Prepare yourselves because I am about to bring you into my newest obsession. The Home Edit team has turned organizing into an art form. I stumbled across their Instagram months ago and I look forward to every new makeover they get their hands on. I think what I love most about their site is their ability to transform chaos into calm in such a beautiful and subtle way.
Inspired was the least of it, and after following their Insta for a few weeks, I was ready to tackle a few trouble spots that have been thorns in my side for YEARS. Here are a few tips that I’ve picked up as I tackled our pantry, laundry room, and garage.
1. Take everything out and put into categories.
This was painful, especially when it came to the pantry and cabinets. Once I had it all in front of me, it became obvious that I needed a “keep,” “toss,” “donate,” and “find-a-new-place-for-this” pile. After the hard part was done, then I really began to enjoy and feel the benefits of decluttering. I felt lighter as I was throwing things away and realized how many things I had forgotten about that I was able to enjoy again. Plus, I’m quite certain I hear the faint sound of angels singing every time I open my pantry door now.
2. Create groups of items and put them in containers, bins, boxes, or baskets.
You’ll quickly realize how many similar items you have and it’s fun to think of ways to contain them. I hit up the Dollar Tree and found some great buckets, clear bins, and baskets that really allowed me to make this a reality on the cheap. Group them in ways that are easy to use. Labels like “Baking” or “Snacks” keep it general and allow you to store similar things easily. It’s okay to have two “Dinner” baskets full of spice packets, tortilla shell boxes, and pasta. It’s not about stuffing a ton of items that you’ll never see again all into one container, but having multiple containers that keep things CONTAINED and visible. I bought 9 buckets from the Dollar Tree because I knew I would have overflow from all the balls the boys have outside.
3. Rearrange until you find a system that works for you.
Having your items in bins or baskets really help with this part. I have rearranged my collections a few times after using them over time. It’s all about creating a system that works for you, so it took me a couple times but my pantry stays organized without me having to try anymore. I even add bins to contain things that I forgot about or am using now. I keep a small stash of Dollar Tree clear bins in my pantry now just in case.
I even got a handle on our dirty clothes by creating a system where the boys put their clothes in a specific bag in our laundry room as they undress for bathtime. My youngest has been doing this on his own since he was 15 months, and it keeps me from having to empty two laundry baskets or take them with me when I wash clothes. Now I unhook the bag and dump it into the washing machine when it gets full. However, folding is a whole different problem I have yet to tackle.
And I finally conquered the never-ending mail drop and losing my keys constantly with the help of cardstock, washi tape, and a cheap key hook — all hidden inside my cabinet. Mamas, organized systems are your BFF and allow you to pick up the entire house in less than 20 minutes.
4. Repurpose things that you already own to help with storage.
Once upon a time, I did a tutorial on turning a diaper box into a basket because I needed more baskets. I’ve also repurposed a diaper box to contain the toys in my car and have a place to keep the trash. Or you can pull unused baskets or boxes from other places in your house. Just walk around your house and you’ll be surprised how many things you have lying around that can help organize and contain some of your items.
The key to organization is getting rid of excess and containing the things you keep in an efficient way. We may not have the budget to spend hundreds at the Container Store, but as moms, we do have lots of diaper boxes and empty Amazon boxes that can do the same job with a little help!
I’ve also spray painted diaper boxes with chalkboard paint and keep my oldest son’s bigger toy sets together. Let’s say it together now: CONTAIN!
5. Have fun with making it pretty!
Last but not least, have some fun with your labels for all your newly organized containers. I wish I had the calligraphic skills like many people do these days, but I settle for chalk, construction paper, washi tape, and clothespins. However, I did just get a white sharpie, so I can now officially channel my inner Home Edit girl.