Picture this: Shoes and backpacks lying on the floor; keys, papers and pens scattered over the kitchen counters; electronics on the coffee table; and a purse (or two?) sitting on your comfy reading chair. You get the idea, it’s a hot mess!. All of it is making your home look cluttered.
Before you run and hide, let me tell you that there is an easy fix for that. All you have to do is, go back to basics and apply the most important principle of organization which is defining zones.
Today, I am sharing with you 5 clearly defined zones that help keep our home tidy and the clutter at bay.
1. Create a Mudroom
When you designate a space in your home where you can keep shoes, backpacks, purses, coats, sweatshirts and the like, I can assure you that half of your clutter problem is solved.
If you don’t have a mudroom, you can definitely create one. You don’t need tons of space; as long as you use it wisely. I improvised a mudroom inside of a closet we have under the staircase. It is still a work-in-progress and I will definitely link it once I complete the project.
I placed a 5-hook over the door rack* where I hang my purse and our son’s backpack; a coat hanger on the wall where we hang sweaters and any occasional bag; and an old bookcase where we store our shoes on the bottom shelf.
2. Create a Docking and Charging Station
Nothing makes a countertop look more cluttered than a web of wires and electronics. Today, we have many electronic gadgets that sure make our life easier but if we do not designate a space where to keep them where not in use, they can easily take over our home.
You can transform a kitchen drawer into a charging station, use an actual charging station like this one*, use a mail organizer, or you can even DIY one like fellow blogger Kris at Driven By Decor did which is my personal favorite!
We currently use a simple wood desktop organizer with drawers where we keep iPads, cell phones and loose items (mostly those screws that hubby brings from work) and all the family knows where to find their electronics and where to put them back to charge when not in use.
3. Have a Catchall Basket
Having a catchall basket is a great idea to help you keep your home tidy. You know me, and how much I love my baskets! Place a basket in a strategic area in your home and drop in things that need to be put away at a later time.
Better yet, have a basket or bucket for each family member. I love this arrangement of buckets from Emily at ReMarkable Home, make sure to check them out.
A catchall basket is especially useful when you live in a two story home. Place it at the bottom of the staircase and let the basket catch all those loose items you might find throughout the home that need to go back upstairs. Whenever you are making a trip upstairs, distribute the items to the rooms they belong to. In our home, we love our Kouboo stair basket*.
4. Have an Organized Junk Drawer
The junk drawer is the number one drawer where everyone checks for batteries, sticky notes, a pen or a flashlight. They are definitely a must-have in any household.
My junk drawer was a total disaster, and the day I decided to de-junk it, I turned the most useless drawer in the house in one of my favorites ‘zones’ … ever!. Because it is organized, finally!
As long as you decide on what to keep (and what NOT to keep) in the junk drawer, and define zones for each one of those items, I can guarantee that you will never have to go on what it feels like a scavenger hunt when looking for something inside of it.
At home, we use this expandable drawer organizer* made out of bamboo. I love it! Each compartment helps us define zones and when everything has a place, it is easy to find and easy to put away. Success!
Our junk drawer keeps sticky notes, pencils, pens, markers, crayons, erasers, stamps, flashlights, etc. But, the one important item that it holds is my car and house keys. I have made it a routine (even before we had this super-organized drawer) to place them in their little square compartment every time we come back home. For some, a key holder inside the garage or a small bowl by the front door works well too. For us, this is just perfect.
5. Create a Communication Center
I have left for last the famous family command center. Oh, I love them so much, I have a dedicated Pinterest board only for them!
In a family command center, you can have a bulletin board (magnetic / dry erase, chalkboard or cork board) that can be seen and accessed by all family members. This is the place where a family can communicate by writing messages, posting schedules, important notes that need attention, and the like.
Other helpful items that can be added to a command center are calendars and mail sorters. In some cases, when space permits, a desk and a chair convert the command center in a semi-home office where bills can be paid, letters stamped and computer work can be done. It can definitely double as a charging station too!.
At home we have a cork board, that actually hangs on the front of the mudroom/coat closet door. We display a school calendar, notes of things that need to be addressed (school or home related), the occasional card or thank you note we receive on the mail, and any current paper that our son brings home from school, the type of notes that make you proud! 🙂
Last week I visited The Container Store and I literally had to ‘contain myself’. They have this beautiful Rococo Cork Board* for only $24.99 ! What a steal! If it wasn’t because I already own two (and they’re still in good condition) I would have bought two of these!
And now you know. The secret to keep a home tidy, resides in one simple principle: zone definition. Once you learn to do that, you will keep clutter at bay.
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