Ultimate Guide to Home Organization

Ultimate Guide to Home Organization

Is there anything better than a perfectly organized home?

Home organization might not be everyone’s favorite activity, but there are benefits to making the time to keep things clean and tidy: Less mess equals less stress. No, really — science backs that up.

There are many benefits to maintaining a clean and organized home, from reducing anxiety by promoting a calm and productive environment to saving time and money from reducing the need to search for things, or buying replacements for lost items. No matter what your reason is for focusing on home organization, we know how overwhelming the process can be. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of organizing your entire home at once — use this Ultimate Home Organization Guide to help you execute organizing one room at a time.

PRO TIP: Mastering the art of home organization can lead to more free space around your home that you can then rent out as storage units using Neighbor, giving you extra income every month.

 

Jump to a room you want to organize…

Where to Start
Mudroom or Entryway
Kitchen
Living Room
Bathrooms
Bedrooms
Closets
Home Office
Garage

Home Organization Tips: Where to Start

Home organization is really just a combination of two things: decluttering and storage.

For decluttering, begin by removing all the items you don’t want to keep, items you no longer need, or items don’t use anymore.

Decluttering Guides:
● 15 Decluttering Tips for Your Home
● List of Home Organization Services to Help Declutter
● The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Home

Then, for storing, use storage containers and solutions to give all the remaining items a home where they’re neatly put away and easy to find when you need them.

Storage Guides:
● 15 Top Home Storage Ideas
● 39 Smart Storage Ideas for Small Spaces and Tiny Houses

 

Mudroom or Entryway Organization

entryway organization
The mudroom or entryway is a major part of your home — it’s where everyone first enters, so it’s the first welcoming impression of your home for you, your family, and your guests.

Common problems with entryway organization

As a top high-trafficked area of the home, it’s also very prone to accumulating clutter and piling on messes. There are two common problems when facing organization of your entryway or mudroom area:

  • Entryways and mudrooms can easily become “drop zones” for shoes, bags, hats, coats, keys, backpacks, equipment, and all kinds of other clutter.
  • As the area that provides the first impression of your home when guests arrive, an untidy entryway may set a messy tone for your guests upon arrival or add to your own anxieties upon entering after a long, stressful day.

Entryway organization solutions

  • Declutter by removing everything on the floor and any surfaces in the room.
  • Put away anything that doesn’t belong in the entryway or mudroom.
  • Hang hooks on the walls (one for each family member) in an area that’s practical, yet won’t be in the way when people are moving in or out of the home.
  • If needed, create storage in the entryway. Coat racks, cabinets, console tables, or a storage bench are all popular choices. There are many DIY projects for creating entryway storage by cleverly reusing bookcases, wooden crates, floating shelves, IKEA furniture and other items.
  • Keep a box near the front door of your home for decluttering the entire space. Every time you come across an item you don’t want or need, put it in the box. When it gets full, grab it on your way out to throw away or recycle. Then, put the box back and keep decluttering.
  • If you have a desk, table, or console in the entryway, clean out the drawers. Odds are, they’ve become a little bit of a catch-all. Put away anything that doesn’t specifically need to live in the entryway.
  • Make use of the wall space. A wall organizer, a chalkboard for keeping up on family events, or a wall shelf for more storage are all good entryway ideas for an organized home.
  • If you need a “drop zone” for things like wallets and keys, designate one small space, like a small plate or bowl in the entryway. Clean it regularly so it doesn’t attract unnecessary clutter.
  • Give each member of your family their own area — a hook on the wall, shelving, or a cubby, for example — in the entryway or mudroom. Then, all their coats, backpacks, scarves, and other items have a specific place to live.
  • Never underestimate the power of a shoe rack to help clean up an entryway or mudroom. Having shoes on the floor takes up space, especially in a small entryway, and looks messy. Invest in a shoe rack with plenty of space to keep everyone’s shoes tucked away, rather than in a pile taking up valuable square footage.
  • Make seasonal swaps to save space. For example, during summer, there’s no need to have winter coats hanging on wall hooks or on hangers in the closet. Instead, move them to a box or bin, or put them away in the basement or attic.
  • Be mindful of the elements. The entryway is the place most likely to become damaged by people tracking in water, snow, and dirt. Keep this in mind as you choose materials for the floor in this room, or invest in a good, sturdy doormat to help protect the floor.

