Settle Down

Professional Organizer

4 Mistakes People Make When Organizing Their New Home

Today we will explore four stumbling blocks that keep you from making your new home simply amazing. They are:

1)      Bringing too much stuff from the old home

2)      Buying furniture and storage items before knowing where they will be used or if you even need them

3)      Not putting things away in a thoughtful or realistic manner

4)      Unrealistic expectations

Mistake #1: Not realizing what will fit or work in the new home

Before a move you have such a great opportunity to go through the things in your home and purge. I find however, that time gets away from people and they end up telling themselves it’s okay to do the sorting on the other end.  

Let me just say this. It’s WAY harder to go through things after a move than before. You will be in just as much of a hurry to get unpacked as you were to get packed and there is never a convenient time to go through everything you own.   I worked with someone once (this was a friends’ client and I was just helping her out) who didn’t do any purging before the move and we ended up bringing a TON of expired food to the new house.  I was super frustrated and I’m sure my friend was too.

If you label your boxes well, that makes things easier.  If you aren’t ready to part with some things but don’t know if you will need them, mark that accordingly. You can put these boxes in your basement, attic or garage and get to them when you have more time and energy to make decisions.

Mistake #2: Buying Things Before You Know What You Need or Where You will Use Them

My advice in this area is to only buy or bring the things you love or know you will need and use. Measure the rooms in your new home and the furniture in your current home and plan accordingly.  Yes, it will take some time but if you map out the room beforehand, you know what will fit.  Of course, there are great apps for this like Room Planner so that’s an option too.

One of the first rules of organizing is that you don’t buy organizing products until you sort and purge and know how much is left.  It’s tempting to shop first (especially when storage options nowadays are so dang cute!) but you will end up with the wrong things and/or things that don’t fit the space well.

Mistake #3: Not Putting Things Near Where You Use Them

This is probably the biggest pitfall I find in organizing in general.  People don’t use their prime real estate effectively.  This is true in any room, but I saw it most often in kitchens. People would put their Christmas dishes in the cupboard above the dishwasher, while dishes they used every day were halfway across the kitchen.  

It just makes sense to have the things you use the most somewhere that’s easily accessible and near where you use it.  It’s also important to be realistic about how much you use something.  If you spend a lot of money on your Vitamix but never use it even though it’s on the kitchen counter, you may need to find another spot for it.  Some people use their toasters every day, and some people use them once a month. Take a moment and plan for the life you actually have, not the life you think you should have.  Also, don’t be afraid to go outside the lines.  The best organizing plan is the one that works for you.  If you want to put your seasonal clothes in another closet so that your master closet isn’t stuffed, go for it.  

Mistake #4: Unrealistic Expectations

While the other tips concentrate on the physical aspects of setting up your home, this one is more mental.  Living in an age where more is better and ads promise everything from a better sex life to a promotion by changing your toothpaste, it’s easy to be discontent with what you have.  Your home is not going to be perfect on the first day.  Be okay with trying different furniture arrangements and realizing that you will need to make minor adjustments over time. Again, your home should reflect your tastes and you want it to be comfortable…whatever style you choose. But be patient and give yourself time to get to know the house and your tendencies once you’ve settled in…or should I say down? :)

Posted 36 weeks ago

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