We live in a teeny, tiny condo. There is no room for my family of four, let alone a lot of “stuff.”
Having so little space it’s easy for clutter to build up and for things to get unorganized quickly and easily.
If there is one thing I dislike A LOT it’s a messy, cluttered, disorganized home. I’m sure many readers can agree with me on that. There is something very satisfying and relaxing about having a clean, organized home.
Below are some outstanding tips for many areas in your home to help you get on top of the clutter and keep your home looking clean and organized all the time.
How to organize your kitchen pantry
- Start by clearing all the food out of the pantry to get a visual inventory of the items you have already. Don’t be surprised if you find duplicates, that’s the hazard of an unorganized pantry.
- The trick to keeping your pantry organized is to make it easy for your family to keep the items they eat on a regular basis accessible without having to move everything else around.
- Keep your meal staples like pasta, rice, black beans, quinoa in clear containers so you can quickly and easily see when it’s time to add them to your shopping list.
- Save shelf space by using an over-the-door towel hanger to store lunch bags and soft coolers on the back of your pantry door.
- Make room by storing infrequently used appliances in another closet, or up on the top shelf. Things like ice cream makers, tamale cookers, pressure canners, electric roasting pans, only get used seasonally, and shouldn’t take up prime pantry real estate.
- Onions, potatoes, and garlic should be kept in a basket out of direct light in a basket or wire bin.
- Unbox cereals and store in a tall clear container so you can always see when you need to pick up more from the grocery store. Some containers will hold two full boxes of cereal, so you can stock up, and save on pantry space.
- Save space by unboxing individually wrapped items like granola bars, sunflower seeds, chips, etc. and gathering them in a basket marked “SNACKS” so your kiddos don’t have to tear apart the pantry to find them.
- If you buy chips in bulk, pre-portion them in ziplock bags to eliminate chip bag clutter and overeating in one swoop.
- Always keep food off of the floor. Use the floor of your pantry for appliances, pet food, extra containers, or sodas.
- Use canning jars to store your pantry items. They are cheap, durable (made to stand boiling water) and since they are made of glass you don’t need to worry about plastic toxins leeching into your food, or making room on the top rack of your dishwasher. Canning jars come in a variety of sizes from tiny half-pints to half-gallon glass jars. The lids are airtight, washable, and come in two standard sizes that fit all jars regardless of whether you found them at a yard sale or picked them up at Target.
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Organize your home with these great tips
- Clutter piles up quickly when you’re not paying attention. One of the easiest ways to prevent clutter is to follow a simple rule: when you have an object in your hand (book, jacket, house keys) don’t just put it down anywhere, put it away. When you challenge yourself to put things away in their designated places, not in the most convenient location at the moment, keeping your home organized becomes second nature.
- If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it immediately. Small tasks that are allowed to pile up will turn into fodder for procrastination later.
- It is really easy to schedule away your time and be left with no room for bigger projects that require more concentration. If you’re having a hard time making progress on personal projects, a major presentation, or other “deep work”, put in in your calendar as if it’s an appointment. Then treat it like an appointment: don’t be late, turn off your phone, don’t cancel at the last minute. This is especially helpful if you share your calendar with others to book appointments.
- Whenever possible, outsource mundane errands. Use on-demand storage like Clutter.com rather than wasting driving your stuff to a from storage. Instead of running to the grocery store, use Instacart or find a tasker on TaskRabbit. Everyday a new service company emerges who can lighten your task list for a small fee.
Tips for a neat closet
- Before tackling a “floordrobe” clear a staging area (move furniture around if you need to) with containers for sorting clothing into ‘keep’, ‘organize and put away’ and ‘donate’. You’re more likely to make more progress if you make room to get work done.
- Be brutal! If you’re not sure whether to keep a piece of clothing, or donate it, ask yourself if you would buy it again if you saw it in the store. If not, rest assured someone else will love it and something better will take it’s place.
Tips for a clutter-free home
- Save time straightening your house with this simple technique. Grab an empty laundry basket with paper towels, all-purpose cleaner, and a small garbage bag. Work clockwise through the room, wiping down surfaces as you go, and using the laundry basket to hold items that don’t belong in that room. Before moving to the next room, check the basket to see if there is anything you picked up from another room that needs to be put away, and then repeat in the next room.
- Make the most of your kitchen and closet storage by rotating out seasonal items to make more space for the things you use more frequently. Christmas cookie cutters, fondue pot, tamale cooker – if you only use it during the holidays, it’s time to stow it away to make space for spring and summer items.
- Make the most of your cleaning day by hiring service startups to come directly to your door and handle boring tasks while you get your spring cleaning done. Get all your seasonal items safely stored away (and out our your way) by scheduling a storage pick-up with Clutter.com. Use Zirx to get your car washed, gas tank filled and returned to your driveway. Or use Handy to get help with everything from furniture assembly, window washing, to fixing your garbage disposal.
Tips for a sparking bathroom
- Keep your bathroom cabinet stocked with dryer sheets and disposable disinfectant wipes for daily tidy-ups. Dryer sheets are great for catching stray hairs and lint, and having disposable wipes handy makes it easy to keep your sink and counter tops neat between deep cleaning sessions.
- When scrubbing the sink or tub, save time by heating up surfaces first. Fill will the hottest water you can get from the tap, and let stand in the sink or tub for 5-10 minutes. Drain and then let the cleaning agent sit for five more minutes before scrubbing or wiping down. Heat will make most a cleaning products twice as effective.
- Use a half grapefruit or lemon to remove hard water spots from chome fixtures.
- If you’ve got soap scum build-up on your shower doors, try cooking spray. Spray an even coat, let stand for 5 minutes and scummy build up will wipe off with a dry cloth.
- Get rid of that orange gunk on your shower curtains in the washing machine. Add laundry detergent, a cup of vinegar and a couple old towels for friction. Wash in hot water.
About the author:
Emma Gordon is an LA-based organizing & storing expert at Clutter.com with a weakness for DIY projects and kitchen gadgets. She has worked with celebrities including Neil Patrick Harris, Bryce Dallas Howard, Whitney Port, and Jamie Lynn Sigler.