Need a checklist? Download our Entryway Organization Checklist.

Kitchen Organization

Kitchen Organization
There’s a reason the kitchen is built at the center of so many homes: It’s truly the heart of a house, and central to so many activities, from family time to holiday celebrations to entertaining.

Common problems with kitchen organization

  • Because the kitchen is a space that’s used so frequently, it’s easy for it to become messy and cluttered.
  • Kitchens contain a variety of items in a variety of places, which can feel overwhelming.
  • Food, sauces, perishables and pantry items can add to the messes, beyond typical clutter.

Kitchen organization solutions

  • Declutter by removing everything from the floor, surfaces, drawers, and cabinets.
  • Put away anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen.
  • Keep a “junk drawer” in the kitchen that becomes a home for everything that doesn’t have a home. This is a magnet for clutter, so do away with the junk drawer if you can! If you really need it, limit it to one small drawer and use drawer organizers, dividers, and labels to keep it tidy and reserved for things that need to live there.
  • Avoid the temptation to leave items on the counter. Try to only keep items on the counter if you use them very often. Think a spice rack and a knife block, not a bulky mixer that only gets used once a year.
  • Remove anything you aren’t going to keep (like duplicate kitchen utensils or appliances you don’t use), and then put items away in the places you want them to live.
  • Get creative with storage in cabinets and drawers. Use small containers to organize drawers, especially if you have any deep drawers. Use shelves, tension rods, racks, bins, turntables, caddies, and other storage solutions to create a cabinet organization system that works for your storage space and your needs.
  • Check out your local thrift store for creative storage solutions like woven baskets, bins, jars, and more. You can often come out with great finds at a cheap price.
  • kitchen storage solutions available. Shelves and racks for inside kitchen cabinets, fridge and freezer storage, pan racks, cabinet organizers, and more are available. Check out the kitchen section at a place like the Container Store, Amazon, or IKEA and look for storage that fits your home’s needs.
  • If you have a small kitchen, there are ways to increase floor space. Use a pull-out cutting board under the counter for an as-needed workspace. Install fold-down counters that can be lifted up against the wall when you don’t need them. The internet is full of DIY guides for these kinds of kitchen makeovers.
  • Use storage solutions not just in cabinets, but in your fridge and freezer, too. Lazy susans and stackable bins are great options. Flatten food before freezing it so it becomes stackable, with dividers to make stacking even easier. Remove bulky excess packaging from food to create more space in the fridge. Reposition the shelves as needed. And save an old egg carton so you can store condiments upside upside down without them toppling over every time you open the fridge door.
  • Completely empty your pantry to organize it. This way, you can go through items one-by-one, discarding anything that’s expired and placing like items with like so everything’s easy to find.
  • Cramped for cabinet space? Hang pots and pans and other cookware from a ceiling rack. Not enough kitchen drawers? Hang utensils and measuring cups on hooks on a cabinet door. An organized kitchen can even create more storage space by having high shelves for storage bins.
  • For countertop food storage, invest in attractive food storage containers. Mason jars work great for this. Clear canisters are great because you can see what’s inside (and when you’re running low on dry goods).
  • A dish rack doesn’t need to take up counter space in a small space. Look for a drying rack that sets up over your kitchen sink just when you need it.
  • Organize kitchen cords like you would for any electronics. Cords from countertop appliances can take up a lot of space, so use zip ties or velcro bands to keep them neat and out of the way.
  • Take advantage of dead space for extra storage. Add shelving to the side of a kitchen island. Hang utensils on a wall like decor in place of a backsplash. Use a rack on the back of a door to add storage for baking sheets, pantry storage items or cleaning supplies.
  • Use the outside of the fridge. Many kitchen items, like spice dispensers, potholders, cutlery, kitchen tools,  or utensils, can be stuck to the side or front of the fridge with magnets, clearing up cabinet or drawer space. Even a paper towel holder can be stuck to the fridge with magnets so it doesn’t take up counter space. The fridge is also a great place for a chalkboard for schedules, shopping lists, or meal planning.
LEARN MORE: Learn how to begin Organizing Your Kitchen in 5 Simple Steps with this guide.

Need a checklist? Download our Kitchen Organization Checklist.

