Over time, it’s easy to let clutter pile up in your house — and often, it accumulates so slowly that you don’t notice a problem until it’s too late. Luckily, all it takes is a little free time and some elbow grease to get things back in shape.
Here, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you organize even the most clutter-prone zones in your home.
For a messy bedroom:
Organizing and decluttering your bedroom can help you maintain a sense of relaxation and order not just in the room, but in your life as well. First, take a look around the room with an eye for the unnecessary. Are there any old knick-knacks or dusty decorations you could part with? Are there any clothes or shoes that you haven’t worn in the past year (and that you don’t see yourself wearing again in the next year)? Put aside what you can donate. Then, arrange your remaining clothes by style, color or type to simplify your mornings. If you’re struggling to decide what to keep and get rid of, consider enlisting the help of a professional organizer — many will make themselves available for a phone call or video chat to assist.
Tip: Instantly double your closet space with soda tabs. Just slip one end of the tab over one hanger and loop a second hanger through remaining hole to hang two items at once.
For a cluttered kitchen:
A clean, efficient kitchen can help make cooking a breeze. First, you’ll want to go through your fridge and pantry and toss any expired items. Then, group together your foods in a way that makes sense for your home. Once your food is sorted, organize your plasticware, pots and pans to maximize cabinet space and make things easy to find. If you’ve edited down to the essentials and find that some items are still hard to get to, consider adding pull-out drawers, turntables, shelf organizers and other kitchen-organization tools.
Tip: Sick of that catch-all utensil drawer? Add some hooks to the back of your cabinet or pantry door and hang your ladles, whisks and measuring cups for easy access.
For an overwhelmed office:
Eliminating distractions and messes in your home office will help you reach peak productivity. Moving drawer by drawer, do an audit of all the papers and belongings you’ve accumulated, and dispose of anything you no longer need. Alphabetize your important files and store them in color-coded folders to make them easy to find. Ready to move online? Create electronic copies of any important documents by scanning and uploading them to an external hard drive or the cloud. Then, enjoy working in a streamlined, simplified area.
Tip: Organize jumbled cords and keep them separate using binder clips. Simply clamp the clips on the edge of your desk and run each individual cable through the exposed silver loops.
For a forgotten garage:
The garage often serves as a storage catch-all, but investing some time in organizing this space will leave you feeling refreshed — and create some breathing room. Start by dividing your belongings by category and putting things in boxes and bins. You may have separate containers for sporting equipment, outdoor maintenance and seasonal decor, for example. Be sure to label each bin so you can easily find your belongings when you need them, and stack or organize the containers on shelves. You can also use a pegboard — or create your own — to hang tools, hoses and other items you’d like to keep handy.
Tip: Be sure to store chemical products like fertilizers, pesticides and paint according to manufacturer instructions.