Organize your home with these tips and products
So you’re ready to give your home an organizational overhaul: now what? It’s a matter of taking a systematic approach to areas that need tidying, organizing or decluttering.
Let’s face it: Some areas are easier to tackle and quicker to finish, whereas others will prove challenging and time-consuming. Ensure your home organization project continues without hiccups by investing in products that optimize space or make life easier.
To point you in the right direction, we’re sharing these tips with a few of our favorite organization products.
How to start an organization project
Make an organization list
Organizing your home can be overwhelming, especially if you attempt to do it without a plan.
Begin your project with mindfulness: take a step back, think and then make a list. Determine which areas in your home need the most attention and prioritize them.
The kitchen pantry, for example, is a high-priority area since you access it several times a day. Knowing your pantry inventory can save you money, too, since you won’t keep buying duplicate items because you can’t find them.
A smaller area, such as a medicine cabinet or a makeup drawer, may fall lower on your list since these spaces have fewer items. These organization projects can be done in a few hours, so there’s a good chance you can tackle more than one in a day.
Once you have a definitive list, it’s much easier to plan and schedule your projects. If members of your household are helping with these projects, a list makes delegation much more manageable.
Prepare to clean
You may not like cleaning, but it’s an essential piece to the organizational puzzle.
All nooks and crannies should be dusted, wiped, vacuumed or disinfected, including drawers, bookcases and even closet floors. Otherwise, no matter how great your organization project is, you’re simply placing clean items on top of soiled surfaces.
Donate what you don’t need or use
Organizing a home often involves decluttering, in which you donate what you no longer need or use.
While you can toss some things, you can donate gently-loved items to local charities, soup kitchens or food banks. Some organizations even offer doorstep pickups to save you a trip. Others offer itemized lists of your donations for tax purposes.
Essential organization products for every room
Wondering where to begin? We’re sharing our favorite organization tips and products for every space in your home to get you started.
If your kitchen drawers are jam-packed with utensils and silverware, it’s high time to place them in dedicated compartments. Expandable drawer organizers provide plenty of space for large and small utensils, while stacking drawer organizers for silverware optimize space vertically.
An oft-forgotten area in need of organization is under the sink. A simple multi-tier organizer expands this usable space to store a modest collection of cleaning supplies or tools.
Space can be hard to find in a bathroom, so many consumers seek vertical storage and organization options. A slender shelving unit or an over-toilet cabinet are ideal for storing toiletries and towels while keeping them accessible.
Organizing a bedroom often revolves around effectively managing your wardrobe. Storing off-season clothes in under-the-bed storage bins, for example, is one way to free up closet and dresser space.
Closets may benefit from a total overhaul. You change its entire configuration to make clothing more visible and accessible. A closet organizer kit can add additional rungs or cubbies and may double or triple a closet’s available space.
Dividing drawers into smaller spaces help keep them tidy. An underwear organizer, for example, is ideal for keeping socks paired. It also prevents delicate clothing from getting crushed by other items in the drawer.
Living rooms are some of the largest spaces in households, so it comes as no surprise they often end up cluttered.
If you can’t relocate items in the living room, be it video game controllers or pet toys, store them inside versatile baskets. The baskets can remain on the floor, or you can slide them inside bookshelves for a streamlined, tidy appearance.
Concealed storage is another option to keep items out of the way. Storage benches, for example, have spacious interiors that you can use to store board games or blankets. They blend in well with most living room décor and double as seating.
Children with an extensive collection of toys can stay organized when you invest in a few child-friendly storage pieces.
You can store stuffed animals and other soft toys in soft rope baskets and smaller toys like dolls or building blocks in a plastic bin system. These organization options free up valuable floor space while keeping toys accessible for your child.
Whether you have a dedicated home office or work from home in a mixed-use space, keeping your professional area tidy may lower stress levels and boost productivity.
A simple desk organizer, for example, is one way to keep office supplies organized. If you deal with a large amount of paperwork, an expandable file organizer is a space-savvy alternative to a bulky file cabinet.
Remote learning space
Children benefit from having an organized, distraction-free learning space. Organizing this space is often at the top of most parents’ lists.
A school supply carousel is a popular choice to hold pens, pencils and art supplies. Younger children can store their soft-cover workbooks in a hanging storage rack, while older kids benefit from using a cubby system for books and binders.
Laundry rooms are often small, oddly-shaped spaces that can go from tidy to messy after a few laundry loads. That’s why it’s essential to leverage every inch of space you have there.
Believe it or not, there are quite a few options for laundry room storage. Mounted organizers are ideal for holding mops, dusters and other cleaning accessories.
There’s valuable space beneath washers and dryers, too. A pedestal storage unit can hold laundry and clothing care products. As a bonus, it raises machines and makes them more accessible with less bending.
Line dry clothing can take up a lot of space, which is why it’s wise to invest in a retractable clothes rack. These nifty accessories only require overhead space, whereas floor-based drying racks have rather large footprints and tend to get in the way.
Attics and basements
If you have an attic or basement, you have a wealth of storage space waiting to be utilized. You can store less frequently used items in these areas, such as holiday decorations or off-season clothing.
Air-tight storage bins are recommended over cardboard boxes, which are more susceptible to damage or insect infestations. Choose mid-sized storage bins, which are easier to carry up and down a flight of stairs.
If you’re a passionate gardener or craftsperson, then organizing a garage should be a high-priority area, too.
Do-it-yourself and home improvement projects that require large workspaces are best served by workbenches. These have sprawling tabletops as well as a series of drawers or compartments to store tools and supplies.
For those with a wealth of full-size garden tools, a pegboard tool rack keeps them organized and off the floor. You can change configurations on the pegboard as you see fit or connect additional pegboards to maximize wall-mounted storage options.
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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