Is it time for you to finally get some organized ideas for the home? If so, you’re in the right place today!
I’m sharing all my creative ideas for organizing the home. We’re talking decluttering, organized home decor, cute organized storage options, and tips and tricks to keep your home looking and functioning organized.
The Organized Home
I am a messy, right-brained clutterbug at heart, so my organized life has come out of lots of reading and learning.
I need practical tips that are easy to apply to my own space to keep this place organized. So, if that’s you, too, keep reading!
And you don’t want to miss the last two tips. They’re absolute must-have tips you need to know if you’re going to keep an organized home.
Use furniture as storage
Look at your favorite photos of rooms on pins and magazines.
I’m going to bet that the bedrooms have basic furniture: a bed, a dresser, nightstands, maaaaybe a bench at the foot of the bed.
I bet the dining rooms have a dining table, chairs, and a buffet, server, or hutch.
I bet the living room has a couch, maybe some chairs, and a tv stand or built-in shelving.
And I bet in all those different spaces, you don’t see piles of stuff looking for a home. Of course, they may have casually laid a blanket here and put a stack of books there to give the room some casual character.
But there probably wasn’t anything on top of the tv stand, except the tv or decor. I’m going to be totally real here. My tv stand currently has a pile of remotes, a google home, a small fan and some decorations on top of it. But, when guests come to my home, those remotes go into their storage drawer, the fan goes onto its own shelf and the google hides behind the decor items.
I actually store things in my furniture. My tv stand holds lots of stuff these days. It stores all of the extra clean pillowcases for our decorative couch pillows, a drawer for remotes & wires & things, a drawer for my husband’s office supplies, an entire cabinet space for the Xbox, games, and movies, and then another area for the technical stuff that goes with our tv like speaker supplies boxes, and miscellaneous items like games and a few small decor items for the living room.
See, I realized back when we didn’t have enough furniture that our home always felt messy. And I realized that was because we didn’t have enough furniture to store our items away into.
Thankfully, used dressers and furniture are just as cute as new, so I was able to cheaply furnish our home off of craigslist (these days I use Facebook marketplace) with used furniture items.
And guess what? I was right! The furniture really helped our home not be as messy as it had been. Woo! The sweet smell of organization victory!
Use cute organizing containers (boxes, baskets)
Keeping an organized home does require some specific items for organizing. You’re going to need some boxes, baskets or some type of container to keep all that stuff organized in its proper place.
Organizers don’t have to be expensive (some of my favorites were really cheap plastic basket things from Walmart years ago), but they do need to be cute enough to bring you that peaceful organized feeling.
I have these for my closet and they keep everything looking uniform and organized up on the top shelf.
Think outside the box (or basket!)
Cute boxes, crates, and baskets are awesome. And I’m totally on board with that idea. But experience has taught me that you can get a double whammy on keeping your home awesome by using unconventional storage items for storage.
I had a season of my life where I started hoarding primitives. We’re talking milk glass vases, enamel stockpots, wooden cheese boxes, and galvanized buckets. What I bought as decorative items have really turned into some of the cutest and most useful storage containers.
During one of our moves, I stashed a bunch of spices and sauces into those stockpots to keep them safe, and guess what? They still live in those stockpots in a decorative shelf in my kitchen. Voila! Practical decorative storage.
My favorite is the cheese boxes. We have these big wooden cheese boxes that hold our extra cables (think HDMI, ethernet, etc.) and extension cords. We have one for each stacked up on one of our built-in bookshelves. Adorable storage.
Keep similar things together
The easiest rule for keeping an organized home is to keep similar things together. Keep the cords together. The movies together. The blankets together. The extra candles together. Then, you’ll always know where to find it and it makes it easier to stash into a cute storage container.
Using labels for home organization is completely necessary when you have a lot of boxes or baskets that look the same (Which you should have! See above.). If you don’t have labels, you’ll be sifting through those boxes all the time, frustrated with your organizing methods.
Not only will you waste time looking for things, but without labels, you’re more likely to just drop an item in the wrong container if you have to sift through and figure out which container to put it in every time.
I really like these clip-on labels because they attach to most any organizing container pretty easily and have an erasable chalkboard.
