Living room. Toss old magazines and buy decorative containers to store new ones. Buy a universal remote control so that all electronics (DVD player, videotape player, etc.) can be operated with only one remote or buy a small basket to store separate remotes. Buy a chest or ottoman that has storage and can double as a table or footrest or storage for toys, shoes, or other stray items.
For the past two weeks I’ve written exclusively about clutter. This week I want to talk about clutter versus disorganization because what often looks like clutter is just stuff that has no place to “live.” Now that you’ve worked to eliminate as much clutter as possible, it’s time to get organized. Organization in its purest form means that you can find something when you need it for.
Simply organizing your home with shelving, baskets, boxes, and other organizers will often clean up the disarray. In fact, by using organizing items you can often make more room than if you didn’t use them. A good example of this is in the pantry.
Stacking cans on the shelf takes up a lot of space and the cans are hard to see. But, if you purchased a stair step can shelf for your pantry, you can not only get as many – and sometimes more — cans on the shelf, you would actually be able to see what you had without taking every can out to try just to find the pinto beans.
If this sounds like your pantry, chances are you buy items that you already have simply because you can’t find them. This is how clutter and disorganization cost you money – you end up re-buying items you already had. Frustrating, isn’t it? Instead, put your money into organizers.
Look at your challenges to find the kind of organizers you need. Is the big mess in the kitchen or the bathroom? Maybe the living room is out of control. You might not be able to find an important bill that needs to be paid because you don’t have a place to put the bills when they come in. No matter what your need is, there are containers of every possible size and description that can help you organize your house.
Buy all you want
In fact, if you were to go shopping for organizers, like simple little stackers to hold your ramen noodles or a bill basket to hang by the back door, I’d tell you to shop with wild abandon. Buy all the organizers you can use and want. You can’t be “over-organized” — but you can be disorganized and that’s when your home appears messy even when you just have the normal items you need to run your life.
As you work to organize your home, be sure to throw away worn out and unwanted items as you organize. If you have too many bath towels or plastic containers, throw out the old, stained ones and put the remaining into your newly-organized space. Don’t just rearrange your clutter and organize it – reduce it, too, and then you’ll have items where you can find them.
Your goal for decluttering this week: Go out and purchase baskets and organizers. Go to your local supercenter or dollar store – all have organizers in a variety of prices. Buy all the organizers you like and that appeal to you and add them to every room in the house. TIP: Buy organizers in similar colors and styles for a single area for a neater, more organized look.
Next week in Week 4 of Bust Clutter Month: Clutter strategies. Learn the steps that keep the clutter in control and guidelines for keeping clutter from building up again.
Organization tips by room
Kitchen. Install hooks for utensils, cups or mugs, install cabinet door baskets, add baskets to the refrigerator and freezer for similar items that can be removed to search for items. Purchase shelving and baskets for the pantry. Add lid holders to cookware cabinets, utensil crocks to free up room in the cooking utensil drawer, organizers for drawers, and spice cabinet organizers. Put a basket under the sink to hold cleaning items. Clear off the tops of all counters.
Bathroom. Purchase baskets for under cabinet organizing and decorative containers for the top of bathroom counters to hide items like brushes, blow dryers, and bottles. Add hooks for bathrobes, towels, and clothes. Throw out old products that you haven’t used in a long time. Install a shower caddy and additional cabinet for storage if storage is limited.
Bedroom. Clean out underneath the bed and purchase under bed storage containers for items like sheets, blankets, or spreads. Clear the tops of dressers and add organizers to drawers. Purchase shoe organizers and wire drawers to go in closets if you need more storage space. Add shelving up high for items infrequently used. Clear out old items and clothes as you organize your closet. Purchase plastic and wooden hangers and get rid of all wire hangers.