ORGANIZED HOME, ORGANIZED MIND

The Ultimate Guide To Home Organization: Tips For A Clutter-Free Home


Published on April 30, 2024


Credit: Douglas Sheppard

We all know keeping a house organized takes time, energy, and even money at times. But none of those are enough when you don’t know how to get the organization ball rolling.

Organization, whether it is for a house or personal, can be a powerful tool to gain control over every aspect of your life. But that is not the only benefit of having an organized home, by learning some techniques, you can maximize your spaces and make them functional to your lifestyle.

Read on and see which of these tips you can put into practice today!

1

Declutter regularly

Credit: HiveBoxx

The first step to becoming an organization expert is to declutter. Decluttering means removing everything you don’t need or use , or everything that is broken or is no longer functional to you or your family.

To declutter successfully you have to be honest with yourself about those things you keep out of attachment, for example. Assess your home, and everything you own, and get rid of everything that no longer serves you any purpose to create new free space.

Consider selling or donating the things you don’t use but keep in a good state!

2

Create zones

Credit: Bench Accounting

After assessing your space and removing everything you don’t use or need, start creating zones in your home. This will allow you to allocate specific areas for different activities or moments of your everyday life. For example, if you work from home, consider having a separate working space, and set up a desk with everything you need.

Establishing clear zones will make it easier to keep track of your belongings and create a more functional living space. Not to mention having specific zones for each activity will strengthen your routine and habits.

3

Assign spaces for your belongings

Credit: Jarek Ceborski

After you have created different zones, assign specific homes for each item. For example, you may place a container for the keys by the main door; or a rack for the shoes you use frequently. Having a designated area and a specific home for each of your belongings will help you keep your home organized at all times.

Moreover, you will avoid losing objects and, every time you need something, you will know exactly where to go look for it. The only thing you have to work on after doing this is taking a moment every day to put things back where they belong after you have used them.

4

Invest in storage solutions

Credit: Annie Spratt

Once you have taken the previous steps, you are ready to invest in storage solutions and this will feel like a pivotal step towards organization. Storage solutions will make your house both functional and visually appealing. The right containers and organizers not only help you declutter (because the space is limited), but they will also help you ensure everything has a designated spot and maintain order.

Look for available options within your area, but consider using baskets, bins, plastic containers, or any other storage item that works for you. If you still haven’t got the budget for this, use plastic containers you already have, you can always go back on this step to prioritize aesthetics.

5

Use labels

Credit: Tamara Malaniy

If you choose to use colored containers, labels come in quite handy. Even with clear containers, labels will help you quickly locate items. Moreover, if there are small children in the house, labels can help them find the right container for their stuff easily which will, ultimately, strengthen their own organizational habits and independence.

Labels give uniformity and coherence to a space and you can either make them yourself or use an electronic label maker.

6

Rotate seasonal items

Credit: Myriam Zilles

This is a smart strategy to maintain your space clutter-free and well-organized throughout the year. Seasonal items such as clothes, decorations, sports equipment, and more specific items like suitcases can be kept in special areas like the garage or on the highest shelves of a closet.

As you can imagine, the first step to do this is to assess your belongings and categorize them by season.

As you pack away off-season items, take the opportunity to assess their condition and decide whether anything needs to be repaired or replaced before the next season.

Consider using hard-material containers to keep your belongings well protected and avoid any possible damages unforeseen events may cause.

7

Take advantage of vertical space and dead spaces

Credit: vadim kaipov

When you don’t have much space for furniture or your furniture is full of stuff (if they are, you should go back to the first tip!) vertical and dead spaces are a great solution to maximize space and create alternative areas.

You can install shelves or hanging organizers to keep your belongings off the floor and on common surfaces like the dining table. On a similar note, you can take advantage of areas such as under the bed, and behind the doors to keep appropriate stuff.

This not only creates additional storage space but also adds visual focus points to your home decor.

8

Prioritize accessibility

Credit: Pierre Bamin

When defining specific areas and homes for your belongings prioritize two things: quick location and easy accessibility. Vertical space can only be used so much, that is, there is no point in having a shelf for mugs if you have to get a ladder to reach one every morning for breakfast. The same goes for kids’ wardrobes, they will never be able to hang their own clothes if they can’t reach the hangers or the rail.

Prioritize placing items in the space you most frequently use them and within reach so you don’t have to move things around, hence, creating a mess around one single item. Keep essentials accessible and less frequently objects higher up or in less accessible places.

9

Streamline paperwork

Credit: Anete Lusina

Regardless of how digital our lives can be, a house is always full of important items, especially paperwork. Developing and working on a system for managing it will foster organization in the house, but also your personal life and finances.

Consider investing in a filing cabinet or organizer and set aside a time and day each week to sort out paperwork. Create folders for different types of documents and label them accordingly to make it easier to find what you need when you need it. And never forget the first step, declutter when necessary, and get rid of old bills or documents that are irrelevant to your present life.

10

Work on your organizational habits

Credit: Paico Oficial

Rome wasn’t built in a day, organizational habits weren’t either, so, be patient and find ways to foster your habits. Create routines for tidying up and maintaining organization. For example, divide the chores within the week. That way, you will ensure everything gets done at least once a week. Laundry on Saturdays, bathroom cleaning on Sundays and Thursdays, and so on.

Now, within a day, create small routines that guarantee everything is in its place before you go to sleep. There is nothing like waking up to a clean and organized home every day, this will boost your inspiration and productivity.


HARVEST SOME KNOWLEDGE!

Howdy, Folks! Did You Know These Ten Bountiful Farming Idioms?


