Stuff takes on a life of it’s own, doesn’t it? Just about the time you think you’ve gotten rid of all the extra stuff, you look around and discover that something else has sneaked in and put down roots. It’s a continual battle but here are some resources that will help you win the war on clutter and stay organized.
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Books to help you deal with clutter
First off, you can learn a lot of the strategy behind organizing that will help you apply basic principles and concepts to your own unique situations. Despite what people might think, the ability to use space effectively, to get rid of excess stuff, and to have an organized home IS a skill that you can learn. It’s not magic.
I’ve read a ton of organizing books over the years and have learned lots of tips. These are some of the best!
- Living A Clutter Free Life And Loving It – This one is available on Kindle Unlimited if you’ve got that service (and if you don’t then I highly recommend it – digital books are a great way to cut down on the number of physical items in your home). And it’s true…once you’ve gotten rid of a lot of your clutter you will love the freedom of having less stuff!
- Clutter Rehab: 101 Tips and Tricks To Become An Organization Junkie and Love It! – I admit it…I’m a sucker for quick tips!
- Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way To A Richer, Happier Life – Of all the organizing geniuses I’ve read, Peter Walsh is my absolute favorite. He forces you to get real about the value you place on stuff and to examine the reasons why you’re keeping things. It makes perfect sense because until you understand what’s causing your clutter you’ll end up collecting it again. I’ve probably read everything he’s ever written and several of his books are still on my shelf.
- Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff – Another favorite that’s just packed with good information (and still on my shelf).
Decluttering and organizing are both required to keep your home functioning efficiently
The first mistake many people make when trying to get their homes in order is that they approach it backwards. They jump in and try to organize everything in site.
Here’s the problem with that – you end up “organizing” a bunch of stuff that you really should have just gotten rid of. Junk – and mess – is still junk….even if it’s tidy.
So before you start organizing anything, do a major declutter. Go through spaces and get rid of stuff you no longer need, use, or treasure.
Once you’ve gotten rid of clutter and junk, then you’re left with the items that actually need to be in your home. And a word of advice...just because something IS in your home doesn’t mean it needs to REMAIN in your home!
So now that you’re pared items down, you can get started organizing what’s left.
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Products to help you stay organized
I’ve rounded up some great products to help get different areas of your home…and life…organized.
Organize Your Greeting Cards
I don’t know about you, but I hate having to run to the store because I need a sympathy card or because I forgot my sister-in-law’s birthday (again!). So I stock up on cards once or twice a year. I buy a variety so that I’ve got cards for birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and to express sympathy. This one is great, but I’m a frugal girl at heart and I like to customize mine to the particular cards I send.
- This pretty patterned box has dividers for different occasions which makes it easy to categorize and find the cards you need.
- This greeting card box is decorated with grey roses and a chevron design. It’s got 12 dividers and 24 self-stick labels so you can customize it by month or occasion – I like that!
- This clear divided box has 6 dividers and holds around 80 cards.
- This purple box also has 6 dividers and holds about 80 cards…so it’s just a matter of taste and decor preferences.
Coat Racks Make Life Easier
I know, I know – coats are supposed to go in a closet! But for some reason, the people in my family never actually took the time to open a closet door, pull out a hanger, put their coat or jacket ON the hanger, and hang it on the rod. Can you relate?
Since it was either spend my life screaming and hollering (or worse, following them around and hanging things up for them) I came up with another solution.
A wall mounted coat rack located near the door (where things were getting dropped) solved the problem. Even when the kids were smaller they’d put their stuff on a peg. Just be sure to hang this low enough that every member of your family can reach it (you might need two – one for the taller folks and one for the kiddos).
- This coat rack has a more traditional style and is great for coats, purses, and backpacks.
- This modern metal coat rack has a different look that will fit into a variety of decors. I think kids will love it!
Pegboard Organized Everything!
Pegboard doesn’t have to be banished just to the garage or storage shed. Paint it a pretty color that works with your decor and you can find all sorts of hooks and baskets to hang on it. You can truly customize pegboard to your space and needs. I’ve got a piece next to my back door where I keep outdoor gardening and water supplies (and my hat since I sunburn). Hubby painted it and then mounted it for me in no time.
- This 4-panel pegboard display lets you hold lots of odds and ends.
- This pegboard organization kit contains 50 hooks and 6 bins. Would be great in a craft room or garage.
- This hobby craft organizer already has a pretty powder coated finish and comes with white accessories. Nothing “garage looking” about this one.
Organize Your Family’s Schedule and Activities
When our kids were young it was easy to forget who needed to be where…and when. A central family calendar and command center made it much easier to track the schedule and activities for everyone.
- Magnetic Dry Erase Calendar – If you don’t have room for a “command center” then this one will attach to your refrigerator. You can use it to plan your meals, keep track of appointments, you name it. While I think that a command center is ideal, if you don’t have the space this is a good alternative.
- Combination Dry Erase and Bulletin Board – I use a board like this for my home command center. This one is large enough at 36×24 to meet my needs without being so huge that I can’t find a place for it. You can find smaller ones though to meet your particular space area.
Organize Those Batteries
We’ve always stocked up on batteries when they were on sale (why pay full price when you don’t have to!). The trick comes in remembering where you’ve put your stash. We’ve used a box to hold all the batteries in for as long as I can remember. It also serves as an easy way to know when we’re getting low on a particular size and need to restock.
- This set of 2 box organizers holds a variety of sizes and up to 34 batteries.
- This hinged battery storage box can be kept in a drawer or mounted on a wall. I love the versatility and if you have some wall space in a utility room, garage, or closet this would be a great option.
- This storage box with handle is perfect when you need or want to be able to take your batteries to the products or with you to another location.
- This storage set comes with 4 containers. Would work when you’d like to have batteries organized in several different locations.
Products to organize your bathroom
- Over cabinet door hair tool storage – Where to put a hot hair dryer or styling tool has always been a problem for me. This holder gets those appliances out of sight and where they’re not going to burn something while they cool off.
- Cosmetic carousel – I’ll admit that I prefer to have cosmetics out of sight, but sometimes that’s just not possible. A shortage of drawer or cabinet space sometimes necessitates that things be out in the open. When that’s the case, it helps to keep things from looking so cluttered if they’re contained – or if they have a “home”.
- I have this container to hold cotton ball and swabs and I love it! It’s sleek, functional, and keeps them from getting nasty.
- We don’t automatically think about needing charging devices in the bathroom, but many of us have more electrical devices here than we realize. This wall shelf outlet organizer gives you a place to keep the electric razor and toothbrush without having cords all over the counter.
The tricky part – keeping your home organized
Now you’re done, right?
Every nook and cranny is organized and you can sit back and relax.
Well, yes and no.
It’s one thing to get a home organized, and another to keep it organized.
The real key here is to become very mindful of every single thing you bring into your home from here on out. Because as much as we’d like to think that stuff just magically appears out of nowhere, that’s not true…every item in our home is there because someone brought it in the door.
So if you want your home to stay organized, you’ve got to be very conscious of the things that are brought into the house.
- don’t shop mindlessly, because you’re bored, or as a form of therapy
- don’t pick up items on a whim
- don’t buy something “for now”
- don’t buy items just because they’re cheap
- don’t purchase items because someone else encourages you to
If you go back to old habits then before you turn around twice, you’re going to find that you’re living in a cluttered mess again.
And that’s the last thing we want after we’ve gone to all the effort of getting organized.
More to help you get organized
Bathroom Storage Ideas To Make Every Inch Count shows you four often overlooked areas you can use for storage.
Great Ideas To Organize Your Laundry Room will help make this space more functional no matter what its size.