Let’s face it: Our lives have changed a lot over the last couple of years. And between work obligations and the everyday balancing act of trying to run a household, life has become pretty messy. Literally.
If you've found yourself wondering “What should I do with all this stuff laying around?” or “What’s the best way I can reorganize my home?,” then you've come to the right blog. Start with this decluttering mindset: To do better with? It’s easier to focus on how to do better without. Then, let the organizing fun begin!
But how should you start? And what should you declutter in 2023? From your kitchen cabinets to your daily schedule, here are some of our favorite home organization hacks that are here to stay
1. Start by Organizing Your Storage Spaces
If you’re wondering “What should be organized first in a house?,” the answer is your storage spaces. They may not be the most exciting part of your home to organize, but household storage areas are the most practical places to start. Getting rid of things you don’t need or want and reordering these spaces means that you’ll have somewhere to put things as you move through other rooms in your home, organizing the rest of your life.
2. Closet Organization Hacks
Closets are perhaps the easiest and most fun areas to organize. In addition to positively transforming a space you use daily, organizing your closet almost guarantees you’ll find forgotten treasures along the way! Here are some closet organization hacks to help you get your wardrobe in tip-top shape:
- Get resourceful and find any unused hooks, baskets, bins, or other supplies laying around the house that you think may come in handy for organizing.
- Empty out your closet and go Kondo crazy — that is, say goodbye to any items that haven’t been worn or used in a year or so (yep, hard but necessary).
- Any clothing that is stained or torn can be thrown away or repurposed as rags.
- Clothes that aren’t being worn but are still in decent shape can be sold or donated.
- Beautify your closet! Separate tops and bottoms and then use the popular trend of color coordinating or “rainbow-ing” your clothes by color. Keep reds together first, then oranges, yellows, and so on. For patterned prints, decide the primary hue on each item and “file” it under that color. This keeps your tops and bottoms looking streamlined and easy to find, too.
|Did you know? The closet is the ideal place to try out some DIY organization hacks! Hooks are perfect for hanging frequently used outerwear and scarves. Baskets and bins work great for small purses, lingerie, or sock storage. And shoes can be kept on floating shelves stacked floor to ceiling in a corner.|
3. Garage Organization Hacks
Does it feel like your garage gets the short end of the stick when it comes to clutter? It’s pretty easy for the area to turn into a dumping ground — hello, four pairs of mowing-the-lawn shoes. If it’s been awhile since you’ve even considered parking your car in the garage, it’s time to declutter and get into full-on organization mode.
First things first, empty out the garage. It’s easier to work with a blank canvas. To temporarily store all the lawn accessories, seasonal and holiday décor, and everything else that’s been taking up space in the garage, use a PODS portable storage container. You can keep it right in your driveway and use it as a sorting station where things are kept out of the way (but close at hand). Lock it up when you’re done organizing for the day and keep it for as long as you want. Tackling the garage can take longer than one day, after all.
|Decluttering Hack: Undecided about whether or not you should keep certain things in your garage? Simply store them away in your PODS storage container for a while. If you’re finding yourself missing the items, bring ’em on back! If you don’t even notice their absence, let ‘em go!|
When you’re thinking about layout and organization options for the items that do make it back into the garage, consider the following tips:
- Use garage racks and tool cabinets for floor storage.
- Try the trending over-the-garage-door storage hacks.
- Install wall-mounted shelves, and don’t be afraid to install them high up, since they can easily be accessed with a stool or ladder.
- Separate items by category (e.g. holiday decorations or sports equipment) and store them on the shelves in their own individual bins. Be sure to label the bins so you know what’s inside!
- Store bins with memorabilia on the highest shelves, since they won’t be accessed very often.
- Near the door to the main house, designate a cleaning section with hooks or a rack for brooms, mops, and the vacuum cleaner. Use a shelf on top for cleaning sprays and bottles.
- Designate a basket or container to hold things that need to be properly put away (for those moments when you just don’t have the time). But make sure to actually put those things away on a weekly basis at least. This will help keep the garage organized going forward.
|Space-Saving Hack: Avoid using overly wide shelves on the side walls of the garage. Measure out how much space you need with your car parked in the garage and the doors open. Then create some walk-around room and decide how deep your racks or floating shelves should be.|
4. Kitchen Organization Hacks
It’s simple: The key to a great cooking experience is organized ingredients. And when it comes to kitchen organization, small changes can make a big impact. To see the impact in action, use these kitchen organization hacks:
- Go through your fridge, cabinets, and pantry and empty everything out. Throw away all the expired, spoiled, or stale goods.
- Then, get storage containers for cereals, pastas, spices, and anything else in your inventory. Even better if they’re clear, so you can see what’s inside.
- Create labels for those storage containers.
- Finally, organize by food or category. If you find duplicates, simply store the unopened items with the latest due dates behind their “twins.” Just make sure they stay visible, so they can easily be rotated into the mix when the time comes.
- At least once a month, discard any stale or expired food to avoid things getting cluttered again.
