CONQUERING CLUTTER

September 12, 2016
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7 Mistakes We Make When Organizing!

Plopping down on the couch after a long day of cleaning the house is one of the best feelings in the world. The candles are lit, your favorite program has been recorded, the family is fed, and as you look around the room, everything is perfectly organized; You are superwoman! There’s no dust, no clutter, and you’re relieved…yet you’re terrified at the same time, for fear that you may spot a speck of dirt in a corner somewhere and have to get back up and grab the broom. These types of days become routine for us, and often times we overlook areas of clutter because we have gotten used to how they look. Mistakes are made in thinking that something is “organized” simply because it’s out of sight.

These mistakes may not sound like much, but after a while the buildup becomes unbearable, and we’re forced to pull everything off of the shelves to go through them once more. Make your life 10 times easier by learning about 7 common errors that most everyone is guilty of, and how avoiding these blunders will result in a more organized home, and a happier you!

When trying to achieve true organization, less is definitely more. Leaving too much stuff on countertops, even if it is organized, is still messy. The most common instance of this is seen in kitchens, where countertops are filled with novelty salt shakers, neatly-stacked piles of bills, and a random basket of potpourri.

Clear off your countertop completely. Give it a good cleaning and replace the useless items with ones that invite kitchen-related activities. For example, swapping out the potpourri with a basket of fruit will make the room’s purpose come to life. Every item in the room needs to display a purpose, to evoke a relatable and inviting feeling.

If you can see a room’s purpose clearly, it provides you with stability and happiness. Keep 2 or 3 small appliances out, and add pops of color with the fruit basket or a few bottles of wine. Keeping the kitchen food-related with a minimalistic design will ensure maximum function and display professional-grade organization.

Remove trinkets from the countertops and save them for a display cabinet somewhere else. Try to cut down on the amount of keepsakes you have out in the open. This includes books, as well as trophies, figurines, and any collections. Dedicating these things to a specific cabinet will keep them from collecting so much dust, and will have your home looking more open and fresh.

These items are acceptable in moderation, but only if they add to the element of design. For example, if you have an owl statue in turquoise, and your accent color is turquoise, then the owl may stay. But having thirty owl statues out along the mantle makes things look disorganized and jumbled, even if you’re a really big fan of owls!

Don’t overstuff cabinets and drawers. Organization goes much deeper than the face value of a room. Sure, a kitchen can be staged to perfection, but what happens when you go looking for something? That item is now buried in a drawer beneath old take-out menus and potholders. Clean out your drawers and cabinets, and make room for only the essentials.

If you have one “junk drawer” in your kitchen or office, that is perfectly fine. You don’t, however, want several drawers filled to the brim with things that you simply haven’t gone through and don’t plan to in the near future. Thoroughly organize drawers and give them each a purpose, also. A cabinet should be dedicated to one group of items, such as dishes, or glassware.

Small rooms require smaller items. In other words, don’t pack a tiny room full of bulky furniture and shelving. Instead, if a room in your home is on the more petite side, opt for sleeker, more modern furniture, like floating shelves instead of large solid pieces. The more that is visually present, the smaller the room will look. Try to minimize any storage in the room by using fold-away couches or ottomans that double as storage bins.

Small spaces require smaller pops of color, as well. Opt for a light neutral to encompass the room, such as white or beige. Adding in storage that matches this neutral color will hide it better, and the eye will naturally be drawn towards bright focal points, such as throw pillows or a colorful rug.

When organizing, don’t skip out on labels! Labeling is a critical part of making sure that everything gets put in the proper place. Most of us have several bins full of decorations or extra clothing, and they’re stacked on top of each other unsystematically. Labeling each bin will ensure that you’re most organized, and finding things when you need them will be so much easier!

A huge mistake that’s made when organizing, or rather, re-organizing, is buying organizational products before things have even been sorted. First, go through everything you have and keep what you want. Items that you’d like to get rid of can be sold at a yard sale or given away to charity.

After you’ve accomplished the formidable task of actually going through everything, then you may buy your new bins, shelves, and hooks. Investing in these products beforehand can cause irrational installations, such as keeping things just because they now have a new place to go, or hanging new shelves and hooks just because you “bought them already.”

Another downfall to this is buying so many storage bins and other organizers simply because they are on sale, etc. Having too many storage options will keep you from downsizing and rotating items properly. You will end up with a wall full of storage bins that you never open. And, while they are tucked away, these items are no longer organized. They’ve become unused and forgotten, and are taking up precious space that you need! Purchase a variety of sleek storage items, like open shelving and lidless baskets to encourage less clutter. Keep a few books on the shelves, along with one or two nice keepsakes, and each room will instantly become more open and will feel structured.

Staying organized is perhaps the only thing more important than initially getting organized. It is harder to maintain a clean, controlled space if there is no foundation to ground it on. Therefore, by avoiding these common organizational mistakes, we can achieve the highest level of stability in everyday usefulness of the items we have in our homes. The things we own all have a purpose, so having them neatly put away and easy to access is crucial. By organizing every corner of your home the “right” way, you’ll guarantee happiness and get the most function out of every area.

 

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