There’s no better feeling than organizing your home and what better time to do it than the new year! A clean and organized space helps you create room for achieving goals, implementing healthy habits, and supporting other changes in life. Decluttering, creating systems and keeping things tidy makes your life easier in the long run, so give yourself a fresh start for 2023! Back in 2018, I shared my home organization systems for my craft room, my closet, my kitchen and my kids’ spaces, and many of these systems have lasted through the years! I have long been a fan of organizing and I’m excited to share some of my favorite tips and tricks that I’ve discovered along the way.
I know the task of organizing can be daunting, especially if some spaces have gotten out of hand. While “spring cleaning” has earned its place, I am more a fan of “starting the new year fresh,” especially as holiday décor is put away and you can see your spaces through a fresh lens.
The best way to get started is to get inspired! There are tons of amazing resources out there to start with (including this blog post!) to kick your organizing journey off on the right foot. Watch The Home Edit on Netflix, look at Pinterest boards, and envision what your day-to-day life will be like when you don’t have such a mess to deal with. Being able to see yourself in an organized space is the first step! It’s a good practice to establish in many areas of your life — always connecting to your “why,” visualizing success, and seeking beauty and inspiration to stay motivated.
One Space at a Time
If you try to tackle your entire home, you’re going to get overwhelmed! Try to start with one area first using the pomodoro method of time management (you can apply this to any task!). Every 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break. After an hour of work, take a 15-30 minute break. Trust me, you’ll feel like time is flying! Choose one small section at a time like a closet or drawer to keep you motivated and help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Take every single thing out and sort it by what you want to keep, resell/consign, donate or recycle/toss. Be confident in your choices of what you actually use (being realistic about life stage!), what actually fits, and what you actually wear, and not just what you might use “someday.” A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used or worn it in the last three years, it’s time to get rid of it. Once everything is out, the fun part starts. You get to decide which categories fit where and how to put it all back in a way that works best for you and your family! It’s also ok to change your mind if something isn’t working.
Categorize & Contain
The easiest way for spaces to get out of hand is by having loose items everywhere. Even in cabinets and drawers, this can easily get very messy and things can get lost! First, categorize every type of item that’s going into a space. Then, measure everything out and find drawer organizers, bins, baskets, etc. that will fill the space to its maximum capacity and give you the most storage. I’m a big fan of “lazy Susan” type of organizers that you can spin inside of cabinets, and I frequently use kitchen storage items for other uses-such as a cookie sheet divider for small clutches or flip flops!
Keep in mind…this doesn’t have to be a super expensive process! There are tons of amazing products from places like Amazon, Target, Walmart and Home Goods without the hefty price tags. Of course, there will be sentimental things you’ll want to keep so I suggest designating drawers or creating memory boxes for each of your children (and let them know that is where they can store all of their special items). Supporting your family to intentionally engage with their belongings, and mindfully care for themselves and their possessions, will create lifelong habits that will set them up for success.
Take a look at the items you need every day and how you access or obtain them. Do you need to grab them and go? Do you want to look at all your options and be able to choose each morning? Do you need an open drop space so nothing gets lost when you come in the house? Creating systems and labels are the best way to keep the organization sustainably intact! For instance, if you’re always losing your keys, set up a key hook station by the door so you’re forced to put them there when you walk in. If you change your purse often, have an insert with essentials you can move from bag to bag and keep your options visible in your closet so you can easily select one.
Important mail and documents need their own spaces to be handled that they won’t slip your mind. This is also a great learning tool for kids — knowing that everything has a place and a purpose, and reinforcing that each thing goes back when they’re done using it, will serve them well into adulthood. You can create family goals for each member to spend dedicated time weekly keeping systems intact. We do that on weekends to start the week off without clutter.
Organizing doesn’t have to be such a “chore” or a snore! Put on a podcast or audiobook, listen to music or wear a skincare mask as you knock out the clutter. It will help pass the time and you will feel even more productive! I see regular organizing as a form of self-care. When I feel my home is in order, I can organize my thoughts and days better, too. Let us know how you like to organize and share some tips with us on Instagram @lolliandme!