Did you know you can get creative with your organizing?
It’s true so why not combine your creativity with organizational methods? Organizing can actually be an outlet that way.
Creative organizing can also motivate you if you’re just stuck in the doldrums and don’t want to organize, aren’t sure how, or think you need some special formula.
How Do I organize if I’m Not Naturally Creative?
If you are not naturally creative then don’t worry, here are some tips on creative organizing.
1 . Decorate
Is your living space full of little things that don’t seem to have a place? Maybe you’ve thought about putting them in some kind of container, but nothing looks good with your decor.
Here’s an idea: make decorative boxes. You can use ordinary shoe boxes, wooden boxes, plastic bins – whatever you have on hand. Then decorate them to match your room. Here are some ideas:
- Cover boxes with material, such as might be left over from upholstering your couch or chairs, or an old article of clothing. You can use fabric you find on sale, too.
- Glue mirrors, buttons, or beads to the outside of the boxes.
- Paint boxes with primer and then whatever color and design you like – solid, patterns, whatever. Use leftover paint that you used on the walls of the room if you like.
- Decoupage works on wood or cardboard surfaces, and can add a unique look to any container.
- Wallpaper and contact paper make quick and attractive coverings for boxes.
- Dried, pressed leaves and flowers can be glued on with decoupage medium, or just glued onto the box and covered with clear contact paper.
Once you have your boxes decorated, you can put them around the room however you see fit. They can go into corners, onto tables, or into shelves and bookcases. If you like, your decorations can denote what’s in the box – a TV design for remotes, for instance.
2. Creative Containers
Did you ever think outside the box on containers? You can use egg cartons, tackle boxes, and pretty much any segmented box to store whatever you like, from earrings to safety pins to collectible rocks.
You can also make containers with soup cans. Once washed and cleaned of their labels, soup cans may be spray-painted, glued together, used vertically or sideways…you name it.
You could even make a “wall” of cans painted and stacked on their sides to make a circle-intensive storage area for lots of little things. This arrangement could be hung up, too.
3. Fun Games
Get your kids and spouse to help out by making organizing a fun family activity. (Yes, it can be fun!) Make it into a game, or sing songs while you do it, or give everyone a pile of laundry to fold and see who’s finished the fastest.
You can also dole out sit-down chores to family members as they watch TV or during family movie time.
You’re more likely to get and stay organized if your methods fit your personality and your family dynamic. So don’t be afraid to go with your own ideas and creativity!
Getting Organized and Staying That Way
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It can be so discouraging to get your home organized and then watch helplessly as the clutter makes its way back in. How does that happen?
It’s basically a mindset – to get organized is one thing, but to stay that way means you need to approach each day with it in mind. Rather than give up, try working some habits into your family life to make organization stick around.
Here are some tips for getting organized and staying that way.
Grow with Your Family
Organization needs change over time, and it’s good to be adaptable and change methods along the way. One of the ironies of staying organized is that rigid inflexibility tends to make things worse – if not in actual clutter, then in feelings of resentment and being stifled.
So it only makes sense that you will have to “update” your organization from time to time to keep up with growing kids, changing jobs, and various phases. Here are some tips.
- Toy bins will need to make way for space for age-appropriate items, like journals, art supplies, electronics, and other teen interests. You can update the bins or sell the old ones and replace them, but it’s going to require some reorganizing as your kids grow.
- Get rid of the old to make space for the new. Nothing scraps organizational efforts like accumulating stuff on top of stuff. As your kids’ interests change (yours, too), don’t be afraid to get rid of the things you no longer use and create space for the new stuff.
- As your kids grow, the level of organization they are responsible for will increase. Begin to delegate tasks and try to let family members do it their own way. This is part of letting organization grow with your family.
If you are using organizational methods that just aren’t you, or just don’t fit with your family dynamic, then it’s no wonder you can’t keep up with them. You may not be the type to do spreadsheets, for instance, even though your friends rave about how much they helped them. If a dry-erase board or piece of paper and pencil work for you, go with it.
Some people do better with an old-fashioned pocket calendar than fancy software.
The same is true in your home. If you are using the methods others have told you about, they may not work for your family.
Organization should flow naturally from your lifestyle and be at a level you’re comfortable with. It’s okay, for instance, if there are some things you prefer not to have too organized.
The Need for Space
Space needs change within a family. Babies, for instance, take up little space in and of themselves, but their stuff can take over the house!
Teens, for example, may need more personal space but fewer square feet than, say, an active first grader. And even the adults in the house may go through phases where personal space is more of a priority than at other times.
So be ready for these changes and adapt your organizational methods to fit them.
Getting Your Home Organized – Room by Room
One of the best ways to get your home organized is to begin with each room. Use some of these creative organizing tips to help you along the way.
Each room has specific organizational needs. That’s why it helps to break things down. Here are some room-by-room tips to help you get your home organized.
One of the keys to successful bathroom sharing is organizing the space so that everyone’s stuff is protected and itemized. Here are some creative organizing ideas.
