This next piece of advice isn’t so much a “hack”, but a necessary part of cleaning and organizing your home. When you go through your items, try to split them into categories of “keep” “donate” or “throw away”. (Even thrift stores don’t want your clothes if they have stains and rips in them. They will just throw them away.) Remember that your clothing that doesn’t fit or has gone out of style for you may be a saving grace for someone who is less fortunate than you.
If you really want to make the biggest impact, contact your local Red Cross to see what kinds of items are needed for people who have recently suffered from a disaster. Many times, they will also keep their website updated with the things they have the highest need for. Usually, they need blankets, pillows, coats, toys, and things like that. Make sure you keep a receipt of all your donations, sometimes it can get you tax credits! (via Red Cross)
If you have a lot of things to pack that are made of fabric like Christmas sweaters, throw pillows, table cloths, and stockings, you already know that they can be very bulky. You can always use vacuum sealing bags to make them more compact. It’s really affordable to buy a starter kit online, and you can reuse those bags over and over again.
Once you own the vacuum bag kit, you can reuse this for traveling. It seriously comes in handy if you are going on a long trip, but you only want to bring a small carry-on bag. They can also be useful for seasonal bedding or clothing that needs to be put away once the weather changes. This is a seriously clever way to make your home feel less cluttered while not having to get rid of needs. (via Home Addict)
Okay, this next item is not exactly a DIY item. It’s a $16over-the-door organizational system. We are recommending this item, because it gives you a massive amount of storage space that can be hung over your closet door. Then, you can close the closet and have it hidden away from the rest of your home. Best of all, it has both a front and a back. This is perfect for anyone who lives in an apartment, and you don’t have an abundance of attic space.
Coupled with storage that goesunder the bed, this is a great way to put everything away so that you can continue to store it year after year. Even if you don’t have a lot of Christmas items, the extra space could also be used for other holiday items like birthday paper, and so much more. (via Home Addict)
Some of you out there may or may not have heard of a book called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter byMargareta Magnusson. The name “Swedish Death Cleaning” sounds really morbid. But in reality, it’s just a state of mind that makes a lot of sense. In Sweden, once people reach their 60’s, they begin the process of cleaning up their house so as not to burden their loved ones when they’re gone.
Think of Swedish Death Cleaning as the polar opposite of Hoarders, when people hoard and collect garbage and collections without caring how difficult it’s going to be for the next person to clean up after them when they’re gone. If you want to see this in action, I recommend a YouTuber called But First, Coffee, who put this into practice in her own home. (via Margareta Magnusson)
26. Store Tissue Paper and Scrapbooking Paper Scraps in File Boxes
If you love wrapping presents or scrapbooking, you might already have a huge collection of tissue paper, as well as folded pieces of wrapping paper that you have saved from previous years. After a while, this can get messy, and the paper can potentially crease, bend, and wrinkle if you try to lay it in a box together with other items.
A great solution to this it to get a file box. These come with little ledges on the sides, and you can hang file folders in there. Each of the file folders can hold some of your paper goods. Best of all, file folders always come with labels. So you could alphabetize your paper by holiday, color, or pattern. (via The Homes I Have Made)
This next one can truly be a huge lifesaver when it comes to putting away your belongings in an organized way. You can buy a plastic bin with dividers online, and see the items immediately through the box, since it’s made of clear plastic. The items will be kept safe, and it is a lot easier to find things once you open the lid.
Many of these plastic boxes allow you to move the little dividers so that you can accommodate the size of certain items. Most craft stores have them available in all shapes and sizes. Some containers are made specifically for Christmas ornaments. This makes it very easy for you to put ornaments away and not be too worried about them getting broken. (via Amazon)
If you’re a parent, you might already be familiar with those white plastic child-safe locks that help keep drawers and cabinets shut. While they are useful for their original purpose, you may have tossed them in the junk drawer once your kids were older. Or, you can easily buy them at your local dollar store. These cabinet locks can be reused as a tape holder. Since the lock is secure, it won’t be likely to pop out. Once the tape is all secure on the cabinet lock, you can place this in your junk drawer and never have to go searching for the tape again.
On the YouTube channelGliue Guns and Roses, she shows us how she uses safety hooks from the Dollar Tree for all kinds of organization hacks. In her holiday closet, she installed a command hook on her wall and hung the cabinet lock on it with all of her tape. She also uses one in her bedroom closet for her scarf collection. The possibilities are endless. Try to think outside of the box on how you can use a cabinet hook to “hack” some of your other organizational projects. (via Glue Guns and Roses)
If you want to get organized at home, one of the easiest ways to keep track of your stuff is by purchasing a label maker. This way, you’ll never get confused about which things belong in what boxes or containers. And when you go grocery shopping, you and your family can quickly put things away. That way, you’ll never be hindered by your family throwing things in the cabinet willy nilly again.
