Getting your home organized can be a big task. It’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start. There are a lot of tips, tricks, and guides (we’ve written a few ourselves), but organizing your home comes down to a few simple principles that can be used to organize every room in your house.
Evaluate and plan
When you start any project, you need to make a plan. You may be excited to dive right in and start organizing but you’ll quickly become overwhelmed and quit midway if you don’t have a plan in place. Evaluate the space you’re organizing and determine its purpose. How will the room be used? This is especially important for multi-purpose rooms like the kitchen, living room, and possibly a flex space like a guest room that also functions as an office. Determining how a room will function will establish which items ultimately belong in that space.
In addition to planning out your space, create a plan for which rooms you’ll work on. You don’t have to organize your entire house all at once. In fact, it’s better if you tackle it in phases. Breaking down your organization tasks into focused projects will increase the probability that you’ll finish.
Sort it out
Here’s where things will get messy! Begin by taking everything out. Look at each item and place them in one of three piles: keep (items that will stay in the room), relocate (these items belong in a different room), and purge (anything you’re not keeping, whether they’re broken or not). Don’t be discouraged – things will get worse but they will get better so keep going.
Purge what you don’t need
Now it’s time to deal with that purge pile? This part is usually the hardest for people, especially if they’re the sentimental type. Review the items in your purge pile and do another round of sorting. As you assess each item, ask yourself some questions to help make your decision:
- Do I love this?
- Is it broken or seen better days?
- When was the last time I used this?
- Is it easy to replace?
Once you’ve answered these questions, sort each item into one of three piles: donate, sell/recycle, and toss.
Give everything a home
And now we organize! The underlying issue in many disorganized spaces is not having assigned spaces for your items. You place them anywhere they fit and don’t get much thought beyond that. Don’t be ashamed if that’s been you. Instead of just putting your items just anywhere, think strategically about where they should go. Here are some rules of thumb to consider when assigning spaces:
- Store items close to where they’re typically used
- Store most used items in the most accessible locations
- Store items together based on zones (e.g. bakeware, cooking utensils in the kitchen, board games in the living room, craft materials in the hobby room)
Once you’ve identified where your items will live, now is when you can shop for containers and drawer organizers if needed.
Organize on a schedule
Getting and staying organized is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that requires maintenance. Instead of ignoring the clutter until you can’t ignore it anymore, schedule out time each day or week to tidy up. You don’t need to spend a lot of time either; give yourself 10 minutes for each area and focus on just that space. If you finish early, great! If not, work on it again the next day. When you do this every day, you’ll find staying organized becomes easier as you develop a new habit. You’ll see the more you keep things organized, the less you need to organize!
Reevaluate as needed
This step is often overlooked but is important. As our lives change, so do our homes. That means what used to work for us may not be as effective anymore. It’s okay if that happens! The most effective organization systems leave room for growth. Regularly review your system and make changes as needed.
Being organized is a learned skill. It takes time and practice to develop but everyone can do it! With these tips, you’ll be able to easily and confidently organize any space.
Visit us at SummerHillHomes.com to learn more about our communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. You can schedule a private, self-guided tour and virtual appointments in any of our Sales Studios. We look forward to welcoming you to your new home!