With the many things that keep us occupied, keeping our homes clean and presentable is often the last thing on our minds. But, if you don't make an effort to sort out your stuff, things could eventually pile up into a mess that's both distracting and a nuisance to live with. To keep your space organized (and save your sanity), check out these very clever ways to tame the chaos in different areas of your home.
"Set it up in terms of your routine," suggests Georgene Lockwood, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Life. "If you always make coffee, have a java station with your coffeemaker and the accoutrements—like sugar and beans—handy."
- Invest in a solid, all-purpose pot so you can ditch all the other flimsy ones. A deep, non-stick wok with a lid lets you do stir fry, adobo, and soup.
- Attach mini plastic hooks to the wall. Buy ones with adhesive on the back and hang damp dish towels from there.
The Living Room
To prevent mess from overtaking your common area, keep a cool bin by the door to hold incoming things like mail, suggests Lee Silber, author of Organizing From the Right Side of the Brain. Then you won't have to search for the stuff when you need it.
- A smart idea: furniture with built-in storage space. Consider something like an ottoman that has a compartment or a coffee table with a drawer. They'll give you an option to hide what you don't use every day.
- To stop your remote from disappearing, check this out. Stick a Velcro patch to the back of the clicker, and then put another on the side of the TV. When you're done, just attach the remote to the TV.
"The place where you sleep should be the least chaotic," says Lanna Nakone, author of Organizing for Your Brain Type. So prevent your nightstand from becoming a dumping ground.
- Corral bedside clutter by putting items in a basket or bowl. Your things will be close, but your nightstand won't look messy.
- Bed raisers instantly expand your storage space. Store stuff—like boxes of old letters—under the mattress.
Keep your dresser drawers in tip-top shape with this nifty move: Instead of folding your T-shirts, tank tops, and underwear, roll them so you can place them vertically (not horizontally) in your drawer. "Rather than sifting through a pile of folded clothes, you'll be able to see everything easily when you need it," says Nakone.
- Hang clothes according to type—put all of your skirts in one section, all of your shirts in another—and use a different color hanger for each group. "It'll help you find particular pieces more quickly," says Nakone.
- Organize shoes (or that tangled mess of bags) by putting them in clear plastic tubs. They can be stacked on top of one another so you can store more while taking up less floor space. Avoid digging around for that pair of black pumps by grouping together shoes that you wear the most.