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Get Organized For Good in 5 Simple Steps

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When you want to make a positive change in the way your home functions, looks, and feels, sometimes all you need is a little organization. Was your first reaction to that something along the lines of “No thanks, I’ll pass…”

Stop Decorating and Start Organizing

Yea, I get it: the thought of organizing is enough to get your heart racing, but really, it is one of the best ways to make a lasting transformation in your space. Knowing where to start is often the biggest barrier to getting things done, so I’ve compiled a list of transformative tips on organizing that are sure to make the process easier.

Before you begin any organizing project, have a clear idea of your intention; don’t bite off more than you can chew by dumping the contents out of every cabinet, closet, and drawer. Unless, of course, you’re into a bit of pain and suffering. For those who value peace-of-mind, decide on an area that you’d like to start, determine your finish point, and set a time limit.

home interior with garments on racks
Photo by Liza Summer on

Ideas for an area could be a single drawer, a closet, or an entire bedroom. Pro-Tip: don’t tackle a major, anxiety inducing area (like the attic, basement, or garage) until you’ve built up the necessary organizing muscles. Start small to build your confidence.

A finishing point can be any measurable indicator of success. Would you like to see one empty shelf in the cupboard? A smaller pile of shoes by the garage door? A utensil drawer that doesn’t cause you to lose your religion every time you try to open it? Feel free to stop organizing once you’ve reached your stated finishing point, because believe me, organizing is a deep, deep rabbit hole.

Time limits are paramount. Parkinson’s Law – an age old school of thought – states that a task will expand to fill the time allotted to it. If you say to yourself, “I’ll never get this closet organized,” chances are you’ll never get the closet organized. But if instead you say “this closet will be organized by 5pm on Friday,” or “the guest room will be clutter free by the time Nana arrives,” or “I have 75 minutes to empty out this junk drawer,” chances are you’ll actually get it done.

It is also extremely helpful to gather the supplies that you’ll need to accomplish the task at hand. Containers are helpful to have as you reorganize your space. Please note, I am NOT telling you go into debt at the Container Store because you want to organize. Use bins and baskets and shoe boxes that you have around the house to corral items while you sort through them and decide what’s going where. Label-makers, chalk, or markers can help to label the contents.

Garbage/recycle/donate bins are helpful for easy decision making, and a cloth to clean dusty items may come in handy as you place items into more functional places.

black and white table lamp on brown wooden table beside bed
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on

Ok, you’re ready to organize. Now what?

  1. Know your space: As you are working through your organizational process, you’ll have to make decisions on where things will be placed permanently. The most used items should find space where you can reach them such as easily accessible cabinets, shelving, or drawers. Don’t make the mistake of using up prime real estate in these areas with things that aren’t often used; save them for the items you’ll need access to frequently. For example, the fridge lightbulbs probably don’t need to be kept next to the silverware as the fridge light isn’t replaced often and these two things have separate purposes.
  2. Keep it contained: Ever tried to keep something in the best condition and end up having to tearfully throw it out because it was ruined in storage? Choosing the right vessel to house your items is important. Make sure that you’re using an appropriate storage container that won’t risk the value, whether sentimental or monetary, of your things. For example, cloth should be put in breathable containers while important papers and photographs should go in acid-free albums or containers. Take it an extra step and use clear containers or label non-transparent ones so things inside are easily identifiable.
  3. Think “alike”: Things are going to be much easier to put away if you have a place that similar items or task-related items go. When you know where things belong without having to look through drawers and cabinets, cleaning up becomes so much easier and less time-consuming. Knowing that things that are used together are stored together can be helpful in many situations such as when you’re responding to emergencies, as is the case with bandages and alcohol wipes, or setting the table for dinner and not wanting to search for the matching glasses.
  4. Create a point en route: It is a fact that there are some things in your home that don’t have a permanent place and instead belong to the transitional category. These items, such as library books, mail, something borrowed, dog leash, or items that need to be returned to the store, tend to pile up in visible places in main areas of the home. Create a place for these items that is near the door, if possible, and store them in a way that still gives the space a look of cohesiveness. Wall hooks and some containers on a shelf are a simple and effective way to keep the clutter of transitional items tidy and neat.
  5. Make it easy to put away: There is something that happens to motivation one a task is completed: it disappears quickly. Ensuring that your items are stored in easy to access and user-friendly containers means that it doesn’t take a lot of energy or thought to put it away. Staying organized is a lot easier than getting organized so make it a habit of putting things in their place the first time.

Whether you’re planning on tackling an entire room or simply streamlining a closet, following these few simple steps can lead to a more functional, beautiful space. 


Hi, I'm Chioma Ikoku, a spirited explorer and a peace-loving homebody. I founded Casa Diem Life to help you combine the excitement of travel with the comfort of home, because I believe that adventure begins at home.

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