If you’ve been bitten by the organizing bug, fight the temptation to run to your nearest Container Store, Ikea, or Target. Before buying anything, think through how to create the best organizational system for your home. It will save you time and money.
Also, if you haven’t decluttered yet, start there. I talk about this more in the difference between decluttering and organizing. Decluttering isn’t as glamorous, fun, or cute so it’s tempting to want to jump straight to organizing.
However, if you don’t want to waste time or money doing the decluttering process first is the most effective.
If you haven’t yet discovered the best method for decluttering your home, you can get the FREE Declutter Plan of Attack worksheet by filling out the form below. It will help you create a simple step by step plan for tackling the clutter in your home.
Now that you’re done decluttering, let’s look at how to create the best organizational system for your home. Carefully consider each of these four foundational elements before selecting storage items or a system for your space. Planning ahead will help save you time and money in the long run.
To create the best organizational system it should be:
The best organizational systems are simple. For many spaces in the home,
Complex plans that require a lot of thought and are high maintenance won’t be sustainable in most homes. We’ll talk more about that later. Just remember: simpler is better.
The system that you create needs to make sense to YOU. Everyone’s brains work differently. A system that may work great for one person will not necessarily work for someone else. What is logical to one is not logical to another.
If I handed a few different people a box full of files and folders and gave them an hour to organize it, do you think they’d all do it the same way? Hint: they wouldn’t. Some would categorize things differently. Others may put the newest papers in front while others would put them in back. Your past experiences with organizing also influence your thinking.
This is why you never want to hire a professional organizer who has a one system fits all plan. People don’t work that way. It’s imperative that you create a system that makes sense to you. Otherwise, you will not sustain it.
Along with creating a system that makes sense to you, to create the best organizational system for your home you want to make sure it’s sustainable. Do you ever look at pictures on Instagram or Pinterest and see gorgeous pictures of organized pantries or closets?
As an organizer, this is something I look at often. I enjoy these pictures and find them very satisfying. However, part of me does wonder how sustainable it is. Do those beautiful pantries still look that way 3 months from now when not all the food matches? Are the clients able to maintain that new system? I’m sure in some cases they do and in others they don’t.
When your system requires that you empty all of your cereal into matching clear containers, is that something you can really see yourself doing on an ongoing basis? Are you really going to continue making labels and putting new spices in their matching jar? If you have the time and energy for that and it is a priority for you, that’s great.
But if not, that’s ok too. Be realistic about your time and priorities. It’s totally ok to create a simpler system (even if it is less
For most areas in the home, your storage containers should allow you to see the items inside it. For storage areas like a garage, that would mean clear bins so you can see the contents without digging through it.
In drawers, the containers don’t have to be clear as the storage is more shallow, but you should be able to see the items and not have mystery items piled underneath other items.
Seeing the contents helps you to more easily identify the location of items. It also helps prevent having forgotten items that are hidden from view.
Before purchasing new see-through containers, check to see if you already have something usable. During the decluttering process, extra storage containers often unearth themselves. Repurposing boxes to use as drawer dividers is another great option.
Once you’ve assessed your organizational needs as well as your current supplies, then you can make your shopping list. To create the best organizational system in your home it should be simple, sensible, sustainable, and seen. Consider all of these elements as you now run to your nearest Container Store. Have fun!
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