Sure, you can make labels on your own with note cards and a Sharpie, and tape them onto the side of the box. There is nothing wrong with that. But you can also buy customizable label makers from your local craft store that will print out crisp, easy-to-read stickers for you every time. (via The Spruce)
The suggestion to use a rod to hang bags from your fridge might sound strange, but this is one of the fridge organizational tips I picked up from a blog calledSimplySS. They installed a tension rod into the top of one of their fridge shelves, and used shower curtain clips. Once everything is installed, they can clip their bags of cheese, salad, and veggie mixes all in a row. This is similar to the way that bags hang on a rod at the grocery store.
While this may be a cool trick to see on a blog, it may not seem realistic. However, by hanging these bags, you’re making it easier to spot them when you open the fridge. And it frees up space below the bags for you to place other food and drinks. (Simply SS)
The number one obstacle that gets in the way of having an organized home is not knowing where things are meant to be put away. You need to live with the mindset of “everything has a place, and everything in its place”. The next time you pick up something random, ask yourself, “Where does this go?” If there is no answer, or if the answer is “junk drawer”, then that’s your biggest problem.
Mason jars are an affordable way to organize small objects in your home. You can do literally anything with mason jars. When you buy a pack in bulk, they end up being roughly $1 each. They originally come with metal lids, but you can also buy reusable plastic jar lids at places like Walmart and Target.
Obviously, mason jars are perfect for storing food. You can learn how to do canning for long-term storage, or you can use them on a daily basis to bring lunch to work. (via Better Homes and Gardens)
19. Use a Spinning Rack So You’re Never Reaching to the Back
Almost everyone has experienced the situation where you need something, but it’s all the way in the back of the fridge. It can be really annoying and frustrating to reach these things. If you just stick your arm back there, you might end up knocking something over. So you have to take everything out of the fridge one by one and then replace everything again later. This hassle can be fixed almost immediately by simply buying a spinning rack, also known as a “lazy Susan.”
One of the most popular brands of spinning rocks that people love to buy is fromThe Container Store. However, they sell racks like this at places like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. These rocks are also sometimes hidden in aisles of the store that you wouldn’t normally expect. For example, I found a spinning rack in the craft section, but I was able to use it for other things. (via The Container Store)
If you have a big ribbon collection, you might already know how it can get a little bit frustrating to keep it in a larger wrapping box. Sometimes, the spools become unraveled and tangled. Other times, you can’t seem to find the exact color you want for a certain occasion. A brilliant crafter out there came up with the idea of finding a plastic container that has holes along the side, and slipping each individual ribbon through the hole. This is perfect, because you can just pull on the ribbon to the exact length you need, and cut it with scissors. They will all stay perfectly in place, too.
Even if you cannot find a container with holes, you may want to find something that holds your ribbon separately from the rest of your wrapping supplies. Since spools of ribbons are easily tangled or lost, it’s good to keep them all in one place. So, the next time you are looking for ribbon, you know exactly where to find it.
This may seem like common sense to some people, but it’s truly the key to keeping your home organized. Don’t buy more stuff than your house can handle. Obviously, you can store way more things in a 4,000 square foot home versus an 800 square foot studio apartment. And yet some people try to squeeze in way more than they should into an apartment or small house.
One blogger called But First, Coffee uses this mindset with the different areas of her home. For example, if her t-shirt drawer is full, she can’t buy another t-shirt until she gets rid of one first. Same with food in her pantry. If her pasta area is full, she needs to eat the existing food first before going out and buying more. By adopting this mindset, you can keep a home clean all the time. (via But First, Coffee)
One of the easiest organization tips that you can implement at home is to group similar items together. You may want to designate certain shelves for certain types of foods. In some households, it might be easier for you to even label each of the shelves with a sticker to remind everyone.
When you put similar foods next to one another, it becomes very easy to find things. If you have kids, you will probably get less not getting any questions about where something is. All they have to do is look into the fridge in the designated section. It also helps kids to know where to put groceries away.
Do you have a bad habit of losing your keys? Or maybe you throw your jacket on the floor or counter when you walk through the door. The simple secret to keeping the entry area clean is to have a set of hooks.
