- 1. One room at a time
- 2. Group like-with-like
- 3. Be smart with storage
- 4. Maximize storage with dividers
- 5. Make more space with storage products
- 6. Invest in bespoke
- 7. Keep kitchen countertops clear
- 8. Never stop decluttering your closet
- 9. Be mindful when styling surfaces
- 10. Store food functionally
- 11. Keep toys tucked away
- 12. Keep books on shelves
- 13. Make the most of height
- 14. Use multifunctional furniture
- 14. Avoid having a junk drawer
- 16. Establish an organizing style
Organizing every room can feel like a mountain to climb, but with the right strategy and home organizing ideas from the experts, it quickly becomes achievable. And the results can be truly transformative. Not just for your house but for your lifestyle and your mind, too.
The benefits of a well-organized home are well-documented. Studies have repeatedly revealed that even the lesser-known benefits of organizing your home significantly impact your stress levels. As the experts say, ‘tidy home, tidy mind’. The key is to find an organizational system that works for you.
Whether you’re starting small with cabinets and closets or tackling an entire room, we’ve compiled a list of effective home organizing ideas – with help from the experts – to ensure every space in your home stays organized and beautifully organized.
Home organizing ideas
Whichever part of the home you’re tackling, effective organization inevitably starts with some good decluttering tips. This process can be overwhelming, even emotional at times, but it’s worth it in the long run. The less ‘stuff’ you have, the easier it is to keep on top of it, and you’ll likely appreciate it more, too.
1. Focus on one room at a time
Organizing your entire house can feel daunting, particularly if it’s not something you’ve tackled in a while. Professional organizer Vicky Silverthorn of You Need a Vicky suggests taking your time and approaching it room-by-room to make it feel more manageable:
‘Don’t overwhelm yourself by pulling all the contents out in one go – it’ll take far longer than expected. Start small, focus on one area, work on and complete it, then stop’.
Assess each item carefully and think about when you last used it. Be strict with yourself by setting clear boundaries. When organizing clothes, don’t keep any you haven’t worn in the last year; rid yourself of expired or duplicate bath products, cleaning solutions, and cosmetics when organizing under a bathroom sink, and so on. After all, a cluttered house will make your house look cheap.
Once you’ve determined items you no longer need, remove them and place them into donation, recycle, or rubbish piles. After a good clear-out, you’re best placed to organize your space to its best potential.
Vicky Silverthorn has been a professional organizer for over 10 years, helping people from all walks of life to declutter and organize their homes. As an expert in the industry, she believes that your wellbeing starts at home; if your home is in shape, other elements of your life will follow. Vicky has written Start with your Sock Drawer, an Amazon bestselling book on living a less cluttered life.
2. Group like-with-like
Regardless of what or where you’re organizing, grouping items is an essential step toward implementing an efficient system. 'The benefit of sorting your ‘stuff’ into categories is two-fold. As well as contributing towards a thorough decluttering, it also makes zoning a room that much easier,' explains home organizer Emma George of Declutter with Emma in relation to organizing a bedroom.
‘Designating an area for sleeping, dressing, putting makeup on, and so on gives structure and creates a nice sense of flow to the room; you’ll have a clear idea of what needs to go where. This will help you stay on top of the organization going forward’.
It’s worth noting that when space is limited, so when organizing a small bedroom in this case, these zones will inevitably cross over. To avoid confusion, group like items together into containers or baskets so they can be stored anywhere in the room and then easily moved around as and when you need them.
Emma has always been a very organised person, and loves nothing more than tackling clutter and reorganizing. Her passion stems from knowing how this can have such a positive impact, not only visually, but also within your mind. A tidy space is a tidy mind.
3. Be smart with storage
Prioritizing access to items you use most is rule number one when deciding what goes where. To do this effectively, you’ll need to free up prime storage space. This means that when dealing with smaller spaces, such as organizing a small kitchen, you’ll have to think outside of the box – or the room, in this case.
‘I have a sideboard in the dining room, right next to my small kitchen, where I store my bulky crockpot’, says Alexandra, co-founder and interior designer at Clairrow. ‘I don’t use it every day and relocating it means I free up storage space’.
Similarly, if your cabinets are full, think about alternative solutions; ‘cupboards may be the traditional go-to storage option, but it’s worth bearing in mind that so many items store better in a drawer’, says George Forsyth, director at Drew Forsyth & Co.
Organizing pots and pans is a great example. A wide drawer allows you to store all your everyday cookware in one readily accessible space, which is much easier than rummaging around at the back of a cabinet. If you go down this route, consider installing an internal pan rack to avoid them rattling when you open and close the drawer and line the bottom to prevent scratches.
4. Maximize storage with dividers
Whatever they hold, drawers tend to dissolve into disordered chaos if not kept in check. Dividers will quickly become your best friend, particularly when it comes to organizing kitchen drawers. Save yourself from hassle – and potentially a burnt meal – by separating sections by category: knives, cutlery, peelers, baking equipment, etc.
‘If you have any extra-long items, like a rolling pin, salad servers, or a large wooden spoon, try a diagonal organizer’, advises designer, Alexandra. ‘This configuration provides space for bulkier items, and the small corner cubbies are perfect for tiny or oddly shaped utensils.'
