In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps of setting goals, decluttering, maximizing space, and maintaining an organized home. We’ll also break down specific tips and tricks for organizing each room of the home and provide before-and-after transformations as inspiration. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the tools and knowledge to create a home that flows and allows you to live a more peaceful and organized life. We’ll also use what we believe is the best home inventory iPhone app to help us declutter our space. So, let’s get started and turn your cluttered and chaotic home into a serene and flowing space.
The FLOW System and Setting Goals
When it comes to home organization, it’s important to start by setting clear and achievable goals. This is where the FLOW system can help you get started by helping you think about how you flow in each of the different areas in your home. So you might be wondering what FLOW actually is. The F stands for Function, the L stands for Location, the O stands for Organization, and the W stands for Workflow. Each space in your home has a Function, Location, need of Organization, and Workflow in mind.
Each location has purpose and function in your home. Think about how you want that location to function for you. A simple example is your TV room. Does the remote have a home – for example a tray – that everyone knows is the location the remote goes back to when they are done using it? The tray can also hold coasters. After a coaster is used, it is clear to the person who used it where it needs to be returned to? This may seem silly, but these little details matter, and help your space look less cluttered and more organized. Every item must have a home.
Different locations (or spaces) will serve different purposes and will need to be flowed differently. Is this location a place where you need to drop things off when you enter, or is it a space where you do an activity, like eating, or sleeping, or watching TV? Thinking of a location’s purpose will determine how you should use it.
How do you want this location to be organized? Is it a location that gets a lot of traffic and a lot of incoming items? Then get a few storage bins to hold those items and make sure each location has the necessary bins or areas to hold the items without feeling cramped or cluttered. Or maybe this location holds a lot of items, but doesn’t see much traffic? In that case, make sure you have all those items in a bin or container to make them easy to find, but also out of the way. Using a home inventory app like Everspruce can help keep items out of the way but easily accessible and findable. Different locations will need different organization strategies.
This is the most critical part of the FLOW system. How do you move through the location? For example, when you walk through your front door, what does the area look like? What kind of space do you have? Think about how you want the location to work for you. Where do you drop off your keys, backpack, coat, and take off your shoes? Do you have a location for your unopened mail and packages? All of these items need a home to ensure your location doesn’t look cluttered. Make sure you have a place to hang your backpack and coat, a tray to place your keys and mail, a shoe rack to put your shoes when you take them off, and maybe a bench to put packages on. All these different items need a home.
Now you know what The FLOW System is, it can give you a roadmap to follow and help keep you motivated throughout the process. Think of FLOW: Function, Location, Organization and Workflow as you start your home organization journey.
Where to Begin?
But where do you begin?
- Decide how your home should feel once it’s organized: First, think about how you want your home to feel once it’s organized. Do you want it to be a relaxing and Zen-like space or a more functional and efficient environment? Having this in mind will help you prioritize the locations you work on and help you with how you want to solve particular problems.
- Decide which location to tackle first: Take a look at the overall state of your home. Are there specific areas that are particularly cluttered or disorganized? Make a list of these areas and prioritize them based on the level of disorganization and how often they are used.
- Create a plan: Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, it’s time to create a plan of action. Break your goals down into smaller, manageable tasks and set a deadline for each one. By setting clear goals and creating a plan of action, you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand, stay motivated and most importantly, achieve a flowing space in your home. Remember to be realistic with your goals and don’t try to accomplish too much at once. The key is to start small and work your way up, with the FLOW system to guide you, you will be successful.
It’s also important to remember that home organization is an ongoing process and it’s essential to have a plan in place to maintain the organization once you’ve achieved it. So set a routine and schedule regular cleaning, decluttering, and organizing sessions.
Decluttering and Purging
When it comes to achieving a flowing space in your home, one of the most important skills to develop is getting great at decluttering and purging. It can be a tough and overwhelming to donate or throw away something you paid good money for or has sentimental value, but trust me, it’s worth it in the end.
- Pick a category or room: You can sort through your belongings room by room, or by tackling one category at a time. For example, you could start with clothes, then move on to books, and so on. The key is to work at a pace that you’re comfortable with.
- Identify whether you want to keep each item: For each item in a room or category, ask yourself questions like “When was the last time I used this?” “Does this item bring me joy?” “Is there something else that serves the same purpose so I no longer need this?” These questions will help you determine which items to keep and which ones to get rid of.
- Donate, sell, recycle, or throw away: Once you’ve identified items that you no longer need or want, decide what to do with it. You can donate, sell or recycle items that are still in good condition, or you can throw away items that are no longer usable. Be sure to recycle or dispose of items properly.
- It’s also important to remember that decluttering and purging is an ongoing process and it’s essential to keep up with it to maintain a FLOWing space in your home. So, set a routine and schedule regular decluttering and purging sessions.
