Sometimes it seems like every blog on the Internet has tips to help you clean and declutter your home, but even after reading every article Google dredges up, you might not have a clean and organized home. No matter how many professional organizers tell you to “make keep, donate, and toss piles” or “spend five minutes decluttering every day,” you always manage to find more mess-making junk.
Every home is different, which means not every organizational tip is right for everyone. If you still find cramped and cluttered cabinets after months of sorting through your home’s mess, here are a few suggestions you might need to try next.
1. Divide and Conquer
Unless you have taken a monastic oath, you can’t rid yourself of all clutter completely. The best you can do is hide the little stuff away in drawers and cabinets ― unless you use dividers, which allow you to wrangle the mess and cut the clutter even when it’s behind closed doors.
Drawer and cabinet dividers come in all shapes and sizes, allowing you total customization to suit your specific organization needs. What’s more, they come in all different kinds of materials, so you can carry interior design style even in storage spaces. While you are shopping, you should definitely bring along the dimensions of the spaces you need divided.
2. Show Everything Off
Then again, if you abhor the thought of clutter anywhere in your home, you might opt to do away with hidden nooks like drawers and cupboards, choosing instead to keep all your possessions on display. Open shelving makes for a strikingly appealing design strategy, and it limits you to items that fit with your home’s aesthetic. Plus, shelves leave almost no space for senseless clutter, so you maintain only the most tasteful and necessary of your possessions.
3. End Seasonal Chaos
In the wintertime, there are scarves, gloves, and muddy boots to wrangle, and during summer, you accumulate sunblock, swimsuits, and bug spray. However, as much as you need these seasonal necessities at the ready, you don’t want them strewn about your home, cluttering your precious surfaces.
The best solution is to have a seasonal gear space, perhaps a large box or bucket (like this one from Home Depot) near the door that is divided (like your drawers and cupboards) into appropriate sections. When the seasons change, you can swap out the space’s contents for more appropriate ones, which are stashed in the garage for the time being. Of course, every year you should evaluate your seasonal stuff to decide whether you still need all of it ― and that goes even for things that don’t fit in your door-side bucket, like your old family boat, and then donate what you no longer have a need for.
4. Roll and Rock
No matter how perfectly you fold your clean laundry, clothing and linens rarely stay perfect for long when shoved into drawers and stacked on shelves. Folding may look neat and tidy, but it actually wastes quite a bit of space. Fortunately, by adding just one more step ― rolling laundry into tight cylinders after folding ― you can fit at least a third more into packed storage areas. Plus, rolling usually displays shirts’ logos or patterns, making it easier to find the outfit you need when you need it.
5. Make the Office Mobile
Like the kitchen table or the living room couch, the home office desk has become a staple of the modern home. Unfortunately, home desks usually become magnets for clutter: unfiled papers, unfinished projects, broken odds and ends, etc. As a result, it becomes exceedingly difficult to get any work done since your office is such a mess.
Though it may seem impossible, you might try doing away with your desk altogether. Instead, a small, rolling cart (like this one from IKEA) can hold all your office necessities ― and only the necessities, ensuring you keep clutter down and productivity up.
6. Label Unconventionally
Masters of organization usually believe in one tool above the rest: the label-maker. After all, when you have boxes and files neatly marked, it is much easier to keep clutter under control. Plenty of organizers even label drawers and cabinets around their homes to ensure that everything falls into place.
However, only the most hardcore lovers of organization can tolerate the obtrusive look of printed labels on everything they own. For those who want beautiful design and tidiness, alternative labels are the way to go. Here are a few unconventional and attractive ways to label:
- Free decorative labels (like those found here)
- Chalkboard paint and chalk
- Polaroid photos of contents
- Stenciled numbers
- Blank gift tags