Mistakes Everyone Makes When Organizing Their Home

While almost everyone understands the importance of having an organized space, many fail to systematize effectively. This can lead to feelings of stress or anxiety. It can also cause someone to find it hard to focus. According to Home Made Lovely, there are a number of reasons why people do not organize as they should. The first is that they believe they don't have enough time or they're too busy. The second is that they have a scarcity mindset which makes them afraid to get rid of things they don't currently use but may need in the future. The third reason is that they feel guilty about getting rid of gifts from family or friends.

However, moving past these roadblocks and creating an organized house can lead you to have less anxiety, be more focused, and thoroughly enjoy your space. If you've decided to begin organizing your home, there are five common mistakes you'll want to avoid.

Prioritizing aesthetics over convenience

When it comes to creating the best space for you and your family, convenience should be your top priority. Unfortunately, many people focus too much on how their home appears and too little on what design is best for their lifestyle.

A common mistake is keeping countertops too clear, per HGTV. If something is used daily, it should be on the counter. For instance, many people put their appliances inside a cabinet, so their countertops look cleaner. But if the toaster is used every day, it will be inconvenient to have to take it out all the time — and likely, the appliance won't be placed back where it's supposed to go. Everything should have a designated place in your home, and if something is used frequently, it should be out in the open.

Another common mistake is choosing aesthetics over functionality in the closet. While everyone wants their closet to look nice, creating a space that works the best for your lifestyle is key.

Keeping clutter

Perhaps the biggest organizational mistake is keeping clutter. Home Made Lovely defines clutter as anything that doesn't allow you to fully enjoy your space. There are two main types of clutter, as defined by WebMD: memory and someday clutter. Memory clutter happens when we hold onto things that remind us of the past, while someday cutter happens when we keep things that we think we may need in the future. Both these types of jumble can cause us to focus too much on the past or the future, which can rob us of joy in the present.

To get rid of the someday clutter, focus on what you need right now instead of what you might need in the future. For example, throw away any clothes that don't fit you right now instead of waiting for your weight to change. To get rid of memory clutter, consider other ways you can remember sentimental moments in your past. For example, you could keep pictures of old keepsakes. The pictures will take up less space but will still allow you to remember sentimental items.

Not having a paper system

Paper can be a huge source of clutter. Lots of people hold onto old documents, receipts, flyers, mail, etc., and these things can build up fast. To help with paper clutter, develop a system, and one way to do this is by designating a mail space in your home. For example, HGTV recommends hanging a paper system near the door. This will keep mail off of your counters or tables.

Then, you'll need a system for going through your paper clutter. For instance, you could keep important documents in a filing cabinet or use bins to separate out the things you need to keep and the things you can recycle. Another great tip is to recycle fliers and ads immediately, per Home Made Lovely. Whatever you decide to do, ensure you have a system for your papers that doesn't lead to unnecessary and overwhelming clutter. Another great tip is to virtually file the papers you might need in the future. Living Well Mom says to upload a digital copy of documents you may or may not need and then perhaps recycle the originals.

Being a spontaneous shopper and organizer

HGTV says that spontaneity can hinder your organization. If you are an impulsive shopper, this will inevitably lead to unnecessary clutter. To avoid this, make sure to only purchase things you really enjoy or know you will use. You should also avoid being a spontaneous organizer.

WebMD explains that the first step to decluttering is having a vision of the life you want to live. This includes developing an organization system that is right for you. If you don't designate a space for everything in your home, this will lead to a disorganized life. You won't know where you've placed items, which will lead to confusion and hinder you from having a sense of control over your environment.

A great way to not be a spontaneous organizer is by purchasing organizing bins and labels. Placing things in designated bins is a great way to organize the pantry, linen closet, or cabinets. However, HGTV says to avoid buying too many bins, which can eventually use up more space than is needed. Another thing to avoid is shopping before you begin organizing. You'll need to know exactly what size and type of bins you need for your space before heading to the store.

Not differentiating between cleaning, organizing, and decluttering

Cleaning, organizing, and decluttering are actually three different terms with different meanings. A Slob Comes Clean defines each of these terms. As such, cleaning is disinfecting your space with soap, cleaners, mops, vacuums, etc. Organizing is putting things where they are supposed to be, while decluttering is getting rid of things you no longer need. Knowing the difference between these terms is important because you may think you have an organized space when you really just have a clean space. While having a clean space is very important, if it looks cluttered, it may still lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.

You'll want to declutter and organize before you clean. This will make cleaning easier for a number of reasons, per Simple Life of a Lady. First, you won't have to clean things you'll just get rid of later. Also, when you have less stuff, it's easier to move things around to complete the deep cleaning. Third, cleaning is simply easier when you have less stuff, and finally, it will be simpler to maintain your space after decluttering.