Living Room Organization

Living Room Organization
Your living room is the space where your family spends time together and the most likely place for you to entertain guests. Unfortunately, it’s also the place that catches the most daily clutter. You don’t need professional organizers to have a clean and tidy living room. You just need the right room organization ideas.

Common problems with living room organization

  • For larger households, this shared space can end up being a nesting ground for clutter.
  • Coffee tables or center pieces can accumulate dirt, stains, and messes if not maintained.
  • Depending on your day, coming home to a messy living room might just add to your stresses.
  • Your living room area may be lacking functionality and room design.

Living room organization solutions

  • Digitize media. We no longer need cumbersome shelves packed with VHS tapes and DVDs. Those can all be stored on a single hard drive, freeing up living room space.
  • Try not to let the living room become a dumping ground for your family’s clutter. It’s tempting, since this is likely where your family gathers. But dedicate time daily to pick up any items that have collected in the living room so it doesn’t get cluttered again. Having an organized “drop zone” in the entryway can help with this.
  • Choose storage solutions that match your home decor. This could be a shelving unit, mounted wall storage, or baskets or bins that match the decor in the room. Giving everything a unified look that matches the design style and color scheme will allow you to maximize storage space without making the living room look messy.
  • Use furniture that can also serve as as storage to help the living room look extra tidy, or help clean up a small living room. Think a cute bar cart, storage ottomans, cabinets or drawers built into furniture pieces, repurposing an armoire as a TV stand, or even bins to slide under the couch out of sight.
  • Declutter by removing everything from the floor, surfaces, cabinets, drawers, shelves, and other areas. Get rid of anything you don’t want or need.
  • Put away anything that doesn’t belong in the living room.
  • Consider what kinds of items are going to live in the living room (books, knick-knacks, electronics, remotes,board games, toys, etc.) and what storage solutions will work best for them. You may want shelving, a bookcase, storage boxes and bins, decorative baskets, hidden storage furniture, something else, or all of the above. You can even use different types of shelves and living room furniture to leverage built-in storage hacks for added space.
  • Put away everything you want to keep in the living room.
  • Organize electronics by putting like items together. For example, if you have any gaming consoles, keep those, their cords, their games, and any accessories in one area together. As you’re organizing electronics, organize cords too by tying them up with zip ties or velcro straps. Cable management sleeves or hooks might also be solutions that work for your electronics setup.
  • Decide early on what will live on flat surfaces (shelves, side tables, end tables, console tables, the TV stand, etc.), and then adopt a policy of not allowing clutter to pile up in those areas. It can help to keep decorative objects there, like framed photos, flower vases, or magazines. Then, there’s no room for extra items and they stay clutter-free.
  • Uses lidded boxes, folders, magazine racks, or file drawers to organize and store paper clutter.
  • Need storage ideas for small items, like remote controls? Use a decorative basket, or a box with a lid if you want them out of sight.
  • Keep toys organized in one area. If you have kids, it probably isn’t possible to have a toy-free living room, especially if you don’t have a dedicated playroom. So instead, designate one area (say, a bookshelf) for toys. Invest in lots of different size boxes, baskets, or bins that look nice and will keep toys organized and out of sight. Encourage kids to keep their toys in the area with a colorful rug just for playing on, or a divider separating their play area from the rest of the family room.
  • Decide on a trash system. Living rooms will accumulate trash, so it’s a good organization tip to have a decorative trash can in the room. If you’re going to use it for food waste, make sure it has a secure lid that can block odors.
  • Look for storage in areas that are under-utilized. For example, put a table or shelves in the space behind the couch, or use shelves or boxes under your coffee table to add more storage to the room, if needed.
  • Storage doesn’t have to take up floor space or living space, especially if your living room is a small space. Attach storage baskets or storage bins to walls. Create an entertainment center out of floating shelves. Build extra storage with shelving up high near the ceiling.

Need a checklist? Download ourLiving Room Organization Checklist.

Bathroom Organization

Bathroom Organization
Your bathroom can be a busy place, especially in larger households. Having an organization plan in place will help your household stay on top of the daily bathroom routines and the messes they naturally attract.

