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What's your best home organization tip?

My home is a total mess at the moment and I am in need of ideas.


Asked by _Tam_ at 8:51 AM on Oct. 29, 2010 in Home & Garden

Level 30 (42,083 Credits)
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Answers (12)
  • Invest in some sturdy and coordinating/colorful baskets and bins,and install floor to ceiling shelves or bookcases--how "pretty" they are depends on who will see them!! It's the fastest and most economical way to store your stuff--especially kid clutter!! I'm always amazed at the number of people who never consider using vertical/wall space for storage--everything seems to be stored on or under tables on the floor.

    Then consider closet organizers--the less expensive coated wire ones work perfectly fine--but if you want the laminated wood ones or custom built solid wood ones, that would be your preference.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:16 PM on Oct. 30, 2010

  • I'm a freak for baskets and bins, but in January, I took a day and a half, had DH take our son, and tackled every closet and drawer in the house. I made a big area in the living room with 2 piles (DONATE AND TOSS). It was amazing the things that I could toss (empty bandaid boxes, etc cluttering up my much needed space (tiny house). I organized by type. Ex: in my medicine closet, all towels on one shelf, all first aid things in one bin, all extra toiletries in another bin. And then I labeled EVERY BIN so everyone in the house knew where to find things and more importantly - where to return things. It was a long day and a half, but it was such a sense of accomplishment to rid myself of junk that I was holding on to and it has made cleaning up the house right before a guest comes over that much easier, because I can actually toss it where it belongs instead of shoving it all into the hallway closet! ha ha Good luck

    Answer by TSJEN at 9:01 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • Excellent answers!  Super ideas.

    Once you get the house organized, make sure all of you return  items to their places, as soon as you are finished using them.  That goes for clothes, toys, books, etc.  It is the easiest way to keep your house organized and looking neat & clean.


    Answer by earlgrey at 9:43 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • Don't keep stuff you don't either use or absolutely love. It uses up needed space, wastes your time with dusting/maintenance, and just sucks the life out of you.

    Answer by SWasson at 9:51 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • If you're wanting to start getting organized, start small & work your way up to bigger projects as you gain confidence & momentum. Pick a junk drawer or a closet that needs oganized & start by completely emptying it, then separate the items into 3 piles - trash, donate & keep (the keep pile should be the smallest). Once you've gotten a few of the smaller projects done & out of the way, you can move onto bigger challenges, like the main living spaces (living room, dining room, bedrooms, etc.) and then the basement, garage & attic. The hardest part with organizing & cleaning is the sentinmental attachments we have to our stuff, especially kid stuff. Breaking those emotional attachments will be key. Once you've trimmed down your stuff & cleaned up, it's time to look toward keeping it organized.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 9:04 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • Keeping it organized is as simple as having a place for everything & everything in its place, and those places need to be accessible to the people who will be using them. Low bins w/wheels are great for helping kids to keep their toys together b/c they can push them around & fill them up, then roll them back into place. A basket or bin next to the front door, one for each person, is a great way to keep hats, gloves, backpacks & papers organized for each day. Look into using bins on low closet shelves for socks & underwear for smaller kids. A hamper in every room or a laundry basket is a great way to keep clothes contained for wash day. drawer dividers can keep loose items from getting lost in the shuffle. A storage system of plastic bins on wooden or wire shelves in the basement or garage can keep seasonal items put away, clean & organized. Color coding the bins by season &/or holiday helps, too.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 9:09 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • My best home organization tip?

    Light a match and run away.


    Answer by Fistandantalus at 10:31 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • @ Fistandantalus, LOL! I've thought of that solution a few times when it seems so hopeless!

    What I'm learning, (very slowly, apparently!) is pare down. I live in a small house with little room. It helps to know just what you need and want and really love, and get rid of the rest. Bless someone else with it.

    Answer by duckigrrl at 10:37 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • All good ideas but here's one that works too if you tend to procrastinate-schedule a goodwill pickup before you get started. Then you'll have a deadline to meet and are less inclined to blow it off.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:27 AM on Oct. 29, 2010

  • I try to only touch mail once. I have a waste basket by the desk. When I bring in the mail, I stand and sort, junk goes in the waste basket, bills go in a basket on the desk in order, next due on top, and in order down. Catalogues and sales papers I only keep if there's something I'm going to purchas within 1 week. That goes in another basket, that I'll look at while watching tv. Then I write a list, and replace those in another basket on the desk (that get eliminated once a week, if I haven't purchased it by then, I don't need it.
    I spend 10 minutes in each room. I have to throw out 3 things. You'd be surprized what you can get rid of in 10 minutes.

    Answer by SweetLuci at 12:36 PM on Oct. 29, 2010