Feeling overwhelmed in your home and looking for some simple solutions to get organized? Look no further. As a professional organizer, my goal is to create simple home organizing solutions for my clients to follow. The simpler the solution the better because that means there’s a greater chance that it will be used.
There are a couple of typical hotspots in most clients’ homes. These are closets, bedroom, kitchen, laundry, dining table, and the family room.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you create simple home organizing solutions for yourself in each of these areas. Let’s look at closets first.
Create Simple Home Organizing Solutions for Your Closet
The problem I see in many of my clients’ homes is that the closets are over-stuffed. There are clothes that haven’t been outside the closet in several years – if not longer.
Do a reality check with yourself.
- Look at the clothes in the closet and answer the following questions.
- When was the last time you wore this clothing item?
- Does it fit now?
- How do you feel when you wear it?
- Is it something you want to wear?
If you answer is no to more than one of these questions, it’s time to donate that article of clothing.
Create Zones in Your Closet
The next step is to create zones within your closet. Group your clothes according to type. Go one step further and group them within the category by color. This will make finding what you want to wear easy.
That is the point. Make it easy to find the clothing item you want and also easy to put it away.
Next Up On the List Is the Bedroom
Simply stated, if your bedroom is cluttered it is harder to rest and relax. Declutter your bedroom and keep it tidy.
Clear the clutter from your bedside tables. Look at the things that are landing on this table. Toss any trash and then decide how many books and/or magazines to keep there.
What else do you need on your bedside table? If there are other things you want to have there think about putting them on a small, decorative tray to keep them organized. Each day take a few minutes to declutter the bedside tables. Toss any trash and remove anything that doesn’t belong.
Make Your Bed
Your bed is the biggest piece of furniture in your bedroom. Simply making your bed in the morning will make your bedroom look more organized.
How to Create Simple Home Organizing Solutions for Your Kitchen
The biggest problem I see in kitchens is that things land on the counters that don’t belong. Everything from children’s toys to mail lands there because kitchen counters are flat surfaces and because everyone gathers in the kitchen. Naturally, we put down things that are in our hands. That doesn’t mean that these things must stay there. Odds and ends will always temporarily land on the nearest kitchen counter. Let that be a way station. Give these things another place to go.
Create a place for mail
Mail can have a temporary landing place in the kitchen. This may be a tray or a fingertip file holder. It’s a convenient place to sort and stash mail. I set one up for a family recently. We created folders for the different types of mail that comes into their home – including notices from school. The parents agreed to check these folders every couple of days and to follow up.
Other odds and ends
Magazines, books, toiletries, artwork from school and toys can end up on the kitchen counter. Let them land there temporarily. Move them to where they belong as you walk through the kitchen.
Create Simple Home Organizing Solutions for the Laundry
Laundry is a problem when the task isn’t finished. I ask my clients to close the loop, to finish the task. This is easier to do if you tackle the laundry one complete load at a time. Problems occur when you are multi-tasking, doing laundry, taking the children somewhere, cooking, working, to name a few examples.
I am not advocating that you sit there and watch the washing machine or dryer work. I am suggesting that you keep track of where you are in the laundry process.
Here’s an example
You put a load of laundry into the washer. You know that it takes about 30 – 40 minutes to complete. Do something else during that time. Return to the washer around the time it finishes and deal with the laundry. Hang some things to dry and put the rest of the laundry into the dryer. The dryer probably takes about another 30 – 40 minutes to run its cycle. Plan to take the laundry out of the dryer when it’s finished. Fold and put away the laundry.
Problems happen when the laundry sits in either the washer or the dryer. Another problem happens when laundry sits in the laundry basket. Finish the task, fold the laundry and put it away.
The simple solution is to keep track of your time as you are doing laundry. I recommend setting reminder alarms on your phone to cue you when it’s time to deal with the laundry.
The Dining Table
The dining table, like the kitchen counter, is a flat surface. It is another convenient place to let things land. If something is sitting on the table as a reminder of something to do, schedule time in your day or week to attend to that task.
Perhaps something is on the dining table because it has no place to go. Ask yourself who does it belong to? If it is yours, ask yourself where you want to find it. The longer things linger on the dining table, the greater the pile becomes, and the more visually overwhelming. Read this article for more dining table organizing ideas.
Create a simple home organizing solution and continually assess where things belong so they don’t sit on the dining table indefinitely.
The Family Room
The last clutter hotspot on my list is the family room. Decide what sort of things belong in the family room and limit what stays there. Is it a toy room and a place to visit with friends? If so, have a place to keep and corral the toys. If you don’t want toys to stay in the family room teach your children how to bring the toys back to their bedroom when they are finished playing with them.
As you create simple home organizing solutions for yourself always ask what is the simplest solution? When the solution is simple it is easy to maintain and easy for everyone else in the family to follow.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.