You know that organizing your home is a great way to get more space and less clutter, but where do you start?
When organizing your home, it can feel overwhelming to know where to begin. This post will be all about the important first steps of organizing your home.
We will explain how to declutter, sort through items, categorize them, and figure out where everything needs to go. It is important to make a system for yourself that works for you and your home, and these tips will help no matter what style or system of organizing you use in your home!
Organizing Your Home… Where to Start?
Have you been looking around your home lately and finding that you just have so much stuff?
Having an organized space to relax in is super important, but with all of the things you have in your home (especially if you have kids or other family members living with you), it can be hard to start organizing or get the mess under control.
Hiring professional organizers can be super helpful (especially if you are feeling really stressed and overwhelmed), but it’s not necessary. You guys can totally do this!
Here are 5 helpful tips to get you started on organizing your home.
The first step in organizing your home is decluttering. Depending on how sentimental you are, this might be the hardest step for you, but it is crucial when you start organizing your home.
The decluttering process is important because it gets rid of the excess and helps you figure out what clutter is important to keep. (Trust me, even if you think you don’t have excess… I’m sure you do. We all do, and sometimes it’s surprising to see just how much we’ve been holding on to that we don’t need!)
If your organizing plan doesn’t include some form of decluttering before you start organizing, then it won’t work long term because there will always be too much stuff in your way!
How to Start Decluttering
You can declutter in a few different ways, but one of my favorite ways is to just take everything out of the home office desk or kitchen drawers or closet that you’re organizing. And when I say everything, I mean everything.
Open up storage bins, go through knick-knacks, check closet shelves, look at the floor in your child’s bedroom closet… check any clutter hot spots and start going through everything you find.
Get three boxes or bags, or just make 3 piles.
One box is for things you want to keep, one is for things that you don’t want to keep anymore but are still in good shape, and one bag is for things that just need to be thrown out.
Go through each item and decide what pile to put them in.
What if I have a hard time throwing things out?
We are all sentimental, and that’s okay! If you have a few things that are really personal items or gifts, you should keep them. But if it’s taking a lot of room in your house and it really just sits on a shelf in a closet, it’s not really doing you any good.
Take a photo of that item so you can always remember it, and then it might be time to let it go to a better home.
And the good news is you don’t have to rush through this process, You can take a little trip down memory lane each time you find something that reminds you of a person or place. Take your time.
As you keep items, try to imagine where they will go. Make sure you have space for the things you are keeping.
For items that you don’t want to keep anymore but are still in good shape, here are a few things you can do:
- Donate them! There are probably tons of women’s shelters or homeless shelters nearby that would love any clothes, shoes, or hygiene products that you don’t need anymore. You could also donate them to a thrift store so someone on a tight budget can buy household items, kitchen stuff, or sports equipment at a cheap price.
- Throw a yard sale. You can sell any items you don’t use but someone else easily could. Then you’re making a little money in return for decluttering.
- Give them away to friends and family members. If you know someone who would use somethings you have, gift it to them! Do you have tons of camping gear you never use but your neighbor loves camping? See if they need any of your items! They would definitely appreciate it, and it’s helping you clean out your home.
As for the items that need to be thrown out, just get rid of them. Throw them in the trash or recycling bin and walk away. Be proud of yourself for getting rid of some things and taking a big step in the organization process!
If you want more guidance on how to help you get rid of unnecessary stuff, check out my article: How to Get Rid of Stuff: 10 Steps to Help You Let G0
2. Sort and Categorize Everything
After you’ve decluttered your home, it’s time for the next step in the organization process. Basically, this is the real organizing step when you’re organizing your home.
Go through the items you’ve kept and start to sort through them and categorize them. By categorizing your items, you’ll be organizing your home in a way that’s efficient and easy to maintain.
To get started, pick one room of your house or an area where you want to organize things. Go through the belongings there methodically – each shelf, closet, drawer, etc., on its own accord – and start sorting items into piles.
For example, you’ll want to make sure any important documents in your home office are kept together, and rubber bands and other smaller supplies are kept in another group. You’ll want plates in your kitchen to all be in one group, bowls in another, and cups in another.
Don’t get too caught up in other people’s methods!
Organization ideas and great tips are helpful obviously but don’t get too caught up in the specific ways other people have sorted their items.
Categorize your things in a way that makes sense to you! You know best exactly what works for you and your family.
You may have more storage spaces than someone else, or your kitchen and dining room might be small and you don’t have as much room for a whole category of just baking supplies. That’s okay! You can put your baking supplies with other food items and just make one big category.
