Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Greenbrook Design, managing day to day operations, marketing, sourcing product and keeping the showroom beautifully designed. Stacey also does interior design & home styling for a select number of clients. Find out more about Stacey here.
Organization is an important part of keeping a home functioning at its best and limiting stress for everyone. Small piles of clutter can grow quickly and as its size increases so does the pressure to eliminate it. Unfortunately the task can be daunting, especially if you don’t know where to start or what to do with it once it has been sorted. Another problem is figuring out how to prevent it from happening again. All of this can be a challenge but that does not mean it is impossible. By having a few helpful tips and strategies in place you can master the clutter just like a pro. Let’s discuss some of the best suggestions given by the professionals to keep your home a place of rest and recharge instead of one that feels like a disaster.
Start from scratch
Often starting is the hardest thing to do, or more specifically knowing where to start. When it comes to a room that is cluttered the best method is to simply empty it. By moving everything out it gives you a chance to evaluate the amount of things that will need to go, check each item as it comes out to see whether it should be kept or thrown out, and assess the space available in the room once it is emptied. All of these steps are important and though it can feel a little daunting the end result will be well worth it. One thing that would be advantageous during the removal process is having three boxes or sections to place things as they come out labeled: trash, donate, and keep. As you bring items out, decide which area they best fit and place it there. This lets you know what to do with everything at the end including what will need to go back into the room. Utilizing this method means that the process of taking things out will count as double since you empty the room and take inventory. Be sure to think through everything as you clear the room, don’t hold on to things that have no value or are no longer needed. Choosing to donate items means you are helping to support a good cause while at the same time allowing others to have access to things they might not otherwise be able to purchase. If you have certain items that still have some significant value, consider hosting a yard sale or even selling it online. When trying to organize your home, having a good plan in place is the best place to start.
What can you downsize or digitalize?
We live in a digital era where there is less of a need to have paper copies and even certain pieces of mail. Paper and mail are the number one cause of clutter in the home. It is easy to just drop a receipt, newspaper, or even junk mail on the kitchen counter or your personal desk which inevitably leads to pile ups. One way to eliminate a mail stack is to have a system in place such as sorting through the mail near a trash can or recycle bin. Immediately toss junk mail and place bills or other items that need immediate attention into a special folder or basket. This also helps you know where every bill is and there are now many companies that allow you to go paperless. You can receive an email instead of paper mail eliminating clutter efficiently. Scanning is another great way to defeat messy stacks of paper and can be used for old bills that need to be kept for a few years, receipts and warranties, and other important documents that you don’t need the hard copy of. If you subscribe to a newspaper or magazine but only read them once, consider switching to a digital version. This allows you to enjoy the same great content but without the heap mounting every week. You can print off or download the articles that were most interesting to you, keep them in a specific folder either in your office or computer, all while minimizing the chance of clutter build up. For more detailed ideas and tips for sorting paper mail read this article from Houzz. When you switch to a digital filing and storing system it means you can find things faster and keep your home from being overrun with junk. A home with fewer stacks of things eases the mind and helps everyone feel better.
Sort items into zones
Now that you have decided what is trash and what doesn’t belong in a particular room it’s time to put it all back together. Think through this particular space and ask yourself what its purpose is and how often will you be using it? Be sure to keep an eye out for trouble areas, spots that are more prone to collect clutter such as flat surfaces like countertops and tables. These require extra attention such as making sure it is cleared off each evening or morning. As you begin to put things back, be strategic in their placement by creating zones. Items that you use on a daily basis should be within easy reach like pens on the desk or your purse. Having a designated spot for them makes it easy to put them back after every use. Drawers are a wonderful addition to any space as they allow you to put things inside that you may use regularly or at least once a week. If possible, try to incorporate other storage containers throughout the design. Many furniture pieces have a hollow space inside for extra storage and oversized baskets are perfect for certain items like blankets or shoes. Sometimes lidless bins are helpful as well for maintaining an organized home since it is easier to quickly place an item inside versus having to stop and open a lid. Knowing that there is a purpose to every area within a room can help you continue to win the war over clutter and allow everyone in the family to stay on the same sheet of music. A clean, organized home can be accomplished just by implementing this simple system.
Organize like a pro
Although having a professional come in and assist is sometimes the best solution, there are certain things that you can do to get a head start or do yourself all together. Clutter is a friend to no one and can quickly overwhelm and suffocate you. Even though it is never easy to begin the task of removing the piles of junk from a home, the end results are well worth the investment of time and sweat. But that is only half the battle, the other is knowing what to do after it has all been neatly tucked away. Organize like a pro by having a plan and being deliberate about its implementation. As you gain control over your home once more you will feel the stress melt away as you enjoy coming home again.