Whenever I’m anxious and overwhelmed, I engage in a stress-cleaning spree. To me, nothing feels better than a good ole declutter sesh. It is sooo cathartic. But with the influx of Marie Kondo, no shopping challenges, and minimalism, getting organized can feel really daunting — no matter the size of your home. I wanted to share some of my best organizing tips that are approachable and actually realistic in the hopes of inspiring you. So often it can be a lot to tackle, but with these tips, I find that getting organized is a lot easier.
My Top 6 Realistic Organizing Tips To Help You Declutter — No Matter the Size of Your Home
A place for everything and everything in it’s place.
The old saying rings true — especially in small homes! Nothing stresses me out more than visual noise. Anything can fall into that category, too. My list includes labeling and obnoxious packaging, unnecessary kitchen gadgets on the counter, or even magazines stacked up on the coffee table. Plus, it always feels good to declutter surfaces and have a clean slate!
There are two ways to tackle making sure everything gets put away. First, immediately put it away in it’s spot when you’re finished with it. Or (and this is what happens more often at #mytinybungalow), designate a day for putting things away. We tend to be really busy during the week, so on Sundays, Sean and I do a clean sweep and put everything back into it’s home.
If you’re like me and absolutely hate seeing labels and packaging, decant your products into pretty bottles. I do this for our hand soap, dish soap, and bath products. These bottles are awesome and affordable.
Don’t bring anything new into your home unless you absolutely need it.
The key to decluttering is to avoid clutter in the first place. After spending a year doing a no shopping challenge, my feelings towards shopping have shifted dramatically. I no longer shop just for the sake of shopping… and that’s saying something as someone who grew up perusing the mall every weekend. Now, I only buy something when we really, truly need it — and when I do buy something, I usually try to find a thrifted or gently used version first.
Invest in quality storage tools.
The easiest way to feel like your how is void of clutter is to put things away… and for that to happen, you need some good tools. In fact, I wrote an entire blog post about my favorite storage tools! I’m a big fan of storage baskets made of natural materials like rattan, hemp, or rope. I’m working on eliminating plastic usage in our home as much as possible, but sometimes a plastic storage bin is necessary (like for moisture control or weather-proof storage). And metal storage baskets are great, too! Here are some baskets that we have in our home that I love:
Also, always measure your space before purchasing baskets so you don’t end up with something unusable!
Create a purge cycle.
For me, I like to purge every 6 months or so. Usually it coincides with when we take our winter clothing and bedding out of storage and put away summer stuff. It’s the perfect time to assess when you wore or used something last. If you didn’t touch it in those 6 months, it’s definitely time to donate or sell.
Look for ways to use space creatively.
I’ve written about this soooo many times, but our closet is a great place to start. When we renovated the bedroom, there wasn’t a closet at all. We converted an entire wall into storage for clothing, accessories, climbing gear, and more. It’s awesome and so functional. We’ve also gotten creative with storage by using our living room credenza as bedding storage. So don’t be afraid to try new things — even if the storage location isn’t exactly traditional. After all, in a small space, it’s not like you have to travel far to get your bedding from the living room.
Have an honest conversation with your partner or roommates about expectations.
And lastly, all of these decluttering tips are useless if your partner or roommate doesn’t help out. Sit down over some wine and snacks and talk about what your priorities are for your home. Do you want your kitchen counters to be totally empty or can things accumulate, then be put away at the end of each week? What makes sense for storing bulk items like toilet paper? Where do you want to store out-of-season items? What does it mean to each of you to declutter? Having a frank conversation lessens the chance of frustrations and arguments later down the road.
What other tips would you add to this list to help people declutter?