When you put your home on the market your house is on display for potential buyers. Therefore, it needs to be taken care of properly in order to appeal to buyers. This is a key part of how to sell your house fast! The first step here is to clean your home. If you haven’t done this yet, read our post here on how to clean your home.
You will also need to decluttered and depersonalize your home. Read this post on how to declutter your house. Organizing your home is the next step that will help you keep your home in livable order while your house is on the market. Now, if you think your house is organized just because you’ve cleaned it, we have some bad news for you! Clean and organized are not the same thing!
Having a clean home is not the same as having an organized home.
The good news is, if your home is clean and decluttered it will be easier to organize. If you haven’t cleaned and decluttered your home, organizing will take a bit more work. Either way, we’ll teach you how to organize your house in this post.
The Prep Work
If you stayed true to the first two steps (cleaning and decluttering), you’ve already cleaned out and trashed empty items, expired items, and items you no longer want or use. Items have been donated that were still usable but no longer needed. Out of season items and other items that you want to keep, but are not currently using should have also been packed up.
This means that you are organizing the items you are currently using in your home, which is a vital part of getting your house organized.
If you keep items that you aren’t using, such as out of season clothes and shoes, or kitchenware, then you need to have a home for these items. Part of being organized is keeping what you use daily on hand, not keeping everything on hand.
Instead of going room by room like we have in previous posts on how to clean your home and how to declutter your house, we are going to go through the different ways to organize items since your house should be prepped. If you haven’t done any prepping you may need to go back and read on how to clean and declutter a specific room.
Before we begin, be sure that you figure out what items you want to store away for each area in your home. Figure out the items you want stored in bins, then calculate how many bins you’ll need, then purchase the bins. Don’t just buy bins without a purpose or the bins themselves will become unused clutter!
Entryway (Foyer) Storage
Your entryway, or foyer, is the perfect place to store items you can grab on the go and then a space to place items when you come in. Because of this, it can get a little cluttered and a tad messy. The key to keeping this space neat and tidy is to organize it with a purpose.
You want your foyer to be functional for everyday use, but you also need storage to hide items before a showing.
Whether you have a bench, table, or closet for storage in your entryway, you need to have designated spots for everything. Have an open top box or pull out drawer for shoes. Place keys in a bowl or a small box. Have places to hang jackets or fold them into drawers. Also create a space for umbrellas.
The next area you want to create will be for paper. You can designate a drawer for magazines, but your mail needs to be a little more organized. It’s easy to place mail and then never pick it back up, so be sure you have a separate pile for bills so you can sort through these and toss out junk mail straight away.
Most shelving will be located in the living room, but you can use these tips for bedrooms and home offices too. The only space that you need more specific organization tips for shelving would be the garage.
The shelving in your house is a great way to display items, but don’t go overboard. You never want to pack your shelves full. Just like furniture in a room, items should accentuate the space, but not overtake it.
The key to organized shelving is balanced. You don’t need to put all of your belongings on display.
When using books, make sure that all of the books are facing the same way. Balance the shelving and ensure that the titles are showing. Do not stack more books on top of vertically shelved books. Same goes for DVDs. Decorations can be placed on top of horizontally stacked books, but keep them light. You don’t want this space to be too busy.
Kitchen Cabinets and Drawers
The kitchen can be a hard area to organize for many homeowners. The main cause for this is because homeowners often keep too many items in their kitchen, although many will claim it’s because they don’t have enough space.
So the first thing we’re going to do in the kitchen is another decluttering sweep. Even if you’ve already decluttered the space before, let’s take one more look. Items that you use everyday can stay, this includes dishes, utensils, cups, cookware, and any blenders or coffee makers you use.
Next, make sure you keep one full dish set. If you have any mismatched dishes or glassware, separate these. Figure out what you use on a daily and then weekly basis. These are the items that should be in your kitchen. Everything else needs a second look.
Having a clutter free kitchen doesn’t mean that nothing is on the counters. Keep any items out that you use daily, like a coffee machine or blender.
The first stack of items all need to be organized into your kitchen space. They need to be easily accessible in your drawers and cabinets. In cabinets, place these items as close to the front as you can.
For the other stack, decide what you want to keep in the kitchen and what other items can be placed in another area that is easily accessible. If you’re thinking the garage, this is okay, we will cover organizing the garage at the end of this post.
Kitchen drawers can often be overlooked, but every drawer needs to be functional and have a purpose.
Drawers can be organized with adjustable drawer dividers and liners. Liners help items grip and stay put in the drawer instead of moving around when you open and close them. Another easy thing to add in your drawers is a utensil organizer. Give each space a purpose and put items that are in that category inside.
You can organize kitchen cabinets with Lazy Susans and spice racks to easily find any spices, herbs, teas, or baking ingredients. Lazy Susans help utilize all the space without you having to reach into the back of the cabinets.
There are so many ways to organize your kitchen cabinet and drawers. Do a little research and see what appeals to you, then put your plan into action! Just remember, you can organize all the clutter in your kitchen, but it will just be an organized mess. Keep what you need and store the rest.
If you thought the kitchen was a mess, wait until you get to the pantry! Going back to the introduction of this post, if you haven’t cleaned and decluttered this space, then these will be your first steps.
