How to Organize Every Space in Your House in 8 Simple Steps
Learn how to organize every space in your house with one simple, proven process to make every room in your home neat and tidy!
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. And I know organizing can have so many benefits! 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 any area in our house.
How to Organize Every Room in Your Home: A Proven Strategy
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 and use the following steps to declutter and organize it. (It doesn’t have to be a whole room. It can be something as small as one drawer!)
Then they can move on to the next area and the next. It won’t happen overnight. But if we chip away at the clutter little by little, before we know it we’ll start feeling organized!
You can learn the system in the video below or read the info in blog post form. Let’s do this!
8 Simple Steps to Getting Organized
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Grab our free organizing guide, 7 Simple Starting Points!
This quick guide gives you 7 simple, practical ways to begin to tackle an overwhelming organizing project. (And once you get started, the momentum will help you keep going until it’s complete!)
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. I can then 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! Eeek!)
What if my room has too much stuff to take everything out?
If we’re working on organizing an entire room, it may not be practical to remove everything at once. In that case, we can break down the room into smaller parts and tackle one part at a time.
In the kitchen, for example, we could break down the project into organizing the refrigerator, then organizing the pantry, then organizing the cabinets.
Or in a bedroom, we could break it down to organizing our clothes, organizing our nightstands, and then organizing the floor and/or other surfaces.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of items that need to be removed from a space, break it down into smaller chunks and work on it a little bit at a time.
2. Declutter like crazy.
I try to be as ruthless as possible during the decluttering process. If I haven’t used an item recently, that’s a pretty good indication that I can discard it. If it’s broken, it goes in my toss pile. And if it’s stained or worn out, I know it’s time to get rid of it.
The more we can get rid of, the less cluttered our space will feel. We can either have the stuff or we can have the space– not both.
We’ve cleared out our space and have this beautiful blank slate in front of us. We only want to put back what is absolutely necessary!
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!
Related: How to Declutter When You Have Trouble Letting Go of Things
Does the item need to be relocated?
Along with selling or donating items, decluttering a space can also mean relocating items to a more appropriate spot.
If we find decor items in our kitchen cabinets, for example, maybe those could be moved to a storage space instead.
Or if we get rid of items and our closet is still full, maybe we could relocate blazers to our coat closet or off-season items to under bed bins.
This second step– decluttering– often happens in tandem with step three…
3. Put like items together.
As we’re removing items from the space and decluttering, we can begin to 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 my items are divided up by type, it’s easier to see exactly what I have. If I have doubles or triples of items, I can declutter some of the extras.
Maybe I discover that some categories of items that were in the space would actually be better stored somewhere else, and I can move them.
Separating items into categories also makes it easy to see what I’m working with so I can choose appropriate bins to corral each category.
And speaking of which…
4. Corral like items.
The next step in the organizing process is to take our categorized items and find a way to store each category in a neat, accessible way.
This doesn’t mean we have to go out and buy a bunch of fancy bins. I always start with what I have in my house and try to get creative.
I’ve used shoe boxes and diaper boxes wrapped in pretty paper to store things in some spaces. I’ve added pretty tape to otherwise boring bins. Getting organized (in a pretty way!) definitely does not have to be expensive!
Related: How to Get Organized Without Spending a Lot of Money
(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 items out and use them, they have their own space to go back to and I’m more likely to put everything back correctly.
(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.)
5. Label bins, boxes, and organizers.
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 Cricut machine to cut adhesive vinyl labels I’ve designed. And sometimes I’ll use a 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 townhouse craft closet, and it makes it so much easier to find what I need!
Related: Find free printable contents labels here.
6. Refill the space.
Our space has been sitting blank up to this point, but once we 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.
Items used infrequently can go on higher shelves or in other harder-to-reach spaces.
Then from there, I fill in the gaps until everything has a home, always keeping like items together.
Related: Working with a small space? Get organizing ideas specifically for small spaces here.
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 we get in the habit of putting things back where they go as soon as we are 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.
Add a visual cue as a reminder to maintain the organizing system.
One way to get into the habit of putting things back where they go is to give ourselves a visual cue. Maybe start with the kitchen and put a post-it note on the fridge that simply says, “Put it back!” Or try a similar note on the bathroom mirror or on the closet door.
New habits don’t form overnight, but if we create smart organizing systems and make it a priority to maintain them, over time, putting things back where they go will feel more like second nature and less like work.
