7 Tips for Where to Start When Organizing Your Home


If you want to get your home organized but aren’t really sure where to start. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

This post will provide 7 actionable tips to get you started on organizing your home today. Plus simplify the process to make it more manageable for you.

1. Start with the most frequently used room

Typically the kitchen is the most used room of the house, so it is most likely to get cluttered and messy.

Clear off countertops right away, as this will give you more space to work with when organizing items in the kitchen.

Find expired products first

Go through the food in your fridge, freezer, and pantry to find any expired food and throw them immediately. Don’t forget the condiments in the fridge doors. Those expire as well!

Next, look through your medication and vitamins to see if any are expired. If so, put them in a bag and set them aside to take back to the pharmacy so they can be disposed of properly.

If you are throwing out any items that you still want, start a list of items that you want to repurchase now, so that you don’t have to try to remember everything later.

Look through your kitchen to see if there is anything that is clearly garbage by doing a quick scan of your cabinets and drawers. Remember your junk drawer as well. That tends to be where random items go.

Close up your garbage bag and take it out of the house before moving to the next step.

Locate items to donate or sell

The next step is finding what you can donate or sell.

Begin going through drawers and cabinets and sort what you use from what’s not used.

For the items that you don’t use, determine if they are still usable. If not, then throw them away. Otherwise, put them in a box to donate or sell.

Once you have gone through your entire kitchen, take the donation boxes to your car so that you will make it a priority to quickly get those items to a donation center.

If you have any expensive items that you want to sell online or at a garage sale, then put those in a place that you won’t forget about them.

organizing kitchen cabinets

How to organize the remaining items

For silverware, the best organizing solution is expandable silverware holders. They come in many sizes and can expand to fully fill in your drawer for the most possible use of your drawer.

Large mixing spoons, tongs, spatula’s, etc., are best separated by drawer dividers. Drawer dividers make it easier for your family to locate and access what they need.

For a junk drawer, you can also get a silverware organizer. These work really well for pens, markers, erasers, elastics, paperclips, post-its, and so on.

You will have to determine what you want to store in your junk drawer and find an organizer that works best for those items. There are also individual desk organizer bins that clip together and you can create a more custom solution for your specific junk drawer.

For your cabinets, all heavy items should be stored in the lower cabinets. These are items such as a bread maker, mixer, crockpot. Anything that would be more challenging to lift over your head.

If you have lower cabinet drawers, this is a great space for plates and bowls. There are dish holders that can go into the drawers to put the dishes into so that they don’t slide around when opening and closing the drawers.

Otherwise, the dishes should go in the upper cabinets, along with drinking glasses and dishes that are used for entertaining.

Store the dishes closest to the dishwasher or sink so that you can easily put dishes away after they have been cleaned.

Baking dishes and spices should go near the oven and microwave since this is where they will be used the most often.

Coffee mugs should be stored close to where the coffee maker is. I also store the coffee and filters in this cabinet.

organizing coffee mugs in the kitchen

Don’t overcrowd the cabinets or it will be too difficult to access all of the items. If the cabinets seem really full, you may need to go through them and see what else can be donated.

In the pantry, store baking supplies and extra food at the top. The most frequently used items and heavier items like canned goods go towards the bottom. Breakable items such as pasta sauce containers in the middle where children can’t get to them.

For the pantry, bins work really well to contain items that are individually packaged. Remove items from the boxes that they came in so that you can fit more into a bin. This also makes the items easier to grab if you want a quick snack.

Food items such as pasta, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, crackers, cereal, etc., these can go into clear plastic containers with a tight seal on the top. I use these food containers that have worked well for me. They now come with chalkboard labels so that you can write what is in the containers.

Clear plastic bins work well in both the pantry and the fridge. Though they are often labeled as fridge organizers. I use these clear bins for yogurt, juice boxes, fruit, and vegetables. It also comes with a container made to hold eggs.

Using glass containers with lids for leftovers allows for easy labeling and stacking in the fridge.

For more detailed information about how to organize your kitchen:

Organizing kitchen cabinets and drawers

Pantry, fridge, and freezer organization

2. Work through all clothes closets

Another area that can make a big impact on your day is your clothes closet. This can also include your children’s closets.

Do the laundry so that you can look through all clothing at one time to see what no longer fits, should be donated, or thrown away.

What clothes do you have that are too big, or what clothes just don’t fit right?

Sort through your closet, getting rid of clothing that doesn’t fit anymore or that you wouldn’t buy again.

Donate what is no longer wearable but still has some good quality left in it.

If you want to sell any clothing, make sure it was a higher price point when you purchased it and that it is still in close to perfect condition.

For the remaining clothes, sort by the type (eg. pants, shirts, dresses) and hang them up in those groups. Hang them with the hanger backwards. Once worn and washed, hang them back up with the hanger the correct way so that you can see what you have actually worn in the last 6 months to a year.

You can also sort by color within the type. This makes it quicker to pick out an outfit.

I have another post that goes into more detail about how to decide what clothes to get rid of, and organizing solutions for your closet here.