Remove any expired items or items you no longer need: either trash or donate these items if you can. Now, pick out all of the plastic bags, plastic wrap, tin foil, and zip bags in your panty. Find a home for all of your plastic bags, be sure not to keep too many, and recycle the rest.
Consolidate all plastic ziploc bags and make sure you only have one box for each size, recycle all other boxes. Gather up all tin foil and plastic wrap. Make stacks and keep these items together so you finish off one box before you start another.
Plastic bags and tupperware usually clutter the pantry. Have a place to stow away all plastic bags and make sure you only keep matching tupperware.
Tupperware is another space filler. Make sure you sort through and organize these by size. Toss any old containers and also ones that don’t have matching lids. If you still have too many, donate a set. Only keep what you can use.
You can also use a Lazy Susan in your panty just like you did in your kitchen. Canned goods, spices, baking ingredients, pasta, or anything else can be placed on it! Find some unique ways to organize your space the way you want it.
The back of your pantry door can also be used to store items. Purchase an over the hanger rack and you can store your tin foil, plastic wrap, and even garbage bags here, in addition to those grocery store plastic bags. Utilize your space, but remember: keep only pantry items in your pantry. Less is more here! You want to be able to see everything that you have.
Bathroom Cabinets and Drawers
After you’ve decluttered, you should know what items outside of your towels will be stowed in your bathrooms. Buy bins appropriately to store all of these loose items. Don’t purchase more bins than you need and be sure they are the correct size.
Don’t keep unnecessary items stored in the bathroom. The bathroom cabinets and drawers should only store items for the bathroom.
You can still use liners and drawer adjustable organizers in your bathrooms just like you did in your kitchen. Make sure that you keep only bathroom items in your bathroom storage areas.
Closets need to be cleared out on a regular basis. Since you’ve already decluttered your closets, any donatable items have been donated and any out of season items have been taken out. Now, take a second look. Remove any clothes you can’t fit into, or any that should be tossed.
Keep all of your out of season items in another space or in a flat bin to pull out when the season rolls around. An easy trick to organize closets is to place all the heavy items at the back or on one side. Sort clothes from sleeveless to long sleeve. You can go a step further and also sort them by color. Using the same clothes hangers for all items in each closet also creates an organized feel to the space.
For any loose items, buy tinted bins (not clear) to place items in. Then store the bins on top of the closet rack. You can also purchase over the door hangers to organize your shoes. This way they are up off the floor and easier to reach.
Keep items off the closet floor for a less cluttered look. If needed, place large bins in children’s closets for a quick clean up.
If you already cleaned and decluttered your closets, everything should be off of the floor. When items are on the floor it makes your closets feel smaller and more cluttered. The exception would be if you have small children. Then it would be more effective to buy two or three large bins and place them on the floor of their closet to toss items into. This way the room can be cleaned easily. If you have space, pop the bins on top of the clothes rack like we mentioned before.
Bedroom drawers should be pretty simple. Designate a purpose for each drawer and only fill the drawers with these items. If needed, purchase adjustable drawer dividers for underwear and sock drawers. You can also buy a jewelry organizer to put your jewelry in!
If you haven’t properly cleaned out your garage, see this post on staging it. The garage usually takes the most work, so it may be more useful for you to focus on that space in the specific post.
The most important thing you can do in this space is to only keep items in here that you currently use. Everything else needs to be stored away. Where you may ask? The attic. You can place items that are seasonal or may be used every few months towards the front of the attic so they can be accessed easily.
The attic doesn’t necessarily need organizing, unless you want to label and sort everything you are putting in there during your organizational sweep. When boxes and bins are labeled, it’s a lot easier to find everything whether you’re staying in your home or moving!
The garage is easily a cluttered space. In many homes it may even serve as a storage unit. Prevent this by adding organization and purpose to your garage.
The first thing you want to do is figure out a purpose for your garage. If it’s to home your vehicles, then you need the space. If you want to use your garage for a workshop, laundry area, extra storage for kitchen items, or a gym, then items for these spaces need to be defined.
Some usual organization tips you can use in your garage include adding racks: a vertical bike rack a top of the garage rack to store bins, or horizontal racks to place items. You can also buy cabinets or add built-ins to store items. The one thing you want to stay away from is stacking bins on top of one another up the side of a garage wall. This still makes the space feel cluttered and disorganized.
Well not quite. Your home may be clean, decluttered, and organized now, but you need to keep it this way. Maintain your newly organized house everyday and set a routine every week to make sure you’re keeping your home organized!
The next step is to MAINTAIN your decluttered home.
Go through fridge once a week and the pantry before grocery shopping. Every season, check the clothes you are bringing back into your closets and remove items to keep the balance. Remember why you chose to declutter your home to keep you motivated.
Remember, the best way to keep your home decluttered is to not have a lot of stuff! You can have an organized mess that is still clutter, but decluttering is removing the clutter from your home. You don’t want to have to go through a huge decluttering and organizing spree a few months from now.
The Next Step to Put Your Home on the Market
Now that you’ve cleaned, decluttered/depersonalized, and organized your house, the next step is staging your home! Staging creates the perfect setting in your home that appeals to buyers. We’ve got you covered with a post on this as well. Learn how to stage your home here.
If you’re looking to remodel or renovate your home, read this post on the rooms to remodel before selling your home. Or, if you want a complete list of things to do and how to sell your home, check out this post!