It is a pretty big day around here!!! I am so excited to be sharing our first official organizing video from the Abby Organizes YouTube channel! If you missed our announcement last week, we are planning to share one organizing video each week, and what better way to kick it off than with my tried and true organizing system– how I organize any and every space in our house!
You can catch the video below or read the info in blog post form. But whichever way you choose, be sure to stick around until the end of the post because I’m giving away some of my most favorite organizing tools to one lucky reader/viewer!
And now, on to the video!
How to Organize Every Space In Your House
Oh, the battle for organization. It is a constant struggle around here. With two crazy boys running around, this place can feel a little like a madhouse when it doesn’t have some semblance of organization, so I’m always working to improve and tweak systems, get rid of clutter, and keep away as much chaos as possible!
As I’ve spent years learning about organization and trying different methods in my home, I’ve created a simple system that I can use when I go about organizing just about any area in our house.
When I get emails from readers that say “I feel so unorganized and don’t know where to start!” I tell them to pick one space in their home (It doesn’t have to be a whole room; it can be something as small as one drawer!) and use the following steps to declutter and organize it. Then they can move on to the next area and the next. It won’t happen overnight, but if you chip away at the clutter little by little, before you know it you’ll start feeling organized! Who knew?!
So what is this magical system? 😉 It’s simple really…
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
1. Take everything out of the space.
You know what they say: sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better! That is often the case with organizing. I find that it helps to start with a blank slate. Clearing out the whole space always helps me to see what I have, assess my storage needs, and really make the most of the space.
(When I cleaned out my craft closet to organize it, this scene happened before the pretty, organized “after” pictures! Scary!)
2. Purge like crazy!
Be ruthless. Seriously. If you haven’t used it recently, throw it away or donate it. If it’s broken, you don’t need it anymore. If it’s stained or worn out, get rid of it. The more you can get rid of, the less cluttered your space will feel. You have this beautiful blank slate in front of you; you only want to put back what is absolutely necessary!
Once I even cleaned out our master closet twice in two months! When I went to do it the second time, I didn’t think I would get rid of much since I had just organized everything, but I surprisingly ended up with a few more bags of stuff to get rid of! I have a tendency to hold on to things because I think I might need them “someday,” but in reality I use a lot less of my stuff than I realize. And if I’m not using it, it needs to go!
3. Put like items together.
After your big purge, separate like items into groups. When I was organizing my pantry, for example, I put all of my spices together, all of the canned goods together, all of the baking items together, etc. When everything is divided out, it makes it easier for me to see what kind of organization systems I’ll need.
4. Corral like items.
Take your categorized items and find a way to store each category neatly and in a way that is easily accessible. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a bunch of fancy bins. I always start with what I have in my house. Get creative. I’ve used shoe boxes and diaper boxes wrapped in pretty paper to store things in some spaces. Add pretty tape to otherwise boring bins. Getting organized (in a pretty way!) definitely does not have to be expensive!
(In the townhouse I reorganized my bathroom cabinet using only items I already had on hand, for a final cost of $0!)
To take it one step further, I often put bins inside of bins. This helps control the clutter even more because each item has a specific spot. I know when I take it out and use it, it has its own space to go back to and I’m more likely to put it there.
(Within the boxes in my craft closet, I used a bunch of smaller vessels to corral items like glue, paper clips, rubber bands, and dry erase markers.)
Oooh my favorite part! I love labeling! Not only does labeling help me quickly determine what is where, but it is also pretty too! There are several ways I like to label. Sometimes I’ll print a simple tag from the computer. Sometimes I’ll use my Silhouette machine to cut adhesive vinyl labels I’ve designed. Sometimes I’ll use my label maker to create a label. You could handwrite a chalkboard label. So many possibilities!
Along with labeling the outside of my bins, I will sometimes create a list of the contents and attach it. I did this for the bins in my craft closet, and it makes it so much easier to find what I need!
(Contents list on the inside lid of the boxes in my craft closet.)
6. Refill your space.
My space has been sitting blank up to this point, but once I have everything separated, corralled in bins (when appropriate), and labeled, it’s finally time to start putting things back. I always start with the items that I use most often and put them in the most accessible spot. Then from there, I fill in the gaps until everything has a place.
7. Train yourself to put things back in their spot.
In step 5 I talked about making sure everything has a specific spot. Once everything is organized and back in place, the only way that it will stay that way is if I get in the habit of putting things back where they go as soon as I am finished with them. Honestly, this is a challenge for me. My scatterbrained side tends to leave materials and half-finished projects lying around everywhere! I work hard to create solid organizational systems, though, so if I want to maintain them, I have to commit to returning items to their place when I’m done.
8. Don’t be afraid to tweak it.
Finally, don’t be afraid to change systems that aren’t working. There have been instances where I have spent a lot of time setting up a system and making it look pretty, but when it came to day to day use, it just wasn’t practical or workable.
One time I was organizing under our sink, for example, and I stacked boxes on top of one another. It looked like a neat pile, but it was a pain to get to the ones on the bottom, so I just wouldn’t use those items or I would make a big mess trying to get to them. When I realized that my system wasn’t working, I was able to replace the boxes with drawers that I could easily pull out to retrieve what I needed, and it worked much better. Don’t be afraid to reassess and fix those broken or annoying systems.
So that’s my method. Sure, different areas of the house may call for different types of bins or dividers or shelving, but as far as the actual organizing goes, this is the system I follow for just about every project I do, and it has seemed to work well so far!
When you feel like everything is unorganized, I know it can be totally overwhelming to try and bring it all back to order. But if you attack one small area at a time and follow these simple steps, you really will start to see progress more quickly than you think! (Plus there is no better feeling than the satisfaction of having a freshly organized space!)
To celebrate the launch of our brand new YouTube channel, Abby Organizes, and say THANK YOU to our subscribers, I wanted to give away some of my most favorite organizing items!!
Along with the fun items listed above, the winner will also get a $150 gift card to The Container Store so they can go on a little organization shopping spree! Simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below to enter!
Open to residents of the 50 US states who are 18 years of age or older. This giveaway is in no way sponsored by The Container Store or YouTube.
Thank you so much for following along! Have a wonderful week!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
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