A new decade is just around the corner and, with it, a sad, lonely pile of New Year’s resolutions left to gather dust in the corner – kind of like that pile of magazine trimmings and assorted kitchenware that limply beckons you to a forgone time.
But this year is going to be different! Because this time, you have a real plan… well, at least you’re figuring one out. That’s why you’re here: to pick up on this list of nifty life hacks to keep your living space organized. A couple good habits here, a handful of elbow grease there, and you’re onto a new leaf.
It’s true that there’s a certain catharsis to a manic cleaning spree in the wake of some major life event, but if that’s your modus operandi for keeping things tidy, the odds are that they don’t stay that way for long. Instead of trying to tackle mountains of sorting and cleaning in one fell swoop, it’s more efficient to break up large tasks into a series of smaller ones. Take one room at a time and isolate a specific area like your sock drawer, your kitchen cabinets, or the living room closet. It makes the task of organizing much less daunting and much more likely to get done.
Depending upon the level of clutter in your life, it may seem impossible to find enough surface or storage space to organize your belongings. If you’re itching for just one extra shelf here or another rack there, you don’t have to bring out the power drill and plywood to get things moving. A can of spray paint and a rain gutter can make for a fun shelf to organize books, toys or decorations. A magazine rack can go straight into your cupboard to store loose lids for pots. Get creative with some of the stuff in your garage, and you’re good to go.
Mighty morphing power furniture
Adaptable furniture isn’t just a lifesaver for studio living. A window bench in your living room can double as a storage bin for knickknacks, some ottomans double as chests, a variety of bed frames come with drawer space beneath, and some floor lamps provide shelving to keep books and plants on. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, sometimes the solution to too much stuff is, in fact, more stuff – provided it’s the right kind of stuff.
Sort by Use
With any degree of innovation in your living space comes the responsibility to adopt the habits to put it to good use. Sometimes, the space itself isn’t even the problem. One simple hack to keep your spaces more organized is to organize your belongings by use. When you keep frequently-used items in inconvenient storage containers, the tendency is to set them on the coffee table or the kitchen counter where they’ll remain for a long time. Keep your most frequently-used items in easy-to-access spaces where they’re still organized and save the rear shelves for that juicer that you’ve never put to work or the ice cream maker that’s gathering dust.
Out with the old
You knew this entry on the list was coming, and, though you might be dreading it … maybe you have a little bit too much stuff? If you’re drowning in your material possessions, then it might be time to ask some serious questions about how much of it you really need: clothes that you haven’t worn since your teens, DIY projects that have turned into Do It Later projects for years on end, and your collection of Beanie Babies that aren’t accumulating value over time. Take a deep breath and consider donating to a good cause.