We’re all familiar with the story of clutter and its humble beginnings. It starts with an item or two innocently sitting together. Then it turns into a shifty cluster of things. Before you know it, there’s a mob of stuff that just seems to take over your space. Funny how clutter has a knack for growing, right?
There’s a strategy for taking care of clutter—simply start small. By organizing your small spaces a section at a time, you’ll be able to tackle those trouble spots, and your efforts will add up to make a big difference. Here are some ideas on how to reclaim your space and put everything in its place.
Surface areas such as countertops serve so many functions. What they don’t need to do is act as storage space. So whether it’s your kitchen or bathroom counter, take a survey of what’s there, and only place items you use on a regular basis. Clear up a cluttered countertop with these space-saving tips:
- For kitchens: do you use this space as a home office to drop off bills or write notes? Create a portable “organizer” that can be easily packed up and moved. It could be as simple as a binder (or a mini binder!) with pockets, where you store address labels, stamps, a notepad, and pens.
- For bathrooms: keep necessities such as cotton balls and swabs in labeled jars or containers, for a neat and tidy appearance.
- Use your walls to organize. Shelves, pockets, and vertical wall organizers can keep things off the countertops, yet still keep items within reach.
Organize countertop containers with these labels:
A clean, organized pantry makes it easier to see what ingredients you have available for meal planning. It also helps you stay on top of food expiration dates, making sure the food you use is fresh.
- First, do a thorough cleaning—take everything out, wipe down the shelves, and throw out all your expired items.
- Looking for a new way to organize the food in your pantry? One idea is to put family favorites on the middle shelves where they’re easy to access, foods in large, bulky containers on lower shelves, and lesser-used, light items on top shelves. Another idea is to organize foods by meal. For example, if you often pack lunches, keep lunch items, sandwich bags, napkins, and snacks together.
- Arrange foods by expiration date, with the earliest dated items up front. Place dry goods such as flour, sugar, pasta, and rice in containers marked with a “use by” date.
Sort your pantry with our favorite pantry labels:
A neat, orderly kid’s room doesn’t have to exist only in our dreams and in magazines. Control the chaos with simple organization tips.
- Keep only clothing of the season in the closet. Pack away out-of-season clothes in labeled boxes and out of the way. Those bulky sweaters and jackets can take up valuable real estate in your kid’s closet in the spring and summer time!
- Create a hanging hamper by attaching a washable bag to the inside of the closet door (make sure it’s low enough for children to be able to stuff clothes inside). Dirty clothes are kept off the floor and out of sight.
- Use labeled storage bins for toys and stuffed animals, and show your kids where items go when they’re done playing with them. Get your kids’ rooms in order with fun and functional labels:
Don’t let the idea of getting organized overwhelm you. Take the time to go through your things, donate what you don’t need, and throw out what’s old, expired, or broken. Even if you work on organizing a little bit at a time, you will see how refreshing a clean, clutter-free space can be.