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Home Organization: A Room-By-Room Guide

May 10, 2020 by Maurie Backman

Ever walk into one of those homes that's so well organized it almost makes you want to scream? Well, here's the good news -- with a little effort on your part, you, too, can have a neat and tidy house. The first step in getting your home into shape is getting rid of clutter. But from there, you'll need the right setup to keep each room in your home looking its best. Here's how to tackle the process of organizing your home so you, too, can enjoy that space -- and perhaps make visitors jealous.

Your kitchen

If you want a neat and tidy kitchen, there's one rule you'll need to stick to: The only things allowed in your kitchen are food and items used to prep or store food. Your kitchen isn't the place for a magazine rack, decorative items, or anything else that isn't related to the act of preparing, eating, or storing food.

With that in mind, take a look at your pantry. Do you find that your shelves are too close together to store the things you need? Shelving is an easy thing to take out and replace, and it's cheap, too, so set up your pantry in a way that's actually helpful to you and fits the things you buy.

Next, take inventory in your cabinets. Do you really need to store the bulky appliances you use once a year right near your sink while you struggle to cram in the containers you use regularly for leftovers? You may be able to store rarely used items elsewhere. Or, better yet, get rid of them.

Your den or office

It's easy for a den or office to become a mail-and-paperwork dumping ground. If you're eager to organize that space, spend a little money on a quality shredder; you can probably get one for $80 or so. It will be a huge game changer, because once you have one, there won't be any excuse to let documents pile up; you can simply shred them to bits as they come in and toss junk items into the trash.

A good set of filing cabinets could also be your ticket to a well-organized office. If you don't like the look of steel ones, choose white cabinets for a softer look that may blend better with your furniture. Or, paint your filing cabinets -- the choice is yours.

Finally, invest in some desktop organizers so you can store your office supplies neatly rather than leave them strewn about. And if you need extra space, install some wall shelving or buy yourself a bookcase -- ideally, one with deeper shelves for more storage.

Your bedrooms

Well-designed closets are often the key to a tidy bedroom. If your home's bedrooms are a perpetual mess, it could pay to hire a closet designer who can help you better maximize that space. At the same time, use the space beneath your bed strategically -- to store shoeboxes, extra pillows and blankets, or other items that might otherwise take up permanent residence on your floors.

Your bathrooms

Many bathrooms come with limited cabinet space, so if you're struggling in that regard, get creative -- namely, by adding wall shelving so you have more room to put your things. And don't underestimate the power of a shower caddy -- having your toiletries neatly gathered will avoid scenarios where you step into the shower for an early morning rinse, only to let out a blood-curdling scream when you inevitably step on a fallen razor cap.

Your garage

The garage is perhaps the one area of the home that's most likely to serve as a dumping ground for all manner of junk. If you're looking to get yours organized, first ask yourself whether your goal is to store your vehicle in there, as that will make a huge difference. From there, you'll know how much space you have to work with.

Once you've made that decision, wall shelving that can support a fair amount of weight is a must. That way, you can house everything from your tools to massive quantities of household cleaners and supplies.

Finally, if you have a lot of sports equipment, use pegs and hanging apparatuses to suspend bulky items like bicycles from the ceiling. Will it be a bit daunting to see a large bike hanging over the hood of your car? Maybe, at first. But you'll get used to it.

Your laundry room

Some people have large laundry rooms with ample storage space. Others have closet-like laundry areas that barely fit a washer and dryer. If you're dealing with the latter setup, there's probably not much organizing to do -- it just doesn't apply. But you'll eke out more space if you put your washer or clothes dryer up on a pedestal with drawers. Doing so may be better for your back as well, since it will mean less bending over to load the washer or transfer items to the dryer.

If you have a larger laundry room, use a similar rule to the one we implemented for your kitchen: Only store items related to laundry and clothing. Use your shelving or closet space to store detergent, dryer sheets, lint rollers, wrinkle spray, and sewing and ironing supplies, and remove all non-laundry-related items from the room.

An organized home is a happy home, and you deserve just that. Spend a little time getting your living space in shape, and if the idea seems intimidating, take it one room at a time. You may be surprised at how a little organization makes life so much easier as a whole.

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