Organising your home can seem like a never-ending task, but it doesn’t have to be! Rhi, of Mummy of Four has shared her 16 easy tips for keeping your home neat and tidy. So, it’s time to find out how to organise your house like a pro.
Tackle decluttering first
You can’t organise your home until you’ve had a good declutter first. Get into the habit of decluttering regularly, as it will make it so much easier for you to organise your home in the long term.
If you’ve never had a declutter, it can be hard knowing where to start. When assessing whether to keep or throw something out, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really love it?
- Do I really need it?
If you don’t answer “hell yes!” to at least one of these questions, then the decision is made: it’s time for the item to go.
Keep your surfaces clean
Make it a rule to keep as many surfaces as possible clear in your home. Store any “stuff” in cupboards, drawers and units, so they’re out of sight. After all, if you leave these things on your countertops, it’ll mean you’ll have more to clean.
Another reason why you should clear things off surfaces is that “stuff” acts as a magnet to more “stuff”. If you were to simply dump something on a clear surface, it will stick out like a sore thumb, which will prompt you to tidy it away. If your surfaces are already cluttered however, then one more thing will just go unnoticed, until you don’t have any space left.
Identify danger zones
Every home has a hotspot for clutter, where things are most likely to dumped, ready to be sorted “later” (spoiler alert, “later” rarely comes around).
These clutter danger zones are often in key areas such as near the front door, the living room, kitchen, and in and around your bedroom.
Take a walk around your home and look for clutter clusters. Pretend you are a visitor to your home, and try and see it through their eyes. It can sometimes help to take a video on your phone that you can then watch back, as you’ll probably notice clutter that you’re normally oblivious to.
Next, think about your family and how you spend your days in your home. Where do things accumulate? Do you have a mass of mail, keys and bags dumped near your front door? Is there a spot on your kitchen worktop that has a permanent pile of rubbish dumped on it? Write these clutter danger zones down on a list, as these are the areas you’ll need to prioritise when organising.
Organise your cupboards with baskets
This simple tip will save your sanity when it comes to organising your home! Make it a rule that wherever possible, you avoid putting anything directly into your cupboards. Instead, organise the contents of your cupboards into baskets.
Using the basket system makes it far easier to organise things into categories, and will help you to avoid turning your cupboards into a mess of mismatched mayhem. As an added bonus, sorting your cupboards by using baskets will also make it far easier to pull things out to see exactly what you have – not to mention, it’ll make it easier to clean!
Using the basket system is especially important in your kitchen cupboards, as it will help you practice stocktaking and stock rotation. The more you are able to see what you have, the less money you will waste buying doubles of things you already have, and throwing out food that has gone out of date before being used.
Don’t limit the use of the basket system just to cupboards – it works well for organising your fridge too! Organise your food into small baskets, making refrigerator stock rotation and cleaning so much quicker.
Sub-divide your drawers
Once you’ve organised your cupboards with baskets, sort your drawers out with dividers. Dividers make it easier to sort your contents into categories, to stop everything merging into one big mess.
You can buy various drawer dividers, but there are lots of things that you can repurpose into dividers too, including containers such as mobile phone boxes, perfume gift boxes and clean takeaway containers.
Use vertical sorting
The kitchen pan lid chaos cupboard is the organisation headache for many homes! Pan lids are an excellent example of where vertical sorting is a brilliant way to organise your items. Racks like the one below are ideal for keeping pan lids, chopping boards and baking trays neat and sorted.
Another option for vertically sorting taller items within cupboards is to utilise magazine racks.
Turn your paperwork digital
Nothing can make a home look more cluttered than excess paperwork. This can be sorted out very simply, by turning it digital:
- Log into all of your online accounts, and opt for a paper-free delivery option.
- Store any crucial information you need into digital storage, like Evernote. You can then photograph your document, before shredding it.
- For important documents that you have to keep, house them in an accordion file, which you can tidy away in a designated place.
Store your instruction manuals together
It’s worth buying an accordion file that’s dedicated exclusively for any instructions, warranties and receipts for important purchases and appliances in your home. You never know when you may need these instructions or warranties to hand; and when they are needed, you’ll be glad you stored those documents away safely.
Consider when you’ll actually need items
When it comes to deciding where to keep everything in your home – especially in your kitchen – it’s important you ask yourself this question.
If you’re designing a new kitchen from scratch, then you’ll not only need to think about where the cupboards go, but you’ll also need to think about what you’ll put in each cupboard. Even if you aren’t having a kitchen makeover, then it can still be very helpful to reassess the purpose of all of your cupboards.
For example, cupboards near the dishwasher can house your plates and other crockery, to make unloading even easier.
Invest in stackable storage solutions
When it comes to organising your home, you need to consider storage solutions that work together.
Stackable items maximise space as they sit neatly on top of each other, and they can help to store items that you don’t often use. For example, baskets have many uses around the home – from organising the contents of your cupboards, to moving your items from room-to-room.
However, issues can arise when you have mismatched baskets in a variety of shapes and sizes, that can’t be stacked neatly. Instead, stick to one style of the basket you like, and buy several of them, so you can stack them in between uses.
Maximise and multiply your shelf space
If you find you have “headspace” above small items in your cupboards, then maximise this space with shelf inserts. Usually freestanding, they require minimal assembly, so won’t impact your kitchen’s warranty.
Regularly stock-take and rotate
Once a week – ideally before your meal plan and grocery shop – take the time to stock take in your kitchen, and rotate your food around to ensure that you use anything that’s coming up to the end of its shelf life. Not only will this help to keep your cupboards and fridge organised; it’ll keep your grocery bill down too.
Keep one drawer empty
Do you have space in your bedroom known as “the chair”? Whether or not it’s a physical chair, it’s likely the place where worn clothes end up – those that are too dirty to be hung up with clean clothes, but not worn long enough to be washed.
Overcome this issue by keeping one drawer empty, so that it can become the chair, keeping your used-but-not-dirty-enough-clothes out of the way.
Set up organisation station
Whether you call it an organisation station or a command centre, make sure you set one up in your home. Ours is the kitchen, and it’s where we keep track of shopping lists, meal plans, and upcoming events. Find out how to create your own organisation station here.
Let your space define what you allow yourself to buy
Before you buy anything new for your home, assess the space you have allocated for that specific item. Taking kitchen accessories as an example, if you want to invest in a new kitchen container, consider if you have anywhere to put it, or whether your crazy, mismatched Tupperware collection has taken over.
By letting your space define the new things you bring into your home, it means that if you want to make a new purchase, you’ll likely have to declutter other items to make room.
Use microwave minutes to stay organised
Disorganised homes are often the cause of constant procrastination. If you keep saying “I’ll deal with that later”, then you’ll end up with things dotted around the house, waiting (and waiting!) to be put away. Put an end to this by using “microwave minutes”.
Microwave minutes refer to small pockets of time of around 5-10 minutes that can easily be squeezed into your day. These time blocks mean you can complete a few tasks that you would be able to fit in while waiting for your microwave to ding, or your kettle to boil.
By fitting in these microwave minutes, you can keep your home organised forever! Some examples of tasks you can fit in during these time blocks include:
Opening up mail, storing them digitally, then either shredding or filing them
- Washing your dishes
- Giving your bathroom a quick wipe-over with microfibre cloths and cleaning spray (keeping them out of reach of children).
By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a clutter-free, organised home for years to come!