If you’ve made a resolution to get organized in 2018, you’re not alone. Decluttering for a tidy home has become a movement all its own, with hundreds of books, online tutorials and blogs dedicated to managing (or getting rid of) clutter. Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” has even become a household name for her proven methods of maintaining order and for the question “Does this spark joy?”
So, where do you begin? Get started with these 13 tips to tackle clutter and get organized one room at a time.
Problem: A disarray of coats, shoes, mail and keys.
Solution: Turn this drop-zone into a command center. Hang a wall organizer for keys and incoming mail. A bench with built-in storage is perfect for containing shoes.
Problem: A cupboard of tangled pots and pans.
Solution: Keep only the cookware you love and hang it from an overhead pot rack. They’ll be easy to access and put away, and you’ll be more likely to take good care of objects in plain sight.
Problem: Special dinnerware that takes up space and remains unused year after year.
Solution: Store dinnerware where you use it. A sideboard in the dining room is stylish, and some models feature glass doors so you can enjoy the fine china even when it’s not in use.
Problem: Dust-covered shelves full of books and knick-knacks.
Solution: Replace your bookshelves with basic storage for items you use every day. Consider leaning a decorative ladder for hanging your favorite throw blankets instead.
Problem: A cluttered nightstand.
Solution: Small trays or inserts are a simple way to corral small necessities, such as jewelry and lip balm, in your nightstand drawer. No drawer? A small tray can go a long way on your tabletop, too. Consider using a clip-on lamp to make extra room.
Problem: Cabinets stuffed to the brim.
Solution: Start by throwing away expired medications (consult a pharmacist about proper disposal) and products you don’t use. Then get creative with easy-to-access storage containers. Items you use every day should be easy to grab – and, more importantly, put away.
Problem: An outdated filing system.
Solution: Purchase or borrow a scanner to digitize must-have records, and recycle or shred everything else. Digitizing also allows you to get rid of bulky filing cabinets.
Problem: Toys. Everywhere.
Solution: Set up toy storage to accommodate the simple truth: Toys will reappear as soon as they’re put away. Try all-encompassing baskets and bins to toss toys into (no sorting needed).
Problem: Clean laundry mingled with dirty laundry.
Solution: Make sorting impossible to ignore with clearly marked hampers for dirty and clean clothes. This will reduce the time you spend doing laundry and prolong the life of your clothes.
Problem: Tons of clothes you don’t wear.
Solution: If you hold an item of clothing in your hands, does it make you happy? If not, donate it and give the clothes you do love room to breathe.
Photo and Memory Drawers
Problem: Mostly chaos.
Solution: Commit to finding your favorite photos and putting them in an album (hardcover or digital). Blurry images, duplicates and others can be stored in acid-free archival boxes and labeled by year or event.
Problem: Tools and outdoor necessities nearly block the path to your car.
Solution: Tools that work together should live together, so designate space for each (off the floor, if possible). Pegboards are an excellent investment for organizing hand tools, and wall-mounted storage works for large items such as brooms and shovels.
Problem: You never know what you have on hand.
Solution: Make a list of everything you have in your home bar and reference it each time you host guests or craft a new cocktail. This will keep you from buying duplicates and act as a good reminder when it’s time to restock.
Remember, no one is perfect, but an effort to organize and declutter your home can lead to peace of mind and space to enjoy the things you love most.
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