8. Don’t be afraid to change organizing systems that aren’t working.
Finally, don’t be afraid to tweak systems that aren’t working for you. 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 lidded 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.
Final Thoughts on How to Organize Any Space in Your Home
I have been using this same simple method over and over for years in many different sizes and shapes of spaces, and it hasn’t let me down yet!
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 every project I do!
When we feel like everything is unorganized, it can be totally overwhelming to try and bring it all back to order. But if we attack one small area at a time and follow these simple steps, we really will start to see progress more quickly than we think! (Plus there is no better feeling than the satisfaction of having a freshly organized space!)
How to Organize Every Room in Your House: Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a favorite strategy for organizing the spaces in your home? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
More Organizing Tips and Tricks
Thank you so much for following along! Have a wonderful week!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
You’ve totally inspired me today. Thank you!
Some days I just need a kick in the pants to get organized. 🙂
Ok I love this! Especially the ideas for storage containers in the pantry!
I feel like I´m always organizing. This Christmas Holiday I hosted a big lunch and cleaned out my closets in the kitchen and dining room. A few weeks later and everything seems back to where it was! I seriously need help with this…. :-/
If you have kids, this will probably be the story of your life until the move. Ha. Sorry. #fourteens #houseneverstaysclean
You did such a nice job, everything looks great and so clean.
This post is great motivation to get into something in my house today!!
Thank you so much, Addi! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! (And staying warm– it has been frigid around here! Eek! 😉
These are great things to implement when I move into my house. After a year and a half living with my future mother in law, everything is everywhere and I am so ready to have a great system!
Some great tips!! Everything looks so clean and organized I love it. I use some of these tips myself when I go on organizing & purging binges.
Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
Abby, it’s so true! I just re-organized my little craft corner cum storage space. I did almost the exact steps like you mentioned above especially #1 – #4. I just took out everything and the whole area was messy and scary. I can’t believe that I’ve so many things. Finally I realized that if I haven’t been using it for the past years, I don’t think I’ll use it anymore.
I love your organization skills and tips my friend! Your pantry is AMAZING and I love your kids toy storage system! So cute and functional 🙂
Thank you so much, sweet friend! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
Love your organization methods! Everything looks so nice and organized. I love the kids toys organization the most. How do you get them to work with you cleaning up? Mine do it one day and then are back to where we started the next!
Thank you, Anika! I hear you– organization with kids is a challenge! I actually have a post coming on that exact topic this Thursday, so stay tuned. (Hint: It is a struggle for me too, lol!) Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
Your organizing tips are the best! I LOVE your wardrobe. Thanks for inspiring me today.
Ooooh! I think I want a label maker.
Lol! I use my label maker all the time! Highly recommend it! 🙂 Have a great week, Cathy!
Hi! What label maker do you use? I love the large turquoise letters.
I use my Silhouette Cameo and I LOVE it! 🙂
that’s a purchase you’ll never regret!
Yay! Thanks for the inspiration! Love the ideas
I love all of you organized spaces! I am always fighting the war on clutter and chaos around here! My sons closet needs a major clean-out and is desperate need of some organization. Love your ideas for boys rooms – I need to get motivated!
Thank you, Megan! I hear you– how do the littlest people always seem to accumulate the most clutter?! It baffles me! 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
Thank you for inspiration to be organized! I think the containers inside containers is awesome idea. It keeps things organized for much longer time. 😉
Just wondering how you keep the labels on things in the kitchen that may need to be washed?
Hi, Kristin! I use adhesive vinyl labels on a lot of my kitchen stuff (cut with my Silhouette machine), and they can go through the dishwasher without coming off. Before I had my Silhouette, I would laminate labels that I had printed on card stock, and since they were laminated, it was easy to pull them off, wash the item, and put them back on with a new piece of tape. I hope this helps! Have a wonderful week!
I love this! I love to organize, but Kam (my sweet husband) seems to struggle to put things back where I had them. How do you get Donnie to help you maintain your new organizational systems?
Believe it or not, I am only the second most organized person in our home. Donnie is actually WAY more organized than I am and has better follow through about putting things back! So while it’s not a struggle to get him to cooperate, our two boys are a different story! With them it takes a lot of reminders and working it into their routine, which can be a challenge. I think sometimes it also helps to explain the reason behind the system so that it’s not just “Do this because I say so” but “This will make our lives easier because of XYZ…” Sorry I couldn’t be more help with this one!
