Published on January 18, 2023 – see full article here
If your home is cluttered and chaotic, it can be hard to relax and spend time with your family and friends. However, by taking a few simple steps to organize your home, you can turn it into a peaceful oasis.
While getting started is often one of the hardest parts, maintaining your tidy home can be just as tricky. That’s why we’ve reached out to the top organizers from across the country for their best advice. Whether you live in an apartment in Round Rock, TX, or a house in New Haven, CT, use these tips to create a peaceful home.
1. Incorporate organization into your resolutions
To truly organize your home, it’s important to commit and set achievable goals. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to do this. However, your goals must be small and achievable; many goals and resolutions are large and unreachable.
“An easy way to set yourself up for success is to set goals that fit into your routine,” says Sarah Parisi, owner and founder of The Clutter Curator. “For example, schedule one cleaning session or donate five items every month.”
2. Ask yourself why you’re holding on to so many items
Before organizing any one room, dig into your attachment to your belongings. Many people tend to hold on to items out of fear or resistance, creating a feeling of being stuck and held back. To help resolve this, Jen Slaski Halligan, a therapist and founder of Prune & Bloom, suggests grabbing a pen and journal and asking yourself these questions:
What do I want?
What’s one thing that’s standing in the way?
Next, identify a local charity that accepts your items. Then, when you feel attached to something you don’t need, you can remind yourself that someone else will benefit from it.
3. Remove everything before organizing
Instead of sifting through boxes, bins, and drawers looking for something to donate, remove everything and “place similar items together,” notes Stephanie King, owner of Status: Organized. “Then, clean and reorganize everything before moving on to the next spot.” This method applies to entire rooms as well. If you have a room full of large boxes, remove everything from every box before organizing.
While organizing small groups of items is helpful, focus on an entire room for optimal organizing. “Once you’ve organized the items, subcategorize them for easier access later on,” advises Brian Saeger from Be Free Organizing. “This helps make both long-term and short-term storage simple and efficient.”
4. Organize your home as a personal store
Evaluate your belongings and group them into broad, labeled categories. For example, put hardware-related items in a “hardware” section, and so on. “Remember, much like a store, try to keep similar things together and in close proximity to where you use them most,” says Kim Cosentino, owner of The De-Clutter Box. “This way, you can easily find what you’re looking for without digging through unrelated belongings.”
30. Declutter your space to declutter your mind – Time + Space Solutions
People may not be aware that clutter can have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing, in addition to the obvious effects it has on physical space. When our environment becomes overwhelmed with items, it can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. “If you truly want to conquer clutter, it’s important to declutter both your mind and space,” says Tonia Cordi from Time + Space Solutions. “Trauma often plays a large role in people’s clutter. If you can see the connection between your past experiences and how they play a role in your current life, you will have an easier time decluttering your home.”
By eliminating the excess clutter from your life, you can experience the positive impact it has on your mental health and general wellbeing.
31. Develop simple organization routines
Create lasting routines that work for you, and celebrate completion over perfection. “For example, give yourself credit for picking something up and putting it back where it belongs every day,” notes Andrea Krohn from LA Move Consultants. “This is a small but impactful step toward maintaining an organized space.”
Pooja Naik, founder of Organizing with You, also believes routines are essential to any organizing project. When you’re doing your daily declutter, “be sure to set a timer so you know there’s an end in sight,” she says. “You can even come up with fun names for certain days, like “Pick me up Tuesday” or “Tidy up Thursday.”
With enough consistency, you may begin to look forward to the organizing time you set aside.
32. Create an intentional organizing habit
Organization is like meditation – “If you don’t schedule it in, it won’t happen,” notes Stacey and Sarah, co-founders of DwellWell. “But if you organize regularly, it can profoundly improve your life,” they say. “Set a weekly tune-in, choosing days that work best for you to organize what works best for you.”Karrah Smith, owner of Organize Your Place, understands that sometimes, you just have to start to get the momentum going. “Pick items up off the floor and group them together,” she says. “Then, sort them into categories such as ‘Donate’, ‘Garbage’, and ‘Keep’.”
33. Organize consistently to maintain a clean home
The last and most challenging step of any decluttering project is maintenance. “Organizing your home is the first step, but staying organized is the goal,” says Caroline Bujold, owner of Mostly Organized. “An effective tool to keep your home from becoming a mess is doing a 5-10 minute clean up before going to bed,” she says. “This can involve anything from folding blankets to starting dishes. Keep it simple and sustainable, and it will be effective.”