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Sometimes it can feel like keeping your house organized is fighting a losing battle. As soon as you tidy up one room, another room falls into disarray. Not only is it physically exhausting, but living in a perpetually disorganized space can take a toll on your stress levels as you’re constantly noticing things that need to be tidied.
Ready to commit to having a truly organized home that’s not only nice to look at, but nice to live in? Read on for some of our tips and recommendations for how to win the battle of organization.
The key to keeping an organized kitchen: have a place for everything and keep junk off the counters. This is a good tip for every room of your house, but kitchen counters seem to be especially prone to accumulating clutter.
Allocate space for items you use every day, like your toaster or coffee maker, but don’t let your counters turn into a display for every random single-purpose appliance you own (i.e. find a spot in the cabinet for your waffle iron).
If you have a lot of things you need within arm’s reach, try hanging storage to free up counter space. Stick some adhesive bins to the wall and keep utensils, spices or other small necessities handy.
Try to avoid letting things that aren’t meant for storage, like the top of your fridge, turn into storage space. While it might be helpful to have the extra space if you have small cabinets, turning every flat surface in your kitchen into a designated spot for old newspapers, cookbooks or your big tub of protein powder can make the room look too busy.
Go through your fridge and pantry and throw out anything that’s expired. Try using storage bins to separate foods by type.
Sticking a few shelf inserts into your cabinets is an easy and renovation-free way to give yourself double the space and make the inside of your cabinets look much neater. Placing racks in your cabinets will allow you to keep pots, pans and lids organized as well.
Regular recyclers might find it helpful to have a dedicated spot for recyclables that are waiting to go out. Consider investing in a two-in-one trash can, with two separate inner buckets inside one container. It might take up a little bit more space than your current trash can, but it’ll help keep old cans and bottles off the counters.
- Adhesive organizer bins – $10 – $18
- Pantry storage bins – $45 (set of 3)
- Cabinet organizer shelf – $18
- Cabinet organizer rack – $15
- Recycler trash can – $170
A well-organized bedroom can do wonders for your mental health, so don’t cut corners when it comes to tidying the place up (looking at you, people who shove all their extra stuff in the closet and call it “clean”).
Start with going through all the clothes you own and tossing anything you no longer wear. If it’s something you haven’t worn in the past year or if it doesn’t fit anymore, donate it. If it’s irreparably damaged or stained, throw it out.
While you’re in your closet, go through everything you shoved in there for “storage” and throw out stuff you don’t need. If you get sentimental and can’t bear to part with any of it, pick up some big plastic storage bins from the store and consider migrating these items to another room of the house, like the basement. The room you sleep in shouldn’t double as long-term storage.
Once you have your closet cleared of clutter, consider if you need to add any organizational items to make it more orderly. A tiered shoe rack, for example, will make your closet look more put together. Plus, it’ll make it easier to pick out a pair of shoes because they’ll all be conveniently on display for you.
Your next step is to create space for all the floating objects you regularly use, the things that always seem to end up fighting for space on the top of your dresser or slung over the back of that one chair in your room.
Wall hooks are great for consolidating any hangable items you use regularly, like your bathrobe or favorite lounging sweatshirt. Find one that doubles as a shelf and you’ll really be maximizing your space.
Stop leaving your laptop wherever you last happened to use it (like in bed). Find a safe spot and commit to keeping it there when you’re not using it. Bonus points if you create a “charging station” at a spot near an outlet where it can be left charging.
Look for ways to create storage space that doubles as décor. For example, an Art Deco style nightstand with ample drawer space will provide a nice statement piece for your bedroom while giving you a place to keep books, chargers and anything else you might need nearby when you’re in bed. Placing a colorful storage bench at the end of your bed not only gives you an additional place to sit, but a place to store throw blankets and pillows as well.
- 20-gallon storage bin – $15
- 3-tier shoe rack – $26
- Wall shelf with hooks – $80
- Accent nightstand with drawers – $200
- Upholstered storage bench – $106
Because bathrooms tend to be small, they can easily start to look disorganized if you don’t regularly declutter the space.
If you have a tendency to hoard old products on the off chance that you might need them, do yourself a favor and toss them. The likelihood of you getting invited to a last-minute 80s party is slim to none, so that extra strong hold hairspray is just taking up space in the meantime.