Maximize closet storage
This is a tip I just learned recently. Anything in your home that isn’t used every day or there for decor should be tucked away into furniture or a closet. We’re talking toys, blankets, mail, that miscellaneous junk that lands on your kitchen counter and never leaves.
Come on. You know you’ve got one of those piles, too.
I’ve always had an issue storing extra decor items, party items, and toilet paper. Now I have a hall closet that I use to store most of those items in. I’m sure that closet was created for linens or cleaning supplies, but I’ve moved those things to other areas of my home (that they can fit into better) and I am maximizing my closet for my trouble items like home decor items and party items.
Use matching necessities (like hangers)
All right. This one is a hard one to swallow.
Think about your closet. How many different types of hangers do you have in there?? Colors, shapes, etc. Even though you may not notice them every time, that variation in hangers is contributing to the reason why your closet feels messy.
I know it feels like a waste of money to replace perfectly good hangers for the sake of organization and sanity, but using identical hangers in your entire closet will feel so much more put together.
Amazon has a 100 pack of velvet hangers for a better price than I ever expected.
The same goes for baskets. Have you ever done some organizing only to step back and feel like everything is still a mess?? I’m going to bet that your storage containers were mismatched. Amiright??
Storage containers don’t have to be expensive or fancy to get your home organized. But they do need to match (or really closely coordinate) if they’re in the same area.
Keep items off the floor
Keeping items on the floor doesn’t happen in a well-organized home. Items are tucked away in their own place. Each item has a home. It lives in a basket. Or a piece of furniture. Or a closet.
You’ll know you’re reaching total organization when you no longer have things to store on your floor.
Purge often (keep boxes for purging)
If you have a baby, it’s totally possible you’re a pro at this already. I know I always kept a plastic tote in my son’s closet floor to hold all the clothes he outgrew (what felt like daily!).
I just lived in a state of continual purging.
But as life slows down and we change less often, it’s easy to forget about regular purging.
I have a tendency to have some type of gathering at my house about every 2-3 months that requires me to actually pick up my house. When that happens, I start the piles. As I come across things I don’t know where to put away, they go into this pile.
Sometimes I get inspired to the items away (as in, I finally remember where it belongs) and sometimes, being in that pile means that item is ready to move on to someone else’s home.
I have serious commitment issues. So, when I make these piles, I put them in boxes and keep them around for a couple of weeks to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. And if I haven’t needed to retrieve items from the go away pile, I eventually close the lid and send the box away to be donated.
And then we have a party because the mess is gone from that messy box.
It’s okay to throw away that piece of mail. Really. Just let it go.
I am married to a mail hoarder. And that’s why I am the one to go through the mail. If you aren’t sure what mail you need to keep and what mail you can toss, here’s the basics.
Keep Mail and Paperwork If
- It needs action. As in, you need to pay that bill or call that organization.
- It is from a real person and is sentimental (birthday card).
- It is official paperwork (a deed, tax information, car registration, etc.)
Get Rid Mail and Paperwork If
- You can get a digital copy of this mail (think bank statements, utility bills, etc.), you can trash it immediately (unless you JUST moved and need a paper copy for the DMV or it is a sealed document that needs to be forwarded on (like a college transcript). But you should rarely need a paper copy of anything that is also digital.).
- It’s any type of offer you didn’t ask for.
- It’s a catalog you’ll never look at.
- It’s a general announcement about something you don’t care about.
- It’s junk mail (like those neighborhood mailers and newsletters).
Listen. It’s okay to have a cute, decorated home. And want cute things sitting out.
But you’ve got to be careful about how many of those cute things are sitting out. Because if you aren’t careful, those cute things will start to look more like a mess than a cute decoration. And no one wants that.
Basic Home Decorating Tips
Yep. Instead of 5 little things, get one gigantic thing. Seriously. If your space is organized (or close to it), your space can handle larger decorations than you think. And all those little things weren’t doing you any favors.
Decorate For The Space You Have
I loved our fireplace decor from the old home. It was so easy to look put together and simply cute. But it just didn’t work in this home. So, I broke all those things apart and have them thinned out throughout our home.