I would love to be organized but it’s so overwhelming to start! Wish you were here…
I know it can be overwhelming! I feel like I am pretty organized in general and still I feel overwhelmed daily by systems that could be improved and messes that seem to make themselves! It truly is a process, though, and I just try to take it one small space at a time. Hope you’re having a wonderful week, Kelia!
Thanks for this! I am in constant re-tweak mode it seems, all around the house. But it’s taken 4 years of living with the Mr. in his childhood home, where his family weren’t big on throwing out anything. This is foreign to me, being an army brat and moving a lot I’m programmed to pack light! Thankfully however he lets me do whatever I think is right, though I have promised if he doesn’t like it I’ll put it back the way it was….Which thankfully hasn’t happened yet 🙂 Your blog helps inspire me every time I feel lost in the process. Thanks again!
Where did/do you buy containers for your pantry? I currently store everything in the box it came in. Are the containers a large investment?
Hi, Emily! My containers are from IKEA and are fairly inexpensive. I think I paid $50-60 for all of them, but I will use them for years! Have a great day!
Ah, organized living… I love it!
Loving these tips Abby! I’m still working through my house slowly but surely! Can’t wait until every spot is FINALLY organized!
Please tell me where you got the spice jars and clear storage containers for flour, etc. I love how you labeled them!!!
Hi, Serena! The spice jars are from World Market, the storage containers are IKEA, and I cut the labels out of adhesive vinyl with my Silhouette machine. I hope this helps! Have a wonderful week!
Fantastic method Abby – that is pretty much exactly what I do but I often get caught on the “getting stuff out of the house once it’s purged” part due to time! It can wait in our garage for a while before it gets dropped at the thrift store:) That part is frustrating!!
This post has inspired me, as always. Organized spaces are the best! Can you tell me if you use your silhouette primarily for your labels or do you primarily use your home printer? It’s a purchase I’m considering as I LOVE labels! Your blog redesign is beautiful.
Hi, Aime! I’m kind of addicted to the vinyl labels, so I use those most of the time now. The only time I really use the printed ones at this point is if I’m labeling fabric bins, and then I attach an adhesive bookplate and slide in a printed label. The Silhouette is seriously a lifesaver for all things labeling! I hope this helps! Have a wonderful week!
Abby, just so I understand…you use a special kind of label maker for the canisters? (I want the labels with the teal writing.)
Hi, Brandi! I used my Silhouette Cameo (https://www.amazon.com/Silhouette-Screen-Starter-Cutting-Pixscan/dp/B01EYBVWT8/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1465680127&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=silhouette+cameo&psc=1), which is a cutting machine, to cut the labels out of adhesive vinyl. There are shops on Etsy that sell these kind of labels if you don’t have a machine. I hope this helps!
Wow this is great! Organization makes me feel so much less stressed, and I love all these tips!
Where did you purchase the shelving?
Hi, Carolyn! We use the IKEA ALGOT system for the shelving. Have a great day!
What are the dimensions of your pantry, if you don’t mind me asking? It looks close to the same size as mine but just want to be sure. I’m thinking about ordering the shelving system from IKEA. Thanks in advance!
This is a very inspiring post! I have to ask the silliest question: where did you get your striped flats in your closet? I’m sorry I am a lover of all things striped ?
haha! Me too, Gina! My flats are from Target. They are at least 2 years old, but I bet they have something similar now! Hope you’re having a great week!
Seeing those pictures I really want to tackle my laundry area. It is tiny and gets cluttered. I also have a tendency to buy a ton of cleaners of all kinds and brands so that takes up so much room. The only picture I did not quite get was the one where the vacuum cleaner was stored next to food items. I know it is a vacuum CLEANER but to me they are unsanitary with all that dust inside and the brushes and hoses filled with all kinds of dirt.
Over the last four months, I have purged and organized every space in this 2,800 square foot home. Oh wait. Every space except where my husband keeps his clothes (The Museum of Ancient Apparel) and the garage (No Woman’s Land.)
You gotta pick your battles. He laughed when I showed him my copy of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
This is such a great post! V helpful tips, plus I could watch that GIF of the items being returned to the pantry over and over – v satisfying 🙂
Haha! Me too! Thanks so much and have a wonderful weekend!
Hi! This post is fantastic. I live in a one-bedroom apartment with a husband and young dog. We’ve barely been here a year, but it’s crazy how much stuff we’ve accumulated in that time. I’m taking some of these tips with me next time I head to the Container Store!
