It’s probably not too surprising that one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions year after year is to get organized – second only to losing weight and getting in shape. Perhaps you’ve made this resolution yourself, with a fiery determination to get your house in order as soon as the holiday decorations are packed up and the kids are back in school. Been there, done that. Or, maybe you’ve successfully accomplished your mission and your house runs like a well-oiled machine. That’s a gold star for you!
Goodbye Stuff & Clutter
But, if you’re like the majority of the population, the piles of stuff and cluttered cupboards probably start to creep up before Cupid strikes his bow.
Living an organized life might seem daunting, but it is absolutely attainable if you put the right systems in place. The trick is to find systems that work for your family and your lifestyle, and break it down into steps that you can manage. Try not to think of the project as a monumental overhaul. Just take it one room, one closet, one drawer at a time.
Whether you decide to start with your entryway mudroom or the kitchen pantry, the same basic steps will apply for any project. Read on to discover the Dwell Organized steps for transforming any space and apply them to your own home. Trust us, you’ve got this!!
1. THE EDIT
Before you can even think about organizing a space, you have to know what currently lives there. This means taking everything out…yup, everything. You may want to skip this step and short-cut it, but we promise you that this step will be one of the most important. Lay it all out where you can see it and be absolutely ruthless about what you want to keep and what can be sold, donated or tossed.
This is easy in a pantry – just look at expiration dates and toss. A master closet is more challenging. So, if you can’t fully commit to getting rid of something, at bare minimum pack it away in the attic and revisit in a year. The last thing you want to do is make space for something that you’re never going to use or wear.
This is the fun part. Break everything down into categories. Use sticky notes to mark your stations and just start placing items. Snacks, sweets, pastas, quick meals are some of our usuals in the pantry. Workout clothes, dress pants, evening outfits, and undergarments are just a few typical closet categories. If you’re organizing a mudroom or a “drop zone” consider having a basket or cubby for each member of the family. Get creative and really think about how you’re going to use the space when you determine your categories.
Uniform containers, symmetry and color coding are some of the techniques that we regularly use to make your newly organized space look clean and pleasing to the eye. We head to the stores with our sketches, measurements and categories and figure out how to make it work while still looking cute. It’s kind of like taking apart a Rubik’s cube, then putting it back together again. Have fun with this! Now is the time to invest in some bins, drawer dividers, uniform hangers…you get the picture.
Don’t skip this step. If you don’t label your bins, containers and canisters, it’s a long shot that your hard work will stay put for the long haul. You can use ink pens or a p-touch label maker if that’s your thing. We love to make custom decals for a polished look that won’t fade with time. You may think this step can be skipped, but we strongly advise against it. You’ll be much less inclined to put the crackers in the cookie bin if a shiny label is in your line of vision.
Everything has a home now. So, keeping your organized space will be so much easier. Adopt our 5-minute rule. When you arrive home, spend five minutes putting everything that comes in the house with you in its proper place (the mail, groceries, shopping bags, school items). Set a timer if you need to. Same rule applies before you turn in for the night. Take five minutes to put everything away. This is the time to get your kids to play a part in maintaining your new space. It’s easy for them to help clean up when they know exactly where everything belongs! Ensure that you start each day with a clean slate and every time you enter your house you can enjoy a clutter free, beautifully styled home.
We promise – this system is foolproof. However, don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress. Just take that first step and get started. If you need that push, or a little guidance, or you just need someone to take the reins and do it for you, then you know who to call– www.dwellorganized.com
Wishing you a happy, healthy and beautifully organized new year!!