How to Avoid the 5 Worst Organizing Mistakes
If you’re having a tough time getting your home organized, see if you’re falling victim to these common storage blunders and learn how to correct them.
Clutter is insidious — it starts with a simple stack of papers on your hall table, a basket of ill-fitting clothes in the closet, or a junk drawer absorbing one odd piece at a time. Without some key organizational strategies in your toolbox, even the simplest storage fixes can get cluttered. What’s worse, a messy home can add daily stress.
Here are a few of the worst organizing errors when it comes to bringing order to your home, and the easy solutions you can implement to get your space running efficiently.
1. Having Impractical Expectations
Model homes look perfect because nobody is living in them. While you may discover design inspiration in picture-perfect homes featured in magazines, storage remedies must be customized to your specific needs. Find organizing techniques and strategies that fit your family’s lifestyle, home size and belongings. Once you’ve hit on an approach that works efficiently, adhere to a weekly cleaning routine to ensure things are regularly returned to their proper place.
2. Keeping Unused Items
While damaged or outdated objects are clear choices for removal, what about those that are in great condition but just not being used? Prior to getting an area organized, pull everything out and decide what items are actually needed. For articles of clothing, think about whether they fit and if you’ve worn them in the last 12 months. The key? Be realistic. Are you really going to use these things in the future? For instance, maybe you’ve accrued a collection of small appliances throughout the years (think juicers, egg cookers, waffle makers, etc.) but seldom put them to use. It might be time to trim down to just the items you used several times in the last year.
3. Only Using a Single Type of Storage
Hiding your stuff behind closed doors might seem like a good idea to attain that streamlined look you desire. However, not being able to see some items may actually gum up the works, as those objects lay dormant and forgotten in drawers and cupboards. A better solution might be to try a mix of open and closed storage options so that the items you use most are easily accessible, while the bulky or unattractive pieces are concealed from view. For example, installing open shelves in the kitchen will help streamline your morning coffee routine by having mugs right there to grab. Conversely, drawers and closed cabinets are well suited for stashing things like pots and pans, cleaning supplies, or seldom used formal place settings.
4. Stacking Papers
Piling your papers into a teetering stack is a short-term fix that can easily result in you missing payments or misplacing important correspondence. A better idea is to develop a command center that allows you to divvy up your mail into categories as it arrives. Also, consider going digital with your documents and receipts rather than storing physical copies. Make certain that any papers with personal information on them are shredded before being thrown away.
5. Decluttering Everything in One Day
We understand, you’re busy. You’re trying to squeeze so much into each day that organizing your home winds up at the end of your to-do list. But removing clutter from your home, or even a single cabinet or drawer, is much less intimidating when it’s done on a regular basis rather than going full-tilt one weekend per year. As you bring items into your home, think about where they’ll be stored and whether you already have something similar that can be donated to make room. By being intentional and actively organizing, you can prevent a buildup of duplicate or unnecessary items that demand an entire day of decluttering.