Hooks are great for hanging your purse, sets of keys, jackets, backpacks, and so much more. Eventually, you may have to upgrade to a larger set of hooks. But if you’re more of a minimalist who wants to put everything away in the coat closet, you still might benefit from a small key hanger instead.
Earlier on the list, we mentioned possibly using the Rainbow Method from The Home Edit as a way to get your kids to organize their toys. Another no-brainer is to label the boxes so that there is a place for everything to go. Some people have just one big toy box, which can become chaotic at best.
Invest in a shelf from somewhere like Ikea, and a set of plastic baskets for all of the plastic toys that your kids play with. Use a label maker to organize each of the different categories of toy, and your kids will know exactly where everything goes once playtime is over. (via Ikea)
13. Be Intentional With Your Actions When You Walk Through the Door
On her YouTube Channel, a blogger called But First, Coffee talks about being intentional with what you do when you come home from somewhere. Spend at least the first two minutes putting things away like your shoes, keys, jacket, kid’s toys, cups, and whatever else you bring into the house. (This is especially true for groceries, which need to be put away before things go bad.)
Obviously, these items need to have a place to go. So invest in hooks, a letter rack, a wardrobe, a coat rack, a bench with storage, or whatever else you can place in your entry area to give yourself a home for the items you normally throw on the kitchen counter. (via But First, Coffee)
One of the best ways to get more space in any organizational situation is to take advantage of vertical space. This is a common tactic if you’re trying to decorate a small apartment. But it obviously makes a lot of sense inside of your fridge too. Earlier on this list we mentioned hanging bags from the top of the fridge. But this can also be done with bottles as well.
A company calledUncommon Goodsmakes a magnetic bottle rack where you can hang beer and soda from the ceiling. For those of you who drink on a regular basis, this might be very useful. Obviously, if you don’t drink very often, something like this wouldn’t really work well in the amount of space that you have. But it could be perfect if you have a secondary fridge that is dedicated to just adult beverages. (via Uncommon Goods)
During the holidays, you may have a few different extension cords, depending on the color of your artificial tree, or the area where you plan to use it. For example, you may have a green cord to blend in with your Christmas tree, and an outdoor one that would not contrast with the siding of your house. These are all too easy to get lost or tangled. You may also accidently grab one that is too long or short. Instead of pulling your hair out from frustration, there is a really easy solution to the problem: paper towel rolls.
Simply put your extension cord inside of a paper towel roll, and cut a slit so that the cord is fastened to the cardboard. You can use a Sharpie to label the cord with its length, and the area of the house where it normally goes. Once you have all of the cords in one place, it would be smart to put them all in a shoe box or a drawer. (via The Family Handyman)
“Can you actually find what you’re looking for in your stack of saved magazines? Here’s a great way to archive magazines, a method that one of our editors has been using at work for years. All you need is a bunch of hanging folders and a drawer that’s set up for hanging them. Cut off the bottom of each folder a couple of centimeters below the rod. Drape your magazine over the rod and hang it in the drawer. The spines are easy to read, so you can find what you need quickly.” (via Family Handyman)
There are a lot of other ways to organize your magazines at home, too. You can buy a hanging magazine rack, or find cardboard versions at your local Target. These look great both hanging on the wall and on a bookshelf, if you want to see your collection displayed out in the open on a daily basis.
“If you have lots of small hardware on hand, constantly opening drawers or containers to find what you need is a pain. Here’s one solution: Store hardware in small, sturdy zippered craft bags (thicker than sandwich bags and available at hobby stores). Punch a hole in the bag and hang it on pegboard. The clear bags make finding what you need a snap and keep dust, rust, and moisture at bay. If you need to find a matching piece of hardware, just hold it up for a side-by-side comparison.” (via The Family Handyman)
Ziploc bags can be used for a lot of things around the house, besides hardware. The great thing about these bags is that they come in all shapes and sizes. Larger bags can be used to organize photographs, while smaller bags can be used for toys, beads, and so much more.
You can read all of the advice in the world about organizing your house, but none of it will actually work if you don’t put it into action. One of the best things you can do to keep your house organized is to act on putting something away now, rather than later. Ask yourself how long it’s going to take for you to get to a task before you push it off until tomorrow. Chances are, it might just take you a minute or two to do the right thing instead of procrastinating.
Procrastination is usually the culprit as to why things begin to pile up around the house over time. Once you get in the habit of putting things away immediately, you’ll notice that your home is a much cleaner place. And if you have kids, they will pick up on your behavior, which makes them more likely to do the same thing. (via But First, Coffee)
7. Use a Dollar Tree Cabinet Shelf For Organization
At Dollar Tree, they sell white metal shelves that are used for creating a new shelf inside of your kitchen cabinets. Normally, this is great for anyone who is renting an apartment, and they can’t renovate the space. But this can easily be re-used for a holiday decor shelving unit.
