Did you know that the average person spends A YEAR of their lives looking for something?? That's CRAZY! Don't let this be you. By giving everything a place and keeping things organized, you can spend that year of your life doing things that actually matter. Today we are tackling how to organize closets and cupboards….where we tend to hide our messes from the outside view!
Where To Begin
First, we will tackle your personal closet. It is the easiest place to make major improvements and will make considerable difference in your daily life. From there, the same principles can be applied to each and every cupboard, drawer, and closet in your home.
How to Organize Closets and Cupboards
Many people organize their closets and cupboards only to see them messy in a short amount of time. This isn't because they are incapable, but just because they don't know how to organize closets and cupboards.
At home with the kids? Instantly access any of these printable activity bundles to keep them learning!
1.) Set up a plan
- -List closets
- -List Cupboards
- -List Drawers
- -List Shelves
The best way to know how to organize closets and cupboards is to first come up with a good plan for where everything should go. Use the EEE purging printable form from our how to declutter your home post, and consider getting the Home Binder. Here you can list out all of your closets and cupboards and what you really need to go inside of them.
2.) pull everything out and sort
- -items to share. There will always be people who have less than you. Your generosity will never make you poor!
- -items to discard
- -items to go elsewhere
- -Items to keep
closets closest to home entries are considered “A” closets. A- closets are things that we get into all of the time, not where we store things. Most people get this wrong. They are for things we use as we come in and out. This is a great spot for vacuums, not musical instruments and sports equiptment.
Specifically by the rear entry, there needs to be a launch shelf and a landing area. A launch shelf is a shelf that is left empty, where you put things that need to go somewhere. Then you will remember to actually take it where it goes. A landing area is a place where things go when you land (ie come home from shopping), since you rarely do something with these things right away.
“A” spaces are for items that we use all the time and should be within arm's reach (in the center of attention). For example, no one needs more than 2 sets of sheets in an “A” space because any others are going to be used far less often. Any extra sheets (if you keep any at all) should go in a “B” or “C” space. For towels, just 1 or 2 per person (it's a good idea to have separate towel designs or colors for each family member for the sake of responsibility. You will always know who's is on the floor).
“B” Spaces are for things that are still used, but less often (bedroom closets, etc.)
“C” Spaces are for things that are used seasonly or every once in awhile. These things will be stored in basements and storage closets.
“D” Spaces are for things that are hardly ever used and will be kept offsite or hard to get to (L shaped cupboards in kitchens)
3.) Make important decisions
Do I need it? With each item, ask “are you a friend or a freeloader?” Is it something you need and regularly use, or is it a freeloader on your space?
How much is Enough? A child who has less is more emotionally healthy than a child who has more. Teach your children that we do not own things, we are just stewards of them, things pass through our lives regularly and go on to bless someone else.
Can I get by without this? Simplification brings magnification of life.
What if I need it again? Most of my clients have a 97% success rate at successfully not needing anything they got rid of. A lot of times if you need it again, it will come back into your life. Do I trust that if I give this away to someone who needs it again, that my needs will be taken care of as well?
4.) Keep enough, give away abundance
Be objective It's hard to figure out how to organize closets and cupboards if your spaces aren't the right size. To fix this, turn shelves into drawers if they are deep or hard to reach. This will help prevent things getting shoved behind other things, or stacking things on top of each other and have them fall all the time. Also, if your cabinets are tall, and you have no option of adjusting the shelves, use stacking shelves to maximize your space and keep things tiday.
Be Ruthless. You really don't need more than 4 pans for your 4 burners. Keep 4 pans in your “A” space and put the rest in a B or C space.
Be Courageous. You need to get rid of HALF of everything. Try on every single one of your clothes. Do you feel beautiful in that item? Did you buy it just because it was cheap? Does it make you feel fat? GET RID OF IT. Many people don't wear 80% of the clothes in their closet.
Don't Look Back. Once you pull it out, don't back out. Get rid of things the day you decide to purge them from you life. Don't let them sit in the garage and tempt you with possible uses.
5.) Store Useful Items
I used to keep cold cereal on top of my fridge, which meant I was the only one that could get my kids cereal. Once I put it in a more reachable place, my kids became more independent.
For short-term storage (less than 24 hrs), every home needs a launching and landing pad. Read more about launching and landing pads here. As a summary,launching pads are for items that need to leave, and landing pads are for things that need a home in your home.
You'd be surprised how many things in your house need Finishing or Sharing. If you still haven't finished that craft project from months ago, SHARE IT WITH SOMEONE ELSE!
You want to fly! Don't be weighed down.
Maintain Cupboards and Closets
- If things start to clutter, just do it again…It's so much easier to fix NOW than later
- Choose a room
- Work Clockwise. Where to start? Stand at the doorway. If you are right handed, work clockwise and work your way around the room. If you are left handed, work counter-clockwise.
- Tackle one shelf. Pull stuff off of one shelf at a time and start sorting (see below)
- Purge, share, store: sort everything into these 3 categories.
Good luck! I hope this helped you in knowing how to organize closets and cupboards in your home!
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YOUR turn! What's your best tip for how to organize closets and cupboards?