14 Things You Wouldn't Think to Organize, but Should
When it comes to household systems, there are obvious places and things that most people organize. Closets, whether they be filled with clothes or cleaning supplies, and kitchen cabinets, with items like plates and glasses, are places that the average homemaker strives to keep organized. But what about everything else? All of the stuff that fills the drawers in your desk or crowds the cramped corners of your hall closet? You should also take the time to organize these things. Maintaining an active sense of organization in every aspect of your home, be it a common area that guests enjoy or a private sanctum that only your eyes see, is crucial to a happy home. Here are 14 things that you wouldn’t think to organize, but should.
If you’ve got a large collection of spirits in your liquor cabinet, sort them by type and make an inventory of everything you have. Put all the gin together, all the bitters together, all the liqueurs together, and so on. Make a note of all the spirits you have. The next time you want to make a specific cocktail, consult your list and you’ll quickly know whether or not you have to stop at BevMo for another type of alcohol.
Or any book collection you may have. While it’s certainly pretty to see a large quantity of books arranged on a shelf in a color-coordinated pattern, I prefer to organize books, especially my large collection of cookbooks, by type. Dessert cookbooks on one shelf, entertaining cookbooks on another, celebrity chefs on another, etc.
I’m a huge fan of cultivating creativity, and if you’ve recently taken up painting, card-making, or knitting, congrats! Just be sure that you keep your crafty supplies in check. Pick up different-sized bins from The Container Store and label them. Sort ink pads from brushes, keep cardstock arranged by size, and make everything as easily accessible as possible.
The undies that you wear to bed are probably different from the ones you wear underneath a little black dress on date night, so separate them into neatly folded piles. Organize by type, color, fabric, and use.
The last thing you want to do when you’re sick is sort through a bunch of old medicine. Every couple of months, go through your medicine cabinet and throw out old prescriptions. Check the expiration date on over-the-counter drugs like NyQuil and disregard any that have expired. Arrange the boxes by drowsy and non-drowsy, and make sure the proper labels are clearly visible.
If you travel frequently, you should keep the necessary toiletries organized and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Have a small bag packed with shampoo, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and hair bands.
When I finally arranged my spice rack in alphabetical order, my life changed. I also couldn’t help but wonder why I had not done it years ago. Install a few hanging racks and place all the spices, labels visible, in the rack in order from allspice to thyme.
If you have a wine cellar, it’s a good idea to keep it organized and inventoried. Place wines meant for aging toward the back, and move wines meant to be sipped soon at the front. Organize by color, location, and varietal.
Sort makeup into container types. Put items that come in long skinny tubes, like mascara and concealer, into a collins glass. Place brushes in another glass. Keep shadows in a makeup pouch, and organize lipstick and lip gloss into color groupings and whether they are for day or night.
Hostesses should always launder linens after a big party, fold nicely, and arrange in a closet or storage bin in an organized manner. Keep napkin sets together, stack tablecloths, and fill a drawer or basket with glass votives. When it comes time to host a party, pull out the bins and baskets and use your supplies to set the scene.
If you have space, set out three laundry bins: one for darks, another for whites, and another for colors. Also find a place to put fine washables and clothes to bring to the dry cleaner. Keep everything separated and organized into each respective pile, and you’ll be able to do laundry more quickly and efficiently.
I’m not talking about handbags: I’m talking about reusable totes, plastic, and paper garbage bags. Designate a drawer for trash bags and keep a few reusable totes in your trunk for when you go grocery shopping. Since these can accumulate rapidly, purge the bag bin often.
Organize wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows by placing each in different-sized plastic containers. Be sure to look for a container that is specifically for wrapping paper; the average container might not be able to hold the long roll. Put a pair of scissors and tape in each bin, along with a Sharpie and gift tags, and you’ll always be ready to quickly wrap a gift.
If you collect anything, be it matchboxes, colored glass containers, or jewelry, keep your collection organized. Every so often, look through the items, and if you’re not really in love with any of them anymore, get rid of them.