Home Organization Ideas: Declutter Your Space with These Simple Tips
Whether you're looking ahead to a PCS move or your home needs some TLC, we're sharing some home organization ideas that will help you declutter your home before you get to the actual cleaning.
You don't have to go to a lot of expense or buy new containers... unless you want to! We're keeping it simple. Try a few of these ideas to start creating a more organized space.
1) Deal with the paperwork.
Even in the digital era, unwanted paperwork can undermine the most organized among us, whether it's bills, receipts, or junk mail. If you have piles of unopened mail or mounds of paperwork that you set aside and told yourself you'd file later, this can be a great place to begin with your decluttering campaign and see immediate results.
Tackle your mail pile.
Dispose, recycle, or shred junk mail or unimportant mail. Set aside essential papers to file and shred any you're not keeping that contain personal information or sensitive data.
This a great time to start a habit of opening your mail near a paper shredder or recycle bin and dealing with it as soon as it comes into your house, rather than letting it multiply on your countertops.
File important papers somewhere easy to find.
Now that you've sorted through all that mail, the next step is to file important paperwork where you can easily access it.
Whether you use an accordion file, a wall-mounted file organizer that accents your home office decor, or simple folders in a magazine rack or plastic tote, label each section and only keep hard copies of the most important papers.
Plan for less paperwork in the future.
After all that sorting and shredding, you want to avoid finding yourself back in the same spot in a few weeks.
Paperless billing and invoices are commonplace, and the need to save all documents is long gone. If you have yet to go paperless with most or all of your recurring bills, now is the time! If you still prefer paper copies, remember that bank statements and utility bills only take up space after one read-through, so cull those papers regularly.
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2) Try a proven and effective method for decluttering.
The KonMari Method
While the craze over Marie Kondo's book from a decade ago, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has ebbed, the KonMari method is still a fantastic approach to decluttering. If you missed it the first time this method took over Pinterest and social media, KonMari involves evaluating your belongings by categories such as clothing, books, and sentimental items, and only keeping items that "spark joy."
By focusing on what truly matters to you, the goal is to eliminate unnecessary clutter and create a more meaningful living space.
The 5S System
Initially developed in Japan with its roots in Japanese culture, the 5S System has been perfected by manufacturing companies like Toyota and is used in companies worldwide to increase productivity and efficiency. You can also apply the 5S principles to home organization and decluttering. In fact, the above KonMari method is likely based on the 5S system.
The principles are: Sort (Seiri), Set in Order (Seiton), Shine (Seiso), Standardize (Seiketsu), and Sustain (Shitsuke). These simple steps can help you categorize, organize, clean, establish routines, and maintain an organized environment. Here's a quick overview of how to put this into practice in your home.
Sort: Begin by sorting through your belongings, categorizing them into necessary and not. This step helps you identify what to keep, donate, or discard.
Set in order: Organize the items you decide to keep in a logical and accessible manner. Use storage solutions like shelves, cabinets, and closets to maximize space.
Shine: Regularly clean and maintain your space. A clean environment not only looks better, but can also contribute to your overall well-being.
Standardize: Establish routines for the above maintainance and cleaning. Having everyone on the same page about household chores and ongoing pick-up will help keep routines going.
Sustain: Continuously practice and refine the first four S's. Maintenance is vital to preventing clutter from returning.
3) Conquer clutter one room at a time.
Tackling your entire home at once can feel overwhelming, so it's time to divide and conquer. Start with one room or space. In that room, begin with a closet, shelf, or cabinet. And remember, there's no need to do it all in one day!
Start with the room that bothers you most or the one most frequently used. As you sort through each item, decide what you'll keep, donate, or discard. Be firm once you make a decision! Remember that less is often more when creating a clean and organized environment.
Once you've completed one room, move on to the next. Though it may seem slow at first, you'll see a significant transformation in your home over time.
If you need a more tangible method, try the “Four Box” system when going through large piles of clutter.
Box 1: Put back where it belongs.
Box 2: Donate or sell.
Box 3: Find a place to keep this.
Box 4: Throw away.
Now, turn on a podcast, good music, or your favorite Netflix binge and tackle the clutter around you. Each item you pick up must go in one of the four boxes. When everything has been divided up, immediately take out the trash. This will prevent any second-guessing on what you’ve tossed.
For items placed in Box 2, it’s time to let go. Look online for the best place to donate or sell these. Go around your home and replace the items from Box 1 back where they belong. Find new spots for the items in Box 3 or list the contents and store those things.
Sorting through the items surrounding you can help you see them in a new light and feel better about the potential of your living space. You may find yourself repurposing that old lamp that suddenly has a vintage look to it!
4) Remember that maintaining an organized home requires consistent effort.
Just like the "sustain" step in the 5S System suggests, creating a personalized cleaning and decluttering routine is essential to maintaining your newly organized home. Decide on daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that are priorities to you, such as picking up toys daily or doing a monthly declutter. By adhering to a consistent routine, you can prevent clutter from piling up again and make the process of keeping your home organized manageable.
Provide each family member with a designated bin or basket to gather their belongings. Consider placing a basket near the entrance of each person's bedroom or using designated storage cubes under a hallway bench. Each individual's loose items found around the house should be placed in their specific bin to be stored or put away later. This helps corral the mess.
Home organization is an ongoing and never finished task, just like all household maintenance. But whether you're on a home organizing mission after the holidays or need to clear clutter before a PCS move, these ideas will give you a place to begin. And then you're ready for the next step: cleaning that newly organized home!