Published on April 30, 2024


Credit: Frances Gunn

A quote often attributed to American author Herman Melville says: "They say you can’t make a living on farming, but doing anything else isn’t really living at all." We are pretty certain that anyone who has tasted the joys of farm life will at least partly agree with this mentality. Life in the countryside can surely be hard work, but the feeling of waking up to the first light of dawn shining over golden fields of hay can’t be compared to anything else.

Farms are truly the backbone of many nations, and their influence can even be seen in the way we speak. We have compiled ten of our favorite idioms based on farm life for your enjoyment. So make hay while the sun shines and take a look!

1

Have a cow

Credit: Ryan Song

The year was 1990 and a family of animated yellow characters was taking the world by storm. At the peak of their popularity, The Simpsons were featured in any promotional object you could think of: coffee mugs, frisbees, and, most importantly for this story, t-shirts. Bart Simpson t-shirts were a staple of the early 90s, usually featuring the laidback enfant terrible saying his now iconic phrase: "Don’t have a cow, man!"

Whenever someone says this idiom, it usually means that someone is overreacting and should calm down. While its exact origins are not clear, they can be traced to at least the 1950s.

2

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Credit: Marylou Fortier

If, for whatever reason, someone decides to show their affection by gifting you an equine companion, you’ll be glad to have this idiom to teach you the proper etiquette for receiving such a gift. Don’t worry, no need to thank us.

This idiom means that you shouldn’t show ingratitude or a lack of appreciation after receiving a gift. Curiously, its first usage comes from the writings of St. Jerome, on which a Latin version of this idiom can be found. Apparently, the practice of looking into a horse's mouth was done in order to determine its age.

3

When pigs fly

Credit: Oliver Sharp

While it is fairly common, most people fail to address how heartbreaking this idiom is. After all, how adorable would a little piggy flying around be? But alas, that’s what this idiom mercilessly describes: a complete impossibility.

This idiom can be traced back to at least the 17th century : its first recorded use comes from a 1616 dictionary by lexicographer John Withals. Most famously, English author Lewis Carroll included it in his iconic book Alice in Wonderland .

Credit: Anna Kaminova

4

Talk the hind leg off a donkey

A brief disclaimer: no donkeys were hurt in the making of this article.

Sometimes that chatty coworker who doesn’t seem to be able to stop talking seems like a menace. Well, if we take this idiom at face value, the danger of amputation seems to be a real possibility of being caught in an endless monologue about past holidays.

However, this idiom, which obviously means to talk incessantly, might actually be less violent than what it sounds. Some believe that it comes from Ireland, and that it originates from the fact that donkeys don’t usually sit down on their rear ends. In that sense, the phrase, which is a direct Gaelic translation, would actually mean talking so much that you made an exhausted donkey sit down.

5

A hard row to hoe

Credit: Ray Shrewsberry

We won’t blame you if you, like us, are not particularly proficient in using farm tools. Having said that, you are probably familiar with this idiom, which is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as "a difficult situation to deal with."

Its origins date back to 19th century America, where a big portion of the population was a farmer or worked on farms. Interestingly, folk hero Davy Crockett used this idiom in his Tour to the North and Down East , written in 1835. In it, he states: "I never opposed Andrew Jackson for the sake of popularity. I knew it was a hard row to hoe, but I stood up to the rack."

6

Happy as a pig in the mud

Credit: Crispin Jones

We understand if you aren’t as happy in the mud, but it can’t be denied that pigs seem to love it. The idiom’s meaning is fairly self-explanatory: it simply means to be extremely happy, enjoying a situation that brings joy to your heart.

Other variants for this idiom exist , and some can be traced as far back as the 19th century. According to these other versions, pigs are also happy in clover, puddles, or muck

7

Take the bull by the horns

Credit: Anand Thakur

An idiom that means to face a difficult situation****in a brave manner , to take the bull by the horns certainly sounds like the most dangerous idiom in this list. At the very least, this idiom does give a certain wild and exciting sense to that task you keep pushing back.

The origins of this idiom are certainly debatable. Many believe that it comes from Spanish matadors, although wrestling down a bull by the horns doesn’t seem like a standard matador practice. Most agree that it likely originated in American barnyards, and from a 19th century sport called "bulldogging."

Credit: Timothy Eberly

8

Bet the farm

This idiom brings to mind the image of an Old West poker table, on which a farmer decides to bet his entire farm on that poker of aces that certainly can’t lose. And while that might certainly be the case, the truth is that the origins of this idiom are uncertain.

Some believe that the meaning of this idiom, which is to take a substantial risk, comes from the fact that farm life involves a great deal of risk-taking itself. For farmers, choosing the best time to grow a crop or when to harvest it might mark the difference between profitability and financial ruin.

9

Beef Up

Credit: Daniel Quiceno M

"Beef up" is a pretty common idiom that means to build up or increase something. You might be wondering what, for example, an airport that recently strengthened security has to do with adding cuts of cow’s meat. However, when put into context, this idiom is fairly straightforward.

Apparently, the phrase "beefing up" comes from American college students from the 1940s, who exercised in order to increase their mass. Therefore, to beef up would literally mean adding more muscle (or strength) to something.

10

Bring home the bacon

Credit: Michelle @Shelly Captures It

We’ll end this article with a tasty entry. Bacon is definitively a breakfast staple and, according to this idiom, a synonym for bringing money home. Nowadays, someone who can "bring home the bacon" is someone able to provide for themselves or their family.

Etymologists are not entirely sure about the origins of this phrase, but most agree that it originated in a 1906 telegram sent to boxer Joe Gans by his mother, in which she urged her son to "bring home the bacon" and win a difficult fight. Apparently, sports journalists were fascinated by this idiom and they quickly popularized it throughout their articles.

Looking for an extra scoop of literary fun?

Learn more with our Word of the day

quibble

/ˈkwɪb(ə)l/