Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Olivia Wyles
When I first picked up Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I was so excited that I read it in one sitting. When this woman described her childhood of unable to do homework until she had everything in her room perfect, it was like she was describing me as a child! I was that incredibly weird person that would randomly empty a drawer and organize it to make myself feel better. It was therapeutic I suppose. In fact, I became obsessed with the office & organization aisles just as much as the toy and make-up aisles as a pre-teen. She.is.my.spirit.animal. So it’s natural that a lot of my house organization hacks are a little of her, a little of me, and some things I’ve scoured the internet to bring you!
You can tackle a few of these projects on a Saturday when you’re feeling oraganize-y. And even if that day never comes, there are a few lazy girl hacks in here for you too:
1. Use a pot lid organizer
Found from IKEA and IKEAHackers
You know how your pot and pan lids just slip and slide all over the cabinet then come tumbling down on you at the most inopportune moment? Go to your local IKEA or IKEA.com and pick up one of these pot lid organizers for a cool $6.99. This one was actually my husband’s idea. There’s even an entire website dedicated to IKEA hacks. With this incredibly small gadget, your lids will be looking upright and pretty. Easily choose between sizes and never end up with the wrong lid for your pan! And, if you got a screwdriver and this pull-out recycling bin tray handy, you can even make your own easy-to-pull-out pot organizer. Check out the full guide here on IKEAHackers.net.
2. Get rid of food you don’t eat
Found from From Overwhelmed to Organized
While you’re in the kitchen, let’s tackle that pantry and fridge. It’s easier than you think! Grab your trash can and get to throwing things away. That supplement past it’s expiration date? Toss it. Protein powder you bought for that one time you worked out? Get rid of it! Spices you’ve had in there since you moved in 5 years ago? Time to refresh your stock.
3. Get rid of clothes you don’t wear
Found from Vogue
This will be the most cathartic experience for you. The feeling of releasing that old sequin gown you wore to your boyfriend’s prom – not even your prom – will be a welcome weight off your shoulders. In following Kondo’s method, the first step is gathering every single item of clothing you own and piling it in the center of your floor. Every single piece! That forgotten jacket in the front coat closet counts too. Kondo doesn’t even allow her clients to keep any items that are left behind when the purging begins. It’s that serious! The second step is the purge. Anything that doesn’t “spark joy” after you hold it up and look at it will not make the cut.
4. Turn your dresser into a clothing “filing cabinet”
Found from Goop
Most people fold their clothes and stack each piece one on top of the other. When you want your favorite shirt, you end up toppling the whole pile in your dresser. You have the choice to either leave it (what most people do) or re-fold it (ugh, who wants to do that?). Marie Kondo proposes a different solution! Fold your clothes so you can stack them vertically like file folders in a cabinet. That way you can easily choose your clothes without disrupting any other piece of clothing. It’ll take some getting used to this wacky method of folding, but it’s actually easier and faster.
5. Sort and scan your papers
Found from The Urban Organizer
This is a necessary evil when it comes to adulting. If you don’t have your various documents organized, you could end up filing your taxes incorrectly or defaulting on that one company’s bill that refuses to go paperless. We live in an ever increasing paperless world, but there are still things that just have to be on hard copy. Greeting cards, letters from grandma, your closing documents, car leases. Without a system, it can be difficult to keep it all together. Start by separating into 3 categories 1) Currently in use 2) Needed for a limited period of time 3) Keep indefinitely. This doesn’t include sentimental items. Then divide those categories even further 1) Keep 2) Deal with (bills to be paid, applications to turn in, school forms to sign, etc.). For those to be saved, I recommend taking it one step further: invest in a good scanner with an automatic document feeder. See my guide for how to organize your computer desktop once you have those documents scanned.
6. Use your drawers to free up counter space
Found from One Crazy House
In my computer desktop organization guide, I talk about using folders and carefully pinned shortcuts to keep it free of extra clutter. Well, drawers and cabinets are the “folders” of your house. Now I don’t mean throw any old thing into a drawer and call it a day. As you go along with your life, find a drawer or cabinet that you want to assign for specific items. Some people have a junk drawer, or a picture drawer, or a battery drawer, or a coupon drawer. You can even categorize those drawers further with trays. Turn that junk drawer into a junk-no-more drawer with decorative dividers and trays.
7. Create a “Get Ready” Basket
The best thing I did for my kid (and myself) when it came to bathroom organization and getting ready for the day was to make a “get ready” basket. Everything that you need to get ready in the morning…hairdryer, makeup, brush, lotion…all the essentials to turn you into YOU. Throw this stuff in an easy-to-grab under the sink basket. Your husband will be glad to receive his half of the counter space back! I got these adorable plastic weave baskets from Target.
8. Get an entryway bench
Found from Shanty 2 Chic
Just like drawer organization, an entryway bench can be a great decorative piece with multiple functions. Especially if you have kids that like to track grass all over your freshly swept floors. This will also help them get into the habit of taking their shoes off as they enter the house. Look for an entryway bench with cubes or drawers to hide away unsightly shoes. Also look for one with a cushion to encourage the habit of using it as a real bench instead of just a decoration. I found this farmhouse favorite on Amazon!
9. Get creative with a tiered tray
Found from DecOMG and A Shade of Teal
Along with your entryway bench, another new favorite decoration with multiple uses will be the tiered tray. This has been a popular item with those of us (including me!) who fantasize about being Johanna Gaines. A 3 tiered tray was traditionally reserved for a proper English afternoon tea service. With scones and other sweets on the top tiers and sandwiches on bottom, it was a convenient way to display mini courses without taking up too much space on the table. You can use yours to store your creamer dispenser, honey, toothpicks, salt & pepper shakers, coffee cups then add a little pizzazz some decorative signage and vase filler to complete the look.
10. Match up your sheet sets
Found from Martha Stewart
What about that linen closet filled with haphazardly folded fitted sheets? There is a better solution! Of course, Martha’s got you covered on this one. Instead of storing sheets separately, keep sheet sets together by storing them in the matching pillowcase. To avoid extra moisture, add a bundle of chalk to your linen closet absorb it. Who knew?
11. Up your garage organization game
Found from Creating Mary’s Home
The garage can easily become a dumping ground for discarded items: leftover kits from that hobby you tried once, old bikes with flat tires, bins of unsorted mail, clothes you meant to take to the local charity drop-off. There are a few simple things you can implement to take care of your garage problems in no time at all! Rubbermaid Hooks are great for sporting goods and gardening tools. Holiday stuff, outside toys, and hobby gear should be organized in bins. Invest in a good set of shelving units for your garage to neatly place your bins and misc items on. I don’t recommend storing paper or pictures in the garage as the fluctuations of heat and cold throughout the year can damage these.
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