Over the last two years, we’ve spent more time indoors than before. Whether it is for taking office calls in the kitchen or for attending online classes in the living room, our homes have transformed into multi-purpose spaces. In a situation like this, cluttering and chaos can become unavoidable. But, by mastering some simple organizational techniques, you can keep your living space organized and every corner of your home tidy.
Declutter and Discard
Kick-off your new year’s reorganization by clearing the clutter. Whether it is keeping a basket where your keys tend to fall, changing chair covers, or putting up hooks where you throw jackets, analyze everything and start organizing. Discard unused or unwanted items and give yourself space to work.
Getting rid of all your clutter might feel impossible, but by focusing on one room or even one corner at a time. Take the time to declutter each space thoroughly before moving on to the next. This will prevent repeating sections, and boost your confidence with each successful step.
Create a Plan for Cleaning
No matter how much you declutter or rearrange it, without regular cleaning, your home will be a mess. Make a checklist and schedule for regular cleaning tasks, like washing the dishes, picking up your floor, and making your bed every morning.
For those bigger, deep cleaning tasks, divide your task list into segments and schedule them on a weekly basis. You can make Saturday a laundry day, or set Tuesdays for vacuuming. By scheduling ahead, you build a system of accountability, and a set of healthier cleaning habits.
Take Out Time for Maintenance
Maintenance is the area of housekeeping most often overlooked by homeowners. But routine maintenance can help you save both time, and money in the long run. Unlike your resolution to hit the gym, make a real plan to take time for your home’s maintenance this year.
Start by taking a walk around your home. As you do, list off every maintenance item you would need throughout the year, from the gutters to the air ducts. Then, make a year-long planner to tackle each target area on a regular basis, so you can check off all your new year priorities for your home.
Use Containers in Smart Ways
Containers are your friends: the key to saving you from searching through clutter. But, in order to make them useful, you need to remember which containers store what. So assist your future self by applying labels to all boxes, folders, and storage bags, then group organizers with similar contents together.
If possible, always use clear containers. Clear containers allow you to see everything in one glance, removing time needed to search. If you can’t splurge on new bins, try reusing plastic and glass containers from food, saving you money while keeping your space neat. And if one of your containers becomes cluttered? Subdivide its contents into smaller containers that can fit inside a cabinet, shelf, or drawer.
Give Care to Areas of Neglect
Taking truly good care of your home means taking care of the little details. This year, make sure you set aside time for the easily neglected nooks and crannies in your home. Think about your air vents, refrigerator coils, attic, and washing your custom covers. And don’t forget those appliances we utilize everyday: the dishwasher, air conditioner, and showerheads.
Maintenance jobs like these aren’t usually on top of our mind, but doing them will help keep your home feeling new and fresh. So don’t forget then: sit down with the calendar and schedule these tasks across the year.
Find a Place for Everything
Take a moment to think about all the time you’ve lost scrambling to find your keys, or stumbling around searching for your phone charger. Whether you live in a luxurious mansion or a studio apartment, items without a designated place, are always misplaced.
This year, give everything in your home a space of its own. The portable speaker goes in the middle of the top living room shelf, your overcoat in the entryway closet, and sticky notes in the top office drawer. Make a habit of only taking out items when needed, then immediately returning them to their space.
No one’s perfect, so it isn’t reasonable to expect your home to be perfect. Your home should feel cozy and lived in, and sometimes that comes with a little mess. But when you’re overwhelmed by a chaotic space, organization is the only way to peace of mind. It takes time to arrange your home, but when everything is in place, you’ll be thankful you did it.