Lori Lori is a work-at-home mom of three living in Noblesville, Indiana.

In America, we tend to have a lot of “stuff.” I appreciate a good purge and am no stranger to Facebook garage sale sites (where you can sell just about anything), and I frequent the Goodwill drop off line quite frequently. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to work hard to keep my house looking presentable. I wrote another post about how to get organized for back-to-school. Take a look at these four home organization tips I use to help manage our household items and keep things organized all through the year.

Home Organization Tips

Use storage bins.
This isn’t a new idea, but it’s important. Storage bins are literally a lifesaver in my eyes. As kids outgrow clothes, the clothes go in a bin labeled with the size on the outside. If I get hand-me-downs or buy ahead when clothes are on sale, they land in a bin, too. I keep my books in bins, we have our high school yearbooks and childhood keepsakes in bins. Our Christmas ornaments and extra gift bags are in storage bins. They. are. the. best.

Dedicate a place for school papers.
Right now, I only have one child in preschool. I can’t imagine how many papers come home in households with several in school! Most days, at least five papers come home. I try to make it a point to immediately recycle the papers we don’t need, review the lessons as needed with my son and save some of the special papers. Once I know my son has mastered a skill, I finally can move those papers to the recycling bin. For some reason, I have a tough time parting with anything that he brings home from school — it makes me feel really guilty. Last year, there were about three months straight when I continued to stack papers in our laundry room. Once the stack grew so high that I started to look like a candidate for the show Hoarders, I finally realized that this daunting task is one I need to attack with regularity.

Add a bookshelf to the closet.

The empty space under my son’s bed
is a perfect place for bins of clothes.

If you don’t have built-ins to maximize the space in your closets, I can relate. We used an extra bookshelf (nothing fancy) in our daughter’s closet to store her shoes, books, baskets full of headbands, etc. It’s the perfect spot to make sure all of these items can be seen and easily reached.

Find a home for everything.
We have countless toys and books and trinkets, games and dress up clothes, art supplies and crafts — so where does it all “live?” This is something I have to stay on top of, or the house can quickly become a disaster of cards from our Toy Story matching game, princess gowns, glue sticks and so on. It will practically look like Toys ‘R Us exploded.

To keep things under control, I start by enforcing the rule of cleaning up after ourselves. It isn’t a rule that the kids always abide by, but it is a work in progress. We have a storage system in our closet with toys; the hanging rod in that closet is full of the dress-up clothes and the top shelf is stacked high with games. Our arts and crafts have a dedicated area in the kitchen. I have to make myself go through Play Doh consistently to make sure it is trashed once it dries out. I use pencil cases for crayons and a mixing bowl for glue sticks and stamps.  It feels great to have “homes” for all of that stuff.

It is tough to purge things that we spent our hard earned money on — I get that. So one secret I have is to buy less in the first place and start by seeing if you can find items gently used. As someone who really loves to shop, I realize it is hard to buy less. Yet, as someone who loves to save money, it is something I have gotten better at with time. It really is much easier to keep a house organized when you stick to buying what you need, donate regularly, and purge items as you accumulate new things.

I think once we all can realize that less is really more, it can lead to a more organized home. Less is not nothing. Living a little more simply is a good thing.

I hope these home organization tips can help you get a little more organized. What home organization tips would you add to my list?

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Category: Home

Tags: clean house