Clutter! We all have to deal with it. Whether it’s in our homes, offices, cars, or even in our lives. Over time, you’ll realize that the more clutter you get out, the lighter you will feel on the inside and outside. Here are five storage tips to help reduce clutter around the house.
Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!
The quickest way to get rid of clutter in your living spaces is to toss, donate or sell items that you no longer need. Have a regular rhythm for decluttering – once a month, every quarter, every season or every year (do what works best for your schedule). Whichever option you choose, make it a habit!
You can also choose to declutter by room. Start with the kitchen, closet, kids’ rooms, master bedroom, bathrooms, or living areas. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed.
Here is a flowchart I created to clean out my closet. However, don’t limit its use to just your closet. Be creative and use it to help keep other rooms clutter-free.
Rearrange your rooms to create more space.
You should reevaluate your living areas often. Rearrange your rooms to create more space. Your needs change and your living areas should reflect that. My family and I currently live in a two-bedroom townhouse, which means we have a master bedroom and another room that serves multiple functions. The second room was recently functioning as both our guest room and nursery. That arrangement worked well while my son was a baby. However, as he transitioned into a toddler, and needed more play space, I needed to create a dedicated play area. I also got tired of his toys exploding from every corner of my living room. I chose to rearrange the guest room to create a functional play area for him, accommodating his new developmental skills. See the picture below to see how the room was arranged prior to my reorganization.
We don’t have guests visiting often, so the nightstand was underutilized. Meanwhile, the dresser is fully utilized as it holds my son’s clothes, linens, and towels. To create the play area, I moved the dresser to the other side of the room to replace the nightstand. I took the nightstand out of the room completely. I also added two new storage items – a toy organizer and storage shelves. The toy storage is great, as it adds maximum storage without taking too much floor space. If you are limited on space, make sure not to purchase bulky storage items, as they will take up too much floor space. You want to create a good balance between the size of the storage item and its storage capacity. Go for lean, but sturdy, storage items.
The shelves are used to store books and oversized items. I added the play rug to add to the appeal of our changing space. See the final product below:
Once you have identified items that are being underutilized, you can find new uses for them. For instance, I have a constant problem with my jewelry organization. Most of my pieces were drowned in the drawer I stored them in, and I would often forget that I owned certain pieces. Once I identified the nightstand in the guest room as being underutilized, I moved it to the master bedroom. The nightstand now functions as my jewelry organizer, and I can easily access and see all of the jewelry I have.
Bins! Use them to keep clutter under control.
Bins are useful to store similar items and items with unusual shapes. They can be used in various rooms – the living room to store remote controls, the kitchen for spices or snacks, the play area for different toys, the closet to store purses and the bathroom to keep under the sink organized. My favorite places to use bins are in the kitchen, the closet, and my son’s play area. In the kitchen, I use bins and baskets to store dry foods, such as pasta, snacks for the kids, potatoes, onions, etc. In the closet, you can store purses in bins to save some much-needed space. I’ve also learned that laying purses flat in bins versus hanging them can help extend the lives of your prized possessions. Labeling your bins is a guaranteed way to know exactly what you are storing, especially for the kids’ toys. Putting picture labels in their play area allows them to learn to put their toys away in the right spot after playtime. The opportunities for bins are endless.
Most of us are guilty of hoarding magazines and newspapers. They stack up in corners and on counters, taking away valuable space. You should spend time browsing your magazines and use clippings for picture inspiration. Gather magazine clippings and put magazine articles in plastic sleeves or another form of storage. Get rid of the magazines that are no longer needed. Keep only magazines that have sentimental value or that are valuable in some way.
Improvise with the space you have.
Utilize open and flat surfaces as much as possible. If you don’t have bathroom counter space, utilize trays to store toiletries at the top of the toilet tank. You can pick out a fun tray and accessorize your bathroom while storing important items. To further maximize space, opt to use storage items that take up vertical spaces if you are lacking floor space. For example, opt for a tall dresser versus a short one to have more room for storage, or an over-the-toilet organization center. In your closet, you can use vertical shoe storage so that you don’t use much of the floor space. It is often hard to take the initial steps to declutter, organize and make the best use of your space, but once you start, it is hard to not keep going!
How do you organize your small spaces? Let ForRent.com know!