For family members sharing a bathroom, assign a clear bin for everyone’s basic toiletries, such as make-up, hair brushes, razors, and hair clips. (Some family members might need two bins.)
These bins can be stored under the sink or stacked neatly on shelves near the vanity. Family member’s names should be on each bin.
In the shower, everyone can have his or her own hanging basket to store special soaps and personal shampoos.
Wash cloths and towels can be color-coordinated per family member, or each family member can have his or her own special hook/rack to hang wash cloths and towels.
Bath toys for the kids can be stored in a plastic bin – just make sure it’s uncovered so the toys can dry. A plastic dish pan works well.
The kitchen can be one of the more daunting of the rooms to organize, but it’s one of the most essential rooms to get organized. It really can save time if your kitchen is laid out in a way that makes sense, and if you know what you have on hand.
If you’re not using an appliance more than once a year, give it away or recycle it. Consider the usefulness of various kitchen appliances before you take up precious space storing them – do you really need a citrus juicer, meat grinder, or iced tea maker?
If you do, by all means keep them (more on organizing appliances in a moment). But if you don’t, get rid of them.
Appliances can be placed in cabinets or on countertops; or you can use racks like the one seen here.
These are basically sections of countertop with sliding/closing doors behind which the appliances sit, hidden, when not in use. It’s a variation on the old television cabinet.
Things you use often like salt and pepper should be nearby and have their own spaces. Few things are more frustrating than trying to cook, wanting to find the salt, and not being able to!
For kids, getting stuff up off the floor can be challenging – especially since you want to make sure small people can reach these items to get them down again.
Over-the-door hangers are great for all kinds of items; they don’t have to be for shoes. Fill them with your child’s favorite small toys.
Stack clear plastic bins on shelves and organize them according to the type of toys in them.
A large, flat, plastic bin can hold all kinds of toys and be slipped under the bed for storage.
Adults’ bedrooms can also benefit from organization. For under-bed storage, use the same method as for your kids; just make sure you don’t have a pile of clutter under there.
Dresser tops can be organized with baskets, trays, and decorative boxes.
Living Room / Family Room
Get DVDs, videos, and books organized in labeled boxes or on shelves (organized by type).
Magazines and catalogs can go into magazine racks; clean these out weekly or monthly so they don’t accumulate. Check with local businesses such as doctor’s offices to see if they are interested in taking your back issues for their waiting rooms.
Creative Family Organizing Tips
One of the hardest parts about getting your family organized is knowing where in the world to start. Often, family members feel like they can’t stop long enough to get organized.
This is where some basic tips can help. Following are some simple, fundamental creative family organizing tips to help you get things in order.
Share the Burden
Often, one family member (usually a parent) feels all the pressure to get things organized, and it just seems like other family members are constantly undermining his or her efforts. To help overcome this, try sharing the burden.
For example, every family member should be responsible for putting away his or her things (coats, jackets, shoes, toys, books, etc.). There are various ways you can get your family motivated to take care of their own stuff.
You might try:
- Give points for tasks completed, and require the kids to have a certain number of points before watching TV, spending time on the computer, etc.
- Hiding items that are left out can really drive home a message about taking responsibility for one’s stuff. Make sure everyone in the family is aware of this consequence if they leave their things out. Then those items can be hidden as you like, and perhaps kids will have to earn back the hidden items.
Try establishing work space for family members’ various activities. It could be as elaborate as a separate room, simply a piece of furniture (such as a table), or a corner of a room.
This helps in several ways:
- All the stuff required for a family member’s activity – books, paper, pencils, craft supplies, sports equipment, etc. – can be sequestered in his or her work space. That prevents said stuff from ending up all over the house.
- Family members tend to feel validated when they have their own space to do what they want or need to do.
- Homework space should be separate from entertainment space to avoid temptations, and to make sure that supplies are handy. The need for a computer in homework space is understandable, but make sure that it’s only used for school purposes (such as research).
Bins and Containers
Finding the right bins and containers for items can really help get things off the floor and onto shelves, into closets, and just up off the floor. You may find that you can get by with a few clear bins in each work space, or a set of inexpensive plastic shelves.
You may prefer a large dresser or filing cabinet for the whole family, with each person having his or her drawer. Whatever you choose, make sure the containers can be closed and stacked, and that you can see what’s in them (and/or label them).
At the Front Door
It seems like the front door area is a catch-all for shoes, coats, jackets, books, and anything else family members happen to be carrying when they walk in the door.
Try having a basket or box for each person on shelves by the door; mail, school papers, and other items can go in each individual’s basket/box.
Every week, the baskets and boxes will need to be sorted through and cleaned out, but done regularly, it should not be too hard.
Conclusion to Creative Organizing
Creative organizing can be done by anyone who wants to actually get creative. You don’t have to be a natural born creative person to organize is such a way. By following some of the simple tips in this post you organize your home in a creative way like never before.
Other Organizing Posts You May Enjoy:
- Benefits of Organizing Your Home
- Organize with these Simple Hacks
- Family Organization Tips for Busy Families