The Essential Guide to Home Organization

Download this free printable home organization guide and learn how to organize any area of your home one step at a time without getting overwhelmed through the process.

Pick a random day and time and ask me: What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? And my answer will be: ‘Organizing my house.’ 

You see, I have my father’s patience. I can spend hours -and by hours, I mean days- trying to figure out the best possible way to do something and make it work for me and everyone around me. So, it is no surprise that I decided to write a blog about home organization.

But, organizing your home can be overwhelming, especially if – like me – you like saving objects and mementos that remind you of good times. Things like concert tickets, kid’s artwork, birthday cards, and even the wine bottle’s cork from a special occasion. Yes, I have saved the corks from both our engagement dinner and our wedding champagne bottles!

A Home Organization Printable to Help You Sort Things Out

After wracking my brain thinking about how to start organizing my entire home effectively without being overwhelmed and frustrated halfway through the process, I realized that stripping a room or a closet without a plan would be another total failure.

That is when I decided to put things on paper first. With printable in hand, I can note and decide where and how to store things without making a bigger mess. This free printable home organization guide is the first of many other printables I will design so you can put together a printable home management binder.

home management binder

How to Organize Your Home Using Our Printable

Here are the steps you should take and what you will need to write down using the printable guide before tackling home organization.

1. Identify Categories

First, visit every room in your home and visually scan each storage unit, such as closets, cabinets, dressers, bookcases, etc. You do not need to physically move any object. The goal of this printable guide is to help you organize your home on paper first.

how to organize home

After visually scanning each room, write a quick list of the items you have seen. You do not have to be super specific mentioning each and every item. The idea of this exercise is to come up with a list of categories.

Below is a list of categories I suggest. Use it as a guide but feel free to add or remove categories to your own list.

  • Clothing and shoes: daily use, seasonal, special occasions, costumes.
  • Linens: sheets, bedding, pillows, towels, beach towels, etc.
  • Toiletries: shower and bath essentials, toilet paper, wipes, hairdryer, flat iron, and mani-pedi items.
  • Toys: big and small, power wheels, etc.
  • Entertainment: Music CDs, DVDs, Blue Ray Discs, video games.
  • Books: novels, reference books, kids.
  • Home Decor: evergreen knick-knacks, candles, silk flowers, vases, picture frames, seasonal items, etc.
  • Memorabilia: photo albums, scrapbooks, school projects, collectibles.
  • Mail: daily mail, magazines, bills, letters, cards, etc.
  • Home office: bills, school records, medical records, etc.
  • School: backpacks, folders, books, lunchboxes.
  • Sports: soccer gear, swimming gear, etc.
  • Laundry: ironing board, iron, detergents, dryer sheets.
  • Utilities: paper towels, light bulbs, bags, vacuums, brooms, mop, buckets, etc.
  • Gardening: seeds, tools, flower food packets, gloves, planters, etc.

2. List Your Rooms and Their Storage Systems

Sometimes, when we are organizing our home, we forget about the storage systems we have. It is only when we start looking for ways to organize our objects that we notice what we have. Suddenly, we realize that we have storage space but it is either underused or packed with things we don’t need.

One of the biggest mistakes we make when organizing our homes is giving our storage systems the wrong. This means storing things in the wrong place. This is why it is essential to identify all the existing storage systems in each room. This will help you decide which is their ideal use.

As an example, I tend to think that my son’s bedroom is small with little storage. But after a quick visual scan, I realized that:

  1. The closet was stuffed with bins with train tracks, while his toy box had too many stuffed animals that he did not play with. So, I donated the stuffed animals and transferred the train tracks to the toy box.
  2. The closet rod had very few clothes hanging, while the dresser drawers were bursting at the seams. I was still folding his size five tees, thinking they would fit as well as his baby onesies once did. I was not using the space properly.

Our personal objects and lives, in general, are in constant change. Therefore, every so often, we must re-evaluate and rearrange to accommodate our current needs.

3. Make a Wishlist

After sorting your items into categories and identifying the existing storage systems in each room, make a wish list. Perhaps you find out that there is a category that you can’t organize in any of the existing storage units in your home.

Purchasing or finding a new storage system does not mean you are filling your home with clutter again. If you have the space for it and use it effectively, you can buy that bookcase or shelf to maximize your home organization plans.

A cluttered home can result from neglecting to sort, categorize, and utilize items. The furnishings and storage systems, such as bookcases and cupboards, are the tools that help you categorize and organize items to make them easily accessible. When things are organized and categorized, they become easier to locate and utilize.

I have on my wishlist a bookcase for my bedroom, where I could store all my books in plain sight. Right now (December 2014) my book collection is taking up space on a shelf in my closet where I don’t sit down to read. Books do not belong in a closet.

4. Decide What to Keep in The Room

The foundation of an organized home lies in one word: decluttering. With this home organization guide, one of the most important things you are going to write down is a list of the items and objects you want to keep in the room.

Look around and decide which items should stay in the room you are organizing and which items should go.

5. Decide What to Relocate

We often do not think it through when we organize our home. We basically try to accommodate things wherever there is room in the house. This is a big home organization mistake that we all make.

It is easy to stuff things on a closet shelf or behind cabinet doors. But, when we organize things around the house, it is vital to think about two key variables: purpose and accessibility.

So, next time you are organizing any room in your home, stop for a minute and think if certain items belong or do not belong in that room. Relocate them if possible.

6. Decide What to Sell or Donate

Lastly, after deciding what to keep and what to relocate, you can decide what you can sell or donate.

Notice that I didn’t mention what to toss. When you are sorting and organizing your home this way, you should identify ‘trash’ right away. There’s no need to write it down or set it aside. If you identify old, broken, or unuseful things while scanning your rooms, toss them out.

Download your Free Printable Home Organization Guide

how to organize home

Organizing your entire home this way is like pretending to be moving into a new home. Decide where to place your belongings that have been previously sorted and stored in storage boxes, except for the fact that you don’t need to pack. That’s a bonus!

Consider this printable organization guide as your roadmap to an organized and neat home. I felt at ease when I created this printable, knowing that half of my work was already complete because I had a plan in place, thanks to this guide.

The guide is free for you to download, and you can print it as many times as you wish, but please abide by my Terms Of Use.

With this blog, I want to document and share home organization tips and DIY projects to help build the ‘home, sweet home’ you dream of. Start with this printable, where you can record all of your home organization ideas.

Here’s to helping you how to organize your home as your gateway to a happy state of mind!

happy organizing, Flavia

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