Use Elizabeth Taylor’s Fashion SenseFor Your Home
Elizabeth Taylor said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Do that with decor items in your home. Decorate what you think you need, then step back and take something away.
Organize inside drawers with organizers
It isn’t enough to keep things tucked away into furniture and closets. The items need to have a home inside those areas. That’s where organizers come in handy.
They’re a cheap solution to keeping things where they belong. Some of my favorite drawer organizers are just a few bucks from Target or Amazon.
You’ll be amazed at how much more stuff you can fit into drawers if it’s organized. I was able to fit twice the amount of undies in my underwear drawer by using some drawer organizers like these.
Keep non-important items neutral and monochromatic
There are some elements of a space that are meant to be seen, and others you just want to fade into the background. It’s less functional than it is psychological. When you space looks serene, you’ll feel more serene.
One of my favorite tips to achieve this is to buy everything intended for storage in neutral colors. Think black, white, grey, tan or wood tone. For example, my son’s toys are in a white bookshelf that’s stocked with white cubby boxes.
The best part is that all that white kind of disappears to look like one solid piece. And that gives me the freedom (and psychological breathing room) to add a few simple decor elements to the top of the shelf.
I also have my son’s school supplies stored in grey baskets on a grey shelf. They certainly aren’t invisible there (his school supplies are a happy colorful mess), but it does help tone down the crazy in that space.
Everything needs a home
Ask any pro organizer or mama with an organized home and she’ll tell you that Organizing 101 means that every bit of clutter gets a home and is no longer clutter.
My thought is that if it’s important enough, I’ll find or create a home for something I love or need.
And that’s pretty much how it goes.
I have a huge kitchen. It’s enormous. But it’s old, so the cabinets are terrible. Those huge cabinets barely hold anything in them. So, as a result, I have them packed full (organized, of course, but totally full).
But recently, I really wanted one of these cuties. I literally had nowhere in my kitchen cabinets to put this little guy, so I made a space for it on a shelf in the laundry room (an organized overflow space for us).
If you love it, you’ll give it a home.
If you don’t have a home for it, you should consider purging that item or something else to give that item a home.
Use systems for your home
Of all the things I do to keep an organized home, this is the absolute most important. My husband and I are intentional about having an efficient home with routines and systems.
I will say that I’m fortunate that my husband is on board with having these systems in place. And thankfully, my son doesn’t have an option but to be on board (even though it means consistent reminders until it turns into a habit for him, too).
One system we use that works really well is the dishwasher dirty/clean system. You know how you never know if the dishwasher is dirty or clean until you open it sometimes, right? And then if you do open it right after a clean cycle, the first person knows it’s clean, but the next person might think it’s dirty since it isn’t steaming.
So, our dishwasher system is to open it as soon as it finishes cleaning (or if we open to check and realize it’s clean). Just cracked open a few inches where the steam can escape (it also prevents stinky dishes if that’s one of your problems!!) and the dishes can dry. If the door is closed, that means it’s dirty (or washing).
Another thing that really bothered me a few years ago was all the time I wasted every day going around the house turning on lights and opening curtains. And then turning off the lights and closing the curtains. We’re talking at least 30 minutes a day (15 minutes in the morning and 15 at night) on just lights alone.
For a while, we used those dial timers, but they would mess up all the time for no good reason. And it was hard to turn them off and on at different times of the day (like during a dark rainy day when the timer was set to off and the timer was located behind the couch).
So, we got a smart hub and some amazing light bulbs for a steal. Now, our lights come on and go off at just the right times (Mine are currently set to come on an hour before sunset. It’s amazing and changes with the actual sunset time!!! <3).
The great part is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to save 30 minutes a day.
You just need
- A smart hub like this or this
- Smart light bulbs like these (you can see all the choices of my favorite kind here)
If you don’t think you’ll ever want to expand your smart home system, you can buy a less expensive hub that will only work lights like this.
Organized Home On A Budget
Hopefully, you’ll see that these organized ideas for the home are easy to do and totally affordable if you’re trying to have an organized home on a budget. Not to mention all the time and sanity you’ll save along the way!!