Looking for ways to organize your entire home? Here are some Storage & Organization Tips to help you accomplish that goal.
There’s an old saying (that dates back to the mid 1700s) that feels more and more prevalent in today’s society, and that is “an embarrassment of riches.”
That idiom, which means an overabundance of things… sometimes far too many things… has not only put a damper on our wallets, but it can also end up leading to a cramped and cluttered home.
Having so many possessions that they make a mess of your home may not always feel like a blessing, but in truth — being able to afford such an embarrassment of riches – really is a blessing.
Until it comes time to put all that stuff away.
And don’t get me wrong… I LOVE STUFF! If I didn’t love beautiful things, and I didn’t love having a house full of beautiful things, I would never even have started Art & Home in the first place!
However, the downside of owning a lot of stuff is that – eventually – that stuff starts to own you and starts to take over your living space.
That being said, there are simple (yet clever) storage & organization tips that can help you can avoid all of that clutter. Organizing and managing your home is key to maintaining its value over the long-run.
There’s a balance here we’ll explore while we look at some of the best storage & organization tips to help you deal with all that wonderful stuff you own.
1. Should It Stay or Should It Go Now??
You probably don’t really need everything you own. Let’s just say that once upon a time you had an office amidst other cubicle workers in a white-collar building, and let’s just say you were there for about ten years.
During that time, you probably accumulated a dozen boxes full of trinkets from that job. Now you work somewhere else, and don’t need any of that stuff. Why are you letting it fill up an entire closet?
I’m not saying this is a real life example from my home, but maybe there is a box (or 7) of things that I held onto from my first job many moons ago that got packed and moved with me every time I moved houses. Maybe.
It’s important to go through a good, thorough decluttering ritual to make sure what you have is the stuff you really need.
If there’s anything salable, have a garage sale and get rid of it. If there’s not, either give the things you don’t want away – to someone who lives outside your home – or trash the junk. It’s never going to last forever even if you’ve got an emotional attachment. Cauterize that attachment with adult maturity, and throw the junk out. There are ways to Downsize your home strategically, use them!
Go through your house and figure out where you’ve got junk you don’t need. Don’t just throw it in the attic, garage, or basement. Throw away the things that aren’t of true value, or that you don’t use anymore. Sell what isn’t garbage. Give away what you can’t sell, but don’t want to throw away. Do this in a dedicated way and you’ll be surprised at the space you clear up.
2. A Place For Everything, and Everything In Its Place
You may have heard this maxim as a child: a place for everything, and everything in its place. Moms were notorious for repeating this phrase in the eighties and nineties, and apparently the phrase was coined by Ben Franklin. It’s a wise sentiment for organization! If you don’t have a place for everything; go through your home and start organizing.
It’s a wise sentiment for organization! If you don’t have a place for everything; go through your home and start organizing.
Coats, gloves, hats, boots, and shoes should be in the hall closet, or divided nicely between that closet, the coat rack, and the little cabinet in the foyer. Toys should be kept in cool stuffed animal storage. Dishes should remain in the kitchen, as should food preparation materials and actual food. Dining apparatus should be in one cabinet, preparation devices in another. Books should be on bookshelves—you get the idea!
3. Invest in Decorative Storage Boxes
Every house has a bunch of those “little things” that you can’t get rid of but you don’t want scattered across your coffee table.
Another one of the best storage ideas are decorative storage boxes. These pretty little storage boxes are a great wide to hide a variety of evils inside something that is quite lovely to look at.
Keep one of these decorative storage boxes in each room to tuck away some of the smaller things in a neat and organized fashion.
4. Use Furniture To Create Storage Nooks
RTA stands for Ready To Assemble, and it defines a family of furniture that’s very customizable. You might acquire some RTA solutions for the rooms where you need storage, conforming the furniture pieces to fit idiosyncratic spaces. You want the right furniture for the right room not only in terms of storage, but in terms of aesthetic appearance.
Vertically-situated cabinetry makes a lot of sense, as you can increase storage toward the ceiling without impacting available interior space. The right sort of cabinetry can provide secure storage which allows you to stylishly store your possessions. A great option might be these spacious and stylish wood cabinets.
Or, if you’re handy, you can create some DIY furniture that includes a place to tuck away some of your often used and/or treasured possessions.
Figure out what best fits your home.
5. Clear or Color-Coded Storage Totes
But having everything in the same kind of storage tote can often mean having to open up 10 – 12 boxes to find the one you want. (Not that this has EVER happened to me. Ok, well… yes… it totally has).
Color themed storage totes can be used in a variety of ways. Red and Green totes can signify Christmas vs the orange and black ones for Halloween. Or you can use a different color for the person whose belongs are safely tucked inside.
On the other end of the spectrum, clear storage totes are really handy for being able to see EXACTLY what’s inside the bin without having to open the lid.
If you feel like getting craft, storage labels are very handy for letting you tell easily what’s inside the tote box before you open it.
You can do so by just writing (or printing) out what is inside the box or you can take pictures of what you’ve stored inside and paste them right on the outside of the box, like this idea from our 50 Nifty DIY Storage Ideas post.
6. Maximize Your Garage for Storage
A well organized garage is a fantastic place to store things that you don’t need to access every day.
Proper storage can help keep things tucked neatly away in the garage while still allowing you to park your vehicle inside when needed.
But it’s important to not just dump things into a corner of the garage. Take the time to create the right kinds of garage storage that is practical, useful, and doesn’t just move the clutter to another area of the home.
7. Get Your DIY On
There are soooo many DIY storage ideas that can help you neatly tuck some of that clutter away in clever ways.
From shoe cubbies, to storage coffee tables, to clever ways to utilize the wasted space under the stairs, there are so many options for creating extra space to store your treasured belongings and keep them out of the way of your day-to-day life.
8. Clean Up At Regular Intervals
Once you’ve figured out the right furniture, designed a place for everything, and thrown out the trash, your next job will be cleaning up your home regularly.
This may seem odd in a list of storage & organization tips, but it’s important that you keep on top of things before they get out of hand.
Do it at least weekly.
Depending on the size of your home, and how busy it is, you may want to clean daily, or “clean as you go”. That is to say: as soon as you’re done using a dish, you rinse it and load it in the dishwasher. As soon as you’re done with a coat, you hang it up. Clothes go in the washer or dryer immediately.
I know, easier said than done, right??? Especially if you have children.
But once you get in the habit of clearing things away before they pile up SOOOO high that you can’t imagine ever being able to dig yourself out of the mess, and then you wonder why you bothered buying a nice house in the first place and why you didn’t just move your family into that squalor of a “fixer-upper” that was almost half the price of what you paid for the house you’re in now…. but I digress.
Once you get in the habit of tucking things away one at a time, it’s a lot easier to keep things clean than to dig out after a few week’s of accumulation.
It’s a bit like snow that way!
Keeping Your House Clean And Usable
Once you’ve got a handle on these storage & organization tips, you can turn your embarrassment of riches into a home full of the people and things that you love!