In the average life of a homeowner who is also juggling a full-time job and social life, organization can seem like the least of ones’ worries. However, it certainly shouldn’t be. Organization is an excellent way to make your life easier and better manage your time.

When things are neat and organized, you always know where items are when you need them. What’s more is that an organized space will instantly make your home a more pleasant environment for not only you and other residents, but also for guests. A messy environment is hectic and stressful. But an organized haven to come home to after a long day? Absolute bliss.

So how do you accomplish this organization? Here are some steps that will surely help you in this endeavor.

Step One: Pick up Clutter

Walk through every room in your apartment and pick up any items that can be classified as clutter. Any clothing garments that have been thrown on the bedroom floor or furniture, papers that have been left out on tables and desks, and items that have been left out without homes need to be picked up. A general rule of thumb is that every item of ‘clutter’ should have its own home—be it a cupboard, shelf, closet, dresser, or bin.

Step Two: Consider What You Need

Not what you want but what you need; what you genuinely use. Do you really need to hold onto your ex-boyfriend’s T-shirt that’s been sitting in your closet for years? What about the basket of beauty cheap beauty products a friend gave you for your birthday three years ago that’s still untouched? Or those old pots and pans that you keep around just to have extras, even though you always use the newer, more efficient ones? No? Then toss them out. Throw out anything that is unnecessary clutter. If you don’t use it and you don’t need it, then toss it.

Step Three: Grouping

Look at your pile of misfit things—items without a home. It should be much smaller now, but an unorganized stack of things nonetheless. It’s time to actually start categorizing things. Comb through your possessions with a critical eye in regard to where these things homes should be. Put all of the clothing into designated bedrooms, all of the kitchenware in the kitchen, and so on.

Step Four: Folding

Fold or hang everything. Everything. Nothing should be tossed haphazardly into a drawer or stuffed into a wardrobe. By doing this, you will only make more work for yourself later, so take the time to fold or hang things.

Step Five: Bins and Boxes Galore

Now that you have a designated room for all of the possessions you once considered clutter, its time to take things a step further and decide where in the room they belong. For some items this will be easy—blouses get hung, plates get stacked, and so on. For others, you may find yourself scratching your head. This is where organizational tools such as bins, boxes, and drawers come in handy. Focus on the big piles first.

For instance, if you find you have a lot of loose papers laying around without homes, go out and buy some file folders or binders. If you find that you have a ton of blankets lying around your living room, go out and buy a basket for them. If your shoes are in a mess of a pile in your closet, invest in a shoe rack. You don’t have to go crazy expensing things, but you will be much happier having everything put away as opposed to thrown about out in the open.

Step Six: The Nitty Gritty

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So, everything has a home, but the drawers, bins, and cabinets aren’t necessarily neat. The floor’s clean and the house looks tidy to the outside eye, but when you open the spice cabinet your attacked by Cayenne and Sesame Seeds that have been stuffed in and you can’t find a thing.

Now’s the time to start sorting and separating. Invest in some more plastic bins and dividers for your drawers and cabinets. The two main places where you are likely to find messy enclosed spaces are bedrooms and the kitchen, so start there.

If all of your socks and underwear are together in the same drawer but haphazardly thrown or stuffed in, buy some dividers. If all of your towels and linen are in the ‘linen closet’ but the linen closet is a door that you need to force closed every time you open it, invest in some shelving.

Step Seven: Labeling

Everything should be pretty neat and tidy by now. It feels nice, right? Now it’s time to keep it this way. Look around at all the folders, bins, and alternate organizational tools you’ve invested in and start actually labeling them. It’s not enough for you to “know where things are.” If that’s true today, it may not be in a month. And if that’s true for you, it may not be true for your guests or your significant other, who is about to go ransacking through every tidy nook and cranny on a hunt for scissors in a week’s time. Purchase a labeling gun, or even just a more economic Sharpie and start mapping out where things are.

Good luck organizing! If you’re looking for home cleaning, HOMETRESS got your back!

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