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What to Organize in Your Home from A-Z

24 Things to Organize in Your Home Right Now

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11. Streamline your garage.

Ulti Mate Garage Storage System
Photo / Ulti Mate

Not just for cars anymore, the garage, when organized into zones can be a place to work on home improvement projects and even used for entertaining in warmer climates.

When to Organize: This one depends on how you use your garage. If you're a "weekend warrior" doing a lot of home improvement projects that use your garage space, then you want to do a full re-org every season; those who simply use this space to store the car can get away with organizing it once or twice a year.

12. Organize your holiday "stuff."

Container Store elfa Mesh Gift Wrap Cart White
Elfa Mesh Gift Wrap Cart White from Container Store

The holidays are so stressful for most people that having a plan of attack is a no-brainer. Start by making lists early and using the slower month of November to do your cards and organize decorations and meal plans. I have lots of resources to help you!

When to Organize: Take advantage of the (relatively) slower weeks at the beginning of November and start your holiday organizing early.

13. Get your laundry room in good working order.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

An organized laundry room will make this dreaded task a little bit easier, especially since laundry rooms tend to be clutter magnets ("Oh, I'm not sure what to do with this new widget someone gave me. I'll just put it in the laundry room.")

If your laundry room is also meant to be a storage space, make sure you organize it into zones to keep the tools you need to clean your clothes separate from the storage items.

When to Organize: Every time you do a load of laundry, clear the clutter, empty the lint trap, and empty the garbage. Then do a re-org twice a year.

14. Organize and tidy the living room.

organized home
Photo / Martha Stewart Living

Because the living room is meant to be a relaxing environment, it’s important to arrange it in a way that keeps things simple and uncluttered. This will mean working on it regularly to declutter and purge the space of things like extra magazines, locate and organize remote controls and toys, and un-coil wires and cables.

When to Organize: Tackle the living room as part of your weekly routine by decluttering and cleaning.

15. Sort out the mail and paper work.

Flora Desk Set from Franklin Covey
Flora Desk Set from Franklin Covey

Paper, when not kept in check, can really cause a lot stress in your home. Piles of mail and stacks of magazines become signs of clutter and you may be tempted to a) just toss everything or b) ignore it for far too long. Get in the habit of regularly sorting, recycling and shredding your mail and papers.

When to Organize: Resist the urge to shove this in a box for "later," and begin sorting, responding to, and recycling or shredding mails on a daily or (at least) weekly basis.

16. Organize your meal plans and grocery shopping.

Black and White Kitchen
Photo / Delikatissen

Meal planning is such a time saver I wish I had incorporated this habit into my weekly routine years ago. Planning your meals out a few days in advance will assist you in keeping your kitchen, grocery shopping, and coupons organized, and your daily and weekly routines going strong.

When to Organize: Incorporate meal planning into your weekly routine, and then review your plan daily, editing your grocery list and your coupons.

17. Establish good household daily, weekly and month routines.

Bamboo desk set from Franklin Covey

Organizing your routines will take decision making out of the equation, freeing up time to start doing and accomplishing. Example: if you know every single Monday you work on your kitchen, then you will spend less time worrying about when you're going to clean and declutter your kitchen.

When to Organize: Review your routines at least once a month. This allows you to adjust what is, and what is not working..

18. Store your shoes properly.

Over the Door Shoe Rack
Over the Door Shoe Rack

I'm combine shoe organization and storage because the two go hand-in-hand. Shoe have always been a huge pain for me, especially since I live in a climate with four distinct seasons: snow and ice, mud, humidity and then leaf-peeing aka Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

When to Organize: I organize shoes seasonally since I live in a four-season climate. Those who live in warmer areas can get away with twice a year.

 

19. Maximize space in your small closet.

Elfa Small Budget Closet Organizer
Photo / Container Store

Small closets need more TLC than their larger counterparts. The great thing about small closets is that they discourage hoarding; there is literally no room to hide the clothes you haven't worn in years.

The downside is you need to stay on top of closet clutter more often than with a larger closet space.

When to Organize: Declutter this space twice weekly, and do then do a re-organization once a month. You can do this every-other-month if you are stringent about decluttering once a week.

20. Declutter, organize and manage your storage spaces.

Grey Storage Cube
Photo / The Container Store

Storage spaces can be so powerful because they keep things you need sometimes-but-not-every-day organized and easy-to-find. Cases in point: holiday decorations which you need for a few months a year, but not every day, or your flip flops which you need in the summer, but not in the winter.

Storing items means they are not crowing out the stuff you really need immediately.

When to Organize: Go through storage spaces seasonally.

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