I'm not an organizer and would never claim to be one, but as an interior designer I often have to figure out creative and effective solutions to deal with my client's household clutter in a beautiful way. I really wish there was a one-size-fits-all plan I could give you to take your home from chaotic to serene, but that's just not how this works. However, I do have a few tricks up my sleeves that I use to organize my own home and my client's homes. These ideas will turn your space into something that's beautiful AND functional for your family. Let's do this!
Consider your needs, not the solution. Don't even think about stepping foot in The Container Store until you've spent some time really looking at what it is you need to store. This means sorting through your things, donating or trashing what you don't use, and taking inventory of what's left. Also take note of your family's habits. Do you have hooks but everyone throws their jackets on your entryway bench? Maybe you have a shoe organizer but the kids tend to line up shoes by the door? Make sure you're choosing a solution that's easy for everyone to adopt. We all want to believe we can train our family into new habits, but honestly, who has the time for that? Don't fight it, work with it!
To see, or not to see, that is the question. Some folks want to see the things they have and others are stressed out when there's too much visual clutter. Figure out your family's preferences and purchase pieces accordingly. I don't like a lot of visual clutter so I love things with drawers and doors on them like dressers, armoires, and storage benches. If you like to see your things then you may prefer wall hooks, clear bins, and open shelves. There is no right answer, just what works for you.
Make it pretty and keep it pretty. Select furniture or organizational solutions that you love. If something isn't pretty then you aren't going to keep it up. I always organized my sweaters by type (crew, turtleneck, etc.) and I could never keep the piles neat and tidy. One day I decided to sort by color and low and behold, it still looks good! I'm a visual person and seeing items sorted by color was pleasing to me which motivated me to keep up the system. That said, even if you love your solution be sure to schedule time to go back and review it. An organized home can only stay organized if you're always organizing it. Don't wait until something is out of hand to deal with it! Make small habits, like cleaning the fridge before grocery day, in order to keep everything in tip-top shape.
Remove storage solutions that are clutter hoarders. More storage spots mean you'll store more stuff. It's just a fact. If you want to have less clutter then pick and choose your solutions based on the things you really need (see item one!). If that chest of drawers is holding great grandma's antique linens that you don't love and never use, then consider passing the chest, and its contents, onto someone who will love it. It can be hard to separate from things that have a history, but remember that you're giving them a new life by passing them on, not losing the memories they hold.
These tips may have you excited at the idea of creating a more organized home, and if you're feeling motivated to jump right in, great! If, like many of us, you're struggling with where to begin, then let's chat. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes and a partner-in-crime can make all the difference when it comes to creating a peaceful home you love.
Want more organizing inspo? Check it out: 5 Need-To-Know Home Organization Tricks