Getting your home organized and keeping it organized is a labor of love that often calls for rolling up your sleeves. While it sounds good on paper, and will likely put a little sweat on your brow, not all home organization projects go according to plan. There are even a few that do go according to plan, that don’t seem to work out how you hoped when you first started out.
The following are some of the most common mistakes people make why getting their home, garage, or basement organized. Avoiding them can save you time, money and prevent backaches.
Keeping Too Many Unused Items
There is a fair amount of gray area between keeping something that you might very well use again one day, and a serious hoarding problem. Unused things take up a lot of space and have a knack for getting tangled in with the things you really do need to use every day.
Sometimes you have to be overly brutal when choosing things to discard or donate. If you’ve had a problem getting rid of things that you aren’t going to use, recruit a friend to help you. If anything they can be another voice helping you step up and get rid of more than you expected when your organization project started.
Storing Things Out Of Sight
One of the ways that a home, pantry, cupboard, or bedroom gets disorganized again so quickly is the struggle to find where you put everything. Ideally, you want to be able to see common-use items so you can find them quickly, without having to scramble through everything you just spent hours putting away. Even things like filing drawers, storage boxes, and stackable tote bins can be clearly labeled with a black permanent marker to help narrow down your search.
Keeping Important Papers In A Stack Or A Pile
Truly important papers need to be kept. Though keeping them in a pile or a stack can really make a mess. You find one thing and you end up spilling everything else. Find a paper organization system that truly works for you. Whether it’s stackable bins with labels like “In” “Out” and “Bills” or investing in a filing cabinet with labeled and hanging folders.
Get Rid Of Bags & Unused Boxes
So many people will save their plastic grocery bags, packing materials, and boxes thinking that they might use them again one day. As time goes on you build up a huge collection that never really seems to go anywhere. Right now millions of homes have an entire cupboard full of plastic bags, packing peanuts, boxes, and bags full of other bags. Find a way to dispose of them properly or recycle them. This will open up that storage space for more functional items.
Having Someone Else Do It
A classic “Honey-Do” list is a great thing for laborious projects. So, it’s all too tempting to put someone else on the arduous job of organizing the house or a particular room. While many hands do make light work, chances are good your spouse and children will come up with some off-the-wall storage and organization ideas that simply don’t work, or make it hard for you to find what you want when the time comes. Working together as a family is great, just make sure you are keeping tabs and giving just the right amount of gently worded guidance.
Forgetting To Label
Stackable tote bins and boxes need to be labeled with what’s inside. Especially for things like seasonal items and holiday decorations. Marking a general description of what is in each box or tote bin is a great start. If there are a lot of items inside, you might want to also write up an inventory list that can be taped to the inside of the lid or the top flap.
Failing To Make The Most Out Of Your Vertical Space
Shelves are a great thing. Especially deep shelves that offer a lot of bulk storage space. Adjustable shelves let you move them up and down with ease. This is a great way to optimize your functional vertical storage space.
Even if you have a closet or two where the shelves don’t adjust, you can still maximize the under-shelf storage space. This could be as simple as hooks or installing pull-out wire baskets to hold lightweight loose items.
Keeping Bulk Goods With Daily-Use Items
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money in the long term. Though knowing where to keep it all when you aren’t using it can be a challenge. You don’t want 100 rolls of toilet paper taking up the space of all the other items in the bathroom closet. Something as simple as heavy-duty free-standing shelves in the basement or stackable, sealed totes in the garage will give you a place to store bulk items out of the way. Just make sure to label them so you can find what you want when it’s time to replenish the stocks.
Keeping A Junk Drawer
The classic “Junk Drawer” might seem like a convenient thing when it only has a handful of loose items in it. Though given enough time a junk drawer can become a bully of disorganization. It fights you just trying to get the drawer open and closed. Trying to find something is always a nightmare and half the time you end up hurting your hand before you give up trying to find what you were originally looking for.
If you have a junk drawer already, make it an afternoon project to sift through it and get rid of everything you know you are never going to use. Consider it a therapeutic experience.
When you are done disposing of most of the junk drawer’s contents, take the time to install some thoughtful organization solutions. Something as simple as adjustable drawer dividers can let you truly repurpose your old junk drawer into a miscellaneous items drawer that holds some simple things that will get used from time to time.