Organize Your Home for Good in 3 Steps

If your home is cluttered, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of finally getting organized. Keeping in mind that you can move at your own pace and focusing on the goal of a more user-friendly home can help keep you motivated during the process. The following are three steps to getting and staying organized at home.

1. Declutter

The first step toward streamlining your living space is to declutter. Otherwise, you will end up spending time organizing things that you don’t need or use. Go through your home one room at a time and take out things that can be donated or thrown away.

Some individuals have difficulty parting with things that they may have to replace later. In such cases, ask yourself if you have used the item in the past six months or will use it in the next six months. If the answer to both questions is no, then you are unlikely to have to replace it.

Others find it difficult to part with sentimental items. There is nothing wrong with keeping special mementos. The problem only arises if you have so many treasures that you feel overwhelmed by them. There is no magic number and only you can decide for yourself how much is too much. Taking photos of objects and making a special album may help you feel more comfortable parting with these items.

2. Organize

After you have cleaned out, it is time to start organizing all the items you decided to keep. You can use handy checklists to help you get started. Work in one room at a time. Find a home for every item. You may need to buy a few things to help you do so. For instance, installing a custom drawer organizer allows you to choose the number and arrangement of compartments in a drawer. Other practical purchases may include storage bins, labels, folders and files.

If you have a small home, it can be difficult to keep everything tidy even after you have thoroughly decluttered. Use vertical space by installing shelves up high. Over-the-door storage maximizes usable space. Rolling carts are handy for organizing things that are used occasionally but need to be moved out of the way when not in use such as art supplies and special kitchen items.

Many individuals find it particularly difficult to organize paperwork. The first thing to do with this project is to stop accumulating paperwork. Switch as many bills and statements to paperless as possible. Create folders in your cloud storage so that you can download the PDF files as they come in. For paperwork already in your possession, use a scanner to upload documents to the appropriate digital folder. You can then discard the physical documents. Shred all papers that have sensitive information such as account information and Social Security numbers. There are some physical documents, such as birth certificates, that need to be kept. Most individuals do not have enough of these papers to fill even a small filing cabinet. Consider keeping a pocket folder in a fire safe to store these important documents.

3. Maintain

Once your home is organized, it may be difficult to maintain it. Even if every item has a designated place, you may not always have the energy to return it after using it. However, taking a few minutes to clean up every morning or evening gives you the chance to make sure everything is where it belongs. If you discover that your organizational system is not working for you, don’t be afraid to tweak it so that it is easier for you to use. Don’t get discouraged if you have to reorganize a few times before finding a system that sticks.

Having a home that allows you to find things easily and doesn’t feel cluttered requires a bit of effort. However, staying organized should become easier as you get accustomed to your new system and routine.