
Let’s sum up the key points of home organization:
- Start with a single room or space.
- Get rid of everything you don’t like or need there.
- Sort the remaining things in baskets, boxes, jars, various containers (investing is worth it, and it doesn’t have to be expensive!).
- Repeat if needed, go through rooms one or more times.
- Once you’re done with your home organization, strive to keep everything clean and tidy.
That’s it! I hope you’re inspired and motivated to dig into that clutter and make it gone – for good!
If you like these home organization tips, scroll down for more – there’s so much more to discover.