Common problems with bathroom organization

  • Bathrooms can be a breeding ground for bacteria, hair, soap scum, makeup, and lots of other toiletry residue.
  • Things like makeup and skincare samples, or small toiletry bottles from hotels can pile up quickly, and be honest — are you ever really going to use them? Getting in the habit of refusing free items you don’t need is a great general tip for avoiding clutter.
  • Smaller bathrooms provide very limited space if you don’t have an organization system in place.

Bathroom organization solutions

  • Throw away empties right away. Don’t let empty bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soaps, lotions, and other products pile up in the bathroom. When something runs out, recycle or trash the container right away.
  • Look for unexpected space for a bathroom shelf. The wall above the toilet, above the counter, in a corner — even the back of the bathroom door are all places you might be able to fit some small shelves to add storage.
  • Get creative with the space you have, even if it’s a small bathroom. Bathrooms can be configured in so many different ways, and you should choose storage solutions that work for your space and lifestyle. For example, don’t feel like a cumbersome towel bar is your only option — wall hooks, a small towel rack in a hidden spot, or a basket might work better in your space.
  • Declutter by removing everything from the floor, surfaces, cabinets, drawers, shelves, and other areas. Get rid of anything you don’t want or need.
  • Put away anything that doesn’t belong in the bathroom.
  • If you have a large family, adopt a system like color-coding personal belongings to keep everything organized. Toothbrushes, towels, and even plastic bins for personal hygiene items, hair products, and makeup, can be easily found in each family member’s chosen color on Amazon, the Dollar Store, or at another seller.
  • Avoid storing products on the edge of the tub or shower floor. Instead, choose an organization solution that works for your setup and storage needs: A shower caddy, a shower curtain with storage pockets, plastic bins, shelves, and soap dishes are all good options. As a bonus, not having to navigate bottles on the edge ups the tub’s accessibility.
  • Get creative with extra storage ideas if you need it. Some ideas to consider: Cabinets or shelving over the toilet, storage attached to the backs of cabinet doors, a wall mounted holder for toilet paper, storage baskets on shelves or the floor, magnetic sheets or strips for holding small items, and bathroom organizers for the medicine cabinet to make it a more practical storage space. The internet is full of DIY projects for creating bathroom storage in even a small space.
  • Use small bins, baskets, dividers, or drawer organizers to create separate spaces in drawers where you can organize small items.
  • Tiered shelving can help maximize storage space in the shower, on the counter, or in a bathroom cabinet. Acrylic drawers or cabinet organizers are great for the kinds of items you need to store in the bathroom.
  • Spice racks aren’t just for the kitchen. They can be used in the bathroom to organize small items or makeup.
  • Organize the bathroom vanity or countertop with tools like a lazy susan to keep products within reach, or cute containers like mason jars for storing small items like cotton swabs, cotton balls, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.
  • Keep hair tools and makeup off the countertop by creating dedicated spaces for them. A decorative, heat-safe tray can hold hot styling tools out of the way on a shelf. A cabinet door caddy can hold a hair dryer and other tools. Clear canisters can be used to store small accessories and makeup.
  • Take full advantage of under-the-bathroom sink space by adding plastic drawers or expandable shelving units. This is a great place for cleaning supplies, extra toiletries, and anything you’d like to store in the bathroom out of sight.
  • As you put things away in the bathroom, put like items with like. That means storing cleaning products in one place together, medical supplies all in the same area, etc. This will make everything easier to find.
  • If your home doesn’t have a laundry room, the bathroom can be a good place for a hamper — or two, so you can sort your laundry as you put it away.
  • The same goes for a linen closet. If you have one, see our section on closet organization. If you don’t have one, create a linen storage area in the bathroom with shelving, baskets, or a cabinet.

Need a checklist? Download our Bathroom Organization Checklist.

Bedroom Organization

Bedroom Organization
No bedroom should ever double as a junk room (or look like one). Use these bedroom organization ideas to coordinate possessions and streamline the bedrooms in your home for less stressful mornings and better sleep at night. Start with the master bedroom, and later, we’ll cover organizing tips for kids’ rooms, too.

Common problems with bedroom organization

  • closed doors and lots of possessions can make both adult and child bedrooms a disaster.
  • Smaller bedroom spaces can prove to be more difficult for organizing to easily access everything you keep in your bedroom.