Presto! You’ve conquered your cabinets and fridge in one fell swoop, and given yourself a system to keep it that way. While you’re at it, you may want to look around your countertops and see if anything would be better off hanging on the wall, like knives and other cooking utensils.
|Q: How can I perfectly organize my home?|
A: Having a perfectly organized home takes some work, but it’s not all that complicated. The three basic steps are:
1. Declutter thoroughly by getting rid of anything you don’t actually need or want.
2. Designate a specific place for every little thing.
3. Establish a consistent routine to keep things organized.
The thing to remember is that getting your home perfectly organized involves some trial and error. You may decide that this goes there only to find that there is not actually all that convenient. So, do your best to find a place for everything, but if it isn’t working — pivot. Adjust. Tweak. You’ll get it. It may take some time, but you’ll get it and it will all be worth it.
5. Bedroom Organization Hacks
While your home is a sanctuary, your bedroom is a sanctuary within a sanctuary. Unfortunately, bedrooms often become cluttered with personal belongings and once-worn clothing that’s not dirty enough to wash but not clean enough to stow away. Your bedroom should be a space where you can unwind, and where you can easily find what you’re looking for. Here are some bedroom organization hacks to return your private quarters to sanctuary status:
- Designate a permanent home for everything in your room. If you’re not sure where to start, try some of these tips:
- Use decorative baskets and trays to organize things kept on your dresser. A small dish works great for catching loose jewelry.
- Place a chest at the end of your bed for storing extra bedding. This also doubles as additional seating.
- Underbed storage that slides out is a great option for storing shoes.
- Avoid piles of clothing by designating a dresser drawer specifically for those items that you’ve already worn and plan to wear again before washing.
- Avoid future clutter by placing a basket in the corner of the room. Use this as a catch-all for random items, then be sure to find a permanent home for them at the end of the day (or at least once a week).
- Instead of using standing bookshelves that reduce floor space, install bookshelves higher up on the walls.
- You can use simple hooks that hang over the doors for holding frequently used bags and purses.
- Dust your room once a week. This is a great way to see what you’re actually using and what’s just sitting and literally collecting dust. Consider selling or donating items that aren’t being used, or storing them out of the way to reduce clutter.
6. Bathroom Organization Hacks
Similar to the bedroom, the bathroom is another part of the house that tends to collect clutter. This is especially true if your bathroom doesn’t have much storage space. Use these bathroom organization hacks to regain some order (and counter space!):
- Declutter! Empty out your medicine cabinet, drawers, and the space under your sink and get rid of anything you don’t actually need or want.
- Organize what’s left under the sink in baskets or plastic tubs.
- Floating shelves above the toilet are a great place to store toilet paper, hair and beauty products, and other frequently used items.
- Use apothecary jars, decorative dishes, and hanging baskets to organize the items on your counter such as cotton swabs, hair brushes, beauty products, perfumes, toothbrushes, etc.
- Have a catch-all basket somewhere out of the way where you can place things that don’t yet have a home (but be sure to give them a home and not just leave them in the basket).
7. Organization Hack for Your Schedule
Nobody can remember it all. From work appointments and house errands to kids’ activities and planned nights out with family and friends, keeping it all together can get tricky.
Sure, it’s cliché, but the best method to stay mentally organized is to keep a planner handy. Whether maintaining a physical planner or using the calendar on your smartphone, the hardest part is getting started. But once you get into the groove of it, keeping an organized schedule will come naturally.
Just start jotting down personal and work appointments into your calendar, as well as reminders a few days in advance. This will help you avoid the mistake of not checking your calendar for a couple of days and missing out on a very important event or assignment. Then, add birthdays, anniversaries, or anything else that you don’t want to forget. Every morning, give your planner a once over, and make it a habit to add new things and cross things out that are done. It’s the best feeling seeing things marked complete!
|Pro Tip: Instead of having separate planners for work and personal appointments, keep it all in one place. This makes it easier to see what’s actually on your schedule and also less likely that you'll miss something. Try using different colored pens when noting your appointments to make it clear if they’re business or pleasure (red and blue work great!).|
8. Hacks to Keep Things Organized
Decluttering and organizing — and knowing everything is in its place — are great ways to achieve a cleaner, more orderly house and a happier you. But how do you declutter and stay decluttered? How do you organize everything and maintain it? It’s all about consistency and forming habits. When you begin with a clean and refreshed space, physically and mentally, you’ll naturally be inclined to want to keep it that way.
Like the garage example, try keeping baskets or bins near heavily trafficked areas. Zipping around a room and grabbing any misplaced items and tossing them in a basket takes no time at all. Later, when you’re not so rushed, you can grab the basket and return these things to their rightful places throughout your home. While waiting on your morning tea or coffee, quickly unload the dishwasher. And while sitting in a rush-hour standstill, use the time to update your calendar. Little efforts like these will end up making huge impacts!
Remember, though: Practice makes perfect. Just keep at it until it becomes routine and seamless without a second thought. Before you know it, you’ll be a decluttering and organization pro yourself!
Kiran Bahl is a freelance writer who loves discovering how to make something better yet simpler at the same time. She lives happily and peacefully amongst her family and enjoys dessert every day — especially after meeting a writing deadline early.