If you look through home magazines or the most recent The Container Store catalog, you might get the impression that getting organized will cost you a lot of money. If you buy a bunch of their products, it certainly will! But there are at least 5 things you can do TODAY that will make your home look and feel more organized without costing you anything. Here they are:
Pull all of the utensils out of the drawers and group them together by category (e.g. put all the spatulas together, all the can openers together, all the wine openers together, etc.) Choose the best utensils of every category and donate all the rest. Choose three drawers in your kitchen and designate one drawer for utensils that CUT (e.g. apple corer, vegetable peeler, herb slicer), one drawer for utensils that DON’T CUT (e.g. turkey baster, spatula, ladle, etc.) and one drawer for BAKING utensils (e.g. measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc.). If you need help remembering your new system, put Post-It notes labeling each drawer on the outside of the drawer for a few weeks.
Time Involved: About 1 hour
Benefits: Have organized kitchen drawers, quickly find the utensil that you need, make meal prep go faster with less stress
Pull all of the food out of the pantry and group it together by category (e.g. all the pastas together, all the canned veggies together, all the sauce mixes together, etc.) Toss all the expired food or food you know your family will never eat (if it’s not expired, please consider donating it to a food bank). Put the food you want to keep back in the pantry, designating one shelf or part of one shelf in the pantry for each food category. Label each shelf to help you and your family remember where everything goes. Extra credit: Face all the labels forward to get that magazine-quality look and to make finding everything faster.
Time involved: 1-3 hours
Benefits: Be able to find what you are looking for faster, know what you need to buy and what you DON’T need to buy, make meal prep go faster with less stress
3. Bathroom/Linen Closet
Pull all of the towels off the shelves and group them together by color, and then by size (noticing a trend here?). Keep the best, donate the rest. Then put them back on the shelves grouped together by size (for easier stacking). But this time, fold all of the towels in thirds or fold them in half and then roll them up (see images below).
Benefits: This is the trick to those neat and tidy linen closets you see pictured in magazines. Plus, it makes finding the towel you want much faster and easier.
4. Bedroom Closet
Round up all of the matching hangers in your house. Put your clothes on matching hangers, so all of the clothes face the same way. Then hang the hangers on the rod so all of the hangers face the same way. When you hang your clothes back on the rod, group them together by category (e.g. all the long-sleeve blouses together, all of the jackets together, etc.)
Time involved: 1-3 hours
Benefits: This is another trick pulled from home magazines that will make your closet instantly look amazing. Plus, find matching clothes much faster so getting dressed is easier. Know what to buy as well as what NOT to buy (because if you group everything by category, you will be able to tell if you have too much of something and/or not enough of another.
5. Living Room
Identify the focal point in the room (usually the TV or fireplace). Group your furniture in a “U” shape around the focal point, placing the coffee table in the middle of the “U.” Remove any knick-knack or piece of decor that is smaller than a soccer ball (too many small things make a room feel cluttery.) Round up and stack all of the magazines on the coffee table (or better yet, recycle or donate them!)
Time involved: 2 hours
Benefits: The room will feel more pulled-together and orderly, the seating arrangement will facilitate conversation and make the living room feel more inviting, fewer knick-knacks make cleaning far more easier and faster.
Bottomline: Getting organized doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Sometimes a little change can make a huge difference in how your space looks and feels. What little changes have you tried that made your home feel more organized? Let us all know in the comments below.