4 ways to organize your home more efficiently

4 ways to organize your home more efficiently

Even though it’s been nearly a decade since my eyesight started to go, I’m still fighting the whole glasses thing. For some things, like reading, I don’t have a choice. However, there are a few things, like housecleaning, in which I’m realizing my imperfect vision is blurring reality.

Wearing my glasses enables me to identify problem areas that I couldn’t see before. Similarly, we might overlook problem areas in our homes because we’re not looking at them through the proper lenses. 

Take a look with me through the following four lenses to see what you may have been missing:

1. Accessibility 

Is the cereal within reach of the kids so they can get their own breakfast when needed? Are you digging through summer clothes to find something to wear in January? Do you have a waffle iron, blender or rice cooker that’s never used because it’s still in the box?

Look at your home through the lens of accessibility and take the steps needed to make things more accessible. 

2. Zoning 

When it’s time to pay a bill, does it require searching four different places for a pen, the bill, a stamp and an envelope? Is it hard to determine if you have what you need for a painting project because your paint supplies are stored at random places throughout the garage? 

The zoning lens helps you see things in groups, keeping like things together so that you can find what you need, when you need it.

3. Releasing 

Is your gift-wrap container full of wrapping you never choose to use when wrapping a gift? Is your closet jammed with three sizes of clothes, some from a decade ago? Are your drawers full of single socks or plastic lids with no containers?

The releasing lens helps you see what is inhibiting your current lifestyle and gives you permission to let go of that which is not enhancing it.

4. Boundaries 

Are there untouched books jammed into and spilling off the bookshelf, and even more stashed in boxes that are keeping the car out of the garage? Are there shoes covering the “walk in” part of your closet making it difficult to reach your clothes?

The boundary lens enables you to control your stuff so it doesn’t control you. Decide how much space you want to assign to certain items and then whittle down and maintain that amount. 

When a frustration occurs in your physical space, check it out through these four lenses. Chances are, a little tweaking in one of these areas will solve the problem. 

About this Angie’s List Expert: Brenda McElroy is a professional organizer and owner of Organized By Choice, which she founded in 2006. Based in Fresno, Calif., she creates peaceful and productive environments for those frustrated with clutter and disorganization. She has been featured in the Fresno Magazine and on KSEE 24's Central Valley Today Show. 

As of January 20, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List


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Cutting through clutter to achieve organizational clarity requires asking some tough questions to identify unnecessary items. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Dan D. of Collierville, Tenn.)

Whether you’re organizing a junk drawer, garage or an office, the first step is to determine the purpose of the space and what your goals and priorities are. Your purpose and priorities become the plumb line for what stays and what goes.

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