Dishing My Best Organization Secrets
Over the years, I’ve become quite the pro at home organization. I’ve learned all kinds of great ways to keep a space neat and tidy, and I’ve also learned all kinds of things not to do.
On October 29th, I’ve been invited to share my Organization Tips on the Main Stage at the Country Living Fair in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
First of all, AGGGHHHHH!!!! What an honor!
Second, how the heck am I going to cram it all into a 40 minute presentation?
In preparation for this event, I’m sharing six of my favorite organization tips right here, right now.
I’m also giving away FREE Weekend Passes to the Country Living Fair so you can come see my whole presentation! More details at the bottom of this post.
It seems so simple, but so difficult at the same time. Let’s be real here, dudes and chicks. 75% of the “stuff” you have, you don’t need.
That’s a big number.
If you were to ditch the stuff you don’t need (like the 33 plastic containers, Mom…I’m talking to you) and cut down on your belongings, you might not really even need to organize at all.
Organization is just hiding your stuff. But hiding it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Before you even think about starting a home organization project, take a few weeks to go through your house and ditch everything you don’t need, don’t have room for, have multiples of, or don’t use. You’d be surprised how much cabinet, closet, and drawer space you’ll end up with.
Read More: 20 Things To Ditch…Today
2. Keep Only What You Need
When it comes to humans, we have a weird nature for hanging onto stuff “just in case.”
You may have a pantry full of stuff you’ll never use, but just in case you find something on Pinterest you want to try, it’ll be there. Or you may have a bathroom drawer overflowing with beauty products you bought just in case you’re feeling adventurous. Or you might have 49 cans of spray paint in a rainbow of colors just in case you get the itch to give a piece of furniture a makeover.
All that “just in case” stuff may have seemed like a good idea, but in all honesty, it is a huge money waster.
Sure, you might find a great recipe that needs chia seeds, but buy them then. Or you may decide you want to try out a deep red lipstick for a fancy date night, but you could pick up a sample from Sephora instead. You might all of a sudden need a fuchsia paint color, but by the time that day comes, your can of paint has become thick and chunky because it hung out in the garage for three years just waiting for it’s debut.
Don’t fall into the trap of “it’s on sale” or “I might need it later.” Once again, the less “stuff” you have, the less that actually needs to be organized.
Read More: Create An Organized and Functional Kitchen AND It All Started With The Junk Drawer
3. Use Every Inch Of Space
When it comes to storing your stuff, sometimes space can be tight.
My two go-to organization pieces are these over the door shoe holders (I use them for everything but shoes) and this convertible closet system.
The shoe organizers can go on any door, and can even be cut with plain old scissors to fit on cabinet doors in bathrooms and kitchens. They’re great for kids’ small toys, water bottles, snacks, bathroom supplies, cleaning supplies, medicine, gift wrap accessories, office supplies, pet stuff, spray paint, gardening items, and so much more.
And the closet system is my absolute favorite budget-friendly purchase. For around $100 you get the full kit, including installation hardware, to transform a closet into a perfectly organized haven. The shelves, rods, and special accessories like drawers and specialty pieces can all be moved around easily so you can custom-tailor it to your needs. I have this system in all of our bedroom closets, linen closets, laundry closet, and even out in the open in Noah’s room for more toy storage.
Read More: How To Organize A Small Laundry Closet AND How To Organize A Small Linen Closet
4. Use Multi-Functional Furniture
Furniture is a pretty major purchase. It takes up a lot of space in a house, and it costs a lot more money than decor accessories.
If you’re shelling out money for furniture, why wouldn’t you want it to maximize your dollars?
Instead of a regular ottoman, opt for one with a hollow interior to store books, board games, linens, or office supplies. Instead of a coffee table with regular legs, opt for one that doubles as a desk with a hinged top. Instead of a basic bed, shoot for a platform bed with integrated drawers or cubbies.
Another great way to store many items in a small space is a rolling cart. I use them in my dining room to make a mini bar, my office for a movable craft supply station, and my linen closet for rolling around bed linens and cleaning supplies.
