What NOT to do when you’re trying to get organized

Posted on Aug 13 2022 in Features

Those everything-in-their-place pictures you see in home decorating magazines may be your inspiration when you’re hoping to tidy up your abode but how do you actually get your home to look like that? Before we tackle the “how-to’s” let’s review the “what not-to-do’s.” 

Don’t buy organizational supplies before measuring and decluttering. 

Those sleek shelving units and cute containers may beckon you when you’re out at your favorite retailer. But before you buy your organizational must-haves, make sure you really must have them. In other words, first get rid of stuff you don’t need before you figure out how to store everything. Let go of what doesn’t serve you anymore. Then, measure the available space you have for a new organizational unit and accessories before you go to the store to shop for supplies. 

Don’t settle for organizational products just because they’re cheap.

Those discounted acrylic bins and glass jars in the clearance aisle might be great deals, but keep in mind that mismatched storage items can make even a clean and clear pantry appear cluttered. And visual clutter can eventually create real clutter. Matchy-matchy is what you should aim for when it comes to storage. Also, home organization experts advise you to pick clear containers so you can see exactly what you’re storing.

Don’t forget to maintain the neatness.

Organization is a journey, not a destination. Once you’ve got a system in place, you have to maintain it. Remember to continually go through what you have, keeping only what you need and what brings you joy. Continue to corral the clutter before things get out of control again.

Don’t forget to “let it go.”

Letting go of stuff you’ll never use is a good thing. Just think of how you may be helping out someone who actually needs or wants what you donate. Among places with products that definitely need to be cleared out: cosmetic drawers. Check expiration dates and throw out make up that should no longer be used. 

Don’t bring in something new without getting rid of something you already have.

You should always follow the 80/20 rule. Leave 20 percent of your home’s space “open” to ensure that if there’s something you just have to have, there will be space to fit it in your house. But, nonetheless, remember: cramming your home with too much furniture and too many knick-knacks, clothes and what-not can make you feel overwhelmed. So, if you buy something new, try to move something out.

Don’t settle on storage places that don’t make sense.

Create storage solutions that work for how you live and work in your home. Store items close to where you will need and use them. Make sure they are easily acccesible and at eye level.

Don’t assume kids can’t tidy up.

It’s your job to lead your children down the path to an organized life! Rotate their toys so they’re not overwhelmed by too much clutter and too many choices. Use lidded opaque bins with picture labels on them for storage so they know what to put where when playtime is over.

A junk drawer shouldn’t be your excuse to not organize.

Most of us rely on that drawer in the kitchen to hide stuff we just don’t want to deal with. But what’s out of sight shouldn’t be out of mind. Carve out some time to empty out the drawer and move what’s actually worth keeping where it belongs. (Be sure to throw out what you don’t need.) Your goal, though lofty, is to eliminate the need for a junk drawer all together!

Here’s what TO DO when getting organized …

In your entryway (whether it be by the front door or garage), designate a landing spot for family members to hang their coats and drop other items. If their spots get too messy, they should be responsible for taking their items to their own closets.

Use acrylic bins in your fridge to corral like items together. Consider a condiment bin to make finding sandwich fixings a breeze (a lifesaver when you’re preparing school lunches!).

Keep appliances you use every day on the kitchen counter. Stash everything else in cabinets or the pantry.

In your linen closet, keep sheet sets together by storing them in one of the matching pillowcases.

Are you tempted to pile items on your dresser instead of returning them to where they actually belong? Curb that urge by “styling” those empty surfaces with cute décor items that you love.

A tidy closet makes getting ready in the morning less chaotic. Hang all your clothes so they’re facing the same direction. Organize like items together (pants together, shirts together, skirts together, etc.). 

In your kids’ rooms, invest in simple, high-quality furniture that they can “grow with.” Don’t buy pieces that are only appropriate for certain ages because they’ll eventually become clutter that you’ll need to deal with. To give the rooms age-appropriate twists, change out bedding and décor as the kids grow up.