Home Organization and Decluttering Tips
Though decluttering can seem overwhelming, there are many ways to make the process easier and more fun. Whether you want to clean up because you’re moving, downsizing or just feeling overwhelmed by too much stuff, this guide offers tricks and tips to help you organize your home, room by room.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- The benefits of decluttering your home
- How to optimize storage space in each room
- Tips that make the process less overwhelming
- Tried-and-true decluttering methods to keep you on track
Benefits of Home Organization
In addition to a nicer-looking home, there are several reasons you should tackle clutter. Thoroughly organized spaces are easier to keep clean, reducing allergens and dust. Tidying up an organized space is quicker as well, leaving you more time to enjoy other activities.
Decluttering also saves time and money. When each of your possessions has a designated storage spot, you can grab what you need quickly without a stressful search. You may also discover things you can repair, repurpose or restore and avoid purchasing something new. This money-saving approach is eco-friendly, too, as it reduces the number of items going to landfills.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of decluttering your house is how it can make you feel. University of Washington psychologist Brenna Renn, Ph.D., has said that getting rid of clutter improves focus and reduces the stress and anxiety that come from too many visual distractions.
Another study suggests that clutter in bedrooms can affect a person’s sleep quality, leading to symptoms like brain fog or an increased risk of depression. When a space is neat and organized, it is often easier to fully relax, making rest more rejuvenating and giving your mood a positive boost.
How to Optimize Your Room Organization
Not sure where to start decluttering? We’ve created a simple checklist to help you declutter and organize your home one step at a time. Going through each room one by one can make the process feel more manageable and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Since living rooms are high-traffic areas, they tend to get cluttered more frequently. Having the right storage is a huge help when keeping these spaces tidy. There are many options for decorating a living room, so finding furniture that fits your needs, style and budget is both easy and fun.
When brainstorming what you need, think about your family’s activities in this space. If you have children who often watch movies or play video games, TV consoles with storage compartments may provide the extra room you need for organizing controllers or DVDs. Additionally, storage benches and ottomans serve as extra seating while providing a spot to stash extra pillows or a throw blanket.
Seating areas are also clutter hot spots. Use traditional side tables with drawers next to the sofa to stash charging cords and drink coasters. Small bookshelves work well for novels as well as movie collections or a display for your favorite decor. Need a smart, convenient way to organize your remotes? Recliners with built-in cubbies keep all your TV-watching essentials close at hand.
Bedroom and Closet
When it comes to relieving stress, a thoughtful bedroom design can make a huge difference. Be prepared to spend extra time here and keep the purpose of each area in mind as you clean. For example, dark wood nightstands are for keeping clocks, phones or traditional table lamps near the bed rather than a place to keep laundry or mail.
It’s best to keep surfaces clear, so the room feels spacious and clean. To do this, have designated places for your jewelry, shoes, clothing and extra linens. Go through dresser drawers and pare down what you own by donating or discarding things you no longer need. Consider adding a vanity set to organize your morning routine essentials.
There are numerous bedroom furniture sets that can make it easier to stay organized too. King and queen size beds with built-in drawers offer plenty of room for storing large or bulky items like sweaters or out-of-season clothing. Kids’ storage beds with trundles and full or twin bookcase bed frames help children keep their space tidy by ensuring all their treasures have a home.
In your kid’s playroom, use their age as a guideline when deciding what to keep. Getting your child involved and letting them make choices can help you avoid tears when they have to give up items they’ve outgrown. If you’re completely redecorating their bedroom, kids’ bookshelves, storage bins and totes help your youngsters keep their new rooms organized right from the start.
Foyers, especially smaller ones, can quickly accumulate clutter. The best approach to these spots is making sure everything has its place. Depending on how much space you have, entryway storage solutions like small accent tables, hall trees or even wall hooks and a shoe rack will keep things tidy.
When decluttering your front entrance, start by removing items that go in other areas of the house. If possible, move coats, boots and sports equipment to a closet. Hang up pet leashes and umbrellas and designate a drawer or tray to hold keys and mail. You might also consider adding something like a modern accent cabinet or patterned chair as a chic place to set purses, backpacks or bags.
