Home Organization Checklist

Clutter and visual chaos is distracting. It not only looks bad but can also negatively affect productivity and state of mind – an unorganized home is stressful. Bring order to the chaos with advice from the experts, and you should quickly realize benefits like lower stress and less time spent looking for your stuff.

Click here to print out your checklist!

How to Organize Your Home

1. Gather the Right Tools

Check off these supplies as you find them.

Labels. Use a label machine or simply some tape and a permanent marker.

Bins. From simple plastic tubs to drawer units to repurposed fruit crates, any bins will do. Stackable bins are usually most versatile.

Shelves. Buy them or build them until you have enough to store your bins on! DIY options include stacking crates on their sides, using PVC pipes or building with reclaimed wood.

Two colors of trash bags. Black for trash, white for items to donate.

Laundry baskets / taped-off areas on the floor. Get at least four baskets, or use tape on the floor to make four (or more) separate 3’ x 3’ spaces, so you can organize in categories.

Bucket for cleaning. Explained below.

Cleaning rags/sponges, plus dish soap or white vinegar. Fill your bucket with hot water, and add a few splashes of dish soap or vinegar (or both). You’ll need it soon.

Vertical space tools. Add the below tools to your shopping list, or explore other options.

· Pegboard + pegs. The pegs can hang items or support small shelves.

· Hanging shoe organizers. There are over-the-door and closet-rod varieties, and they’re not just for shoes! Use them for hats, linens and more.

· Hooks. Evaluate what kind you need. Need to hang a bike from the garage ceiling? Or just hang your purses and belts on the closet door?

2. Purge Items You Don't Need

The best way to make organization easy is to have fewer objects to store. Get ready to declutter! Evaluate your belongings one room at a time, and check off these five tasks for every single room:

o Put trash in your black trash bags.

o Put items to be donated in your white trash bags.

o Place your black and white trash bags out of the way, and don’t go digging in them again!

o Fill a laundry basket (or taped-off space) with items you want to keep but organize better.

o Clean any dusty or dirty items you want to keep with your cleaning solution and rag / sponge. They can dry as you complete the next steps.

3. Categorize Your "Keep" Pile

Now logically divide the items you want to keep. Possible categories are sports gear, summer clothes and tools. Here’s how to do it:

o Evaluate your “keep” pile in each room to determine categories.

o Label laundry baskets (or taped-off areas) by category, and begin moving items to those areas until everything has a space. You may find that you need to create an extra category as you go.

o Create subcategories if you have many items in one category. For example, divide sports gear by season, winter clothing by type, or the garage tools by standard and metric sizes (or by purpose). Get a few smaller tubs to divide these objects up, or just place them next to each other.

4. Choose Locations for Your Categories

o Decide where in the house (or garage, or shed, etc.) each category and subcategory pile should be stored. Like items should usually be kept together so they can be found easily.

o Add a location label to each category (and subcategory, if necessary)

5. Prepare Existing Storage Spaces

Your go-to places for storage probably haven’t been loved in a while. Follow these steps next:

o Make sure your existing shelves, bins, closets and other storage spaces are in good repair; fix any damage before you put anything back in the space.

o Fill a bucket with warm water and a few splashes of dish soap or white vinegar. Wipe down all your storage areas, and allow them to dry completely. (Or dry them yourself with a cloth.)

o Plan exactly where each category of items will go in your existing storage spaces. You may pre-label the spaces so you know where to put everything.

o Estimate whether everything will fit. If you have doubts, keep reading to find uncommon storage spaces!

6. Set Up Storage in Uncommon Places

Make more space in your place! Check off whichever of the below areas where you’d like to set up some extra storage and follow the accompanying instructions for your choices.

Behind doors that always stay open

Instructions: Add hooks (or over-the-door storage) behind the door or on the walls behind it. This is also a great spot for a mop, broom or compact vacuum.

Inside of cabinet doors

Instructions: Screw small hooks, cups, platforms or towel hangers inside cabinet doors, making sure the items you store there won’t bump into the objects inside the cupboard.

Undersides of shelves that are spaced far apart

Instructions: For under shelves, consider an under-shelf basket! These hook easily onto the above shelf. You can also hang items below a shelf with hooks.

Sides of cabinets or other solid furniture.

Instructions: Make a storage spot for magazines, books or other flat objects like cutting boards! Install a small screw-in cupboard towel rack, along with a shallow platform below it. Slide your flat items behind the rack to rest on the platform.

Ceiling or high areas of the garage

Instructions: Use special hooks to hang bikes from the ceiling. There are easy hanging solutions for kayaks or paddleboards too. To store other items near the ceiling, install a shelf on the wall studs.

Unfinished attic

Instructions: Add a plywood floor for stacking bins and more. Just be sure the items you store here are safe in a space that isn’t climate-controlled.

Tall closet

Instructions: If space and height allow, install an extra clothing rod. If there’s less space, you may still be able to install a shelf above the existing rod. Is there space near the floor? Use it creatively!

Under the bed

Instructions: Buy bins that slide under a bed, or create your own by adding wheels to short crates or to homemade boxes. These solutions are cheap and useful!

7. Put Your Stuff Away & Finish Up!

Now that you’ve categorized, cleaned and prepared, you’re ready to put everything away! Here are your last steps to check off the list:

o Donate the items in your white trash bags. Options: charity organizations, resale stores, consignment shops, or your friends and family.

o Take out the trash in your black trash bags.

o Bring each categorized pile or basket to its assigned location.

o At each location, put the least-used items away first so they’re at the bottoms of bins, on higher shelves or at the backs of deeper shelves.

o Put the commonly used items away next, within reach and sight.

o Vacuum the areas where you were staging your categories; they’re probably a little dusty! Finish cleanup by putting away any extra laundry baskets or other materials.

o Have a glass of water, and kick up your feet in your organized home!

*Bonus Organization Tips

· Look for furniture that can double as storage space, like an ottoman with a hollow center for blankets, or a coffee table with storage for magazines.

· Cut visual clutter in the kitchen: Keep notes, reminders and to-dos off the fridge by installing a corkboard near the back door.

· Shop at restaurant supply stores for commercial-grade storage bins. Use them in the garage, closets, pantry (for bulk dry ingredients) and more.

· Use steel plumbing pipes to make free-standing or towel-bar-style racks, and put S-hooks on them for hanging tools or other household items.

Keeping an organized home is a great way for the whole family to create good habits. It also helps create a visually appealing home for you and your guests. If you need help building shelves, finishing an attic or creating other storage solutions, Mr. Handyman can help. Our experts have all the tools and expertise to help you organize your home and reduce clutter. Fill out a service request form, or call your local Mr. Handyman.