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Staying organized can be difficult, but it’s worth the effort. Keeping your living space organized not only makes finding things easy, but it can improve your mental and physical health in general.
A typical day in a cluttered house might not cause any immediate problems, but it pays to be ready for those moments when organization really counts. Case in point: the plunger. You might not use it often, but when you need it, time is always a factor.
Here are six DIY organization ideas to help keep your home tidy. Some focus on getting rid of clutter, others involve some items you might not already own, and others are methods to reuse things you likely already have.But the first step is to get started.
Home organization can be overwhelming if you haven’t kept up with it. One of the keys to success is setting realistic, reachable goals. The big picture is to have an organized living space, but break that down into manageable steps. Not only will you be doing yourself a favor by relieving yourself of the headaches a messy house can trigger, but it’ll also promote your home’s safety while keeping fire hazards at bay.
The most difficult thing about cleaning and staying organized is just getting started, so start small and build up. In other words, wash one dish instead of the whole mountain.
Here are some simple tasks to get started organizing or to add to what you already do.
Cutting back on the things you own in general can help you organize your home. Less possessions means less things to organize. Take a look at all your things and decide what you actually need—a lot of it is likely to be excessive.
Take your clothes, for example. We all know that we don’t need dozens of shirts, but it can be difficult to part with the shirts that you have collected over the years. Where do you start when you’re looking to cut back on the amount of clothes you own?
It helps if you’re aware of what you actually wear. One method to determining what you wear frequently (and less frequently) works for clothes that you hang in your closet. It is also a great long-term way to organize your closet.
First, make sure all of the hangers are pointing the same direction. When you wear something, flip that hanger around. After a few months, some items will still be facing their original direction.
If you haven’t worn something in 6 months, unless it’s formal attire, you probably won’t wear it again. Even with formal clothes, unless you need them for work or attend formal events regularly, you don’t need to have very many.
Minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of things, though. Its about using less and keeping less. You can embrace this throughout your home, from choosing a small lightweight vacuum over a large upright vacuum, to thinning out your clothing, attic, and garage.
Often, there isn’t much thought put into which things are placed where in your home. Typically, you have a few things that you use quite a bit… and a lot of things that you use less frequently. Identifying what you use frequently vs infrequently, and then assigning placement in your home based on frequency of use will help you stay organized.
That’s where pegboards, magnets, magnetic strips and hooks come in—and they aren’t just for hanging tools.
With some time and ingenuity, you can put all kinds of things on a pegboard. A pegboard is especially great for arts and crafts supplies, pots and pans, tools, and also can be used to display artwork or other decorations.
Magnets work the same way and are ideal for most metal objects. Hooks are also great, and some can be quite small and powerful all at once. A pegboard or some other way to get things on the wall could also be a place where you can put a hanger…
You’ve moved the contents of a few drawers and tastefully onto a wall. Now, you have plenty of new drawer space, but what should go into them? Well, not your glasses. DIY home organization is all about putting the right things in the right places.
Glasses and sunglasses can easily get scratched or otherwise damaged when left loose in a drawer. With just one or two pairs, it’s not unreasonable to keep them in their cases, but they take more space than just the glasses on their own and sometimes there isn’t an appropriate case for your glasses. Another option is to user a hanger.
With your glasses on a hanger, you can easily decide which pair you want to wear, protect them from scratches, and have an interesting wall ornament all at once. But what goes in all the new drawer space?
Related: Hacks for Cleaning Your Home
Keep all your bed sheets together by storing them in their matching pillow case. It’s compact, easy to pack away, and convenient.
And, you don’t have to stop at your sheets and pillow cases. There are a whole host of things in your home that you can use this technique for. Where it isn’t as convenient to stuff sheets into pillow cases, pick up a few drawstrings to use. Tie matching towel sets together.
If you have tangled wires in your house, save a few twist ties from a bread bag or something. Wires, and other string-like things, left unattended, will definitely become a tangled mess—blame physics.
But there is hope. Simply use twist ties to keep your wires bundled together. String or tape would also suffice, but twist ties tend to not slip and are easily untied and retied.
Keeping your home organized isn’t easy, and with children it can be especially difficult. It’s not uncommon to see little toy cars strewn across a room at worst, or piled into a toy chest a best. Instead, have a little box for cars that’s fits inside the chest.
With each kind of toy in it’s own little box, children won’t be as inclined to take out every single toy while searching for the one they want. Even if they do, there are just boxes to put away instead of 93 little Lego pieces to dig out of the carpet.
Parent organization will help you regain your sanity. This doesn’t just apply to toys, though. Don’t just through a handful of loose screws into a drawer—put them into a little bag or box first.
Within a dash of minimalism, a healthy dose of pegboards and magnets, a hanger full of glasses, untangled wires, and compartmentalized bedsheets and little things, hopefully your home is more organized, visually pleasing, and easier to navigate.
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.