These days, the benefits of getting organized are well-documented. There’s less housework, less time spent on unenjoyable tasks. This reduces psychological stress. It enables goals to become clearer. It provides more space for things you love and, get this, you even sleep better! That’s just one reason why it’s important to practice home organization tips.
But the road to a clutter-free life can be quite bumpy. To help, we asked Lisa Woodruff, a home organization expert and productivity specialist who runs Organize 365 for some sought-after home organizing tips. After years of helping clients in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, Lisa began to teach functional organizing — a progress, not perfection method that helps people to unclutter their homes and lives. As well as managing a team of 10, she has published two Amazon best-sellers and is the host of a popular podcast, Organize 365 where she regularly discusses home organization tips.
Here are some of Lisa’s best organizing tips, in her own words.
Tackle that cubby: Closet organization tactics
Take everything out of your closet. Yes, everything! Organization is about your mindset — not pretty containers. You need to be able to see everything at once and make decisions. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, but it can also be incredibly liberating as well. Now, follow these steps for her home organization tips for taming closets:
- Declutter. This is where the magic happens when organizing any space. Go through each pair of paints, each belt, each shoe box of miscellaneous stuff. What can you let go? If you didn’t wear it this season, get rid of it! Don’t keep something you don’t love because you spent money on it once or because someone you love gave it to you. Embrace your today body and only keep clothes that make you feel and look great.
- Make a list of what pieces you still need. If you got rid of your fall boots because you wore them out, make a note to purchase another pair. Keep a running list of your staples to make sure you have what you need for your lifestyle.
- Group like with like. If you’re storing half your luggage in your closet and the other half in your basement, you need to get everything together in one spot so that you can see what you have at a glance.
- Get creative! Your closet can serve a multitude of functions. A dressing room, a vanity space —I even know a podcaster who records in her master closet because of the great acoustics. Even if your closet isn’t a walk-in style, it can still be more than your clothing storage space, if you need it to be.
Make it official with office organization
I work from home, and my office is in — gasp! — my master bedroom. It’s against all the rules, I know, but it works for me because I love this space. I run a corporation and employ 10 people from this office, and since it’s in my bedroom, it has to be organized. To help you master your office clutter, consider these steps:
- Decide what you truly need your home office for. Do you work from home full time, or do you just need a space for your laptop to charge while you pay bills? Your home office could be an entire room or a small desk in the corner. Don’t take up more space than you truly need.
If your office space is out in the open, choose furnishings that are comfortable and match the rest of your home. Choose good task lighting and carve out a space to store items you use for your work.
- Corral the cords and electronics. A home office space is a logical spot to store your family’s many devices and to charge them. Visually, this can look overwhelming and chaotic, so consider hiding the cords behind furniture or cinching them together with zip ties. An over-the-door shoe organizer is one of my favourite tools, and one of the few things I recommend to purchase (because most organizing can be done at little to no cost).
- Tame the paper. To keep this space organized, make sure you have a paper organization system in place to corral your paper. When you are done with your work for the day, take a few minutes to put everything back in its place and tidy the area.
Tackle your clutter with these home organization tips
The best thing you can do for total home organization is to get your paper under control. Paper is one of the most overwhelming and confusing aspects of home organization because it’s everywhere. That’s why Woodruff highly recommends managing paper as one of her essential home organization tips.
Gather up every single piece of paper in your home — your filing cabinet, junk drawer, on top of your desk, anywhere you find paper — and separate them into two categories: archive and actionable.
Look at each of your papers in the archive pile and decide if you truly need to keep it (chances are, you don’t). If you do need to keep it, use a binder system rather than your filing cabinet so that you can actually reference the information.
For the actionable papers, papers that need a decision, a reply, or something else done by you, you need to employ a system like The Sunday Basket™, which establishes a weekly routine of going through your actionable paper.
Each week, decide if that action can wait or needs to be done in the next seven days, and schedule it into your week. Don’t make a mile long to-do list, and don’t write it on your calendar and hope you’ll find a spare minute–ensure that you block time in your schedule to get that task done.
For more tips like these and an international community of people taking back their homes from clutter and chaos, visit www.organize365.com.