How I organize my home – and how you should too!

There’s nothing that grinds my gears more than clutter and piles around the house. My husband will tell you that he’s never seen me actually relax unless they’re all sorted and everything is in its place… which should be fun when I’ve got a newborn on my hip 24 hours a day in a few months! But I guess we will handle that when it comes.

For now, I’d love to fill our readers in on some small organization strategies that I use frequently in my own home. My friends and family are always dropping in and commenting on how everything has its place in our home and how organized the place always looks even when I consider it messy. So let me share a few tips with you that I’ve preached to them…

Drawers are not for junk! Keep them tidy and always have a system. Go through them frequently and discard anything that is useless or broken. Place baskets or dividers in the drawers so that you can find that 1 AAA battery you put aside a year ago when your remote is dying and you’re in the middle of the new Game of Thrones episode. Drawers and cupboards are like the brain…if you can consciously keep the spaces no one sees organized, then you’ll be more relaxed and stress-free.

Baskets are your best friend. I discovered the magically realm of baskets after I bought my first house in Ottawa and had numerous students rotating in and out every year to pay the bills. Throw those guys everywhere and anywhere. Got an exposed shelf in the kitchen where the cereal and paper towel both end up residing? Throw them in a basket! Have a bunch of DVDs on the shelf collecting dust? Organize them into baskets (fun tip! Organize them by genre). 20 remotes on the end table? Put them in a shallow basket so they never get lost again! Not only do baskets eliminate the appearance of messiness by collecting a bunch of separate objects into one clean space, but there are so many options and styles to choose from that you can never really go wrong!

Dressers aren’t just for clothes. I have a dresser by my front door. The top drawer is used for sun lotion, bug spray, spare Kleenex boxes for the truck and dog treats. The next 2 drawers are full of shoes that we don’t use every day. The great thing is, you probably have a few old dressers sitting in storage or in your garage that aren’t being used! Hide shoes, winter gear and scarves easily, or use dressers when you simply need more storage space around the house.

Big plastic containers are the best. I have them everywhere. And when Christmas is over or it’s getting a little too chilly for my summer clothes, I place everything into containers and organize them in the garage. There is never really a good reason to have your holiday decorations out in June, is there? Best part is, you can pick up the really big ones for about $10 at Walmart or Canadian Tire.

Cupboards exist to put things back in when you are done using them. Some people honestly forget this! Keeping your cupboards organized can be a task but at the very least, put everything back behind closed doors. And if you’re running out of room in there, it is probably because your cupboards are full of useless items you could donate or discard. Clean them out once a year and make room for your new plates and kitchen gadgets.

Also, on a side note – not all appliances need to be out on the counter. If you only use the toaster or coffee maker once a week, hide them in the cupboard to keep your counters looking clean!

Finally, don’t let piles happen. You know what I’m talking about… you’ve got a foot high pile of opened mail sitting on your coffee table – some of which is just junk mail and old newspapers. If you’re always busy like me, throw your mail piles in ONE basket during the week and go through them on the weekend (not 6 different baskets or piles around the house). It will only take you 2 minutes! I keep file folders where I organize my bank letters or bill receipts that come by mail. At the end of the week, I make sure to put everything in its place and burn the junk.

Hope I’ve given you some good insight on how to keep your house a little tidier! Be sure to check in post-baby whereby I’m sure I’ll have some enlightening tips on how to organize toys (because I will find a way).

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