Whether they live in a single-family home or in an apartment, many individuals find that their belongings easily pile up and create a cluttered living space. Inhabiting a house or apartment full of unnecessary items is frustrating and hinders productivity. This is especially true for homes with children or pets. While the task of clearing out your home may seem daunting, the job can be completed with a little patience and forethought.
Attentiveness and organization is key to maintaining a clean home. Keeping your house or apartment clear and orderly will help you focus and complete every day tasks. Including certain strategies in your everyday routine is a good way to prevent clutter from building up. Using the following practices, you can begin enjoying a tidy and clutter-free living space today.
Clear Out Trash and Recycling
Getting rid of trash and unnecessary items is the first step in organizing your home. Over time, you and your family’s broken, old, unused and expired belongings can build up and create clutter. Going through these items and deciding what to throw away, donate or keep will quickly clear out space. Be sure to keep a number of trash bags on hand to complete this process more efficiently. For added convenience, you can schedule your home cleaning date to align with your weekly trash pick up date.
To avoid being overwhelmed, clear out one room at a time. Start by throwing away or recycling any trash you find throughout the house. Cardboard boxes, unpaired socks, unused clothes hangers, broken or used school supplies and old or expired food should be removed from the home. In addition, go through your medicine cabinets and toss out any expired medication or old makeup. You may be surprised at how many items are no longer usable in your home. Be sure to look for unneeded belongings under furniture and in other hard-to-reach areas.
Donate or Sell Unwanted Items
After the trash has been cleared out, decide what items you are going to keep or donate. For each item, determine whether you have used it in the last year or intend to use it the following year. During this process, you must be ruthless in deciding what you will keep and what you will get rid of. Only keep the things you truly need and will use in the future. Going through your wardrobe, shoes and accessories can thin out these belongings and create space in your closet.
You may have perfectly good items in your home that have not been used. These possessions can be donated to friends, local homeless shelters or other organizations. You can also pass down items to your family members. Avoid throwing away an item that can be reused. Some donation centers even offer tax incentives for your old or unused contributions.
If you come across belongings with particular monetary value, you can even sell these items for extra cash. Old appliances, cellphones or furniture may still be sold for a considerable amount. To get rid of these items, you can simply use a dedicated app or website where you can put something up for sale at whatever price you see fit.
Another option for selling or getting rid of unwanted things is holding a yard sale. You can offer affordable items to be purchased by your friends and neighbors. In addition to organizing your living space, you may end up having extra spending money in your pocket. Keep in mind that yard sales will require a bit of advertising and may only be successful if you live in a home with a relatively high amount of through traffic.
Put Items Back Where They Belong
Now that you have removed trash and unwanted items from your living space, you can begin cleaning up the area. Even belongings that are used often can contribute to disorganization if they do not have a specific place in the home. If you are not sure of where to put an item, create a new space where it can be stored with similar belongings.
Work from room to room to keep the process organized and less stressful. In the kitchen, put all kitchenware in the appropriate cabinets and storage areas. In the bedroom, pick up miscellaneous clothes and sort through the pile by separating dirty laundry. Move shoes, belts and other large accessories to the closet. For offices and studies, take special care to organize loose papers and bookshelves. Living rooms can be tidied by placing movies, remotes and other devices in the proper areas.
Organize With Different Types of Storage
Using various storage methods, you and your family can more easily keep belongings organized. There are many creative organizational tricks for maintaining order in a home on a budget. You may even have containers around the house that can be utilized for managing clutter.
Baskets can be used quickly and efficiently to hold specific items throughout a home. Kids’ toys, outdoor equipment, towels and pet toys can be stored in baskets placed strategically throughout the house. Ottomans are attractive and functional furniture pieces that serve as additional storage containers. You can use them to store extra linens, winter clothing, bags, electronics and other belongings. There are various other types of storage containers that can be utilized for added organization.
Vertical storage is a useful method for maximizing the space available in a house or apartment. Although these storage compartments hold as much as regular containers, they do not take up as much space.
Shoe organizers that can hang on a wall or door can keep items from littering the floor. Keep in mind that shoe organizers do not only have to be used for shoes. Different accessories, art supplies and even kitchenware are just a few of the items you can place in vertical storage.
Finally, placing hooks around the house will help keep small items visible and orderly. Sets of keys, hats, scarves, bags and leashes can all hang on hooks. There is nothing more frustrating than getting ready to leave the house and being unable to find your keys. Using hooks for storage decreases the possibility of misplacing important small items around the house.
By Jennifer Symonds –