For some reason I get to the end of the year and decide to get organized and organize my house before the new year.
I was starting to get antsy looking at my pantry, cabinets, master bathroom vanity and the boys closet. I’m not one to collect and hoard a lot so there aren’t a bunch of unnecessary items there. I just didn’t have any organization, no storage plan, and I knew it could function so much better.
I realized there are certain spaces that scream for organization. I’ve listed my top hacks to try and get this done before the new year. This way you start off 2020 as clean and free as possible. What better way to start a new year?
Just a hint before we get started. Use this time to organize your house with cleaning, organizing and decluttering to get rid of anything that may be expired, old, or unusable. I like to go by the gut check rule. If you pull something out and ask, “when was the last time I used/wore this?” or “I’ve been looking for this”, or “Hmmm, what is this?” – just throw it out or donate it. You won’t miss it. This can be quick and painless so that you’re not spending all day going through unnecessary items.
Let’s organize your house – starting with the pantry
The pantry was what started all of this! I would open the door and all I could see was cereal boxes, pasta boxes, packets of hot chocolate and condiments. There were items I didn’t even know what all I had in there!
The overhaul on the pantry took about two afternoons to complete. As a mom of two I needed this to be a quick project, yet effective to really provide a solution, not just a temporary fix.
For the pantry I made a list of all the categories of food and other items I had by groups. The groups were as follows:
- Baking goods
- Rice and Pasta
- Potatoes and Onions
- Party Supplies
- Glassware and Vases
- Cleaning Supplies
Knowing I had these categories I went shopping. I bought a mixture of baskets from Homegoods and some white plastic containers from the Dollar Tree. Again, this had to be easy to access because I had a short period to complete this project. I wanted to get it done before my maternity leave ended and done during nap times. Seeing the items in person made it easy to determine whether they would fit my style and the size of my space. I don’t like ordering from online for a project like this for these reasons.
Once I had a variety of baskets and containers of different sizes I took all of the food out and separated them as I went. I put all of the baskets on my kitchen island. I then set each food in the correct box or basket as I was going along. This way I didn’t have to organize each item twice. Once I pulled it went either in the correct basket or in the trash if we didn’t need it or it was expired.
When the pantry was all cleaned out I got to work. I cleaned each shelf with soap and water getting all of the old food and crumbs. In some places we had a few spills, so I got those off with a little scrubbing as they were dried up.
Next, I painted the shelves with a coat of fresh white paint. Some of the food containers and supplies had scratched the surface of the shelves. I just painted over them to give it a fresh look.
Once the paint dried I placed shelf liners down. I also got these from the Dollar Tree. Homegoods and Home Depot had some good options for shelf liners, but I knew I just wanted plain white so that I had a clean look.
Lastly, I placed all of the baskets and containers back on the shelves where I thought made the most sense. I put the glassware at the top and out of the way of children. Then I put the snacks toward the bottom and cleaning supplies up and toward the back so they are out of reach.
I’m taking the same approach with the other following spaces that you might want to tackle before the new year arrives:
- Spice Rack
- Craft Area
- Makeup Drawer
- Kids Closet
- Coat Closet
- Junk Drawer
- Family Paperwork
Now, here are my list of hacks to make this easier for you to tackle in as little time as possible.
I love the Container Store to find supplies to organize your house, but my budget does not. You can get the same look with using the clear containers and find amazing baskets at stores like Homegoods, Ross, and the Dollar Store. Don’t just look in the obvious sections though. Check out the kitchen storage and laundry storage options for places like your makeup drawer, spice rack, refrigerator, or pantry.
The most important parts of this process are deciding what sizes of baskets and containers to get. The second is where to place everything once it’s separated. You don’t want to have to move these things around after the fact and re do this over again! Make sure to measure your space so when you are at the store you’ll know if something is a fit or not.
Target has some great shelving units in white and brown. These are adjustable so that you can assemble to match whatever size openings you need. I found some great shelves for my shoes and I used another one for my son’s closet to hold their underwear and socks. These items were taking up too much real estate in the dresser they share.
Family Paperwork Organization
Most everything is digital and electronic these days but there are some documents you really have to keep. I like to use some accordion folders for these and label them with each family member’s name. That way you can grab and go when necessary.
These are just some of my quick hacks to help you organize your house. I’d love to know what you do to organize or what time of year your organize? For me I can’t shake doing all of this in December, but maybe spring cleaning is your thing?