Whoever said chaos inspires creativity has clearly never experienced a tidy home. Living in a state of constant disorder can make it difficult to focus on a task, and even more difficult to wind down afterward.
These eight tips will help inspire calm and make ‘home organization’ your new mantra. Avoid a coffee table overflowing with the remnants of last night’s movie marathon, and create a space to focus on work, studies, or heaven forbid, just relax.
One of the best barriers to an organized home is clutter. Clutter works its way into valuable spaces in cupboards and drawers, pushing important items out onto countertops and shelves. Defeat clutter by getting rid of anything you don’t use or doesn’t fit. Start with the kitchen cabinets or under the bathroom sink, allocating items into ‘keep,’ ‘toss’ and ‘donate’ piles. It’s much easier to organize your home when you focus only on those items you actually want.
There’s a reason parents encourage kids to make their beds every day. Spending a few minutes each morning resetting the bed helps to establish a habit of keeping spaces in order. Plus, doing it first thing sets the day on a neatly laid track. Solidify this habit, and who knows? It might even lead to picking up some clothes off the floor or tidying up the bedside tables.
Being organized doesn’t necessarily mean having everything ‘put away’—it means creating a home that’s functional. Utilizing empty walls in the kitchen or bathrooms is an easy way to free up cabinet space, and keep regular-use items within reach. Hang pots and pans above the stove or on the sides of cabinets, and store extra towels on shelves above the toilet. This will keep heavily-used items handy, and create visual interest in a space that would be otherwise bare.
Make the most of cabinet space with risers and dividers. Risers nearly double a cabinet’s vertical capacity by creating removable shelves where you need them most. They also make getting at the items inside a lot easier. Use them in the pantry to organize cans, and in kitchen cabinets to separate storage containers by shape. Put dividers in drawers to organize utensils, makeup or socks and underwear. (Bonus: your Tetris skills will be much improved.)
The space under the bed isn’t just for dust bunnies and stray socks—it’s packed with storage potential. Sliding a couple of thin totes under the frame is a great way to organize seasonal garments or items that don’t get used on a daily basis. Keep toques, snow pants and jackets hidden during the warm months, and swap them out for sun hats, gardening clothes, and beach towels come fall.
Every home has a spot where everything gets dumped. Keys, wallets, pens, school forms, and backpacks know this place well, and despite all efforts to redirect them to drawers and hooks, they always find their way back. So, don’t fight it—invite it. Outfitting a designated dump spot with trendy bins or baskets will help keep the area from looking unintentionally messy while embracing the routines of everyday life.
There are several easy ways to tackle the mess of cords behind a media unit or desk. Tie TV cables together using zip ties and slip them into a fabric sleeve the same colour as the walls, or bundle up excess cord in a cable organizer and attach it to the bottom of a desk. It’ll not only keep the walls and floors free from unsightly tangles, it’ll keep cords out of reach of small kids and pets.
Bringing home a new item shouldn’t be cause for all of your organizational efforts to come crashing down. Leave at least 10 percent of shelf space available to accommodate new books and accessories without looking cluttered; apply the same rule to cupboards and drawers too. Having a little room to breathe will not only make it easier to access the items you have, it means you can enjoy new purchases without worrying about where to put them. t8n