Searching for inspiration to help you organize your home isn’t difficult nowadays. There is already an abundance of tips, tricks, and strategies from TV shows, magazines, and the internet to motivate you into taking on such a challenging task. The images of tidy closets or a perfectly organized pantry inspire you to rush out and purchase the same baskets and bins, thinking you will get the same pretty and stylish results.
See? That’s where the problem starts. The truth is, not all organizing tips are as helpful as they appear. Some may even cause more work for you in the long run, making it more of a hassle.
Without further ado, here are three popular home organization tactics that should help better arrange your home but could have the opposite effect instead.
1. Decanting everything into a container.
Decanting is a term used to describe the practice of removing foods from their original, disposable packaging and placing them into permanent jars or containers, typically clear to easily identify the contents. And who doesn’t love looking at pantry staples like rice, pasta, cereal, or spices in beautiful containers? It is the ultimate sign of a fully organized pantry.
But, even if this is a storage solution that often does work, it isn’t practical for everyone. Decanting can be exhausting and very time-consuming. It adds difficulty to the already tedious job of putting the groceries away. And if you have an active lifestyle, decanting your everyday pantry items may not be the best use of your time.
The better tip: Be realistic. Remember that there’s no need to add stress to your day because something might look nicer in a different container. If you don’t enjoy the idea of decanting or want to make better use of your time, find some middle ground to keep your pantry looking great without getting yourself overwhelmed.
Just choose the essential items to transfer into large, clear containers, such as rice or pasta, so you can better keep stock of your inventory. Other items, such as snack foods, are better left in their original packaging to be arranged in baskets. Just eliminate their outer box to save more room in your storage.
If you’re a busy home cook who loves your herbs and spices, you might want to only decant the ones that you use often so you can display them on your counter. For others, you can leave them in their original packaging and store them away. Or simply store them in the jars that they come in, instead of transferring them into matching display containers.
2. Color-coding everything.
Color-coded clothing? Gorgeous. Color-blocked books? Vibrant and looks straight out of design magazines.
And yet, even though the color-coding system is popular and visually appealing, it is extremely impractical and high-maintenance. You’ll have to keep up with the color code of your clothes after every laundry. Similarly, it could be a pain to place the books back in order every time you use them, making your shelves less usable.
The better tip: It might be easier to organize your closet by category or group your clothing by season. And unless you’re aiming for a statement bookshelf, you can group the books in your home library by genre or author. Or skip any organizing system and lean more towards other aesthetically pleasing but still functional ways to display your books, such as adding some greenery or using creative bookends.
3. Buying storage organizers without a plan.
We think those storage containers, bins, or boxes are the ultimate solution to controlling and organizing the clutter in our homes. And sometimes, just looking at them is satisfying enough that you’re tempted to buy! However, one of the biggest organizing mistakes you can make is purchasing any of these items without making a plan first. There might be millions of pretty jars or lovely baskets out there, but they won’t make sense if they won’t fit your needs and situation, as well as the storage spaces in your home.
The better tip: Think things through before buying. Make sure you’ve sorted through your items first so you can plan accordingly. It’ll give you a clear idea of what size, shape, and color of item you’re looking for, and if the item fits your needs. You can plan out where everything should live, rather than get overwhelmed with a variety of storage solutions that you’ll have no idea what to put and where to place.
Remember that while many of those organizational solutions look great in photos, they don’t work well in real life. And the best organizing systems are the ones that make sense to you, even if they might not appeal to others, especially since we’re talking about your personal space, which is your home.