Are you looking for ways on how to organize any room? You’re in the right place – just keep reading!
Organization can be… challenging. Especially if you don’t know where to start. This is the time I wish I could have a magical wand straight out of the mind of J.K. Rowling, but I’m unfortunately not that lucky.
Instead, I have to organize my home the old fashioned way… through time and a little bit more time.
You should also remember that your path to organizing your entire home won’t be done overnight. It’s a process, a process that will make you want to give up and live like a slob forever.
When you are ready to start organizing your home, and therefore your life, this guide will get you started. I have come up with 5 easy steps that will help you tackle organizing your house, one room at a time.
What’s better, having one room in your house that’s clean and how you want it, or none at all?
Exactly my point! Starting with one room at a time is a good way to not only pace yourself, but also find the process as pleasurable as possible.
It doesn’t matter if you are starting with your bedroom, a guest room, or even that junk drawer that I all know we have – the steps are the same.
As long as you can get a hang of these five tips, you can conquer any space in your house!
If you’re ready to get started, let’s go!
Let’s Get Started with What We Have
Alright, let’s get started. First step is to walk into the room you want to start with, take a deep breath, and evaluate your mission for that space.
Do you want to be able to walk on the floor? What about being able to sit down and drink your morning coffee? Or do you want the entire space to be ready for an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters?
Ask Yourself: “What do I want this room to function as?”
Whatever your goal is, set it. Right now before you get scared, set your mission. Then you can start to evaluate what will belong in that space and how you get to point A to point B.
Sort, sort, and sort some more
Alright here we go, let’s start sorting the items that are in your first room!
I’m warning you now: You will be tempted to get side tracked and look through your middle school yearbook, or even simply slam the door and walk out – but Stick With It!
*insert some pun about the Harry Potter Sorting hat*
Let’s get to sorting!
You are going to want to start by gathering some supplies that will make this process a bit easier to manage. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just use what you have. Here is what you will probably want to have close by:
- trash bags: to throw away the things
- sorting containers: to sort the things
- signs: to label the things
You’ll also want to look for a large clean surface (if your floor isn’t available) to put all of the things you will be sorting. This will make it easier to see what you have and know where you are working.
Okay okay, it’s time to start sorting and stop procrastinating.
To start you will want to take everything out of the room (or cabinet, or closet, wherever you end up beginning). This gives you an overview of what you have to work with – and will hopefully kick start your brain on ways to further organize your items.
My next step is a rough sort: where you start to place items in a general pile.
WOAH let’s talk about piles for a second.
You are going to need three piles:
- Purge Pile: An item that you know, for 100% fact, that you are okay getting rid of and never seeing again
- Relocate Pile: You want to keep this item, but it does not go in the room you are currently reorganizing
- Keep Pile: The item must, without a shadow of a doubt, stay in this room and therefore must be given a new home in the cleaned space
This will make it easier to roughly organize all the things. You can then take it a step further and organize your Keep Pile into different categories so you have an idea of what spaces you will need to create in your newly cleaned room.
Now that you have things sorted into your main categories you can hopefully see if there are any items that you have excess of that is completely unnecessary.
Do you really need three versions of the same Twilight book?
(I mean you should just throw all of that away and buy you a set of Harry Potter books… but I digress)
Time to Start Purging
Welcome to the most difficult part of this process (for most people at least) the Purge.
*cue the sirens*
Only kidding, it’s a necessary evil in this sort of scenario, so you may as well embrace it!
When you are searching through your piles that you previously sorted, make a mental note of where you think those things will live in your clean space.
Not sure what you should keep or get rid of?
Answer some of these questions to figure it out:
- Do you love it?
- When was the last time you actually used it?
- Is anything about it broken, out of date, or missing a piece?
- What is the worst thing that could happen if you got rid of it?
- Is that thing easily replaceable or one of a kind?
- Does keeping it align with your end goal of a clutter free space?
So all of those items you have decided you’re finally going to let go of… what do you do with them?
What to do with the things in your Purge Pile:
There are tons of places that will accept your donations, and even some that will come and pick the items up directly from your home!
*Pro Tip: schedule your donation pick up or load your donations into your car for drop off immediately. This will ensure your donated pile doesn’t become a permanent fixture in your home.
Don’t forget that you can sometimes also get tax deductions when you donate your household goods!
If you aren’t aware of the recycling resources available in your local area, you can check Earth911.com that will show you recycling options in your community.
So many things we probably once considered trash are now completely recyclable, so make sure you do your research before throwing something in that blue bin!
Selling your things may be tricky, you will need to ensure that there is potential to recoup a pretty decent pay out, or your time and energy required to sell it probably won’t be worth your time.
There will be some things that are just not worth saving or donating, and that is where the trash bin will come in handy.
When you come across an item that is broken, rusty, or just all around gross, it’s time to throw it away and not look back!
Try and avoid getting stuck in the purge stage of this process!
A lot of people can get hung up on the mindset that “I can’t throw that away, I’m going to mail it to my sister” or “I will probably use that next Christmas” even though you’ve had it for 14 years and it has never seen the light of day.
If you don’t do something with the things in your purge pile then it will eventually make its way back to becoming clutter again.
Make sure you are not inadvertently creating obstacles for yourself, for later on down the line. You need to attack your stuff head on, make a decision, and follow through.
Now you see why I say this is typically the hardest part?
Organize All the Things
Yay we are on to the funnest part of the process – organizing! Here you will get to assign each item you kept a certain home where it will live for many more years to come (until you decide to reorganize again, at least).
