Even if you love your home, chances are you’ve spent an exorbitant amount of time inside it the last several weeks. Maybe with the entire family home all day, every day, it’s become a bit unorganized. Or maybe you’re just bored and looking for something to pass the time. Either way, we’ve got you. We’ve conferred with design consultants, questioned professional organizers, and scoured the internet for the best decorating tips and organization hacks for tackling every room in your home. Get after it!
Family/Living Room Organization Hacks
Ah, the living room: a cozy place to put up your feet, throw down some pillows, and relax. No wonder this room is usually most in need of straightening! Start by taking an inventory. Make note of unused space in the corners, behind the couch, or under the coffee table. Would extra storage help corral the toys, remotes, magazines and other miscellaneous items that clutter your space? Is there furniture or decor here that might work well in other rooms? Start rearranging! Move an area rug to the master bedroom, donate the drapes to the dining room, or swap lamps with your home office for a quick change. Clean out side table drawers and recycle old batteries and broken chargers. Consider placing (or building) a narrow table or shelf behind the couch for candles, lamps, or picture frames.
Kitchen Organization Hacks
Between junk drawers, cabinets and pantry shelves, the kitchen is a haven for clutter. It’s time for a fresh start! Assess the situation: would the contents of certain cabinets make more sense in a different location? Are you holding onto small appliances or serving dishes you haven’t used in years? Do you still have toddler dishes and utensils even though your ‘baby’ is fourteen? Fill a donation box and contact your favorite local charity. Repurpose worn-out kitchen supplies: Soft, old towels make great dusting and cleaning rags! Is your spice cabinet stuffed to overflowing? Hang a shoe organizer on the inside of the pantry door to hold spices, toothpicks, straws and other miscellaneous items. If you can no longer see the fridge for all the artwork hanging, consider storing multiple pages of artwork inside a single frame hung on the wall, then rotate to showcase everyone’s masterpiece!
Kids’/Guest Bathroom Organization Hacks
The kids’ bathroom is always in use and rarely organized. If it doesn’t have a linen closet, there’s not enough space to store supplies, and if it does, it’s likely filled with old toys, half-empty bottles of shampoo, and towels that may or may not be folded. Start by ‘marrying’ bottles of leftover shampoo and conditioner. Make a pile of old toys to donate and recycle empty bottles or containers. Have each child pick a color and provide them with a basket or drawer in which to store their supplies. Color code everything from toothbrushes to towels! While the bathtub likely came in really handy for your little ones, that old, chipped tub might be better served as a shower for those same kiddos who are now well into their teens. If your kids’ bathroom also doubles as a guest bath, store towels, soaps and lotions in a basket that can be pulled out of the linen closet when visitors arrive. Find more ideas for designing a kid-friendly bathroom that will grow with them here.
Kids’ Bedrooms Organization Hacks
Need a weekend project that will keep your kiddos busy – especially when it’s raining? Have them draw an outline of their room and then arrange furniture in different locations. Once they come up with a layout they love, let them have at it! Rearranging the furniture might require a hand, but it’ll force them to pick items up off the floor and bonus: will likely reveal lost toys and clothes hiding under the bed. Make piles of things they want to keep, exchange, and give away. Then let them set up a ‘sale’ for their siblings! Exchange toys and clothing, even furniture. You can also borrow or steal from other rooms in the house: Could a side table from the family room make an ideal nightstand for a pre-teen who’s outgrown her smaller-scale furniture? Could that unused bookcase in the basement be turned on its side to make a clever window seat for your toddler? Fill the openings with fabric drawers or baskets for storing books, toys and games, and add a few pillows to finish the look.
Master Bedroom Organization Hacks
The master bedroom is supposed to be your oasis – a port of calm in the storm of everyday life. Is it really? Maybe not. Especially if you’ve not updated the look in a decade or more. Start by cleaning out your dresser drawers and closets. Mandy Manley, Professional Organizer and Owner of Skeleton Key Organizing recommends letting go of any clothes that are the wrong size or that you don’t enjoy wearing. “Keep a donation box going so it’s easy to let go of things as you’re getting dressed, doing laundry, or cleaning,” she advises. If you struggle to decide what to keep and what to toss, try this: Turn all the hangers around to face out rather than in. Every time you wear an item of clothing, flip the hanger around. Donate any clothes still on outward facing hangers at the end of a season. If you’d prefer to earn a bit of cash in return, drop them off at a local resale shop or look into a company such as Thred Up that will sell clothing in good condition online and give you a percentage of the profits.
Freshen up your bedroom with artwork, an area rug, or throw pillows ‘borrowed’ from another room. If the only light in your master bedroom comes from a ceiling fixture, consider adding a dimmer switch and a pair of lamps. Haven’t used the dining room in months? “Steal” the lamps from that room for either side of your bed (you can always return them!).
Master Bathroom Organization Hacks
Your master bathroom is where you start, and likely end, each day, so it should suit your needs and more! If you’re short on storage space, look for furniture in other areas of your home that might work well here. That display cabinet collecting dust in your dining room might make a gorgeous linen cabinet. Remember when a jetted tub was the height of luxury? If you’ve unwittingly turned yours into a dirty clothes hamper, it might be time to upgrade to a modern, spacious walk-in shower. Build a frame around a traditional vanity mirror or paint an existing frame to freshen up the look. Repaint the vanity and install new hardware. Add baskets or clear containers to store miscellaneous items like Q-tips and cotton balls. “The only products that should be in your bathroom are the ones you’re currently using,” says Manley. “Store your extras and overflow items in a labeled bin elsewhere since bathroom real estate is at a premium. If you’re a Baby Boomer planning to age in place, consider making some smart safety updates now.
BONUS: One of the most helpful organization tips we’ve heard is to use a large three-ring binder to keep track of every update you make to your home, inside and out. Record names of contractors, dates of work, landscape diagrams, and paint colors. Store swatches of fabric, tile, wood tones and other samples here, as well. This will come in handy when you want to touch up the paint in your hallway or when your little artist decides to use the living room wall as a canvas! If you ever move, that binder will be a welcome gift to the new owner!
Clearing out the clutter might take a bit of time, but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll likely feel less stressed and better able to handle another few weeks of staying at home. And you’ll have several boxes of items to donate to local families in need – a win-win! If one of your bathrooms is in need of more help than simply organizing, Re-Bath has you covered. Learn more about our hassle-free, four-step process and browse our design gallery for inspiration.
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