Do you feel bogged down by the constant visual clutter in your home?
Do you tire of moving piles from one surface to the next?
Do you feel like all the weight and responsibility within your home falls on your shoulders?
If so, I have some good news!
For starters, you’re not alone — so many others can relate.
Also, the answer to some of your clutter woes might be as simple as changing up your current storage solution!
Stop what you’re doing for a moment and walk through your home, paying special attention to the items that constantly sit out day after day…
- the stack of papers on your desk that rarely ever finds the filing cabinet
- the lunch bags/boxes perpetually sitting out on the kitchen counter
- the jewelry cluttering up your dresser
- the bottles of medication on your kitchen or bathroom counter
- the assortment of groceries that never makes it to the pantry area
- the heap of sports gear in your mudroom or laundry room
- the craft supplies that simply rotate between your dining room table and any other flat surface
Have you ever wondered why these same items are ALWAYS sitting out, generating visual clutter, creating cleaning obstacles, and becoming dust catchers?
You might joke and say it’s because you’re “lazy”, or because you have x-number of children, or because this is a busy season of life for you… and while those factors certainly play a part, there might be something else you haven’t considered yet.
The fact that your current storage solutions might not be the best for your current needs.
Maybe you have a space to file paperwork… but it’s in the back corner of your basement storage room and your office is upstairs so you rarely make the trip to file your papers.
Maybe you have a fantastic place to store lunch supplies… but it’s too high for your children to reach, so the lunch supplies sit out unless you put them away.
Maybe you have a large medicine cabinet… but it’s so deep that things always get lost in the back, so it’s easier to just let the bottles sit out.
Maybe you have sports storage set up in the garage… but it’s not convenient as your kids need access to it in the house, so the gear continues to sit in a pile by the back door.
Maybe you have the perfect craft storage space… but it’s super close to your child’s bedroom, and since you craft when they are sleeping, it’s easier to leave everything out on the kitchen table versus risk waking them up when you put your supplies away.
You get the idea… right?
Even if you have a designated “home” for all your things, if that “home” is not easily accessible, practical, or user-friendly, your items most likely won’t ever make it back to their homes.
In my own home, lingering clutter is the very first sign that my current storage solutions aren’t working.
When I notice the same things sitting out day after day, or when I put something away, only to notice it perpetually left out again and again, I know it’s time to reevaluate how and where that item is stored.
How we tweak our storage solutions to meet our needs:
A few years ago, I realized our mudroom wasn’t set up well for small children — at least not if we wanted kids to do anything independently.
I put 4 hooks at a lower level (right above a bench) for their coats. They can climb on the bench to access it if they aren’t tall enough to reach it from the ground.
I also rearranged the closet to hold their hats, gloves, scarves, and sunglasses on the back of the door, in pockets according to their height.
This means the kids can get ready to go outside without my help, and (best of all) they can put all their gear away again when they come back inside without my help!
I didn’t buy anything new, I didn’t overhaul our room, I simply lowered some hooks and rearranged how I stored their gloves, hats, and shoes to make them more easily accessible.
PANTRY + BULK FOOD STORAGE:
I previously stored all our pantry items in the boxes and packaging it came in from the store… however, since I’ve been buying much more bulk foods lately, I can no longer store food in the store packaging as it won’t fit on our pantry shelves.
I was continually running downstairs to bring bulk goods up to the kitchen, but then the items sat on the counter, waiting for me to eventually bring them back down.
Now, I put almost everything in Mason jars I already had in the house. Everything fits perfectly in our pantry cabinets and I only need to refill the containers every month or so.
I also created a “school lunch + snack” station on a lower pantry shelf so the kids can pack their own snacks and get their lunches ready.
In general, our kids are really great about putting their clothing away… they even willingly hang all their shirts.
However, when it came to pants, I was constantly finding pants thrown on the floor of their closet, or shoved somewhere they didn’t belong because the kids didn’t want to fold them nicely.
So we stopped folding pants altogether (I know, it still sort of kills me some days).
The girls now dump their pants in bins inside their closets and the boys each have a drawer to dump their pants in.
I no longer have to “fight” with them to put their pants away, their bedrooms are neater, and they don’t care if their pants have a few wrinkles.
On busy school mornings, it’s rare that bathrooms are just sitting wide open. So it became frustrating when I was trying to do someone’s hair while other children were going to the bathroom.
My solution was to move the hair supplies to our medicine cabinet (which is in the hallway outside our bathroom). Now anyone can do their hair at any time, even if all the bathrooms are in use (we have a mirror in the laundry room and in our bedroom.
One of the benefits of swapping our living room and dining room 3 years ago is that we now have a giant area for crafts!
I quickly realized we would need more craft storage, so I repurposed an old hutch we had in another room as craft storage in our dining room.
Now the kids can work on crafts whenever they feel inspired, AND they can easily put the crafts away when they’re finished!
I realize some of these examples might seem trivial — and that my storage solutions certainly won’t all work for you. But these small tweaks to various spaces in our home have made a huge difference in how neat our home stays (and how much less “nagging” I need to do to keep it neat)!
There is rarely ever just one “right” way to store anything, but I hope my examples above will get you thinking of different storage solutions you could implement in your own home!
How to find the best storage solutions for your needs…
As you go through your home over the next few days and weeks, force yourself to SEE the clutter that’s constantly sitting out. Then make a list of areas that bother you and brainstorm different storage solutions.
Search for similar spaces on Pinterest… but please don’t get too caught up in making your spaces “picture perfect”, and don’t invest in pricey storage containers up front (you’ll thank me later for that tip!)
It might take a few tries to find the storage solution that works best for you, your family, your home, and your current season of life, but once you do, it will be much easier and more intuitive to keep your home neat and organized (with less work on your part)!