These five organizing tips will leave any home feeling more peaceful, intentional and comfortable.
1. Separate Your Space into Zones
You know the old phrase, “A place for everything, and everything in its place?”
This approach is a great way to keep any household organized or to help you start your home on the organization path. Take the saying a step further by assigning zones for your daily functions and keeping everything in its zone. Start by considering your family’s habits. Do you often find keys hidden underneath a pile of papers and mail on the kitchen counter? Designate a zone for each of these things.
Here are some sample zones to get you started:
Headed-out-the-door zone. Set up a mail station, with clearly labeled spots for incoming and outgoing mail, as well as bills.
Schoolwork zone. This zone is perfect for families with children. Maybe your schoolwork zone is where your kids do their homework, and where they leave forms for you to sign and return.
Pet zone. Keep your pup’s food container, grooming supplies, and toys in one convenient area. A pet zone makes it easy to scan and see if you need to stock up on cat treats, and it saves you from wandering the house to find the leash.
Use zones to distinguish between open areas in your home. Contrasting paint colors are a subtle way to partition space, or you can divvy up the room with stand-alone types of furniture like an oversized sofa or shelf.
With these new “zoning laws,” areas in your home will quickly come together to create a sense of neat, efficient comfort.
2. Give Your Bathroom the Spa Treatment
Spas largely owe their tranquil feel to the sheer absence of clutter. The best spas keep their inventory tucked away to create a sense of calm.
- Replicate this handy trick in your bathroom.
- Keep towels rolled up in wicker or wooden baskets. In addition to being convenient storage spaces, a basket’s natural elements provide soothing texture and contrast.
- Clear your bathroom counter of clutter. Make use of your medicine cabinet, install a pull-out shelf under the sink, prop a floating shelf — whatever it takes. Get rid of your counter’s eyesores and leave room for comforting embellishments.
Choose spa-like touches like:
- Fresh flowers
- Your favorite candles
- Vanity trays for holding lotions, colognes, or perfumes.
3. Give Your Living Room New Life
Living rooms should be communal spaces for the whole family to gather. But all that gathering can quickly translate into several piles of personal items.
Maybe we doze off while reading, leaving a book on the couch by accident. Or we develop the habit of tossing a sweater on the reading chair every time we enter the home. And what about that pile of blankets that keeps growing, threatening to tumble every time you reach for a pillow?
Here’s one simple trick to keep that warm, familial vibe of the living room intact, while making it even more comfortable: incorporate storage nooks around the room.
A storage ottoman is the perfect way to keep your favorite pillows and throws close at hand but neatly stowed away. Load the box up with all your family movie night necessities: extra pillows, blankets, and any special remote controls.
They’ll be there when you need them, and out of sight when you don’t.
Another quick solution to the living room clutter is to add risers to the couch. This tweak adds extra space that’s perfect for stashing floor seating to pull out when needed. Just make sure to cover these items to protect them from dirt before sliding them under the couch.
4. To Make Your Space Bigger, Look Up
One of the easiest ways to make your home more comfortable and organized is to simply look up.
Vertical spaces are a notoriously underutilized component of any home space, and a few practical tweaks will elevate a space, both literally and figuratively.
You can implement vertical thinking in almost any space in your home:
Hang tiered baskets in the kitchen to stack fruit, rather than letting apples and bananas pile up on the counter.
Add floating shelves in the bathroom to store necessary appliances like blow dryers and razors. More elbow room in the bathroom is always a good thing.
Prop a ladder in the bedroom to hold any books, clothes, or accessories you want to keep handy. This will keep them from piling up on the bed (and eventually, landing on the floor).
The simple act of putting items higher up allows more breathing room in each area.
As a bonus, this also draws the eye upward, making tiny rooms and nooks appear larger
5. Rearrange furniture strategically
The coziest rooms are ones that allow for effortless conversation. Rather than making one large circle around a single coffee table, use your organization skills to break up your living room layout into smaller areas for quiet conversation and visiting.
Here’s an example: angle your sofa toward the television or fireplace and set up two chairs facing each other over a small end or nesting table. Be sure to adequately plan for spacing, too – allow at least 30 inches between each piece of furniture.
Home is as much a feeling as it is a place – and with these easy organizing tips, your dwelling will bring you a sense of comfort and peace in no time at all.
Phil Karp, 25-year real estate industry veteran, is head of Brokerage Services at Owners.com, where the process of buying and selling your home is made simple.
Phil is based in Atlanta and enjoys offering organization tips to help improve quality of life at home.
In his downtime, Phil chases his passion for auto racing in the Atlanta area with his wife and rescue dog, Dakota.