The idea of transforming your lived-in and somewhat messy house into a beautifully organized space out of a magazine can be a little intimidating. After all, those homeowners have professional organizers and lots of time at their disposal. The good news is that it doesn’t have to take all of your time and money to start organizing your house. With a few simple actions you can be on your way to a clean and orderly home. Here are simple 10 ways to organize your house:
1. Use just one type of hanger in your closet instead of a hodgepodge of plastic, wire, and wood hangers. Hanger uniformity helps clothes hang nicer and removes excess bulk from the closet so you can more easily see everything inside.
2. Create a drop zone. Designate a place for all of the paper items that come into the house (the mail, homework assignments, newspapers). That way you can easily sort through and get rid of items before they make their way into messes around the house.
3. Put off-season items like sweaters and heavy bedding in space bags that shrink down. That way you’ll have more room for seasonal items and your cold-weather clothes won’t take up as much space.
4. Use silverware sorters around the house. A standard silverware divider can be used to sort office supplies and junk in your workspace, to divide jewelry or makeup in the bathroom, and to small sewing supplies in the craft room.
5. Create a designated area for coats and winter accessories so they aren’t strewn around the house. Clear a section in the coat closet or install a free-standing or pegged coat rack.
6. Take advantage of small spaces. Store items that are used less frequently in often overlooked areas, like under the bed or couch or on the floor of a guest room closet.
7. Rotate the pantry. Go through your canned goods and baking supplies every six months to get rid of expired items. While you’re at it, make sure similar items are stored together.
8. Clean your car. Even taking out the trash from the passenger’s seat or getting a car wash can have a huge impact on a place where you spend so much time. Starting small in the car might also motivate you to organize the rest of the house.
9. Store blankets and towels on an old ladder. Simply lean the ladder against the wall and hang soft items. Wall space is often unused, and this method lets you see what items you actually own.
10. Color code by family member. Assign each family member a color for his or her bathroom towel, toothbrush, etc. That way, if you see something lying around the house you instantly know who it belongs to and where to return it.