Congratulations! You’ve bought your first home. Now it’s time to get it organized! If you start on the right foot in your new home your day-to-day stress will be lower, you’ll save money and you’ll enjoy the space more. So, where to begin? Here are the top tips for getting organized after buying your first home:
When unpacking, sort similar items together before deciding on a home for them. Too often people pick a home for storing a category before completely unpacking, only to find out the space they chose originally isn’t big enough for how much they have. As a result, similar items land in multiple places throughout the home. Instead, sort everything first to get a birds-eye view of what you have overall, and then pick where each category goes. It will save you time and will also help you purge an excess amount of a category that you have too much of. Let's use kitchen spatulas as an example. Once you see all of your spatulas together, it will be easier to let go of the partially melted one when you see you’ve got three others still in great shape. Sorting first is hard because it does look like it’s getting worse before it gets better but I promise it’s the right way to do it and so worth it. This is especially important if there are two people’s belongings getting merged for the first time. Sort like with like every step of the way. If this feels especially daunting but you know it's important, this is the perfect opportunity to seek help from a professional organizing company.
Unpack every box, yes, every box. I know it may seem daunting but cardboard is not your friend (it gets moldy and musty quickly in basements) so move your belongings out of the moving boxes ASAP. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have organized homes where there are boxes that have never been unpacked after years of living in the home. They will come back to haunt you, so it is best to start out on the right foot and unpack every box. Have a box of keepsakes? Transfer those to a plastic tote with a lid to keep those treasures safe. Did you turn a kitchen drawer upside down and dump the contents into a box? Methodically unpack, sort, and redistribute the items to the correct room. You can do it! Your future self will thank you.
Purge as you unpack. If you didn’t purge before you moved, now is the time to do it in your new home. Even if you came from a smaller apartment, odds are there are items you can purge. Be honest with yourself about what you need, use, and love, and get rid of what you don’t. Look for items that are worn, broken, or don’t fit anymore. Expired food should get tossed, and anything that doesn’t look appetizing should move out. Get rid of cookware you have duplicates of if you’re merging two people’s belongings. You’ll feel lighter and more free after your purge, and what better time to do it than with the clean slate of a new home?
Invest in matching hangers. Remember that closet where you just organized everything by type and color? Now it is time to go the extra mile and get matching hangers.
We often recommend velvet hangers, but any slimline matching hangers will do. Make sure the metal of the hooks match and the color of the hangers match.
It will transform your closet once you take this extra step.
Don’t fill a space just to fill it. This is your first home so you may not fill every cabinet, shelf, or drawer. This is okay! It is organizing gold when you have empty spaces because it allows for room to grow. You’ll get new belongings down the road (housewarming party, holidays, birthdays, and shopping) so leave some space for the items that haven’t come into your home yet. Just because you have space doesn’t mean you have to fill it with something. It’s okay to let an open shelf be an open shelf until its purpose surfaces organically over time.
Keep things tidy in your new home long-term by picking up as you go. For example, when you do your hair in the morning, instead of leaving the hairbrush, curling iron, and hairspray out on the counter, put those things back in their home (once cool to the touch for the curling iron) in drawers and cabinets. You’ll be amazed at how much faster it is to just pick up as you go instead of spending entire days on the weekend trying to backtrack and pick up what you didn’t put away. It takes just a few seconds to put something away the moment you’re done with it. This will also help you find the items faster the next time you or someone else you live with needs them.
Invest in a label maker. They are worth having, especially if you live with another person/other people or have ADD/ADHD. Labels are a map and if everyone is reading the same map they’ll get to the same and correct destination. Pantries, basements, garages, closets, bathrooms, and nurseries are all some of the spaces that we regularly label. We love our Brother P Touch label maker and recommend it all the time. It will make life so much easier!
There you have it, those are the top tips for a first-time homeowner to get organized. If you follow these tips now and for all of your future homes you’ll be thankful, will have lower stress, and will save money. Feeling overwhelmed about where to begin or how to do these tips? We’ve got you! Just give us a call and we’ll help make your first home cozy, organized, and fresh.
Helping feed your urge to purge clutter from your life!
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