Vertical separators are useful for storing larger items such as chopping boards and baking trays and keeping pan lids in check when organizing deeper drawers. They’re also worth bearing in mind when organizing Tupperware, too.
5. Make more space with storage products
From baskets and bins to risers and carousels, integrating the storage products professional organizers can't live without is a great way of utilizing space to its best potential. ‘It’s a really simple way to make the space look tidier and more structured’, says interior designer Katharine Pooley.
Whether you’re dealing with awkward corner cabinets, organizing deep pantry shelves, or kitting out closets, take measurements before investing. Ideally, you want a snug fit so you’re not left with any dead space.
This catchall drawer attaches to the edge of a kitchen shelf, turning unused space into functional storage.
Two clear slide-out drawers include removable dividers so you can organize contents for quick access.
6. Invest in bespoke
If you really want your home storage to work for you, there is little better than commissioning bespoke joinery.
You could even take it one step further with niche inserts specifically designed to suit your organizational needs, whatever they may be. Fashionistas might opt for built-in cubbies to store handbags and shoes, while for keen cooks, Tom Howley, design director at Tom Howley, recommends a bespoke option for organizing herbs and spices perfectly.
‘Herbs and spices are one of the trickiest items to keep organized in the kitchen. A bespoke drawer inlay allows you to lay jars with their labels easy to read at a glance, so you can clearly see what you have. Not only is this more efficient when cooking but storing them in a cool, dark drawer can extend the life and flavor of your spices.
7. Keep kitchen countertops clear
Keeping surfaces clear of clutter is a prime organizational trick in any room, but it’s particularly relevant when organizing kitchen countertops. As well as looking smarter, it makes for a more functional cook space and an easier clean-down afterward.
While there are several things you can do daily to keep kitchen counters clear, you will be fighting yourself if you don't establish some organizing systems to keep clutter at bay.
Keep appliances to a minimum; just one or two you use daily – stow the rest away. Group smaller, like items together on trays or in containers to keep them as one – tea and coffee-making essentials, cooking oils and seasonings, for example. Limit garish packaging by decanting it into coordinating storage where you can. Make wall space work hard with shelving, hooks, rails, and magnetic strips to hold utensils and knives.
‘To ensure countertops remain neat, tidy and well-organized, we urge our clients to declutter at least once a day,’ says Kate Pawlowski, professional organizer and co-Founder of Done & Done Home.
Kate always loved to organize and perfected her de-cluttering skills on her childhood friends’ bedrooms. Kate’s training in psychology allowed her to understand the deep-seated reasons why people hold on to possessions even when they cause problems.
8. Never stop decluttering your closet
We never stop organizing clothes. From the clothes we buy and need to house to doing laundry and putting it all away, it is a category in constant flux. As such, we should always look to declutter a closet and stay on top of the clothing clutter before it becomes overwhelming.
Rather than cram in everything you own, reserve your closet for items you wear or use regularly. Then, organize clothing by category to make finding the specific piece you need far easier for a more organized morning routine. When your closet is full, organize a dresser to store anything that won't crease easily, and file folding clothes where you can so they’re stacked vertically in drawers rather than in flat piles.
‘Take a close look at your closet and use the features to your advantage; if you have a lot of shelving, look at using boxes for specific clothing or, if the wardrobes are very tall, look at using multiple hanging rods,’ advises interior designer Jenni Greenwood of Greenwood Interior Design.
9. Be mindful when styling surfaces
Styling your surfaces adds a bit of personality to any room, but you should be cautious when piling up the decor to prevent it from looking like unrelated clutter.
One way to get around this is to follow the rules of clustering – the act of carefully curating related pieces of decore, preferably function in that space, to help fill empty space without it just sitting there and collecting dust. In the kitchen, for example, you might cluster some salt and pepper grinders and cookbooks on a tray on the counter. They add something extra to the room while offering practicality, so they don't take up important workspace.
To avoid a cluttered feel, home organizer Emma George also recommends using storage baskets and containers to keep items together on surfaces so they do not spill over and take up all the usable space:
‘Stylish baskets placed on shelves or chests of drawers are handy for keeping your unsightly items close to hand without sacrificing a stylish scheme. If you’re organizing makeup, consider reusing old candle jars or small plant pots to store brushes and keep everyday items neat in a small set of clear drawers to access them easily,' she says.
10. Focus on functionality when organizing food
An orderly kitchen is not much use without an equally well-ordered food storage system. Chilled and dried goods are the obvious place to start, but be sure to include organizing a chest freezer in your to-do list – usually stored elsewhere in the home such as the garage or utility, they easily get forgotten about.
When it comes to food, knowing where everything is – and being able to find it quickly – is the main aim. Storing items by categories (such as meats, veggies, homemade meals, etc) in labeled, transparent containers helps, as does keeping a running inventory. Decanting food also helps keep it fresher for longer.
To further reduce the chances of food waste, professional organizer Brenda Scott of Tidy My Space recommends implementing the ‘FIFO method: ‘Think “first in, first out” – when you purchase an item, it goes to the back of the grouping so the item with the nearest expiration date always remains at the front,’ she says