Group things in a way that will keep things organized for you and make the most sense to you, your family, and your home.
3. Make a System
This step kind of works in tandem with the previous steps. When you’re trying to get your home organized, you need to make a system that will help is stay organized in the future.
Organizational systems are important because they help you keep track of where things are in your home.
A system can be anything from organizing all of the food items together, organizing by room or section (like kitchen supplies, office supplies, tableware, guest room items), organizing by the type of item (electronics, cleaning products, coffee mugs) – whatever makes sense to you!
Since you’ve got your things organized into categories, it should be easy to see what you have a lot of so you can make some decisions on what items would fit where.
Ideas of Organization Systems
Here are a few ideas of things you can implement in your system to help keep your home organized.
Getting matching containers
Getting containers that match throughout your whole house is a really neat method when you’re organizing.
For some reason, when you store things in bins and containers that all look the same way, your home suddenly looks much cleaner and more put together.
Of course, depending on your budget, that might not work for you, but I think a cohesive look with your storage containers, at least in each room, is a great way to keep your organized home looking neat and tidy.
Head to the container store and find a set of containers that all have the same look but come in different sizes! Your storage can be functional and pretty at the same time.
You can also check out these posts for a lost of my favorite budget friendly organizers:
Shop my Favorite Organizers:
Repurpose old items
Organizing your home can get expensive if you’re buying all-new storage containers, so another option is to repurpose old boxes and containers you were going to get rid of.
You can easily turn lots of old shoe boxes, bags, or even an old laundry basket into a container that can help you save money and store your items.
Plus, you can decorate them in any way you want to make them fit your home and your style. Just because your making some DIY storage containers doesn’t mean they have to be any less beautiful!
Organize based on what you use most
Be intentional when you’re organizing. Make sure you keep things you use often in a place where they are easily accessible. And for items you may only need a few times a year, you can put those up on high closet shelves or hard-to-reach storage areas.
You know just what your family needs on a daily basis, so organize around that knowledge. That’s one neat method when organizing your home in a functional and maintainable way.
This is one aspect of organizing that I think everyone needs to implement.
Labeling your containers is a big step in organizing your home, but it is also one of the most important ones.
It will make life so much easier when you know exactly where everything goes and how to put it away after using it because all items have a place. It’s not just about organizing – labeling things helps you remember what they are too!
If you don’t have clear containers (and even if you do – sometimes those are hard to see through!), it can be a huge pain to open up every single bin to try to find the item you need.
Shop Home Labels:
After organizing your home, make sure you label everything you can (especially toy rooms or areas that your kids help clean) so everyone knows exactly where things go.
Shop my Favorite Labeling Supplies:
4. Get the Whole Family Involved
When you start organizing, it can feel stressful because it feels like you’re doing it all alone. But you’re not! Get the whole house involved!
After all, if you’re reorganizing all the rooms, it affects them too!
So get everyone involved. This will help them understand your system too, so they’ll be more likely to help maintain it in the future.
You can do this however it works best for you. You can all work in one room together, or if that seems too crowded, you can separate into groups. You take the lead in one room and your spouse takes the lead in the other room.
Whatever you decide, organizing your home is a family affair, so make sure everyone is involved and take time to listen to their input while making your organization system.
Not only will it help your kids understand it more if they’ve been involved, but they’ll also be more excited about helping you keep the house organized if they helped you come up with the system!
Having a say in the way things are set up at home can go a long way for a child in confidence and cooperation.
Shop Printable Home Management Pages:
5. Take it One Room at a Time
Take it slow! The good news is… you don’t have to do it all at once.
I know that, often, when we start organizing, we just want to go crazy and get it all done right away, but that really isn’t feasible.
Don’t push yourself too hard! Do decluttering sessions each week. Go through one cupboard today, and maybe a desk next week.
Take it one room, one drawer, one cabinet, and one space at a time. The organization process is slow. Unless you have a team of professional organizers helping you, don’t expect your organization journey to happen overnight.
You should also take it one task at a time! Don’t expect to declutter, categorize, clean, and organize a whole room all in one day! If you have the time and motivation, great! Go for it and good luck!
But chances are, you’re super busy and you just don’t have the time or energy to do an entire room in one day.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. Take a deep breath, feel free to take as many breaks as you want, allow yourself time to travel down memory lane, and try new things to find what works best.
Organizing your home… where to start?
Ask yourself the same question we started with, and hopefully, now you have an answer.
Start small and take it one step at a time.