Once you’ve thrown away all the things you don’t need, start organizing the things you do. If you have the counter space for it, a cosmetic organizer or vanity tray will corral all your everyday necessities so they look nice and orderly while being readily available.
If you don’t have a lot of built-in storage space and don’t have a ton of room for any additional storage units, consider making the most of the room’s vertical space with a shelf tower. These tall, thin shelving units can be nice décor pieces that add storage space without taking up a lot of room.
If your organization efforts make your bathroom space look a little too utilitarian for your taste, there are some organizational items you can buy that offer form and function. A trendy toilet paper holder is a classy way to store toilet paper and free up space underneath your sink. Plus, your guests will thank you when they don’t have to scramble to figure out where the extra rolls are kept.
Mounting a towel bar will make your space look more organized (nothing says messy quite like a pile of damp, smelly towels) and get you a couple more uses out of your towel before you have to wash it.
If you don’t have any shelf space in your shower, a caddy that hangs from the shower head will provide a convenient place for you to keep your shampoo and conditioner. No more accidentally (and loudly) knocking bottles off the lip of the tub.
- Tiered cosmetic organizer – $25
- Bathroom shelf tower – $82
- Toilet paper holder – $26
- Wall-mounted towel bar – $10
- Shower caddy – $15
The level of organization in your living room will heavily depend on your lifestyle. If you have kids or use the living room quite a bit, you’re probably going to need to do a little more tidying up than someone whose living room is mostly for show.
If you’re someone whose living room functions as a multi-purpose room – office, dining room, kid and pet play area, occasional bedroom when you’re too tired to turn off the TV and go to bed – your first step is probably to take care of any extraneous items that might be cluttering up the space. Things like slippers, half-empty food containers, books, toys and the like should be put away.
If you have a kid or pet with a lot of toys that are always strewn all over the floor, consider purchasing a toy chest or basket where these items can be kept when they’re not in use.
Fold any blankets in the room and return them to their designated spots. If you have a lot of blankets, an ottoman with storage space inside can be a good place to keep them between naps.
If you have a lot of books, you might benefit from a coffee table with a lower shelf, to give you a place to neatly display them. Get one with drawers as well and you have a convenient spot to keep reading glasses, an e-reader or any other random little device or trinket you use regularly.
People who own a lot of DVDs can stay organized with a TV stand that comes with cabinets or shelves. Having cabinet storage in your living room is nice because it can hide any useful but unsightly items (like your old board game collection), making the room look more appealing and cohesive.
And finally, to help you answer the age-old question of the disorganized living room dweller, “Where is the remote?” place a stylish tray on your coffee table and designate that as the “remote spot.” Not only will you never lose a remote again, you can use it to consolidate all the items that are normally scattered about the surface of the table, making it look much tidier.
- Wooden toy chest – $50
- Storage ottoman – $184
- Coffee table with storage space – $300
- TV stand with cabinets – $209
- Coffee table tray – $38
Keeping a laundry room looking organized can be a little tricky, but ultimately, it’s all about maximizing the space you have and having a place for everything.
If you don’t already have a spot to hang damp items, consider installing one. A curtain rod or a shelf with a bar for clothing hangers will help keep your clothes tidy and out of the way while they dry. Just make sure whatever you use is sturdy enough to hold the weight of wet clothes.
If you need a place to air dry clothes but are working in a really tight space, a retractable clothesline might be a better option. Because it’s retractable when it’s not in use, it’s out of the way.
If you don’t have a lot of room and find yourself running short on spaces to store things, don’t be afraid to utilize all the wall space you can. Wall-mounted storage is easy to come by and simple to install. Wall-mounted baskets can be a great way to add storage space for all your cleaning products, especially if you don’t have any cabinets or shelves.
Another item you might want to add for the sake of cleanliness is a plastic mat for muddy footwear. Since laundry rooms can sometimes end up being the storage space for wet umbrellas, dirty sneakers and dripping snow boots, it’s helpful to have a place to put these items that can be easily cleaned and keeps mud off your floor.
If you do a lot of laundry, a laundry cart might prove useful in your organizational efforts. Get one with multiple bags for sorting clothes and a table that allows for quick and convenient laundry folding.
- Heavy duty laundry room organizer – $200
- Retractable clothesline – $12
- Wall-mounted storage basket – $50
- Boot tray – $6
- Laundry hamper cart with folding table – $90
What are your top tips for staying organized at home? Share them in the comments!
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