All you need to do is buy the shelf, and bend the legs at an v-shaped angle. Make sure that the angle is facing towards the wall, because you don’t want anything to roll onto the floor. Use hooks to secure this on the wall. Now, it’s possible to use this for several rolls of wrapping paper, bags, shirt boxes, and so much more. (via Glue Guns and Roses)
If you’re on a tight budget and you can only buy one or two organizational bins for your project, I highly recommend focusing on stackable storage for your drinks. For example, a lot of you’ve probably seen those boxes that allow cans to roll forward when you pick one up. This is a huge lifesaver if you drink sparkling water or soda regularly.
Some companies also make storage containers that you can stack bottles of wine on top of one another. If you don’t like to keep her one in the door of the fridge, this can be a really great option to keep bottles of wine stacked vertically. (via The Container Store)
We already suggested using egg cartons for your smaller ornaments. But if you collect any large expensive glass ornaments like the ones made byChristopher Radko, you will not be able to fit them into such a small container. Sure, you could just wrap them in tissue paper, but there are certain ornaments that are so expensive and precious, it’s worth taking the extra steps to make sure they won’t break. It’s possible to up-cycle and protect your Christmas investments at the same time.
If you get a lot of Starbucks cups to-go, try to hold onto them instead of putting them in the recycle bin. Hand wash them in the sink, and let them dry. Then, create a stack until January rolls around. Now, you have the perfect containers to fit your larger ornaments. (via Good Housekeeping)
A great way to stop yourself from going overboard with clutter is to limit the number of totes you have in your storage area. For some people, this is non-negotiable. If you only have a closet or attic in your apartment or condo, you really can’t continue to buy more tote boxes year after year. However, for homeowners, limited space doesn’t stop some people from expanding their collections wherever they can. If you don’t limit yourself, those boxes end up in the garage, attic, basement, and the outdoor shed. It can be ridiculous. (Yes, I know several people like this.)
Instead of giving yourself carte blanche to have as many items as your heart desires, give yourself a limit with the number of totes. It might also be easier to identify the obvious Christmas items if you buy red and green totes from Walmart or Target. Go through all of your holiday decoration boxes and throw away or donate anything that you no longer use. Extra totes could either be used to store non-holiday items, or you could donate it to your local thrift store. Many thrift stores will appreciate having this free tote, since they need to move and store items on a regular basis. (via The Spruce)
3. Use Utility Carts to Create Storage in a Small Space
Rolling utility carts are incredibly useful for almost every room in the house. Whether it’s art supplies, bathroom supplies, kitchen utensils/spices, crafting items, or toys, there are opportunities where you can use these to help organize your home in practically every room. The best part about them is that they move! If they are ever in the way, all you have to do is wheel them somewhere else temporarily while you clean or organize around the area where it was once standing.
These carts are affordable- around $30 each. So it’s easy for anyone to buy them, and it’s much cheaper than buying a new piece of furniture. They also come in a lot of different colors. If you want to buy them, they are available at Ikea, but you can also find them at Michael’s Crafts or Hobby Lobby. (via Ikea)
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is that they buy something at the store and that they already had at home. How many times have you checked your junk drawer for something, only to realize that you have 3 of the same object already there? (In my house, it’s scissors.) This happens a lot in the kitchen, and is usually more common if your fridge is disorganized. It can also happen if you have multiple people in the household buying groceries too. But if you want to avoid this, it’s as simple as opening your fridge and pantry to see what you have in stock before you go to the grocery store.
Even if you are stopping by the grocery store after work, try to make it a habit of calling your family members to ask if they need anything. Also don’t be afraid to ask someone to double-check the fridge while you’re at the store. This can help you save money in the long run, andavoid food waste. When it comes to everything else in the house like clothes, shoes, and objects, do your best to search for those things before you buy them. It may take a good purge of your closet in order to get it done, but it’s truly worth it in the end. (via EPA)
Have you ever looked at your surge protector and realized that you have no idea which cord belongs to what electronic? The easy solution to that problem is to label each cord. You can do this with some colorful tape, bread tags, a label maker, and so much more. Once the cords are labeled, you should never have a mess of cords again.
Another way to organize your cords is by using paper clips. As you can see in the photo above, these cords can wrap around the clips very easily, and they hold on to the side of the desk. Now you’ll never have to wonder where you put your headphones or your extra phone charger.