By decluttering and purging, you’ll not only be creating a flowing space in your home but also reducing stress, and promoting a more peaceful environment. Remember to be honest with yourself when sorting through your belongings and don’t be afraid to let go of items that no longer serve a purpose in your life.
Once you’ve decluttered and purged your home, it’s time to focus on maximizing the space you have. This means finding creative ways to make the most of the space you have, and using storage solutions and organization systems to keep your things organized and out of the way.
Here’s some tips to maximize your space:
- Leverage vertical space: One of the best ways to maximize space is by using vertical space. This can be done by installing shelves, hooks, and racks on walls and in closets. This will not only free up floor space but also create an opportunity for more storage.
- Use furniture that serves more than one purpose: Another way to maximize space is by using furniture that serves more than one purpose. For example, an ottoman with hidden storage, a bed with built-in drawers, or a coffee table that can be transformed into a dining table.
- Use clear containers: Another tip for maximizing space is to use clear containers for storing items. This will not only make it easier to see what you have, but it also helps to create a more streamlined look. Leveraging a home inventory app like Everspruce can ensure you will always be able to find your items in bins when you need them.
- Smart storage: Additionally, you can use smart storage solutions such as under-bed storage, hanging shoe organizers, and over-the-door organizers to make the most of the space you have.
Remember that maximizing space is not just about creating more storage, but also about creating a functional and efficient environment. Take a look at the layout of your rooms and see if there are ways to rearrange the furniture to create a more open and flowing space.
By maximizing the space you have, you’ll be able to create a home that is not only visually pleasing but also functional and stress-free. Remember to think creatively and be open to trying new things, you’ll be surprised at how much space you can create with a little effort.
Now that you’ve decluttered, purged and maximized space, it’s time to focus on organizing each room of your home. In this section, we’ll give you specific tips and tricks for organizing different areas of your home and provide before-and-after transformations as inspiration.
- Living Room: First, let’s start with the living room. This is often the space where we entertain guests and relax, so it’s important to make sure that it’s organized and clutter-free. One way to do this is by keeping the furniture to a minimum and creating a focal point, such as a fireplace or a large piece of art. You can also use shelves and bookcases to keep books and other items off the floor.
- Kitchen: The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home and it can be a tricky space to organize. One way to keep it organized is by using clear containers for storing items, such as flour, sugar, and pasta. You can also use a lazy Susan to make it easier to access items in the back of the cabinet. Additionally, you can use a pegboard to hang pots, pans, and utensils.
- Bedrooms: In each bedroom, you can use under-bed storage to keep extra linens and clothes out of the way, and a closet organizer to maximize space. You can also use hangers with clips to keep skirts and pants wrinkle-free.
- Bathrooms: Bathrooms are another area that can be tricky to organize. One way to keep it organized is by using clear containers for storing items such as cotton balls, Q-tips, and makeup. You can also use a shower caddy to keep shampoo, conditioner, and soap off the floor.
By breaking down the organization of each room, you’ll be able to create a home that is not only visually pleasing but also functional and stress-free. And don’t forget to take before-and-after pictures, it’s a great way to see your progress and stay motivated.
Maintaining Your Organized Space
Congratulations, you’ve decluttered, purged, maximized space, and organized each room of your home. But the work doesn’t stop here. Maintaining an organized home takes effort and commitment. Here are some tips on how to keep your home organized for the long-term:
- Set a routine: Schedule regular cleaning, decluttering and organizing sessions. This will help you stay on top of the clutter and prevent it from building up again.
- One in, one out: When you bring new things into your home, make sure to get rid of something else. This will help keep your home from becoming cluttered again.
- Keep it simple: The simpler your home is, the easier it is to maintain. When you’re tempted to buy something new, ask yourself if you really need it.
- Involve the whole family: Involve your family members in the organization process and assign them tasks. This will help them develop good habits and take ownership of their space.
- Be flexible: Your home and your needs will change over time. Be open to making changes and adjusting your organization systems as needed.
- Reward yourself: Recognize your accomplishments and reward yourself for a job well done. It’s a great way to stay motivated and on track.
Remember, maintaining an organized home is an ongoing process and it’s essential to keep up with it to maintain a flowing space. With a little effort and commitment, you’ll be able to create a home that is not only visually pleasing but also functional and stress-free. And most importantly, it will help you to live a more peaceful and organized life.
In conclusion, the FLOW system, consisting of Function, Location, Organization, and Workflow, serves as a foundation for your home organization. It will help you decide how you want your home to feel, give you insight into which locations to tackle first, and help you create a plan of action. We also talked about the importance of decluttering, purging, and maximizing space, as well as emphasizing that home organization is a habit – not a one time event. Remember that a little effort goes a long way, and with a little patience and persistence, you’ll be able to achieve the home of your dreams.