Have you ever started an organization project, gone to Target or Hobby Lobby and spent a fortune on pretty organizing bins and baskets without a solid plan in mind? How did that end up?
For me I was left with a lot of pretty boxes, but none that would hold my stuff or even had a place to go.
I’ve come up with a quick 4 step process that will make organizing your things super simple and headache free!
1. Assign a Home
Sometimes your organization can get held up on things not having a particular home in your house. Now is the time to change that!
Here are a few key rules that can help you designate homes for items that made it through the purging process:
- Store items as close as possible to where they will be typically used
- All of your most frequently used items should be in the most accessible locations
- Item families should be stored together within zones (food prep. bake ware, and clean up zones in your kitchen)
- Consider any safety issues (keep sharp and unsafe objects out of reach of little baby hands)
2. Divide Up Your Space & Categorize
Consider how many items you have in a category as well as any possible constraints of your space.
Ask yourself: “What tools can you use to organize the categories of all the things you plan to put in a particular space.”
We’ve reached the part in the process where you can finally go container shopping! With a plan in mind, either shop stores or even around your house to find containers and dividers that will help organize all of your things. Then you can start organizing, everywhere!
You will want to look for products and containers that can subdivide larger spaces into smaller ones. You can use drawer organizers to keep t-shirts organized, or smaller containers in your bathroom drawers to keep your q-tips from entangling with your bobby pins.
3. Maximize Storage Space
This is where professional organizers thrive, because they have a bag of tricks and resources they can tap into to make the organization process that much better.
Lucky for you, I know a few of their tricks!
- Go Vertical: Whenever you can, make sure to ‘look up’ and find potential options for using your vertical space as storage.
This can be a cube storage system in your craft room, stackable bins in your kitchen pantry, or even clipboards up the wall in your office.
You already have the space, you might as well use it to its full potential.
- Use Your Doors: I have a personal love for the back-of-the-door storage. It is a place where you can hang or display some of your most used items.
Of course you know the over the door hanger for your towels, rain jackets, and snuggies… But what about using one in your kitchen for your spices and seasonings? How about a show organizer in your bathroom for medicines and first aid supplies?
There are a lot of options available, you just have to get creative!
- Use the Ceiling: This is an extremely overlooked storage opportunity. Actually you’d probably be surprised how much space you are missing out on!
If you have a garage you can get ceiling-mounted storage shelves that can store your seasonal decorations and memory boxes. Next time you are in your garage, simply look to see if you are missing out on storage opportunities!
- Deep Cabinets: How many of us have those cabinets that seem to go on for forever? The ones we never use them because your things will be way too inaccessible and forgotten about?
There are actually quite a few solutions for this organizing challenge!
Pick up a lazy susan from your store and put it in the back corner of your cabinet. You can then easily access your items by simply spinning your things! You can also install those glide-out drawers that make getting into deep places in your home super simple.
Labels serve two purposes. Looking pretty and serving as a reminder of where things go when we take them out. It makes the clean up process a no brainer!
Labeling is extremely important! When you have things in bins or containers that you can’t see inside without pulling them out, labels are there to save the day. By adding a label on the outside, you know exactly what is in the box and don’t have to hassle with reorganizing when you are looking for one specific thing.
Your labels don’t have to be anything pretty, you can simply write on a piece of tape with a Sharpie and you’ve created long lasting labels. Get creative and design the perfect labels for your space.
Maintain Your Organizing
It’s not a joke when i tell you that getting organized is a lifestyle change. Once things are organized and looking the way you want, you aren’t finished! It will be an ongoing effort to maintain this feeling of success that you feel now that everything is cleaned and organized.
I would feel confident saying that maintenance is the most important step in any organization project.
The easiest way to guarantee that you’ll never have to start over organizing your space is to implement some kind of routine. A routine or even a task list that you complete on a regular basis. Here’s my maintenance plan for our master bedroom that I stick to:
- Daily: Make the bed and clear off nightstand from the night before
- Weekly: Vacuum and pick up/ do the laundry
- Bi-Weekly: Change the sheets and organize closet
- Monthly: Deep clean the bedroom and throw away junk that has collected in our nightstand drawers
Here are some additional maintenance tips that I think can help anyone keep and maintain their clean and organized home:
One In, One Out Rule: Every time a new item comes into your home or room, a similar item must leave.
This rule is great for reducing clutter and build-up over time. It’s a continuous cycle of purging that will not only keep your home clutter free, but also will help you start to think about the things you buy… and if you really need them.
Capitalize on Your Existing Habits: Like I mentioned, maintaining an organized and clutter-free space will require some new habits. So next up, start forming some new habits in lieu of your old ones. These will probably be habits that need to be developed. (but it only takes 28 days to develop habits! I believe in you!) If you anchor a new habit into one that you’ve already established it will make it far easier to stick with your new habit.
For Example: If you want to keep an organized closet, it might be beneficial to schedule a closet clean out and organization session when you do laundry each week.
Self Limiting Containers: Your containers will tell you when it’s time to purge. (here’s the secret, when it’s too full it’s time to get rid of something)
Simplify Your System: The more simple your organization system, the easier it will be to maintain.
So that’s it! The simplified 5 step process that you can use to organize, declutter, and clean up any room in your home!
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you look at the laundry list of things you want to get done, but it doesn’t have to be! Take rooms and spaces one at a time and break it down into these 5 simple steps. Those 5 steps are the key on how to organize any room! This will make your next organization project, that much more manageable!