Have you ever been to The Container Store? I could hang out in that place for hours. I'd argue that if there's anything better than actually being organized it's the prospect of being organized. There are so many benefits to living an organized life, including the simple beauty of it all (as the Container Store displays so well). So why is it so hard to keep up with? There's an art to keeping yourself organized and it's all discovered within learning what works for you. Today I'm going to share 10 tips that anyone can refer to when getting organized, and when staying organized.
1. If it doesn't fit, you have too much.
I don't care if you're a collector or a minimalist. If your desk drawer won't close, it's because you have too much stuff. Dump it out and you'll probably realize that 30% of it is trash and another 30% is stuff that doesn't belong there. Make sure you only have what you need. Things have a way of accumulating, go through your most used drawers every couple months and make sure you haven't acquired more than whats necessary.
2. Follow the One in One Out Rule
This rule is so hard to abide by, especially when it comes to your wardrobe! But when you're at capacity in your closet, don't stuff new clothes in without taking inventory of what you already have. If I know I'm going shopping for clothes I'll browse through what's in my closet already (I'm a serial repeat buyer). Remind yourself that you're stocked on bottoms, but could use a few more neutral tops. This will not only help your organization efforts but also be kinder on your pocketbook.
3. Invest In A Label Maker
I promise this will change your life. And when I say "invest" I'm not implying that this will be a high dollar purchase, one like this will do the trick. When you designate a spot for something, let's say batteries, there is never a reason to throw loose batteries into the infamous junk drawer. It's not only easy to find where you store extra batteries, but it's oh so satisfying to put them in their labeled spot.
4. Find Storage Solutions That Work For YOU
This is a big one you guys, finding storage that works for you will make organizing and putting things away SO much easier. Finding the right storage can be tricky though because sometimes it requires thinking outside of the box, or realizing that the standard just doesn't work for you even though it may work for everyone else. For example, I can't use a dresser for my clothes. I used a dresser for years and the drawers were always partially open, clothes hanging out, cloths crumped within, I never knew what was at the bottom, it was total chaos. After dealing with this problem for way too long I decided that I just needed to hang every piece of clothing that I owned, well that didn't work very well either, there are some things that just do not work on hangers. I finally started storing my folded clothing on open shelving which was a game changer, but I still wasn't completely satisfied because I wanted that separation that a drawer gives. You know what I mean... socks here, pants in this one, etc. I ended up on a 9 cube organizer, I don't use the basket inserts, I just leave them open. I can designate each cube to a certain type of clothing and it works like a dream for me (until I have too much stuff -- see Tip 1 and 2 ;))
5.) Maximize Your Space
A lot of people love the idea of the "open shelf", as in you always have a free shelf in a closet somewhere. This idea, as liberating as it may be for some, does not jive well with me. My family and I live in a 100-year-old farmhouse and besides the bedrooms, we have one closet in our house, ONE. I know, the horror, but it gets worse. Our one "closet" isn't even a closet, it's actually a 3'x3' platform that leads down to our basement (which is scary). My point is, that when you don't have a lot of hidden storage space, you've got to maximize it! Using pegboards or hooks on the walls is a great way to keep things visible and accessible, using shelving or drawers on the bottom half creates more space for storing tools, painting supplies, craft supplies, and other small-scale extras. Don't forget the ceiling! hanging a shelf up high, a foot from the ceiling can provide extra space for small appliances that you don't use every day (we keep a carpet cleaner on ours). I've also seen people use bungee cords to lining the ceiling to store wrapping paper rolls, outdoor sports equipment like balls and bats, or even extra paper towel rolls!
6. Make Your Visible Storage Do Double Duty
When you have open storage, make it look pretty! Bookcases are a classic example of this. Storing books according to color can make a beautiful aesthetic impact, and not even "read" as storage (pun intended, of course). This method also works great for quilts and blankets. Many people are opting for open shelving in their kitchens now too, stacking things according to size and color can actually add texture and interest to your space. I store all of our unused mason jars on the top of our cabinets in what we use as a craft room, they're multiple colors, some old some new, and I think it's a beautiful way to draw the eye up and store items in plain sight!
7. Keep It Simple
One of my favorite things about starting a new organization project is that it doesn't need to cost a lot of money or require a bunch of work. Often times you'll find that the best tools for staying organized are already in your house. For example, shoe boxes, make great storage containers, empty Clorox wipes can be used for plastic bag storage, an ice cube tray or muffin pan can store smalls like jewelry, tacks, or clips. Don't forget to explore your basement or garage for other items that can be reinvented and used in a new way! An old shoe hanger for a closet door can be used to store craft supplies, tools, accessories, or even toys. Keep it simple, and using your imagination!
8. Use The Inside of Cabinet and Cupboard Doors.
The inside of doors is valuable storage space! By hanging hooks, bars, or contained shelving on the back of cabinet doors, you will open up a whole new world of storage. Just make sure you that if you're hanging something on the inside of a cupboard door that you use short screws that won't drive through the entire door!
9. Avoid "Hidden Storage"
If you're living inside a tiny house, like an actual "tiny home" or an itty bitty city apartment, then, by all means, store things under the bed and in your oven, whatever works! However, if you have a standard living space, like most of us, then I say avoid storing things where you'll never see them. If something gets stored under my bed, even with the best intentions, it's dead to me. The same goes for awkward attic and crawl spaces. Unless it's something that you know you'll come looking for, keep it out in the open, otherwise you run the risk of forgetting it forever. If you're storing it in an awkward place because your WANT to forget it forever, then donate it!!
10. Keep Experimenting!
Like I said upfront, getting (and staying) organized is an art that is unique to you. Don't be afraid to keep experimenting until you find the right system. You want something that looks great, but that's also easy to use. If it's beautiful but you can't ever touch it, well then keep looking my friend, It's worth the effort, trust me!
Thanks for tuning in loves! -C