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How to Organize Your Home Room by Room

Saturday, February 21, 2015

 

The holidays are over and the year is well underway. It's a great time to get organized. An organized home not only gives you peace of mind but also encourages productivity. I like to approach this task room by room, starting with the kitchen:

How to Organize Your Kitchen

Toss: expired food, never-used appliances, extra water bottles, chipped mugs or bowls, anything badly stained.

First step is decluttering. Remove everything from your kitchen cabinets and only put back what you use or love. Think about what you use most often and put it back so that it is in arm’s reach; everything else can go up higher or farther back.

To organize the rest of your kitchen, make things as easy to reach as possible. A lazy susan is very useful in your kitchen cabinets or even your fridge to make condimentseasier to grab. Don’t forget about vertical space: Hang pots, pans, lids, and potholders to get things off the counter and maximize your space. A magnetic knife strip will free up counter space.

Dividers can help separate utensils in drawers and baking sheets in cabinets. Also consider putting your trash and recycling bins on slide-out tracks for easy access.

How to Organize Your Living Room

Toss or Donate: old magazines, board games with missing pieces, DVDs, books, and video games you don’t use anymore.

What clutter does your living room attract? Sort it into categories like mail, kids’ toys, remotes, craft projects, and so forth. Just like with the kitchen, get rid of things in poor condition or that you haven’t used recently. Organize what’s left based on where you need it -- dog leashes by the front door, remotes near the couch.

If you ever read the blog The Inspired Room, you know the author (Melissa) loves baskets. Whether you prefer wicker or wire, baskets and even trays are a great way to transform a mess into something classy. A small basket by your couch can hold those remotes. A big wire basket by the front door can hold umbrellas and slip-on shoes for walking the dog. If you have shelving by your front door, a labeled basket above eye level can house hats, scarves, and gloves.

Use the space under your coffee table to slip boxes or baskets to hold DVDs. Or as lifestyle blogger JaMonkey suggests hiding your DVDs in this binder that looks like an old book.

And of course there is the ever-popular launch pad concept. Even if all you have room for is a tiny console table, having a flat surface and some wall-mounted storage by the front door will give you a place for your keys, mail, and purse. It makes grabbing everything as you breeze out the door so much easier.

How to Organize Your Bedroom

Toss or Donate: Clothes and shoes you never wear, anything that doesn’t fit, sheets you don’t like, books you have read or will never read.

Organizing the bedroom is fairly straightforward. Store sheets under the bed in slim bins, select a nightstand with some storage, and keep clutter off of surfaces by using cute bowls.

How to organize the closet is the tricky part. Start by taking inventory of your garments by type. Once you’ve done that, take advantage of shelf dividers, hooks and drawer-organizing units. Again, use the vertical space (especially above eye level). Keep out-of-season clothes in clear containers up high, and swap them out when the seasons change. Things you use most frequently belong at eye level and items used a little less often should go lower. Ensure you have good lighting in your closet so you see what is in there.

How to Organize Your Bathroom

Toss: old makeup and nail polish, expired medicine, stained towels, tiny bath and body samples you’ve never used or dislike the scent of.

Organizing the bathroom is important, as it’s usually one of the smaller rooms. I love this tip from Better Homes & Gardens: Add an outlet inside your cabinets for your hairdryer or electric razor.

A few more tips on how to organize your bathroom: Keep your everyday makeup or toiletries in one place, and tuck special occasion supplies out of sight in a separate bag. Roll up towels so they’re easier to grab and prettier to look at. Things like cotton swabs and Q-tips are more attractive and handy in small containers.

Add a shelf or hooks above the bathroom door or several above the toilet. Add pull-out racks under your sink, or try a lazy susan there, like we did in the kitchen.

There’s your basic primer on how to organize your home room by room. If you’re the checklist type, House Mix Blog has a great room-by-room guide you can print or download here.

What are your favorite organizing tips? I’d love to hear them.

Erin Davis is owner of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland Oregon. For more information and tips visit mosaikdesign.com or contact her at [email protected]

@mosaik_design
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