Kitchen and Dining Area
Kitchen tables and countertops tend to pile up with all kinds of things, including books, papers and other odds and ends. Taking advantage of pieces like bar carts with a wine rack gives you a specific place to keep your favorite adult beverages, while carts with a cabinet are ideal for containers and cooking gadgets.
You can create separate zones for different types of items to help with organization and make your kitchen more functional. Try setting up a coffee station with mugs at the end of the counter or storing all linens in the same place. Furniture such as white or dark wood china cabinets keep extra plates and silverware tidy but still within reach.
Use organizer trays to corral smaller tools like measuring cups, knives and silverware in drawers, and add removable shelves or bins underneath sinks to hold cleaning supplies like extra dish soap, sponges and gloves. If you have the space, contemporary credenzas or transitional servers offer sturdy shelves and cabinets for storage and organization.
A home office can sometimes be a catch-all for extra papers, magazines and general mess, but you have several different options to help you keep a neat, tidy space. Consider organizing your office by adding a few storage bins for quick and easy access to pencils, paper clips and other common office supplies.
Larger office furniture such as bookcases come in traditional, rustic and transitional styles and are a good place to store reference materials and binders. If you need to, you can even hang a few shelves to take your storage vertical. Or, mount a calendar or a whiteboard on the wall behind your computer to help you stay on track.
Desks are another smart storage option. Even in areas where square footage is at a premium, small desks with drawers and cubbies can store a surprising array of supplies. You can also place a filing cabinet in the corner of the room for important papers or use its spacious top as a sturdy place for a printer.
Decluttering Tips for Beginners
Wondering how to start decluttering when you’re overwhelmed? Cleaning and organizing your space can certainly seem daunting, but the difference you’ll see in your home’s appearance and your mental and physical health is worth the effort. Try incorporating one or two of these tips into your cleaning regimen to see how they work for you.
- Start with One Room: Break your organization project down into smaller tasks, setting a goal for completion and sticking with it. Consider your other obligations when deciding how much you want to accomplish. Do one room each week or take a whole month if that’s more manageable.
- Work in Sections: If a whole room feels like it’s too much, opt for a smaller space. Choose a single area like a closet or drawer in the kitchen before moving on to something else. If you have time after you finish your project, you can keep going and make even more progress.
- Take Breaks When Needed: If you start feeling overwhelmed during the process, stopping and taking a rest can help you recharge and refocus. Use this time to consider what steps to take with your space before continuing. Breaks let you step back so you can clear your head and look at the problem objectively.
- Make a Checklist: To make things easier, consider creating a decluttering checklist and mark each task off as you go. Seeing your progress as you move from room to room can encourage you to keep going.
Using Decluttering Methods
If you’re still trying to figure out how to declutter your room, consider one of the following tried and tested decluttering methods. Many are well-known, such as the Konmari method checklist, and can be a good place to start when getting organized seems impossible. A few popular methods you can try are:
- The Konmari Method: Created by Marie Kondo, this decluttering method focuses on eliminating clutter so you can enjoy the lifestyle that you want. By following a specific order and focusing on whether each item adds joy to your life, you can reassess how your belongings align with how you want to live.
- The Hanger Flip: This technique is specifically for decluttering closets. To determine what garments to get rid of, you switch the direction of the hanger when placing items back in the closet after wearing them. After a while, you’ll notice seldom-worn clothing hanging in the same direction, making it easier to decide which clothes you should consider donating or selling.
- The 20-minute Method: This option is as simple as it sounds and involves picking a starting point and working on that area in 20-minute increments. Upon finishing a section, you shift to the next one, slowly moving around the room until the entire area is complete. This approach works well for those who only have small pockets of time to devote to decluttering.
- The Four Box Method: To use this method, choose four containers and label them. One should be for trash, another for donation or selling, a third for long-term storage and a fourth for belongings that need to be put away. Work your way around each room, sorting things into the bins until they are full and then emptying them according to the label.