This post is sponsored by California Closets and written by one of their organization experts. For more organizational inspiration, visit their website. Enjoy!
When it’s done right, organization can make your home more attractive, dramatically increase its space, and cut down on stress. I am hardly the world’s most organized person, but over the years I’ve stumbled across some surefire tools and strategies for clearing out clutter and keeping everything in its place.
Before you even start organizing, clear out what you don’t use. Be strict with yourself—if you haven’t used that half-empty bottle of shampoo for a year, or worn a piece of clothing for even longer, then face it, you probably never will. Use bins to categorize trash, recyclables, and items that can be donated or sold at a garage sale.
For the kitchen, I use roll-out cabinet drawers. (If you’re like me, you have a veritable mountain of cleaning supplies under your sink — with the drawers, you won’t have to dig around to find dish detergent or gloves.) I also use racks to hang pots and pans, and magnetized strips to keep knives handy on the wall, which frees up a lot of cabinet and drawer space.
For the bathroom, use a standalone rack over the toilet for extra space. If you have a stall shower, use shower caddies to stow shampoo and soap. If your kids have bath toys, keep them out of the way and let them dry out by storing them in a mesh bag, attached to the shower wall with a suction cup. Store things you only use for special occasions in clear plastic bins instead of letting them take up counter space.
For bedrooms, closet organizers can be a godsend, especially when it comes to things like shoes and ties. (They’re especially good for maximizing space if you don’t have walk-in closets.) Adjustable shelving systems that extend to the floor can also double your storage space. For kids’ rooms, find bins that stow away under beds to store toys and games.
Here’s a short list of must-throw-away dates for perishable items:
Every 6 months: Liquid makeup, facial cleansers and moisturizers, body wash, baking powder, opened ketchup
Every year: Powder-based makeup, lipstick, frozen dinners, unopened ketchup, maple syrup, dish detergent, nail polish, tooth-whitening strips
Every 2 years: Herbs and seasoning blends (spices should stay fresh and potent for an extra two years or so), bed linens, dried pasta, opened packages of tea bags, aerosol air freshener, hairspray
Finally, once you’ve gotten organized, keep a regular inventory. Don’t let things pile up or get lost in corners — try to do an inspection every few months or so to clear away anything unnecessary you’ve accumulated. This shouldn’t be too hard. Once you’ve gotten used to a clutter-free home, you’ll want to keep it that way!