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Home decoration: 17 common organizational fails

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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We feel a little embarrassed you know. We were thinking that we had home organization absolutely nailed and as it turns out, we've been doing some things very wrong! We don't want you to continue on in ignorance, so we have pulled together 17 fails that we suspect we have ALL fallen foul of! It's alright for interior designers, as they know all the tricks of the trade, but for us laymen, we need all the info we can get, so if you want to get the lowdown on the no-nos of home organization, read on and stop making those mistakes! Ooh, what a great New Year's resolution!

1. Ignoring friends' advice.

We all have that one friend who is brutally honest and ruthless and that's who you need to have over before you start a big home audit session! They'll have no qualms in telling you which clothes you can stand to lose or what looks naff in your home!

2. Hiding things in a closet.

It seems like a good idea, but hiding your mess and clutter away in a cupboard only moves it, it doesn't deal with it. Plus, if you're hiding it away, how much do you really need to keep it?

3. Thinking neat piles are tidy.

NO! Just because you pile up a load of stuff into one neat pile, it doesn't mean that you have sorted it! We are SO guilty of this fail and even move our piles around the house in a bid to forget about them. Sit down at the kitchen table and just go through it all!

4. Hoarding grocery bags.

Nobody always remembers to take shopping bags to the grocery store, but when you have to get more and bring them home, try to either find a new use for them or pop them in your recycling bin. Having a huge cupboard full of bags is hardly a good use of space!

5. Copying your partner.

Organization techniques that work for your partner won't necessarily mean that they work for you, so don't just blindly copy and think you are being really tidy! Actually figure out how you like to order your belongings and stick to that.

6. Buying too many boxes.

Boxes are a neat way to store things, right? Not in mass they aren't! Great swathes of storage boxes will look as untidy and out of place as clutter, so don't buy any until you absolutely know that you need and have a spot for them.

7. Having a 'junk' room.

As soon as you bless a room with the auspicious title of 'junk room', you are condemning yourself to fail! Whenever you spot something out of place, in it goes and bulky items get stowed straight in there too. It's a recipe for disaster, as one day, the door won't shut and you'll need to trawl through it all anyway!

8. Impulse-buying gadgets.

If you can't trust yourself to not buy gadgets that you don't need but sound or look cool, start taking cash to the shops and leave your credit cards at home! How many of us have bread-makers and pasta machines languishing in our cupboards?

9. Not uncluttering when you move.

Moving house is a chore, we all know that, but it's also a great opportunity for sorting through your belongings and having a really good clear out! Audit absolutely everything and have boxes for 'bin', 'donate' and 'store', that way you can have a cull and enjoy the process.

10. Blitzing the cleaning in one day.

Having a big clean, once a week, will take far more effort than simply tidying and cleaning a little every day! Why waste a whole day off doing chores when you can simply do a little, often and break up the monotony?

11. Thinking you have no time to clean.

Everybody has time to clean! We always use this excuse too, but we all know it's a load of rubbish! Maybe if we were all a bit tidier to start with, the cleaning wouldn't require so much of our spare time? Hmmmm. Food for thought!

12. Putting it off until you have time.

If you keep putting tidying off until you think you have a big block of time to do it, the task will have grown exponentially! Tackle little things as you go and you won't ever dread the big tidy up!

13. Not asking your family to help.

If you don't live alone, never overlook the live-in help that you have access to! Put your bossy boots on and ask everyone to do their bit to keep the house looking nice! Kids can tidy and hoover their bedrooms and partners… well… they need to do their half too!

14. Buying new storage before you begin.

We understand the concept behind buying storage units, but you really need to wait until you know how much stuff you have to house. Do your big unclutter, see what you have left and get something big enough to get it all in, but not so big that you can refill it!

15. Following trends.

It's natural to want to be fashionable, but if your clothes shopping has gotten out of hand, you might find that you soon have a full-to-bursting wardrobe that needs a huge sort out! We recommend that you audit your clothing whenever you buy a new item and throw away what you don't wear!

16. Not making better use of the garage.

If you have a garage, that is pure storage gold! Get some racking on the walls and set yourself up with a really good organisation system for anything that doesn't need to be in the house. We are including bikes in this too, all you messy cyclists!

17. Being too nostalgic.

It's a tough one, throwing things out. You'll have developed a sentimental attachment to lots of things, but the key is to be a little more objective. Do you need it, does it improve your life, do you use it and could you live without it? These are the questions to ask yourself!

For some more handy tips, take a look at this article: 26 useful ideas for your home.

Have you been making any of these mistakes?
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