Bedroom organization solutions

  • Consider your bedroom a sanctuary. It should be a peaceful place for unwinding and sleeping, so take extra care to declutter frequently and avoid leaving items in the bedroom that don’t belong there.
  • Limit the nightstand to essentials. Instead of a pile of books, just keep the one you’re reading. Don’t let water glasses, medication bottles, or any other unnecessary clutter pile up there.
  • Many bedroom items are attractive enough to “store” on display. If you have a large collection of hats or scarves, hang them on the walls instead of taking up drawer or closet space.
  • Take advantage of opportunities for hidden storage ideas. Get nightstands with drawers. Invest in a large dresser. Use bins for under-bed storage. You can even put a storage ottoman at the foot of the bed to create more hidden storage for items you want to put away out of view.
  • Declutter by removing everything from the floor, surfaces, cabinets, drawers, shelves, and other areas. Get rid of anything you don’t want or need.
  • Put away anything that doesn’t belong in the bedroom.
  • Baskets are an excellent way to create homes for all the items you want to keep in the bedroom. They look great, and provide excellent storage for clothing, shoes, linens, blankets, toys, and more. Amazon and IKEA have tons of options for attractive storage baskets to match any bedroom decor.
  • When looking for bedroom storage, don’t forget to look up. Floating shelves near the ceiling can be a perfect place to store books, boxes of paper clutter, plants, and more.
  • If you need more storage space that doesn’t take up floor space, consider a headboard with built-in shelving. This is a great option for a small space — the headboard shelves can replace nightstands.
  • Another easy way to add extra storage in a small bedroom is to use a small bookcase or dresser in place of a bedside table.
  • While a full-length mirror is a bedroom essential, try turning it into an extra organization tool by building in a compartment for jewelry, makeup, or accessories.
  • Take advantage of space in the corners of the room (even above furniture pieces) with floating corner shelves.
  • Get creative with shoe storage, using wall shelves, a shoe organizer, a shoe caddy, a repurposed bookshelf or cabinet, or a DIY lazy Susanfor a creative shoe rack.
  • Keep dresser drawers organized and clutter-free by rolling clothes instead of folding them, or using honeycomb organizers and dividers to keep everything neat and visible inside.

Need a checklist? Download our Bedroom Organization Checklist.

Kids’ bedroom organization solutions

Kids’ rooms have their own entire set of organization needs. If you have kids, use these tips to give their rooms the makeover they need to stay neat and tidy.

  • The fastest way to make a bedroom look more organized is by neatly making the bed every day. Choose bedding that will make it easy for your kids to make their beds themselves.
  • Furniture that doubles as storage (benches, ottomans, or chests with a cushion on top) are perfect for bedroom toy storage, especially if you don’t have a separate playroom.
  • Created a dedicated area for crafts and homework. A small desk with a few drawers (don’t forget the drawer organizers!) should be perfect for creating a workspace and a place to stash pens and pencil, homework folders, and art supplies.
  • Laundry hampers can be a great storage solution for stuffed animals. If you’d rather have them off the floor, a hammock hung up in a corner is also a clever (and decorative) way to store them.
  • Create toy storage on the walls, using hangers, hooks, shelves, and baskets or bins that are screwed to the wall. This is especially useful for small items and toys.
  • If you have trouble finding places for all your kids’ toys to live, adopt a “one in, one out” policy — any time they get a new toy, they need to choose an old one to give away.

Need a checklist? Download our Kids’ Bedroom Organization Checklist.

Closet Organization

Closet Organization

Wondering how the closet fits into your bedroom organization strategy? The closet may be part of the bedroom, but it requires its own system, and that’s why closets get their own section and organization tips. If you’ve found yourself wistfully following bloggers’ DIY closet projects and makeovers, we can help. Here’s how to make the most of your closet space with storage ideas and organization tips that will give you extra storage and functionality.

Common problems with closet organization

  • Closets live behind closed doors, which means they can easily become messy, cluttered, and disorganized.
  • Smaller sized closets are even more prone to accumulating clutter and becoming disorganized more than larger closet spaces.
  • If you have a lot of clothes that you never wear anymore, closets can become congested with clothing that’s out of season, meant for rare occassions, or articles of clothing that you no longer wear anymore.
  • The 80/20 rule: We tend to spend 80 percent of our time wearing just 20 percent of our clothes. Keep that rule in mind as you try to limit your closet to essentials, and items you actually love, wear, and use.

