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5 tips to making a good effort for home organization for 2024

By Dawn Whalen

Whalen Realty Group at F.C. Tucker Company

Home organization is hard. Many strive to have a semi-organized home, but the fact is, having a spouse, partner, kids, pets, roommate or parent share a living space makes keeping a residence more difficult to clean and declutter. In order to get the most from home organization, it’s important that everyone in the home is on board with the idea and is willing to put forth some effort in the process. 

The following five tips lead to the discussion of tackling home organization and breaking the process down into manageable tasks.

Where it hurts most

Identify the biggest struggle areas when it comes to organizing and write them down. This should be a long, semi-specific list that includes all the areas that can be improved with organization. For example, the list could include not enough room for shoes by the front door; stuffed animals are overtaking a child’s bedroom; the closet isn’t big enough for two people’s stuff; or there’s nowhere to charge the family devices when not in use, etc.

Once the list is complete (it can always be changed), select a few areas that need immediate attention or can make a big impact. These do not need to be the most difficult tasks but keep it manageable so as to not get overwhelmed. Break big tasks into smaller ones by conquering one piece of furniture at a time versus an entire room.

Set manageable goals – it cannot all be done at once!

Not everyone loves to clean or organize, but in the end, it does provide a level of stress relief. Look at the list of areas to clean out and prioritize them for what works best for you, either by the month, quarter or year. From there, identify which area(s) to start and set an attainable goal. For example, cleaning out two cabinets in the master bathroom is easier to do than organizing the entire bathroom and closet in the master. For closets, consider organizing shoes and then moving onto dresses, sweaters, slacks or other items. Set goals that are achievable and not overwhelming and give yourself time to complete the task(s).

Keep, toss, donate

It seems that throughout an average year, there is no shortage of stuff that enters the home, but an equal amount isn’t leaving the home. Some days it feels like things just multiply overnight. As you start tackling different areas to organize, there are three words to keep in mind: keep, toss and donate. Make a pile for each word, a pile of items to keep, items to toss and items to donate. This allows you to declutter and start moving things out of the space. For kids’ spaces, it might help to break the keep pile down one more level into keep/save for later. Kids always have a few special animals, toys or books they want to keep but don’t really want to sit out all day. Those could possibly be stored in a bin under the bed or in a closet.

Storage solutions

Boxes, bags and closet organizers are friends. After cleaning out space, it’s time to organize. Depending on the area, storage bins or boxes may be a good solution, or it could be better suited for clear, plastic bags. Regardless, bags and boxes that are see-through allow you to see what’s inside and you can add a label to the top and/or sides to quickly identify what’s in the box. For example, in a home office, all markers could go in clear bag, pens and pencils in another, small ink cartridges in a small box and paper in a box or file shelf. Some people prefer to color-code or match boxes with a room and that’s great too.

Another great solution is the hanging closet organizer. These allow extra vertical space, which is great for hanging accessories and soft items, such as scarves, hats, gloves, leashes or any other non-heavy items. Closet organizers can hold a good amount of weight, but we don’t suggest actually storing weights on one.

Command center

Having a central command center has become almost a necessity for families. This is a place where keys, phones, tablets, school computers, calendar and notes are kept. It’s like a drop zone for stuff. If having enough plugs or USB charging stations is an obstacle, check out any hardware store for plugs that might solve the problem. Updating to USB plugs might be great for keeping many electronics charged and in one place. If wires are getting in the way, look at twist ties or other options for taming wild cords. A whiteboard is also a good addition so people can write notes or reminders that may get lost or ignored in a text. Think about what items are needed on a daily basis and how a command center could help.

Organizing or cleaning the home is regularly one of the top five most popular New Year’s resolutions. Meet your cleaning goals by keeping them within reach and breaking them down into small tasks. By this time next year, your home could be the envy of friends and neighbors.

Dawn Whalen is the owner of Whalen Realty Group, at the F.C. Tucker Company, and has worked in residential real estate for more than 17 years. She’s a licensed realtor, broker, is a member of MIBOR, and is the founder of Whalen’s Heroes, which provides funding to purchase service animals for veterans. She can be reached at Dawn@whalenrealtygroup.com.

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