Take a poll of most homeowners, and they probably have a drawer, a closet, or a room that needs organizing. But many people get stuck. Why are they always looking for their keys, and what should they do with their towels and toys? There's a few insights into how to organize a home that might help, expert Julie Morgenstern says.
Some homeowners, says Morgenstern, author of SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life, suffer from a lack of organization, while others need to declutter. "There's a difference between the two, but most people conflate them," Morgenstern says.
In a nutshell, organizing is about improving and streamlining access to what you use and love. "It's really about systems that make us efficient," she says. "It's finding what we need when we need it. So, you know what you want, but you don't know how to get there."
A well-organized home means that you'll be able to find your gloves and scarf in winter and won't misplace those essential school papers. It doesn't, however, mean casting off all but the essentials. "You can organize without getting rid of anything," Morgenstern says.
Decluttering, on the other hand, is about identifying what's obsolete and releasing it to make space for change, Morgenstern says. Many people can stay well organized but still accumulate too much stuff. "There are lots of people who are organized but need to declutter," says Morgenstern. "It suddenly feels like you have too much. Every surface is wheezing under the weight, so you feel bogged down by your space."
Before you begin thinking how to organize your home, single out what you really need to do. Do you have what you love and want to hang on to, but aren't sure how to access it when you need it? Or, do you find yourself drowning in a sea of clothes, toys, papers, books, and more?
If organizing your home is the problem, break it into categories Morgenstern says. Do you need to conquer your clothes, your pantry, your shoes, or something else? "We have these pocket areas that tend to over accumulate," Morgenstern says -- bathrooms and linen closets to name two. Then, look for products -- a key hook inside the front door, baskets for toys and clothes, closet systems -- to help streamline your routine.
If you've decide that you need to both organize and declutter your home, there are several steps to take.