Closet organization solutions

  • Create a system for knowing which clothes you don’t wear, and getting rid of them frequently. One good way to do this is to turn all your hangers backward once a year, and once you wear something, put the hanger back the right way. At the end of the year, whichever hangers are still backward have clothes you can probably donate, recycle, or throw away.
  • Design and customize your closet organization system with drawers, closet shelves, hanging rods at various heights, clothing racks, cubbies, hanging organizers, drawer organizers, different kinds of clothes hangers, storage boxes, freestanding items, and more. Closet organization ideas and possibilities are virtually endless. Strive to create a system that fits your needs and keeps your belongings organized.
  • Use vacuum seal bags. These are a game changer. Use them for bulky items that take up a lot of shelf or drawer space and don’t need to be used frequently: Comforters and duvets, extra pillows, sweaters and coats during warm months, etc., especially if you don’t have a separate linen closet.
  • Remove everything from the closet. Sort it by things you’ll keep, things you’ll donate, things you’ll sell, things you’ll recycle, and things you’ll throw away.
  • It’s entirely possible to just buy a built-in closet organizer or closet system that comes pre-built with a combination of hanging closet rods, hanging space, shelving, shoe racks, and other storage space. It’s even possible to have a custom closet system built for anything from a small closet to a walk in closet. Amazon often has great deals on these kinds of systems. If you don’t have the budget for that, though, don’t worry — there are still plenty of closet organization ideas that can help you.
  • If you don’t want to shell out for a Closetmaid system, get creative with your closet system. In addition to shelves and rods, try using things like file dividers to store bags and clutches, shower rings to hang scarves or purses, clothespins, magnets, and more. Modular storage solutions are great for an organized closet. Customize and DIY your storage solutions to fit what you need for the things you have.
  • As you organize your closet, make sure you have easy access to items you use most often. High shelves and deep drawers are for items you don’t need as often.
  • Use different types of hangers for hanging clothes and to maximize space. Pants hangers take advantage of vertical space, and can be used for any kind of garment. Hangers that hold multiple items can also be a good use of extra space.
  • Easily create non-slip hangers by wrapping pipe cleaners around plastic hangers. No more tank tops or silky garments falling onto the floor.
  • Use hanging organizers if that makes more sense for your needs than having shelving units.
  • Pegboards are great organization tools anywhere in your home, but they’re especially useful in the closet. Take advantage of wall space and arrange the pegs to create jewelry organizers or storage for any kind of accessory. Pegboards can even be built near the floor for shoe storage.
  • Stacking items on shelving is a good way to use vertical space in your closet – until the stacks start falling over. Use vertical shelf dividers to make space to stack things like pants and sweaters. Or use stackable acrylic drawers to organize small items in your closet.
LEARN MORE: We’ll show you How to Organize Your Closet with this guide.

Need a checklist? Download our Closet Organization Checklist.

Home Office Organization

Home Office Organization
Especially for those that conduct business at home or frequently work remotely, the home office is a place where you need to be productive. Having a clutter-free and well organized office space can help you stay productive and enable you to do your best work.

Common problems with home office organization

  • Paper clutter is one of the most common problems in an office space.
  • Cord management can quickly turn into a snake pit, which can sometimes even be hazardous.
  • Desk areas can sometimes become home for more decorations and clutter than actual items needed for day-to-day work activity.
  • Books can pile up and congest an office area if left neglected or not properly stored.

