Organization is one of those things that when you have it, it’s amazing. But to get it, not so amazing. Adding organization to just one desk or room is time consuming, not to mention your whole house. However, once you start to achieve more and more organization in your house, you will wish you did it sooner, because the payoff is big. Here, I outline an organization inventory process to streamline organizing your house without wasting time and money on inefficient solutions.
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What happens when you have an organized household?
The first thought that comes to mind on organization is that it makes a room or house beautiful. While this is true, I never realized until I transformed my own home how much more you get from adding top notch organization. If you do it correctly, you save an immense amount of time.
Time spent finding where items are because now they all have a home.
Time spent inefficiently traveling in your house because items are now in strategic locations.
Time spent cleaning because there is less clutter and less pick up.
Even after a single day of adding organization to my house, I could start to see the time saved. It might not even be much time, but as you add more organization that time will grow. However, I promise you that even small amounts of time saved will add up and are well worth it. Think of how much time you spend traveling your house, even just traveling your kitchen if the items you need are located everywhere. Or even how much time you spend trying to find a misplaced item or an item that doesn’t have a home.
Once you have gone through this process, you will not only gain time but also reduce your level of stress. Items will be where you expect them to be, and you won’t have to clean as much, which is my favorite benefit!
Here are some specific examples from our household and the time savings from adding organization:
- We added bathroom shelving that has resulted in the counter top staying decluttered. I save 15 minutes each time I clean the bathroom because I now don’t need to first declutter it.
- We added hooks for coats and backpacks, a kid shoe shelf, a basket for mail and keys. We added a place where lunchboxes go right inside the kitchen so now when we come home or leave, it is easy to unload and pack up. I save at least 10 minutes a day here by not having to locate every item.
- We added basket style storage in the playroom because cleaning was easier if every toy didn’t have a specific location. Cleaning the playroom can now be done in 5 minutes instead of 20.
- We added extra shelving in our kitchen cabinets to hold items like pots, pans and lids so it wasn’t a mess and a time-consuming pain to put items away after using. This saves 5 minutes after dinner during clean up.
- We reorganized the kitchen so items were located close to where they were used such as moving the mugs into the cabinet above the coffee maker. Throughout the day, this saves me probably a good 10 minutes.
- We added small cleaning supplies baskets to rooms or bathrooms so it is easier to clean because you don’t have to travel the house to gather/get the supplies. Around 15 minutes or more on days that I am doing most of our cleaning chores, not to mention our house actually gets cleaned.
- We outfitted our closets with built-ins. By utilizing the dead space in a typical closet and outfitting it with more hanging space, shelves and drawers, clothing stays more organized. This keeps the rooms cleaner resulting in less pick-up and saves an immeasurable amount of time.
- We added a basket on top of our laundry machine for dirty clothing on the first floor or dirty towels from the sink. We not only switch out towels more often but also dirty kid clothing can go straight into that basket.
Garage and Basements:
- Think Wire rack shelving, hooks and peg boards for organization and storage.
Your organization solutions must match you!
If you add organization solutions that require a lot of energy, then they aren’t going to help. Let’s take the example from above where we added bathroom shelving to keep the counters clean. If our organization solution was to put these items in the cabinets under the sink every time, we wouldn’t have gained anything because well simply we wouldn’t have done that. It is too much effort. However, these shelves are placed at the perfect height so when I am done with items I use every day, it takes just as much effort to place them on the shelf as it did to place them on the counter. Because of this, I use the shelf, not the counter.
Remember any little change or adjustment goes a long way. The goal here is increased efficiency in how your house operates.
Always start with an organization inventory
The first action item to tackle before adding organization is to do a thorough diagnosis of your house, room by room. It doesn’t matter where you start so just pick a place and go for it. In each room, you want to take some time to determine how organization can be improved. Look for three things in particular:
- Are there any items that don’t have homes?
- Are there any items that need new homes because their home is not efficient?
- Are there any spaces that need an organization solution such as a linen closet, a pot and pan cabinet, or a drawer?
- Do any of the existing organization solutions need to be updated?
- Are cleaning supplies easily within reach? I am not talking about having a vacuum cleaner in every room that has carpet, but instead having the vacuum cleaner located on the floor with carpet or counter cleaner under every bathroom sink.
If you download my free organization printable, I have included an organization inventory worksheet that you can work through in your own home.
Next transfer over your notes to a shopping list
For each need in your organization inventory, you want to make a note on your shopping list. When the solution is obvious and specific, add that item along with the dimension you need. This can be anything from a basket to furniture. If you aren’t sure of the solution, then write what you need such as an organization solution for the train set, but make sure you include notes such as the dimensions and other requirements. You might also need to just invest in buying more items such as having multiple cleaners so you can easily access them.
Utilize this list when you shop for solutions. When you are trying to decide on items for storage solutions you want to not only pick an item that will fit your organizational needs but also your style. The free printable packet that goes along with this post when you subscribe includes a worksheet for this purpose.
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There is always DIY
If you are handy, don’t forget there are so many DIY solutions. You can only find DIY solutions if you know what you are looking for, which now you do after doing an organization inventory. Pinterest is my favorite place to find DIY solutions. Our latest DIY projects have been:
Constructing toddler shelves for our little reader:
Refinishing and staining old furniture:
Building a “zoo” to house all of the stuffed animals in our house:
Remember organization must fit you and your home
There is a lot out there about thousands of ways to organize the same drawer or how to have the perfect command center. However, it won’t add organization or help you if it doesn’t fit you. It could even make the problem worse.
To ensure you are investing your time and money wisely, utilize the free printable to help you do an organization inventory. Use this as your shopping and organizing guide to make your house cleaner and run more effectively.
Want to include your wardrobe and clothing in this organization process? Be sure to read about how to do a wardrobe inventory next.
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Dr. Trina Fitzpatrick is a wife, mom, blogger, and a breastfeeding advocate. She is the co-author of the Week-by-Week Bump Smart Course, the Nesting Planner and the Breastfeeding Handbook. She attributes her success at breastfeeding her own children into toddlerhood with working with lactation consultants in the hospital in the early stages and on a weekly basis afterwards. By writing at MomSmartNotHard, she educates mamas-to-be on all things pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Read more about Trina.