Inside: Are you making any of these common organizing mistakes? If so, here’s how to fix them.

Organizing your home is often easier said than done.

Sure – all you need to do is roll up your sleeves, put on a good playlist, and put stuff back where it belongs, right?

If only it were that simple.

Organizing your home in a meaningful way sounds easier than it actually is. In reality, getting your home organized the way you want it to be can take quite a bit of time and effort to achieve. It isn’t something you can accomplish on a whim, or without some planning and foresight.

But it’s definitely possible.

If you keep struggling to get your home in order and can’t quite figure out where you’re going wrong, I may be able to help. I’ve identified a few of the biggest home organizing mistakes people commonly make – as well as what you can do instead to fix them.

organizing mistakes

Common Organizing Mistakes to Avoid in Your Home

Not sure how you’re self-sabotaging your home organization efforts? You might be surprised to see how some simple mistakes can add up to big organizational headaches.

Here are just a few of the biggest organizing mistakes you might be making – and what you can do to correct them:

Organizing Mistake #1: You’re buying containers & organizers first.

The first step in organizing should always be decluttering. You don’t want to waste your time trying to organize things you don’t want or use.

The key to creating a sustainable organization system is by focusing on decluttering more initially. This will make the organizing piece much simpler and easier.

If you jump straight into buying containers and organizers first then you’re likely buying too many and the wrong size.

It’s tempting to buy the pretty organizing products from the Container Store and envision how they will magically fix your stuff problem, but unfortunately, that isn’t the way it works.

First, you need to minimize the stuff and then find the right organizers for your things. Ones that fit your space and accommodate the things you actually need to store.

Unfortunately, many folks are in the habit of buying organizers for closets, drawers, and cabinets without actually assessing what they need to hold – and more importantly, taking measurements to ensure what you’re buying will actually fit your space.

A too-small organizer can actually take up more space than it’s saving you – and one that’s too big won’t even fit in the space you need it to.

That’s why it’s key to pause before you shop. Declutter first, assess your storage needs next, and then take careful measurements to ensure the solutions you’re buying are right for you and your space. 

organizing mistakes

Organizing Mistake #2: You’re putting things you need in hard-to-reach places. 

When we’re organizing our homes, it can be tempting to want to put everything away.

But it’s important to consider how you use your space – and what you use on a regular basis – before putting it away. The best organizational system is a practical one that you can easily maintain.

If you don’t use your stand mixer in the kitchen more than once or twice a year, then by all means – move it to the basement. But if you’re using it on a weekly basis, you might think twice before making yourself commit to hauling it up and down the stairs all the time. 

If it’s the middle of winter and you live in a cold, wet place, you probably need to keep your coats and boots in your entry closet – even if it feels like they’re taking up a ton of space. Don’t make yourself trek all the way to the bedroom every time you want to leave the house.

And if you’re constantly hosting guests, you don’t want to put your spare linen on the highest shelf in the closet – you want to keep it in an easily accessible space where you can quickly find it and get ready for company.

By being rational and logical – not aspirational – you’ll make your life a lot easier and set yourself up for success by ensuring those things have a proper place where you can easily reach them. 

This also helps you to create an organizational system that you can keep up with rather than one that’s too high maintenance. Most people won’t keep up with organizing if it requires too much additional work.

overwhelmed woman

Organizing Mistake #3: You’re trying to do too much at once. 

Another big organizing mistake you might be making?

Trying to do everything all at once.

This is a common mistake with decluttering and organizing as well. The idea of totally cleaning and organizing your home in a weekend might sound amazing, but is it realistic? For many of us, the answer is no – especially if we want to be intentional and do a good job.

By rushing through the process, there’s a good chance you’re going to wind up more frustrated and disorganized than you were when you started.

Instead, accept the fact that organizing your home is going to take time. And instead of letting that reality make you angry, make a plan to tackle your mess and get organized for good.

Whether you choose to focus on one room each weekend, dedicate one hour each day to organizing your space, or come up with some other plan of attack, you’ll feel like you’re making meaningful progress as you check things off on your to-do list. 

labeled glass jars

Organizing Mistake #4: You aren’t using any labels.

Labels can be very useful when organizing your home. By clearly indicating where things go – or what belongs inside closed boxes and drawers – you can make it much easier to keep things where they belong and quickly find what you’re looking for.

Labels can be a helpful tool when indicating:

  • What belongs on a specific shelf or in a certain drawer
  • What goes into plastic storage boxes or bins
  • What you’ve stored away inside cardboard boxes or larger containers for long-term storage in your garage, basement, or attic

Labels are especially helpful if you share a space with others. Your family can’t always read your mind and know exactly what you think belongs where – so tell them! 

You can use a label maker, take advantage of free printable templates online, or grab a permanent marker and some blank stickers and get to work. 

Make sure to label items that you wouldn’t be able to quickly and easily identify by sight alone. However, this doesn’t mean you have to label every single thing in your home. That’s an organizing myth that can end up making your home start to look like a preschool classroom.

Start by labeling the most essential areas and then determine the right amount of labels for your space.

organizing mistakes

Organizing Mistake #5: You’re holding onto stuff you don’t need or use.

Do you have a hard time letting go of stuff you no longer need?

You certainly aren’t alone.

Many of us are holding onto things that no longer serve a functional purpose in our lives. Maybe it’s that pile of cookbooks that you haven’t touched in years, collecting dust on your shelves.

Maybe it’s the clothes in your closet that don’t quite fit – but they will one day, so you can’t get rid of them. Or maybe it’s the boxes from every iPhone you’ve had for the last ten years, stacked in a corner of your closet for some reason. 

Whatever it looks like for you, figuring out what you no longer need to keep and actually getting rid of it will help you tremendously when it comes to organizing your home.

By eliminating that unneeded clutter and freeing up that space for things you actually need, you’ll make it easier to get organized – and stay organized. 

Which of the organizing mistakes have you been making? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. I have a problem decluttering. We keep too much. Not sure why. We need to let it go. I have never used labels.

  2. The worse thing (in my humble opinion) ever invented its been then large inbuilt drawers, cupboards and wardrobes. My own mother has one in every room. Needless to say the amount of 💩 the has n them. My brother said her clothes is n each one of them, she put stuff away never remembers where. The kitchen cupboards are full with all sort of plasticky stuff, still she says she doesn’t have much stuff. A big problem she has to let go.

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