Home organization for beginners

Another great way to hide children's toys or any other miscellaneous things you may have lying around is by using an ottoman!

Another great way to hide children’s toys or any other miscellaneous things you may have lying around is by using an ottoman!

Let’s face it, annual spring-cleaning is really more about de-cluttering and home organization than actual cleaning. Each year brings its own set of home-related questions, addressing “Where does this go?” and “How do I store this?” Well, this time around, think of your spring-cleaning efforts as a way to create sustainable organizational systems for your home. This room-by-room guide will help you address frustrating issues in each space and alleviate clutter in your house. If you’re looking to tackle some messy, irritating and downright dumfounding issues in your home sweet home, look no further. This guide is for you.

1. In the Living Room: Hide Everything in Baskets
Storage is our best friend in any room of the house, but especially in the living room. This is the space where your family gathers and spends communal time. Not only should the space be comfortable and warm, it should feel clean and inviting. Investing in some storage baskets, ottomans and benches can make all the difference in the aesthetic of this room. Think about using a chest as the coffee table to store pillows and blankets, an ottoman to stash extra toys in, and storage baskets on the shelves to hide extra books and games. These items are all easily accessible, but no longer visually frustrating. Voila! Everything feels clean and neat, and bonus, it’s all organized, too.

2. In the Bedroom: Conceal Cords
Extra cords from lamps and technology accessories and can really take focus away from the soothing aspects of your bedroom. It only takes a little extra finagling to combine all the cords and wires behind your home desk or nightstand, wrap a bit of tape around them, and carefully route the wires behind your furniture in a discreet way. Another way to conceal cords is to make use of a mini charging station, usually placed on a bedside nightstand or in a closet. This can be easily purchased on www.amazon.com or at Bed, Bath and Beyond. These two tricks construct a clean solution and nightly resting place for your smart devices. Suddenly, there are no more messy cords creating an eyesore when you enter the room. And you immediately feel much less stressed, don’t you?

3. In the Entryway: Create a Command Station
A command station is the place to hang backpacks and purses and stash keys and shoes. Create an “area” for each person in your household and allow enough space for their daily belongings to be dropped off each day after work and school. Purses and backpacks go on hooks, often-worn shoes go in a basket, and keys get hung next to a conveniently-placed calendar. Mornings will never stress you out anymore – everyone’s daytime belongings are exactly where they should be. Including yours.

4. In the Pantry: Utilize Your Door
Storing items vertically behind the pantry door is a great solution to freeing up more space in your home. Are there items in your kitchen that always seem to get in the way, like pot covers or Tupperware? Hanging a storage solution on the back of the pantry door is a great way to organize those items and free up some much-desired space in your cabinets. Behind the pantry door is also the ideal spot to organize odds and ends like gift-wrap and rarely-used kitchen utensils.

5. In the Bathroom: Install Magnetic Strips
This might be a new concept for some of you, but organizing items on a magnetic strip is a brilliant way to put your wall space to work. Chic, minimalistic-looking magnetic strips can be found at IKEA and Bed, Bath & Beyond. What to use this for? Anything magnetic! You can organize your bathroom cosmetic tools, such as bobby pins, tweezers and nail accessories. These items will easily adhere to the magnetized strip and free up much-needed space in your drawers. Bonus tip – this is also a great way to organize knives in the kitchen.

6. In the Office: Mount Clipboards
Sometimes it can be hard to keep paperwork straight. It gets lost in disorderly piles on the desk and feels cluttered if hung haphazardly all over a bulletin board. To ease the chaotic paperwork tension in the office (because who needs extra stress in that particular environment?), invest in 3-6 colorful clipboards. These can often be found in the Target dollar section, and used to divide up various sections of important paperwork. Using this approach, you can keep paperwork straight by clipping important bills, receipts and notes onto the individual clipboards. Mount the clipboards above your home office desk, and enjoy this stylish and functional way to organize by once again, maximizing vertical space.

7. In the Linen Closet: Compile Sheet Sets
Ever realize you’re missing a pillowcase right when you’re making up the guest bed for company? Now there’s a similar solution to never misplacing a linen again. To keep individual bedroom sheet sets organized together, use the following method. Fold the flat sheet, fitted sheet, and all but one of the pillowcases. Then, using the extra pillowcase as the “storage bag”, place all the coordinating linens for that set inside the pillowcase, and store in the linen closet. You can do this for each of the sheet sets in your household, and you will never lose or misplace an extra bed sheet or pillowcase again!