Top Five Organizing Tips

Home organizing advice is as rampant as the clutter you’re hoping to corral. Here are the best of the best organizing tips to help you get your home organized and, more importantly, keep it that way!

1. Most First, Least Last
Whether you’re organizing a closet, cabinet or a drawer, the best way to keep your space organized to put the things you use most where they are easiest to use and replace. Store the clothing and shoes you wear most in the middle of your closet, front and center. Put kitchen staples like sugar, salt, coffee and commonly used spices in the easiest to reach cabinet, in front, while seasonal spices and less-used items go in higher cabinets in the back. The same goes for dinnerware, pots, pans and baking dishes. When the items you use most are easy to find and put away, you’re more likely to keep them in their places.

2. Discard the Duplicates
Do you really need three black purses? Twenty or more drinking glasses? Five different types of body lotion? Purging your shelves, cabinets and closets of duplicates eliminates clutter and frees up space for the things you really use, making storing and organizing your items easier.

3. Make New Spaces
What do the backs of doors, the tops of cabinets and underneath beds all have in common? They’re all great places to make new organizing spaces. Hang clear-pocket shoe bags from the backs of closet and bedroom doors to hold small items like hair barrettes, gloves and scarves, even toys in children’s rooms, or hang a bulletin board on a door and use to hang jewelry and scarves. Use baskets or attractive boxes on the tops of bathroom and kitchen cabinets to hide little used or surplus items. Store out-of-season clothes or bedding in space-saving vacuum-seal bags that can slip under the bed. Look around your home, and you’ll likely find other places where you can create new storage spaces.

4. Stop the Paper Chase
Organizing paper — in the form of mail, bank statements, children’s school work and other projects — is a huge hurdle in most homes. Stopping the paper chase in your home has two essential elements: keeping paper out of your home, and corralling it when it gets there. Sign up for e-statements and e-bills whenever possible. Toss any junk mail that doesn’t have identifying information immediately. Use a clipboard or bulletin board posted near the door to keep any bills that need to be paid or other mail in sight. Assign a box, whether it’s a file box or other box, to each family member, and keep them near the areas where paper is a problem. Tax papers, such as receipts or other info, should have a box of their own.

5. Daily Round-Up

No one knows quite how a spoon ends up in the bathroom, or a child’s toy ends up in the kitchen sink, but everyone knows that, by the end of the day, many items throughout the home migrate to other rooms. Doing a round-up each day to return these items to their real homes helps to stop clutter before it starts. Using a box or basket, start in the kitchen, rounding up strays. Move on to the living room, putting away any rounded-up items, and rounding up strays. Move on to next room, replacing and rounding-up, until all items are put away. Don’t, however, take it upon yourself to replace items for other family members; leave items that belong to others in the basket, and make sure they know that items that are not rounded up into the baskets and put away are subject to being tossed.

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