So glad it was helpful for you, Lacey!
Thank you for this article! Loved the idea to take everything out of the room and reorganize as you put things back. This was a huge help!
So glad it was helpful for you, Brenda!
Where did you put your coats? Do you live in a 4 season climate where you have boots, scarves, and gloves? I like the idea of using the coat closet for pantry but my coat closet is full of coats?
We are in Pittsburgh, PA, so we definitely have all of the seasons! We turned our old pantry into a mini-mudroom where we each keep one coat and bag, and then the rest of our coats are in a nook in the basement, right next to the door we enter and exit most often. Boots, gloves, scarves, etc. are in that nook too. You can see photos in this post: https://justagirlandherblog.com/creative-coat-storage/ . I hope this helps! Have a great day!
Where did you get those linen type containers in the top of your bedroom closet? I always find containers that are too tall for up there. Love all the pictures!! Xo
Those ones are from HomeGoods! Thanks so much for your sweet words, Christa!
I am so envious! Seriously ladies my husband is a great person which is why I can’t kick him out, but he is a slob and I find myself feeling resentful when I go to such length to keep the house tidy. Is there any real advice to get the other people in the house on board with being organized? Thanks jo
That is such hard question without knowing your hubby but I can imagine that would be super tough. Maybe try sitting down and talking to him about how important it is to you and come up with possible solutions on how things can improve? Even start with baby steps… single tasks that you would like to see get better or an area he could be more helpful? All done with love, of course! 🙂 Hope this helps. Good luck!
I not only label everything but for some boxes that hold Misc items, I put a list of contents on the outside of the box. I use a clear plastic sheet holder (like for 3 ring binders) taped on the outside to hold the list.
Much like your #6 but on the outside, I don’t even have to open the box!
Thanks so much! Hae a great week!
I am surprised because I hardly ever find myself visiting or reading a blog and yet I keep stumbling on to yours. Very high quality well written useful content. Believe me I run a construction company I don’t read blogs… Until now. Great job?
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Nice write up, looking for to maximize my house space to the fullest with this Tips.
Abby nice work.
Congratulations on the youtube channel .I just subscribed .But I am not sure whether the giveaway is open world wide ! Loved the video
Unfortunately, it’s only open to US residents! Sorry about that! So glad you’ll be joining us on Youtube! Have a wonderful weekend!
Enjoyed the video in the process of organizing my bedroom little bit at a time ?
Thanks so much, Cyndee! Happy organizing! <3
I LOVE the new video! So excited to see all the videos you have planned and to follow along on your YouTube channel.
Best of luck! XO
Thanks so much, Alix! I appreciate you checking it out! Have a wonderful week! <3
I love organizing but I get too detail oriented and find myself bouncing around and not staying focused. Thanks for the pointers!
So glad it was helpful, Marilyn! Have a wonderful day! <3
I am starting on my gift room. The room may sound silly to some but I shop year round so I am coming up with ways to get it organized so I have what I need when I need it. I look forward to the ongoing tips!
I think that sounds like a great idea and I’m sure tricky to keep organized year round! Glad the tips were helpful for you! Have a great week, Jeanette! <3
Such a great video, Abby! I’m motivated to get more organized… and you make it feel do-able!
Thanks so much, Beth Anne! <3
This is such a great post! Sometimes is so hard to keep things organized, but this has some nifty tricks I will definitely be using!
Thank you for sharing!
So glad it was helpful for you, Charlotte! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! <3
The first project I organized was my desk drawer too! what an improvement!! Thanks for taking something that can feel overwhelming and breaking it down to small bite sizes! I’ve followed your blog for years, and still use your free printables (please don’t ever do away with them!)
No worries… the printables aren’t going anywhere! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, Jesse! Have a wonderful day! <3
I love to organize but it seems like sometimes all I do is organize!
I hear ya, Kathy! It can feel that way trying to always keep things organized! I find the more I purge, the less I feel that way! 🙂 We still have a LONG way to go in this new house tho… should be fun! 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful week! <3
Great tips! Especially the labeling. I had a habit of putting things somewhere they don’t belong to but when I started labeling and putting up organizers it’s all nice and neat. Love the post, Abby!
Labels really do make such a big difference! Thanks for stopping by!
