Practical Tips on How to Organize Stuff at Home

May 21, 2013

Organizing our home is an enjoyable task for me but having three active boys, including my husband of course, makes it very challenging for me.  
To avoid making the house messier and to save time, here are some things to consider before starting to organize your home.

For a mom like me who has no helper, I make it a point to have my so called "installment" general cleaning and organizing every semestral  and summer vacation as much as possible. These are perfect times for me because hubby's on vacation and he's the one to take care of our two kids while I clean the house. It takes three to seven days before I can finish everything because I have to take care of my family and home-based business too, that's why it's called "installment".

I always put in mind that "If I fail to plan, I plan to fail". I set which rooms to clean chronologically; the readiness of materials to use; where to place everything;  which objects to donate, throw, reuse, etc. Planning makes it easier for me to have a smooth sailing job.

If we don't use something for six months to one year, a toy, clothing, or a book for instance, that means it is meant for donating. I always check for expired food, medicine,  or other things that need to be disposed already. I arrange food items in the pantry or refrigerator based on what is needed to be consumed first to avoid spoilage.

What I usually do is I place three big boxes or crates in front of me during sorting. I do it per type of object. For example, when I sort books, I place in the first box those for keeping, in the second box all for donating, and in the third box the ones for disposal.

I use bread or pastry boxes, plastic containers, glass jars in keeping my stuff aside from plastic bins that I purchased a few years back. For old clothes, bags, and books,  that are still in good condition, we donate them to kids we know who need them. We also make sure to segregate things that need to be disposed, recycled, or reused. We can sell reusable and recyclable ones to junk shops or somebody picks them from us.
Reusing plastic packaging for old crayons
Books and clothes for donation

Let me also share with you how I did my home organizing this month:

Our home has many cabinets but they are not enough for a growing family, so I focused on using different storage options and their proper placement.
  •  I placed toys in small containers and put them in a big bin where my eldest son can easily get and keep them. I made sure that the containers and bin couldn't be easily  opened by my toddler.
  • I put linens, towels, pillow cases in different bins with front opening so that I could easily get the contents when I need them.  
  •  I put medicines, cosmetics, flashcards, electronic materials, paints, and food items in clear containers for easy location. 
  •  I used our extra clear shoe boxes and reused paper boxes of the same kind and size for my crafting materials. I made sure to label the opaque boxes for easy identification.
  •  I placed my big, heavy books, photo albums, papers, samples, files, hand-outs, other documents that are not used everyday in big clear bins. I concealed them with custom-made sofa cover and used them as bench or small bed where my baby sleeps while I'm working.
  •  As substitute for big clear bins, I used my wrapped (covered with gift wrapper of the same design and plastic) big boxes for documents and files that are used everyday. I place those boxes under my working table together with my other crafting materials for easy access.

I pimped my...

  •  I used medium-sized plastic boxes for my small envelopes, notepads, notebooks, mini business envelope, phonebook, diary, etc. Our mini business envelope, an accordion type, consists of waybills, receipts, calling cards, suppliers list, deposit slips.
  • I used color coded folders and clear books for my business files, catalogue,  home bills.
  • I placed all our important documents like birth certificates, passport, and the likes, in one accordion type envelope with tabs on each slot so that we can easily bring it out with me in case of emergency. I placed them in the middle section of the shelf together with the art papers, notepads, sketch pads, coloring materials, pens, markers, glue, stickers, tapes where my toddler couldn't reach but my eldest could. By the way, I filed my son’s art works in sketch pads to preserve them.

  • I arranged my son's books in the lower shelf for easy access. This also forms a habit of reading. My eldest is responsible in keeping them neat and tidy.
  • CD's were placed in cases per genre and arranged in the lowest section of the shelf together with electronic stuff, earphones, and the likes. I put chargers, earphones, cords in separate pouches or ziplocks. I tied ribbons on the cabinets so that my toddler could not easily open them.

  • Kuya’s cabinet is reacheable to him so that he would be responsible in keeping it organized, and he could get his own clothes and change on his own.
  •  Our clothes were arranged according to color or type and we use color coded hangers so that the view would be nice to the eye. I used rectangular baskets for our undies, handkies, socks. My hubby’s ties are placed in one tie bag.
  • I stored bags in dust bags. I also used eco bags as substitutes. For backpacks and traveling bags, I washed and cleaned them first before putting them in big plastic bags before keeping them in the closet.


  • I placed all food items including condiments in the topmost portion while plastic containers in the lowest portion of one small cabinet. 
  • I placed our dishes in clear and sealed dish rack to avoid in contact with insects or dirt.
  • For pots and pans, I placed them on the lowest portion of the kitchen rack due to their heavy weight and for easy access too. I put knives and other cooking tools on the topmost portion away from children's reach.
  • All toxic materials like insecticides, detergent, bleach, and paints were placed in one container away from children’s reach in our laundry area.
  • I arranged our laundry in bins of the same kind and color in our laundry area. Each member of the family has his own laundry bin. All our rags and hand towels are placed inside bins too.

  • I reinforced "over-the-door" hooks inside the bathroom for hanging clothes and towels. 
  • I organized all vanity and bathroom paraphernalia in one rack accessible not just to us adults but to my eldest too.

Now that the house is already organized and clean, I am more inspired to continue doing my routines. I am also ready to start new projects for my home-based business.


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