Is clutter taking over your home? Domestic CEO has 6 rules of organization that will keep your home clutter-free forever!
Rule #3: Use What You Have First
Once your food is sorted in your pantry, you will always know what you have and be able to use it first before buying new items. This has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars a year. It may not seem like a big change, but I can tell you that anytime I walk into a house to reorganize a pantry and see chaos, I know I am going to throw out several garbage bags of food with long-past expiration dates. If your pantry is organized, you can use the cans and boxes of food that are the oldest first, instead of going to the store and purchasing more because you don’t think you have what you need.
Rule #4: Plan Before You Buy
Once you know what you have, and are committed to using it, you can plan your purchases in a much smarter way. As you probably already know, I’m a big advocate for meal planning. If you plan your meals each week and have an organized pantry, you will know exactly which ingredients you need to purchase for the week. Not only will your pantry stay more neat and orderly, but it’s also likely that you will save at least 20% on your grocery bills (in my experience at least). Not to mention the time savings of not going to the store multiple times per week to stock up on groceries. Check out my episode The Case for Meal Planning for more details on how to institute an efficient plan for your home.
The same thing goes for your clothes. If your closet is organized, you can plan your shopping trips around specific items that you need to update your wardrobe. Yes, you could walk around a mall for a few hours and pick up a bunch of items, but then you’re likely to find that you still don’t have anything to wear when you get dressed the next morning (or that you have many pants but no tops to match them).
Alternatively, I recommend you take a look through your closet to see what staple items will work for the next few months and make a plan to purchase a few items to update your look. You may discover that you have enough pants and skirts to get you through the season, and a few shirts in the newest trendy color or pattern is all it will take to keep you totally in style. This will not only save you money, but frustration of never having anything to wear.
Rule #5: One In, One Out
Have you pinned pictures of neat, organized closets on Pinterest yet? Or perhaps you’ve seen the Domestic CEO Pinterest closets board? Take a close look at your favorite closets and notice what they have in common. It’s likely that they have very few clothes in them. Once you get your closet looking great, the only way it will stay that way is if you don’t add any more hangers or cram clothes into the drawers and shelves. This means that every time you buy something new, something old will need to get removed to avoid overcrowding. While it may not be practical to donate a shirt every time you buy a new one, an easy way to make sure you never overcrowd your closet is to commit to the number of hangers in your closet, and one item per hanger (nothing makes a closet look more cluttered than hanging multiple items on each hanger!). Once those hangers are full, it’s time to go through your closet and remove 5-10 items that you no longer wear. This will open up space for new items as you purchase them throughout the season.
Live by this rule, and you will have a picture perfect closet every day!
Rule #6: If You Don’t Use it, Give it to Someone Who Will
The last rule of an organized home involves letting go of items you aren’t using. If every time you try on a certain dress, you put it back on the hanger because you think it makes your arms look fat, you are going to continue to leave that dress on the hanger. Instead of letting it take up valuable closet space, why not donate it to an organization that provides business clothes to help homeless women interview for jobs? The dress will get much more use by someone who appreciates how it flatters her body.
The same rule applies when it comes to any other room in your house. If you are a couponer and have loads of shampoos and body wash stocked away, they aren’t doing you any good on a shelf. So why not donate them to a domestic violence shelter? The women and children who are fleeing abusive relationships can always use toiletries. Or, if you find yourself with a shelf full of pasta after going gluten-free, donate the boxes to a food bank so someone else can have a meal. In general, if you aren’t using something in your house, it’s just creating clutter, and there’s likely someone in your community who is in need of that exact item.
So there you have it. The 6 rules of organization that I live by. If you commit to following these rules, you too can have the organized, clutter-free home you’ve always dreamed of!
What rules do you follow to keep your home organized? Share your stories on my Facebook wall, or tweet me your experiences @thedomesticceo. Check out some of my favorite organizational solutions on my Pinterest page.
Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home.