Why is it that you can never find your favourite jumper in the morning? Or that every time you go into your cabinet looking for something, it seems to have moved? Keeping your home organised is not always easy, especially when you are juggling a career, children and a social life, but why is it that even when you try to organise, you end up with more of a mess than before?

Here are a few organisation mistakes you didn’t know you were making.

Short sighted organising

Let’s say for example you are trying to organise your holiday decorations. You pull out all the boxes and start going through them, but then you notice one of your boxes is too small. You try to find a replacement and end up starting three more projects just because you were trying to rearrange items in other larger boxes to make room for the holiday decorations.

Not thinking a project through before you begin can make you lose sight of your goal. To avoid this, plan ahead. Make sure you have a few extra boxes and trash bags on hand. Do not take on more than you can handle.

Treating your desk like a paper holder


Clutter usually builds up on desks because people drop off papers and don’t bother to file them. The mail never gets sorted, and kids tend to leave homework in various piles. A desk is for working, not just holding papers, so if you really want to take advantage of the space, you need a system.

Create your own filing system for mail. When you get the mail, immediately throw away any junk mail you do not want. From there, have a designated basket or bin reserved for mail only. Do not let stray papers find their way into the mail basket.

After you open a piece of mail, throw it away right away, respond or file the paperwork in a folder or filing cabinet. If you do not already have a method for keeping track of important documents (birth certificates, bills, bank statements, etc). Choose what you think will work best and stick to it.

For children’s homework, set up an in-out filing system. Have one basket for incoming homework and permission slips to be signed and one for outgoing papers. Once your child completes an assignment, it should go in the outgoing basket. Before he or she leaves for school, the out basket should be emptied. Old assignments and tests should be saved in a folder, thrown out or hung on the refrigerator.

Your closet has no rhyme or reason

Your closet is the best storage space in your home, but just because you have your belongings stuffed inside does not mean you are organised. You should have your shirts, dresses, pants and other articles of clothing in the same general spot, and you should not have to go digging in order to find the match to a sock.

To gets your closet organised, follow these tips:

  • Take everything (yes, EVERYTHING) out of your closet and sort it. Make piles for the different types of clothing as well as anything else in your closet (shoes, purses, ties).
  • Throw out or donate anything you have not worn in the last year unless it is a special occasion type of wear such as a suit.
  • Pick up a few large plastic bins or square cubbies with fabric drawers to hold underwear, socks and miscellaneous things floating around in your closet.
  • Invest in a shoe rack or closet to display your shoes.

Avoid junk drawers in the kitchen


Almost every home seems to have a designated junk drawer. It is a spare drawer usually in the kitchen that holds a little bit of everything, such as spare lighters, pens, notepaper, paperclips and plenty of other random objects. These drawers tend to fill up fast, and before you know it, you are having trouble closing the drawer.

In reality, you are wasting valuable space in your kitchen, and more often than not, there is already a spot in your home for every object found in that drawer.

The best way to get rid of a junk drawer is to give it a proper purpose. Maybe you want to hold silverware in it, or maybe you will make it an office-like drawer. Whatever the purpose, stick to it. Throw out everything in the drawer that does not fit its new designated purpose. Chances are most of the objects were useless anyway, and the objects that do have purpose do have anything place. You just need to put it away properly.

Use small plastic baskets to organise the drawer and keep objects from spilling over. For a silverware drawer, you might want two long, skinny plastic baskets, one of spoons and the other for knives.

Don’t go over, go up

When you only have a small amount of cabinet space in your kitchen, you might feel it is simply not possible to keep organised. Pots and pans take up a lot of space, and you need room for your food too. With such a small amount of space, how do you keep your cabinets from spilling over?

You do not have to purchase more cabinets, although that is an option. What you can do instead is invest in hanging racks and baskets to clear up some of the space on your counter and in your cabinets. You can find small racks to mount on your wall and keep your spices in, and you can also hang pots and pans from the ceiling. This will free up plenty of space in the cabinets.


In short, any organisation system you have only works if you commit to it. If you keep setting your mail on the coffee table rather than opening it and filing it, you are letting the mess pile up. Your baskets, containers and closets will not organise for you. It is up to you to keep your organisation on track.