Hi Abby, I just want to say THANK YOU!! You have
changed my ways of organizing. I watched your video
which was very informative and learned new way to
organize. I was so excited after watching the video, I ran to my kitchen junk drawer and cleaned, orgnanized right away. I’m amazed how at how I feel.
I felt accomplished and it’s all thanks to you!!
Thank you, Katy
I’m ready to tackle my closet… fingers crossed!
AH! Love to hear that, Katy! I’m so glad it was helpful for you! Have a wonderful week and happy organizing! <3
Ah, I always seem to need more help getting organized. Looks like it will be a great channel!
Thanks so much, Toni! Should be fun… so glad you’ll be joining us! Have a great weekend!
I love the way you organized under the sink, that is always a disaster zone for me and I’m going to use those ideas.
So glad it was helpful for you! Have a wonderful week!
What a great subject and so good to simplify the process into steps. I love your colors! Makes me want to redo our wall colors besides organizing. ?
Aw, thanks so much, Heidi! Have a great week!
Faboulous post Abby I love learning about organization on your blog. I hope in the future to have my blog as organized as yours. I love your suggestion on organizing a small part of your house and go on from there.
Faboulous post Abby I love your post on organizing. I look forward to more. It’s so cool you started a YouTube channel.
It’s been really fun so far! Thanks so much, Brittany! Have a great week! <3
Being organized, especially in the house is a big challenge to many. For a man, for example, organization takes a toll order. Thanks for offering tips on the organizing space in the house
So glad it was helpful for you! Have a great week!
I love your organization! I love to organize but have trouble sometimes with categorizing everything! Could you please write down the bins you have labeled in your pantry? It’s hard to read each bin. Hope that’s not too much trouble! Once you know what to bunch together it’s a lot easier!
Thx in advance!!
Hi, Sheila! We have several labeled “pasta,” and then sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, flour, whole wheat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, rice, bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs, oats, and pancake mix. I hope this helps!
OMG. This was so perfect this week. My house is a complete mess as I’m having ceilings replastered and a few rooms painted. Everything I have is out of my closets and I’m purging as much as I can. These are some great ideas. So looking forward to reorganising my space when it’s done.
So glad it was helpful, Maureen! Hope you had a successful purge! 🙂 Have a great week!
I like your idea to start with a blank slate by clearing everything out of the whole space to see what you have to work with. My house has been so unorganized lately because my husband and I have both been really busy with work, so we don’t have much time to clean and organize. It would be really nice if I could have someone come and tackle this big issue for me, since I’m so busy all of the time.
I love the pictures of everything. I’m getting new cabinets in my kitchen this weekend. YAY! Our house is 32 years old and we have remodeled except getting new cabinets. The ones I have now are awful and no pantry. I’m finally getting that pantry I’ve wanted and I’m excited to organize it. I am constantly organizing all the rooms in our house. My husband says I have an organization problem. Maybe it comes from being a teacher for so many years and having parents who were always organized. I have donated and thrown so many things away over the years. I went through my closet right before Christmas and I have 51 pieces of clothing in there. My husbands side has over 100 pieces and will not let me go through them. His family has what I call a packrat problem and he’s the same way. It drives me crazy. I told him the other day when I get my new cabinets he will learn to put things back where he found them. He just said okay. It won’t last long.
Yay for new cabinets and finally having a pantry! Game changer! Enjoy! 🙂
That was actually one of the best organizing articles I’ve seen!. I especially liked to pull out everything completely before starting to purge and find homes for everything. I’m going to start doing this today with my daughter. Thank you!
Yay! So glad it was helpful for you, Jessica! Happy organizing! <3
Ok, so i have to get home right now and start organizing our master closet!
thank you much for these wonderful ideas
So glad it was helpful for you, Jessica! Have a wonderful week! <3
Love your colors!
Thanks so much, Kim! Have a great week!
Wow, I really felt like you were talking about me. I love things in bite size pieces. Not everything can be done at the same time. I have been organizing like crazy little by little and getting rid of TONS of stuff. Can’t wait to do a yard sale. Thanks for this!
So glad it was helpful for you, Wendy! It feels SO good to get rid of things, doesn’t it? Love it.
Hope you’re having a great week!
Great tips. I love the labeling part. You make it sound easy and fun
So glad it was helpful for you, Sasha! Have a great week! <3
Such great tips. Thanks for sharing your process to help inspire others. 😊
So glad it was helpful for you! Hope you’re having a great week! <3