Clean Out & Clean Up: Creative Ideas For Sorting Your Stuff

Whether you’re anticipating visitors by cleaning up your home or resolved to be neater in the new year, getting organized can feel like an overwhelming task. But it doesn’t have to be.

If you have a clear plan and creative solutions, organizing can be downright fun. Here’s how to approach the process for maximum organizing success.

1. Break Down The Job

An entire single room, never mind your whole house, rarely goes from cluttered to clean in a day. Expecting this to happen is a recipe for failure. Instead, make sure you leave yourself enough time to deal with each area.

This may mean focusing on only the bedroom closet rather than your whole bedroom, or even just on your sweaters rather than all the clothes. If you’ve got a day to yourself, you might be able to take on a bigger task, but if all you have is your toddler’s naptime, then you make sure you narrow down the task to something more manageable.

2. Divide And Organize With Tension Rods

Tension rods aren’t just for curtains anymore. With a creative eye, you’ll find there are many other uses for these handy items.

Take out all those spray bottles from under the sink, for example; a tension bar installed down there makes a perfect hanging rack. Just balance the spray nozzles over the rod, which creates more space on the shelf below.

Another great way to use tension rods is to turn them on their side and use them as cabinet dividers. By placing a pair of tension rods side by side, you can slip larger items such as platters and serving trays in between. This creates a neat, divided space where there was only room for a cluttered stack.

3. Hide It In Plain Sight

Getting your home organized doesn’t mean you have to put everything out of sight. There classy and decorative ways to display small possessions.

According to a blog post fromTiny Prints, small stacks of books make a great platform for displayingtrinkets. You can also employ wood or acrylic trays to display writing paper and pens in your home office.

One way to enhance the effect of these displays is to complement them with coordinated planters: a matching wood planter with a low-maintenance succulent, for example, makes a great office detail.

By matching these to your trays, pen cups, or other organizers, you add a little natural flair to the room.

4. UpcycleFor Storage

Old leather suitcases make great tables – just add legs and you’re ready to go. That may sound easier said than done; if you’re not an experienced DIY-er, you can achieve this effect simply by attaching a suitcase rack — the kind you would find in a hotel or guest room.

The other advantage of recycling old suitcases into tables is that they come with automatic storage. Don’t know what to do with all that junk on the table right before company comes over? Just open the suitcase and stick it inside for the moment.

That’s the kind of organization that even the laziest homemaker can get behind.

5. Use Forgotten Spaces

There are probably lots of underutilized spaces in your home that you can use for cleaning up, get to work. Consider the space under your bed: You may have shoved some boxes under there, but imagine what you could do with a full set of drawers.

By installing drawers under the bed, you’ll have a much easier time organizing out-of-season clothing. This is also a smart strategy for other small spaces where dressers might not fit.

Homeowners also frequently overlook the area under stairways. Some people use this space as a small closet, but that’s inefficient. Instead, try installing a series of drawers under the stairs.

This easy-to-use and capacious option is great for homes with small children. You can encourage them to put their things away and you can easily get everything out of sight.

If your stairs are situated in a corner of your home, you might open up the space and turn it into a small office. By installing a desk and some shelves, you create a cozy study nook for your kids or an all-family email and message station … a perfect solution for otherwise wasted space.