Where to Begin When Organizing Your Home

Woman organizing laundry
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Have you ever wondered the correct order you should use to organize your home? The plan is to start with your storage spaces. This may seem counterintuitive. Why wouldn't you start with your kitchen or living room? These, after all, are the places you use most often in your home.

The idea is to create storage space before you tackle the rooms you use most often. This way when you move on to the rooms and spaces you use most, there will be storage space available. This means that when you decide you are not using the Kitchen Aid mixer that's been sitting on your countertop for 5 years, there's a place to store it.  

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    Storage Spaces

    Junk Drawers and storage spaces
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    Your storage spaces are the place to begin organizing. Once you dive deeper into your house, you're going to be doing a lot of decluttering and rearranging of items. Organize your storage spaces first so that when you find appliances, clothing, shoes, books, and papers that need a place to go, you'll have a place for them. And it will be neat, tidy, and clutter free.

    Think of it like this: Before you unload groceries, you've got to create space for them to go into the fridge. Before you load the dishwasher, you've got to unload the dishwasher.

    Start with a project that you can easily complete. Like a junk drawer. Then, move onto a hall closet or a zone in your basement. Break larger spaces up into smaller spaces. For instance, in your basement or attic, tackle one corner, then another. Or one box at a time.

    1. Junk drawers
    2. Utility or storage closet
    3. Basement and Attic
    4. Garage
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    Shared Spaces

    Kitchen
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    Shared spaces should be organized next because they are the most trafficked areas in the home. Start with the kitchen, followed by the foyer, living room and bathrooms.

    A big plus to organizing these areas is that if you live with others, they will start to see these spaces organized. Next, they will start to expect these places to be neater which will prompt them to be neater. They and may even join in to help you organize. Or they may begin working on their own personal spaces like bedrooms and home offices. Whether they notice or not, organizing is decluttering, sorting, and finding a home for your objects, so before you begin working in shared areas, tell your roommates or family exactly what you're doing, and let them collaborate on the best places to store shared items.

    Example: If you have children, let them help you to pick out a storage space for their toys in the living room. As long as you can live with their decision (i.e. it's in a corner, and not in the middle of the room), go with it. They will feel a sense of ownership over the project making them more likely to work with you, not against you.

    But, if your fellow house dwellers are resistant, go ahead with your plans. Just make sure they know what goes where when you are done.

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    Personal Spaces

    Woman standing in front of closet
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    Personal spaces like bedrooms, closets, and home offices take more concentration to organize. You need to touch and assess most items in these areas to organize the space. That means looking at each paper and examining it, or each grabbing each sock and hunting for its mate.

    When organizing the kitchen, you can organize 25-40 items at once if you're dealing with utensils. In a closet, you have to make a decision on each button-down shirt, and in an office, you've got to sort each paper and receipt.

    These spaces will definitely tax your energy, so it's a good idea to begin these on a weekend morning, with a good cup of coffee or tea.

    *Don't try to organize a bedroom before tackling the bedroom closet. Closets have a tendency to spill out from behind closed doors very easily. Get them in check before working on your bedroom.

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    Small Spaces

    Laundry Room
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    Now, start on smaller spaces like linen closets, laundry rooms, guest rooms, and mudrooms. These small spaces often get a short shrift because they are not very exciting. Yet, having them organized can make your home a more efficient place.

    Example: If you have guests coming to visit, having an organized linen closet will make your life a whole lot easier. It will make your guests' visit easier for them as well.

    You'll be able to locate extra linens, toiletries, and bathroom supplies, and if you're not around, they can grab these supplies themselves. Likewise, an organized laundry room will make that chore easier by placing the soaps and tools you need front-and-center.