By using furniture with included storage space, you’re able to create mini-stations to keep like-items together.
Read More: DIY Bar Cart Makeover
Some Of My Favorite Multi-Functional Furniture Pieces
5. Make Baskets and Bins Your Best Friend
I’ve never met a basket I didn’t like.
They can literally hold almost anything. From stuffed animals to books to blankets to pet supplies, baskets are my go-to for organization.
I use pretty baskets out in the open (and I buy them from Michael’s Craft Store when they go on sale for half off, which is usually once a month) and those cheap fabric square cubby bins for hidden spaces like closets and cabinets.
But before you start hoarding baskets, take a minute to decide how many you actually need and where they will fit. And don’t just assume that if things are in baskets, they’re organized. It’s so easy for a basket to become a catch-all clutter-filled mini space.
My rule of thumb is that each basket or bin must be the home of only one category, and there should not be any duplicate items inside.
In Noah’s room, the red bins in the photo above are strictly for like items. One holds action figures, one holds small puzzles, one holds hats and gloves, one holds Spy gear, and so on.
Read More: Sophisticated Big Boy Bedroom AND Under Sink Cabinet Organization
6. Stick With It
Organizing a home isn’t a one and done deal. You may spend an entire weekend making a place for everything and putting everything in it’s place, but you can’t expect it to last forever.
You may pick up a new hobby and need space for the new supplies. Or you may have a baby and acquire lots of new things. Or your family may not share the same thoughts on keeping things organized and all of a sudden your nice clean drawer is a junk drawer all over again.
Organizing may be the first step, but it’s not the only one. You should make it a habit to put things away every day so items don’t get piled up in places they don’t belong. And you should be prepared for a day when your current storage systems may need to change. Don’t be afraid to try out different ways to store your belongings.
I tested out (and wasted money on) a lot of variations until I found what worked best for my family. They eventually got used to me moving things around all the time, and as long as I labeled everything, they had no problem adapting.
Read More: Five Habits Of Homeowners Who Are Always Guest-Ready
Want More Organization Advice?
I just barely scratched the surface of what it takes to have a neat and tidy home where nothing gets lost and everything is within reach. If you live near Atlanta (or if you’re game for a road trip) come see me on October 29th at Stone Mountain Park.
I’ll be sharing a game plan for how you can get your whole house organized from top to bottom, and you’ll be able to build your very own customized action plan. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask me questions to get advice on the problem areas you just can’t seem to get right.
I can’t wait to meet y’all, and since I really want you all there, I’m hosting a Ticket Giveaway!
I have three sets of two Weekend Passes so you can enjoy all the Country Living Fair fun from Friday through Sunday.
You can read all about the awesome vendors, presenters, workshops, and activities at the Country Living Fair website here.
Want to win two tickets to attend for free?
There are four ways to enter!
Just tell me your biggest organization struggle and use #ITNHCLFAIR to put your name in the hat!
You can share your comment here on this blog post, on Instagram @inthenewhouse, on Twitter @inthenewhouse, or on Facebook @inthenewhouse.
Winners will be contacted via email or social media DM and can pick up their tickets from Will Call at the Fair at any time.
So excited to meet you!
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Taylor Bishop says
Thank you for going over some organization tips. It’s good to know that you should try to have multi-functional furniture, like a rolling cart. It sounds beneficial to look at a furniture item to see how it could be used for different things.
Allen Michael says
Wow, your laundry space is amazing! Talk about using every single square inch. Just seeing that picture gave me a bunch of ideas. Thanks for the great share!
Lela Burris says
Thank you Allen! So glad you were inspired!
Paige Foley says
My biggest organization struggle is paper/mail & filing or tossing.
Lela Burris says
Paper clutter is such a huge problem when it gets out of hand, right? With that, you really need to find a system that works for you and create one designated area for filing/shredding/action required. Once you figure out the best system for your family, create a habit by doing it every single day. It will eventually become a second nature and you’ll never have paper clutter again! 🙂 Thanks for entering! I’ll be contacting winners this week!