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June 17, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Making A Happier You: Organize Your Home Life

By Kristin McKinney More Blogs by This Author

One of my biggest struggles in life is staying organized. Even though I struggle with it, I still love to be organized. When my life is completely organized, I feel happy, less stressed, and just all around in a good mood. When it's not organized, I tend to get frazzled. Here are a few things I've found that help keep me organized at home:

clutter

De-clutter Your Space:

  • One of the first steps to getting organized is decluttering your life. It's very hard to organize things when you have too much junk. Now, since it's garage sale season, is the perfect time to do this. Here are a few tips on helping figure out what should stay and what should go.
  • Something I found on pinterest that sounds like a great idea is turning all of the hangers in your closet backward. Whenever you take something out to wear, put the hanger back the right way. In a year, any clothing that is still on a backwards hanger gets donated.
  • Of course, you also have the old faithful stand by: Have I used this in the past year? This can be both useful and difficult. Sometimes you will come across things that you haven't used in a year, but you're positive you will use soon. I do this a lot. All you can do is try and be honest with yourself, and bring in an objective second party to help you. Kind of like Ted, in How I Met Your Mother, but try to find someone a little less sentimental.
  • Another idea is to take two trash bags into a room, one for trash, another for donating or for a garage sale. The goal is to fill both trash bags.
  • I saw a suggestion online where you videotape or take pictures of each individual room in your house, and then look over the video or pictures you took. Oftentimes, you will notice things that you've become accustomed to just passing over.

Now that you have some ideas for decluttering your space, it is time to move on to organizing what you decided to keep.

Organizing Closet & Cabinet Space:

  • Put shower curtains on a hanger to hang yourcloset scarves. This makes them easily accessible, and they won't take up drawer space.
  • Store cleaning supplies in a shoe organizer and hang in your storage closet. Use a smaller one, or a big one that's been cut down, inside cabinets.
  • Color coordinate the boxes you keep in closets so you know, with a quick glance, what a box has in it. This is especially useful if all your decorations are in one closet. Buy orange boxes for Halloween, red for Christmas, and a Spring color for Easter.
  • Use tension shower rods, placed vertically in a cabinet to help divide cutting boards, cookie sheets, or baking pans.
  • If the things you keep in a cabinet don't take up all of the vertical space, use a hanging basket on the shelf above it so you aren't wasting a potentially useful area.
  • Decorate old jars and then use them to organize your bathroom cupboards.
  • Put command hooks on the inside of cabinet doors to hold up pot and pan lids.

Organizing Jewelry:

  • Buy a radiator grate from Home Depot or Lowe's, and put it in a frame. Use it to hang dangly earrings. You can also use chicken wire or burlap with safety pins. I love this idea because I have a ton of earrings, but if they're not out where I can see them, I'm less likely to wear them.
  • Another idea for organizing earrings is putting corkboard into a frame and using it for your stud earrings. Then you can keep all of the backings in a box. Just replace the corkboard once it's worn out.
  • Use command hooks on the back of your closet door to hang your necklaces, or hang up a towel rack and use shower hooks to hang them.
  • Buy an old rake from an antique store, and take off the handle. Hang the rake off your wall, and use it for your necklaces.
  • Screw decorative door knobs onto a piece of wood, and hang bracelets off it.

drawer

Organizing Drawer Space:

  • Plastic baskets or small boxes can be used to organize drawer space. I did this at school all the time. I would use the thin pencil baskets for pencils, scissors, markers, etc., and use the bigger baskets for notepads, sticky notes, index cards, and other random things. It made it a lot easier to find things.
  • Altoid tins can be used to organize the little things that usually get lost in your drawers, things like rubber bands, thumb tacks, staples, paper clips, etc.
  • Use magazine holders inside deep drawers to organize things like handi-wrap, tin foil, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Use square-shaped pencil holders in deep drawers to organize silverware vertically.
  • Make room in your drawers by taking out the most used utensils and putting them in a utensil holder or a decorative cup.

Organizing Your Fridge:

  • Buy rectangle shaped baskets with handles, and use them on your fridge shelves to help keep things organized. The first time I saw this was while I was in college. The grad assistant, that lived in my building did used them in her apartment fridge. It's really helpful if you keep a lot of fruit and vegetables in your fridge and the drawers don't have enough space.
  • You can also buy wire shelves to give yourself more shelving space, or use a turn table for extra bottles that won't fit on the door.

Random Organization:

  • Take an old window shutter and spray paint it whatever color you want. Hang it up in your entrance way to organize your mail.
  • Use a magnetic paperclip holder for your bobby pins.
  • To help cut down on paper that's taking up space on a desk, pick a drawer and create a filing system for papers. Make sure you pick a time, say once a month, to go through the drawer to get rid of unneeded papers.

One of the biggest problems that arise with organization is making everything stay organized. Sometimes you finally get to the point where everything is organized, and then a few days go by and it's back to how it was. Some important steps to help keep that from happening is to make sure next time you go shopping, actually prepare for the trip. Look through your kitchen, bathroom, closets, wherever, and make sure you don't have whatever it is you want to go to the store for. Set rules for yourself, like anytime you buy a new outfit or piece of jewelry, something else has to go. Have your children do the same things with their toys.

Try to get into the habit of doing regular cleaning, set a schedule for yourself to do a regular full house cleaning once a month, and then, maybe an intense declutter cleaning two or three times a year, or whatever works for you. These steps can help you in keeping your home, and life, from getting cluttered all over again.

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