Smooth Move Series

5 Tips For Organizing A New Home

These five tips will help you get your new house organized the right way so you can feel settled in quicker and actually be able to find things when you need them.

The moving truck has rolled out of the driveway, boxes are unpacked(-ish), and you’re starting to feel like this new house of yours is turning into a home. But the stress of organizing and storage is real, and you’re in a borderline panic-mode about how the heck you’re going to keep this house from becoming a big ball of clutter. Sound about right? Take a deep breath (smell the flowers, blow the soup) and regroup with these five tips to help you come up with a plan and organize your new house the right way.

1. Everything Is Temporary For The First Six Months

You just moved into a new place with a new layout, new cabinets and drawers, and pretty much a whole new way of living. You can’t expect yourself to just know how to use the space. For the first six months, you’ll be getting to know your home, the floorplan, and building new routines. So during that time, you should try to keep all your storage systems temporary and not be afraid to experiment.

Use cheap dollar store containers or even shoeboxes so you don’t waste money on systems that may not work for you, and avoid using permanent labels until you’re positive things will be staying in place.

organized bathroom drawer

2. Start With The Bathroom

An organized bathroom (or disorganized bathroom) will make or break your whole morning routine, so it’s important to get this space under control first-thing. You’re already dealing with piled up boxes, not being able to find your work clothes, and not knowing how to use the new oven, so give yourself one clean and tidy space you can use by organizing your bathroom.

Remember that you may change up how you use the space later, but by adding drawer and cabinet organizers, extra storage, and shower caddies, you’ll feel more at home and in control. Just avoid adding permanent shelving or additional cabinetry for now, until you know for sure where you want them to go.

3. Don’t Replace The Closet Systems Just Yet

I know, you’re DYING to rip out those builder-grade clothing rods and single shelf in your closet. But hold that thought, because you haven’t really gotten a chance to “date” your closet yet. You need to get a feel for the flow of the closet, which side you prefer, and how it will best serve you. Until you’re sure, hold off on demo and installation of new systems. Instead, use temporary hanging shelves and stackable bins.

repurposed silverware drawer with pet supplies

4. Expect To Rearrange Your Kitchen At Least Twice

I have never ever ever moved into a house, set up my kitchen, and kept it exactly that way the whole time I lived there. Every kitchen is different and every person is different in the way they cook. Yes, you should definitely unpack your kitchen boxes as soon as possible, but don’t spend a lot of time or money adding space-saving organizers just yet. Instead, take some time to experiment with different layouts.

Spend at least a month using the kitchen to find your groove. You’ll realize where you like to chop veggies, where it’s best to keep the cups, and if you have more or less counter space than you need. Once you’ve got a good idea of what your needs and wants are, then you can go crazy in the container aisle of your fave store to stock up on permanent storage solutions.

5. It’s OK To Let Go

You probably purged before you moved, but you likely still have a few boxes of random stuff that never found a home as you settled into your new digs. You might also find that some furniture worked great at your old house but just isn’t fitting the bill for your new one. Try not to get hung up on the money you spent on the items, and be realistic about what works and what doesn’t.

You’ll likely be taking multiple trips to the donation center for the first few months after moving, and that’s actually a good thing. Don’t feel bad about letting things go, and focus on making your new home clutter and stress free. If something doesn’t suit the space, say your goodbyes and find something else that does.

moving door tag

Want More Moving Tips?

This section is stocked with all my best advice for house hunting, selling and staging, packing, and moving. And if you want to be ultra organized, my Home Moving Planner in the Organized-ish Binder Kit Collection has your back. It helps you plan the most stressless move ever and keeps all your info in one tidy binder. You can snag it here.


  1. Thank you SOOOO much for this, Lela! Though I moved 9 months ago (from a big city house to a tiny country farm cottage IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!) I still have so many unopened boxes in my barn to deal with, so I found your advice extremely useful, encouraging and comforting – It’s been a real challenge but I feel like I can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel now 😊x

    • Lela Burris

      You are so welcome! I know it’s super overwhelming, but the nine months you’ve spent living in your new home really gives you a good sense for how you’ll be using the spaces, as well as what you do and don’t need. So glad you found some helpful bits of info!

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