21 Tips to get Past Organizing Roadblocks
Do you have trouble starting an organizing project? Do you lose motivation halfway through? Or do you finish organizing a space, but then have trouble maintaining it more than a few weeks? Whatever issue you face, you will find quick and easy organizing tips below to help you get past your roadblock.
Tips for Planning/Getting Started
1) As the saying goes, “done is better than perfect”. Wanting the “perfect” organizing system, but not knowing what that is, can stall many from ever starting an organizing project. I think Amelia Earhart said it best: [t]he most effective way to do it, is to do it.” You just start! You can tweak the system as you go, but there first has to be a system to tweak.
2) If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your whole house or a whole room, start with a small project like a single drawer that you use every day (cutlery, bathroom, desk). You get the quick satisfaction of finishing AND a daily reminder of how an organized space makes your life easier.
3) For every organizing project, start by visualizing the end result and write down why you are undertaking the project. Having a specific goal tied to a desired outcome (I want to organize my closet to make getting ready easier so mornings are less rushed) provides motivation if you get discouraged along the way.
4) Assign everything a home; things become clutter when they have no proper place to live.
5) If you have determined items are leaving your house (to a donation centre, friends or family etc.) take them to your car immediately to make it easier to get them where they need to go.
6) Know what is organized to you. While storing all pantry items in clear containers looks great, if you know you are not the type of person who is going to take the time after every grocery trip to maintain that system, then it is not the system for you.
7) Follow your habits and store things where you intuitively look for/set them. If you put your keys on the counter every day, get a basket/container and make that the “key” spot. The container gives the keys a home and will stop them from being lost amongst any dishes, papers or bags that make their way onto the counter.
8) Don’t buy storage containers BEFORE you have completed sorting, decluttering and have determined where your remaining items will go. You don’t know what you need until these steps are completed and will likely waste time and money doing so.
Tips for Easy Organizing Solutions that Will Keep You Motivated
9) Store vertically! Vertical storage makes it easy to get things out and put them away. You can see everything at a glance and you don’t have to remove other items to get to the one you want (which can be annoying, frustrating and a waste of time). Examples of items to store vertically: baking sheets, muffin tins, cutting boards, serving trays, casserole dishes, towels, papers, magazines. Click here for my blog post on the benefits of vertical storage and the different ways you can create it.
10) Use the Marie Kondo folding technique. Technically this is storing vertically, but this method is so great it’s worth highlighting on its own! It’s free and instantly provides more space in drawers and closets. Click here to read my full post on this folding method and a link to a video demonstrating how to do it.
11) Speaking of creating more space in your closet, use slim profile felt hangars. They take up less space, stop clothes from slipping off, and the uniform look of matching hangars is just so aesthetically pleasing!
12) Adjust cabinet shelves to suit your needs. A lot of the time you can easily adjust the shelving (without needing tools) to accommodate the vertical storage ideas suggested in Tip #9, or for taller glasses and vases etc.
13) Increase your cupboard storage by using shelf extenders. They are inexpensive and excellent for mugs, plates, small bowls and much more.
14) When you are ready to buy products, buy more than you think you will need and return the extra later if necessary. If you get home and discover you are short, the project can stall before it’s completed. You also run the risk the store may not have that particular product in stock any longer by the time you get back.
15) Over the door hanging shoe pockets are inexpensive and for so much more than shoes! Hang them inside your entry way closet to store items you need when you leave like sunscreen, sunglasses, mitts and hats. Hang them in the craft room to store supplies, or in a play room to store small toys such as barbies, LOL dolls, or toy cars.
Tips for Maintaining your Newly Organized Space
16) Store frequently used items in containers/baskets WITHOUT lids. Lids make it more work to get something out and put away (which increases the chances it won’t return to its proper home and will become clutter).
17) Label everything so everyone knows the proper place an item lives and can easily get it and put it away. If you have young children who cannot read, picture labels are very effective.
18) Have a “Pending Basket” in your home for new items that may come into your house that don’t have an existing home. Go through the basket weekly to assign the new items a home.
19) If something will take less than 2 minutes to do, just do it now. Hanging up a jacket, putting shoes in the closet, filing a document, putting a book away, putting a dish in the dishwasher etc. etc. etc.
20) Recycle junk mail immediately when it comes into your house. Otherwise it piles up quickly and clutters your flat surfaces.
21) Take 10 minutes at end of each day to tidy any items not in their assigned home. Waking up to a tidy space just starts your day on a good note. Even if you just corral all items into a basket to deal with the next day, at least the space is tidy and you only have one basket to carry around to put things away next day.
I hope these quick and easy organizing tips help you overcome your organizing hurdles. I’d love to hear in the comments below which tip you found most helpful or if you have a tip you would like to share. And for more organizing tips, click here for a list of 10 organizing fundamentals that apply to every organizing project.