Four Easy Steps Toward Organizing Your Home While Sheltering in Place

admin | May 15, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

It’s hard to notice how easy it is for your home to get disorganized… until you have to be there all the time. During shelter in place, you’ve probably let the clutter become a little more overwhelming than usual. That’s normal--especially if you don’t have a process for dealing with all of that clutter.

Ironically, however, while shelter in place probably helped create all this chaos, it can also provide the perfect opportunity to correct it once and for all. The trick is to make a plan. If you can make the right organizational plan for your home, you could come out of quarantine with a better grasp on chaotic clutter--not just while you’re in quarantine but for good! We can help. Here are four great first steps toward making your own home organizational plan. And you can get them all done even while you’re stuck inside!

Step 1: Make a plan for the “countertop pile”

Not everyone’s pile is on a countertop, but almost everyone has the “countertop pile.” You know what we mean--it’s the pile of stuff you bring in to deal with “eventually.” It could include mail, flyers, work documents, boxes and bags to be put away, or even non-perishable groceries, food, or clothes. Just about anything you don’t sort immediately ends up in the “countertop pile.” And so it grows… and grows...

Take some time this quarantine to assess your countertop pile. Before you move the items to their permanent homes, take stock of what’s there. Ask yourself why each thing ended up on the countertop and how you could keep it from going there in the future. Instead of defaulting to your countertop have an immediate response to each “category” of countertop pile item. Dealing with your “top of mind” countertop pile is the first step toward a full organization plan.

Step 2: Sort and label the junk drawer

The junk drawer is like the “next level” of the countertop pile. This is where stuff goes that you really don’t know what to do with. Devote some real time to your junk drawer next time you can. As you organize, sort everything you find into discrete piles. You can organize the piles however makes sense so long as you’re consistent. Make sure you label the piles!

When you have your piles, decide where each really belongs. Does it make sense to keep all this stuff in one place, or should you organize it in multiple areas? Is there a more useful place to keep some of this stuff than where it is now? If possible, you could even make each pile into its own designated area. Then, sort and label these areas into their own subcategories. Most importantly, stick to whatever method you come up with in the future.

Step 3: Create some designated ______ areas

You do this to an extent already, but it’s the right time to become more deliberate about it. Just like you made organized categories for your junk drawer and countertop pile, make organized categories for what you use different parts of your home for. We don’t just mean the obvious ones like “kitchen” or “bathroom,” either. Figure out what you use your home for in every sense, and then create spaces for each of those uses.

If you’re working from home right now, for example, create a work space. Only do work in your workspace, and move everything work related there. Do the same for other major activities you spend time doing in your home--from exercising to hobbies to watching tv. Keep the things you use to do these activities in their designated areas. That way, you’ll know where everything is and it’ll always be where you need it.

Step 4: Make it a routine

This last step is more about adjusting your daily habits than organizing a particular place. Once you have your go-to places organized, legitimize them in your everyday routine. When you bring something new home, make a place for it in its designated place. Try to use it only in that place and leave it there when possible.

When you bring in mail, for instance, sort the mail into the categories you would sort it in your countertop pile and deal with it accordingly. Organizing your home this way can also help organize your day-to-day life, which is particularly helpful during shelter in place. Becoming more personally organized is the best way to make your home more organized. You don’t need to commit all at once, either. No matter how little you do at first, the best way to make a real difference in your organization is to keep at it.


If all this sounds simple, that’s good! Good organization is mostly just about paying more attention to how we already live. Disorganization tends to happen when we ignore things or put them off. If you can find ways to stop doing that, you’ll find your life virtually organizes itself for you!

If you need a little extra space while you’re getting organized, remember that Storage Direct is still open for business. We can help you safely store whatever you don’t have room for until you’ve made room for it--however long that takes. Good luck getting organized, and stay safe!