3 Tips for Tackling your Home Organization from a Non-Organized Person

What Items YOU Loved in 2019

I tend to pile things.

At any given moment, the corner of my desk will look like this:

For me, physical chaos leads to mental chaos. If I’m surrounded by piles and messes, it’s hard to stay focused on the task at hand instead of being pressured to clean up the mess. This is especially annoying when I need to clean up the piles in order to shoot content since I work from home.

I wish I was more prone to organizing, but to be honest it takes a lot of effort to keep my house “pile free”. Justin is a “pile maker” as well so between the two of us we have small piles of things in almost every room of the house except the kid’s rooms!

If you, like so many people right now, are feeling ready to tackle some problem areas in your home, here are a few suggestions from someone (me) that has worked really hard to try to be better.

One. Before you put things away, take a look at what is collecting there and ask yourself why. My nail polish collects on my desk because I tend to polish my nails and then let them dry when I watch youtube or scroll through Pinterest. Since this is a regular habit of mine, it would be nice to get a covered container to stash my favorite nail colors so they’re ready to use when I need them. It wouldn’t make sense for me to store my nail polish downstairs in my bathroom since I don’t use it down there. Taking a moment to evaluate the piles before you tackle them will help you set up systems in your home that work for YOU!

Two. When thinking about time-savers, make a mental note of the tasks that are most inefficient. I’ve shared on Instagram a few times that we keep our kid’s socks downstairs near their shoes. We have a sock basket and I’ve actually thrown a few of my socks in there as well! I heard this tip from John and Sherry at Young House Love and it was an instant light bulb moment. Justin and I were both running up and down the stairs to grab socks for our kids and when I heard that John keeps his socks downstairs by his shoes I moved nearly all the kid’s socks down that same day. We’ve been doing that for a few years and it has saved both time and energy for all of us!

Three. Clean out, edit, donate, throw away, or do whatever you need to in order to purge a problem area BEFORE you buy storage or organizational items. I worked with a professional organizer in my office at the old house and it was so helpful to have her there to go through every single beauty item and product in my office. And you can imagine, as a beauty blogger, that I had quite the collection. We spilled the entire closet into my floor, made a few different piles (one for donating unused, unopened product, one for giving to my friends, and another for trash) and sorted everything. It was only THEN that we started to talk about how to put the stuff I was keeping *back* into the closet. As fun and tempting as it is to go to The Container Store or Target and buy all the organizational trays, you will be wasting your money if you buy the wrong items based on the space and the need.

photo via my office closet from the first round of organization in 2016!

One of the greatest organizational tools I bought was my DYMO mobile label maker. It works with an app on my phone and it makes printing labels ridiculously easy. You can adjust the font, sizing, and make different kinds of labels all from the app. I’ve also really loved a few different boxes and containers that I’ve bought on Amazon, so I’ll link those below!


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Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 01.02.20

So inspiring! I definitely need to start decluttering now that it’s January. 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Crystal says · 01.02.20

Wow. I’ve never thought about why my clutter was collecting. That’s a great tip!

A.C. says · 01.02.20

Good post. I dont like clutter and when things are cluttered, i dont function properly. However…….my kitchen pantry. I am attacking and organizing it this weekend and part of me is so excited. LOL

Sheri B. says · 01.03.20

I love a good “decluttering” session. It’s so refreshing. Thanks for the tips!

Jessica Grace says · 01.03.20

Love this! Simple and ready-to-use tips. I too am a pile maker… my husband is not. So that’s always fun. 😂

Olga says · 01.03.20

Love love this!!! It’s soo hard not to buy all the containers. This gives me a big of help with not buying everything I don’t need.

Sara Mansfield says · 01.03.20

Love this!
We keep our 2 kids (age 3 and 1) clothes, socks, diapers/underwear, and shoes downstairs (bedrooms are upstairs) because we A. Don’t want to dress them before breakfast and B. Don’t want to have to haul everyone back upstairs just to get dressed for the day! Each kid has a cabinet for their clothes. Socks and underwear are stored in old formula tins!

Ellie Caddell says · 01.03.20

Socks by the shoes is a PHENOMENAL idea that I can make happen very easily. Thanks for sharing!

Porter says · 01.04.20

I was so afraid you were going to say that you keep the socks downstairs 😱 and it appears to be so 😞. I understand your logic and it sounds like it works well for you but that is a no, no, no, no from me, dawg. I do not like to walk around barefoot. And I REALLY don’t like (for myself or my three girls) putting on taller socks after a tighter pair of pants is already on. I’ve taught my girls to put their socks on first and then pull their pants on over them so everything stays nice and smooth and comfy 🙂 It’s the worst pulling up the bottoms of a little girls leggings, pulling the socks on and then trying to get the pants back down over the socks without rolling down the socks and/or stretching out the pants. Not really an issue with boys, I am sure. I know I sound like a psycho!!

Michele says · 01.05.20

If you’re a psycho, so am I!

But if socks downstairs are your jam, you do you!

Where is Florence says · 01.04.20

Congratulations again!! And yes, please take plenty of time to rest!! Your family is beautiful!! 😀

Becky says · 01.04.20

Hi Kate,
First time commenter, LONG time follower (like from your OG YouTube days). For your nail polish, my fiancé just bought this for me for Christmas, and I LOVE it!!
Could be something for you to consider?
Good luck!

ratnamurti says · 01.06.20

These are good tips. It does look like we have twin desks in terms of “piles” except mine are writing and study stuff.

Christin Seifert says · 01.13.20

I have got two kids and there is always something that needs to be cleaned. I donate things I do not need twice a year and oranized our home with marie kondo. Very helpfull.


Elizabeth Fife says · 03.12.20

Great tips! Will definitely some of these for our home. Enjoy reading your posts!