For your kid’s closets, go through the same process. However, if you have a child that will grow into some of these clothes, put them in labeled boxes with the size and put them at the top of the child’s closet.

Read more about:

Storing clothes for your next baby

Organizing your child’s bedroom (including their clothing)

organizing small items in bathroom vanity

3. Organize items in the bathroom

If your bathrooms are often a mess and you can’t find anything, you may want to start with the bathrooms instead.

Start by taking everything off of the vanity countertop, throwing away any garbage, and setting everything else aside to be put away.

Then wipe down the countertop so that you have a clear space to work.

Begin by removing everything from your bathroom storage so that you can fully see what you have.

Organize what you use from what’s not used. Throw out the garbage and what can’t be saved or fixed.

If you store any medication in the bathroom, check for any expired medication and put them in a bag to take back to the pharmacy.

Take inventory of what storage containers would work best while trying to find ways to store each item: lotion bottles, hand soap pump dispensers, toothbrush holder, cotton swabs, q-tips container, etc.

Sometimes the containers that items come in don’t fit well in the space. So different containers may be needed to store these items.

This may seem excessive, but it can make organizing items easier, the products will be easier to find, and it will look better. Just make sure to label any bottles that you transferred the product into so that you don’t mix anything up.

Continue to organize by what items are needed close at hand for daily use and creating a solution for similar items to be contained in the same space.

Whether in drawers or in cabinets small bins are great for organizing similar items.

Read more here for tips on bathroom organization.

4. Begin working through other closets

This can include coat closets, linen closets, or that strange little closet at the bottom of your stairs in the basement. Immediately get rid of coats, boots, and shoes that no longer fit.

Linen closets also tend to get cluttered with extra towels, blankets, comforters, and other toiletries that didn’t fit into the bathroom.

Get rid of any garbage, set aside items to donate, and look for any damaged towels or sheets that should either be thrown away or taken to an animal shelter.

If there are any items in these areas that don’t belong there, this is the perfect time to create a space where the items actually get used.

5. Clean up any clutter

Clutter can include toys, shoes, books, dishes. Anything that tends to pile up and doesn’t have a set space to be put away in your home.

Begin by tackling the items on top of furniture, such as books, DVDs, or magazines.

If you have a cluttered living room, start with what is on the floor and what’s in plain sight.

Continue by cleaning where clutter accumulates such as piles of clothes or items that are scattered about the house without anything specific organized system in place for them.

Sort through the bills so that you know what needs to be paid right away or what can be put into an organized space for bills to be paid in the future.

Cleaning up some of the clutter can make your home seem like it has more space to be enjoyed.

Finish off by organizing what needs storage. Where do shoes go? What goes under beds? Where does mail get put away after being sorted through? Put these things into their own designated places so they don’t pile up again later!

donating items no longer used

6. Get rid of anything you don’t need anymore

What should you donate?

Anything that’s no longer needed or wanted. It could be clothes, toys, furniture – anything!

Be cautious of items that have sentimental value before donating them to thrift stores or charities. You don’t want to regret donating that item later.

Most clothing and household goods will be accepted as donations at any time. You can check your local donation centers online to see what they are willing to accept your items or give them a call and ask a real person.

Items such as broken electronics are generally not accepted at donation centers. There are electronic recycling depots for these items where they will properly dispose of the items.

Keep in mind that donation centers are looking for quality items. They don’t have to be in perfect condition but should be in working order and look nice enough that somebody would want to buy the item.

What should you sell?

Generally, large items or items that cost a lot for you to purchase new will make the most sense to try to sell. Either at a garage sale or an online selling platform, such as in Facebook buy/sell groups and more.

Pricing what you sell can be one of the hardest parts of decluttering your items. The prices on items vary by what type they are and what condition they are in as well. Books will probably not fetch much at a garage sale but clothes, dishes, or furniture might go for quite a bit more depending on their quality.

7. Create designated spaces for all items in your home

It is important to create spaces for all items in your home, this will help make the space feel less cluttered and more organized.

For the time being, it doesn’t have to be a complicated system with lots of bins and storage options. Just create sections in your home for similar items and put them away for now. This way you can see what you have and how many bins, or other organizing items you will need to purchase.

If there isn’t an obvious place for things, make new spots in a closet or in your kitchen. This will depend on the type of items you are storing.

A good rule of thumb when organizing any space at home is not to overfill any one area with too many things since this will make everything difficult to find later if needed quickly.

Finally, measure the spaces that you want to store the items to make sure you are getting the right size bins/containers. Amazon and any dollar store are great places to find affordable bins.

Summary

The path to an organized home is one step at a time. You may not be able to get it all done in just one day, but if you dedicate yourself and work through the process methodically, your life will feel less cluttered and more peaceful. 

Remember, the sooner you start getting things in order, the easier it will be later on down the road. Enjoy your organized home!

If you are struggling to get organized on your own, it may be time to hire a professional organizer.

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7 tips for where to start when organizing your home