Home office organization solutions

  • Create a filing system for papers. Stay ahead of paper clutter by investing in boxes, bins, or even a file cabinet to keep it all organized.
  • Pay attention to cord management in your office. Use a desk with a hole for organizing cords, or use cord wrappers, velcro straps, or hooks that hold cords in place, out of your way.
  • Avoid letting your desk drawer become a catch-all. Use drawer organizers or a desk organizer to give everything a home, and resist the temptation to toss things like random office supplies in the drawer when they don’t have another home.
  • If you need a workspace, but need to share the room with a den, guest bedroom, playroom, or something else, using a bookshelf or cubby unit as a divider can create a quiet nook for getting work done. As a bonus, it will come with lots of storage.
  • Declutter by removing everything from the floor, surfaces, cabinets, drawers, shelves, and other areas. Get rid of anything you don’t want or need.
  • Put away anything that doesn’t belong in the office.
  • Simple office storage solutions can be as easy as getting a filing cabinet or a bookcase to create storage outside of your office desk. Make everything look nice by choosing a color scheme for all your home office furniture.
  • Sort paper items based on what you need to file, what you need to address, and what can be recycled. If you have paper records taking up a lot of space, consider scanning them so you can keep digital copies on a hard drive, instead.
  • Organize drawers with drawer organizers, dividers and bins as you put things away. Small items like paper clips, binder clips, sticky notes, and more can be stored in small jars in your drawer, or kept organized with drawer dividers. Only use the office to store things you need for work.
  • Take advantage of all the wall space in your work area (and free up desk space in the process). Put up shelving. Use a whiteboard, corkboard or pegboard to organize office essentials. Attach cubbies to the wall.
LEARN MORE: Check out these 10 Office Organization Ideas that will inspire and help you get started.

Need a checklist? Download our Home Office Organization Checklist.

Garage Organization

Garage Organization
Once the whole house is organized, it’s time to tackle your final challenge: The garage. Organizing a garage presents unique challenges, since many people use almost the entire space for storage. There’s a real need for organization solutions in any garage.

The garage needs to be home for everything from the lawn mower to tool storage to bike storage, which can be a challenge. Here’s how to get started with some of our favorite storage solutions and garage organization ideas to makeover your space from disaster to organized garage.

Common problems with garage storage

  • It’s easy to place things in the garage if there’s nowhere else for them to live, letting them hide behind the garage door, but doing this creates a mish mash of clutter in this space.
  • Garages are often a place in many homes where an accumulation of things over years, sometimes even decades, begin to overtake the space. Sometimes to the point where parking the car inside the garage is impossible.
  • Holiday decorations year after year can begin to pile up, which can leave them prone to gathering dust or damage if not stored properly.

Garage storage and organization solutions

  • Don’t let the garage become your home’s ultimate, catch-all drop zone. If you can’t find a home for something anywhere in your house, don’t just stick it in the garage — consider whether you really need it.
  • When decluttering the garage, start by taking everything out. Yes, it’s a pain. But doing so makes you individually confront each and every item before you can put it back, and you’ll likely get rid of a lot more things you don’t want or need.
  • Keep like items with like in the garage. For example, create an area for tools, an area for toys, and an area for sporting equipment. This will provide easy access to stored items and make everything easier to find.
  • Invest in specific garage storage systems, like thick, heavy-duty storage bins, like Rubbermaid. The garage isn’t quite as safe against pests, weather, and other dangers, so make sure your belongings are well protected.
  • Take everything out of the garage. Declutter by deciding what to keep, and what to sell, donate, recycle, and throw away.
  • Before putting the items you’re keeping back in the garage, organize them into piles so similar items are together. For example, a pile for tools and tool holders, a pile for sports equipment, and a pile for yard tools.
  • Before putting things away, take this chance to clean the garage floor.
  • Use different types of shelves depending on your needs, and create a DIY storage system that works for your space. Wall mounted shelves can do above where you park your car. If you have the floor space, free-standing shelving units or a workbench can provide lots of storage.
  • Take advantage of garage wall space. A pegboard, garage cabinets, storage rack, hangers, and more can create out-of-the-way storage for garden tools, power tools, sports gear, cleaning supplies, totes, plastic bins, and whatever else you need to store in the garage. Storage cabinets can be used to hide away everything from extension cords to tool racks. And garage shelves can double as storage and a workspace if needed.
  • For large, bulky items, look up. The garage, with all its vertical space, is made for overhead storage. Bike racks can be mounted on the walls or ceiling. And shelving units can be attached to the garage ceiling to create out-of-the way storage for items you don’t need very often.
LEARN MORE: Get inspired with these Garage Storage Ideas that showcase a variety of ways to organize and store your items in your garage.

Need a checklist? Download our Garage Organization Checklist.

Your organized home leads to more efficient cleaning, streamlined mornings, and lowered stress. If you’re looking for additional ways to improve your living or storage space after you complete this house organization guide, consider tackling any other rooms in your house that aren’t on this list — or even the attic or basement. Taking the home organization tips from your home to your office can increase work productivity, too.

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