Happy New Year! (Hey, It's still January for a few more days!)
If one of your goals for 2024 is to get yourself and your home organized, I've got you covered with my top tips, tricks, and products. I have compiled some of my followers' favorite posts from 2023 to give you easy ideas for starting the year off organized! From kitchens to closets to kids' stuff, you'll find tips for lots of spaces in your home.
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Getting organized can be daunting, and the overwhelm is real. Have you seen those viral videos of the woman who took everything out of her closet to edit and organize, only to find herself frustrated and overwhelmed once she's an hour into the process?! It's funny, but it's also real! I guess that's why it's funny- because we can all relate.
So, what's my top tip for getting your closet organized for 2024?
Let's start simply: Hangers.
If you have a ton of different hangers in your closet, the visual clutter starts there. By simply swapping out all of your hangers for matching, you immediately get a visual sense of organization. We love the slimline velvet hangers, wood hangers for jackets and suits, and we have used some very cool solutions like clear acrylic hangers and S hooks for jeans.
Don't have the budget to swap them all out? Just rehang everything in categories on all the same type or color hanger, and hang them together on the rod. For example: tshirts on white, dresses on blue, pants on green, etc. But I'm begging you....if you do anything in 2024, please ditch the dry cleaner hangers! Your local dry cleaner will take them back so you don't have to throw them away.
You can create a boutique vibe in your closet, with a true feeling of calm, if you are thoughtful about what you bring in. You also need to be honest with yourself about only keeping the amount of things in your closet that you have room for. If the closet is stuffed and overflowing it won't feel organized no matter what you do. Edit one category at a time- don't try to do the whole thing all at one! We take it all out when we organize a space, but there are multiple people on my team working fast and hard to get it edited, rehung, folded, and organized within a few hours. And then we whisk away the donations immediately so you don't have to deal with them!
Ready to tackle your closet this year? Start small, block off a few hours to edit a section or category at a time, swap out your hangers for matching, and be thoughtful about what you're holding onto.
How many times have you gone to the store to stock up on groceries for the week, only to come home to find that you bought things you already had? Or looked in the pantry for something and when you finally locate it, it's expired? Or had the kids yell, "there's no good snacks in here!" Getting organized in the kitchen for 2024 is going to save you time and money!
Whether your pantry is walk in or a few cabinets in your kitchen, my top tip for getting organized is ditch the packaging. You don't have to decant everything into clear containers (unless you want to and you know you'll keep up with it!), but taking things like granola bars, pouches, and even cheese sticks in the fridge, goes a long way towards keeping things organized.
Separate your pantry into zones. Main zones for the pantry are snacks, dinner prep, breakfast, baking, and cans. Sort everything you have, throw out old, expired, and things you know your family isn't eating. Grab some bins and contain like with like. If you're into decanting select your favorite canisters and pour in grains, pastas, baking ingredients, and snacks.
Here's the key to keeping things organized in the pantry: labels.
If you know you buy the same things every week make your labels specific: granola bars, rice, chips, Cheerios. If you buy different things or don't want to make it so specific, keep the labels more generic: snacks, grains, dinner, cereal, breakfast. Whatever you decide, just make sure you label the bins! Once you label, the people will know where to find things and where to put things back. And let's face it- it's the people we're really trying to keep organized here! Everyone will be better able to keep up with your new systems in any room if there is some simple containment and labels.
Speaking of the people...it's usually the smallest people in our homes that have the most stuff. Keeping our kids organized is an ongoing process that even the most organized among us feel challenged by. Including myself! As a former teacher and mom of three kids I have developed some strategies over the years to keep kids organized. To really dive into that is it's own blog post in itself, but I'll give you my biggest tip here:
Less is more. I know... You're thinking, what kind of tip is that?! Stay with me. As parents we all want our kids to be happy, and have fun, challenging, exciting toys, games, and opportunities surrounding them. But at what point is it too much? We just came off the holiday season and I spent a lot of December helping families clean out and declutter in preparation for the deluge of toys and things they were about to receive. After the holidays, my inbox is flooded with parents who are frustrated with how much came in, telling me they can't manage the stuff they already have plus the new stuff.
Teaching kids early that a healthy way to manage their things is to only keep what you have room for sets them up for success later in life. We don't all need everything all at once. More isn't always better and doesn't always make us happier. Kids flourish when using their imaginations. Isn't it funny when parents say, "oh we should have just given them the box to play with"? Again, funny because it's true. Kids can play for hours with a cardboard box because they're using their imaginations.
So, all this to say, let's clean out your playroom! One bin at a time. Sort into categories, create containment for things, and label.
Throw out the trash, the broken pieces, the "masterpieces", and the games and toys with missing pieces. Cull the stuffed animal collection down the the special ones and the ones you know they play with. Sentimentality is a tough one here, so try to be very honest with yourself! If you have some things you think your kids will miss, store them in an opaque bin so they can't spot what's missing. If they ask for it, give it back. If not, toss or donate.
When my kids were very little I would raid the playroom and their bedrooms on a weekly basis armed with a black trash bag. I filled that sucker up weekly with trash and donations. That was the only way I could keep a handle on things. Truth be told, I still have a kid who benefits from this weekly clean out! She's old enough now to do it herself and be involved with me in the process of making decisions on what to keep. Over the years I've taught her the value in only keeping what you have room for, showing her that her room feels so much better when it only holds the things she loves and uses. It's an ongoing process- all organizing is, especially with kids!
Ready to get Organized?
If you're looking for organizing help, let us know. If you're already a client of ours and could use a little refresh on any spaces we've worked in, talk to us about our Maintenance Packages.
I'm wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous, and more organized 2024!
Trish Johnson is a professional organizer, wife, and mom of 3 kids. She is a former elementary school teacher who understands the stresses of daily life and truly enjoys helping busy families get set up with effective, organized systems that are functional as well as beautiful. Her company, This Organized Chaos, is located in New Jersey and services the surrounding areas organizing homes and small businesses.