As I've confessed, I need organizational reform school. Here's a few things I've learned along my journey.
1. "A place for everything..." As the saying goes, if your things have a home you are less likely to live with lots of clutter underfoot.
2. De-clutter. Decide what is essential and non-essential. Do you have duplicates of anything? Get rid of the extras and you'll be surprised how much space you will have.
3. Give away. Learn to give to others what you do not need or have outgrown.
4. Throw away. Don't give junk that no longer works to someone, or clothing that is beyond repair. Only give someone what you would be happy to receive yourself.
5. Label. I've found that the method I've used for kinders and first graders works wonders for me. Label your baskets and containers. It will not only make things easier to find, but you'll be able to direct others to the correct spot to find what they need.
6. If you don't love it, leave it. Don't buy stuff at the store just because there is a good sale. Think about what you really need, and don't impulse buy.
7. Make shelves. Storing the labeled containers and bins on shelves not only gets them up off the floor but also gives character to your walls.
8. Be happy with the season of life you are in. Sometimes this means there will be kids toys scattered like they were a in a tornado and all underfoot. These littles won't be little for long, and one can't expect the house to be perfect. The lived in look is just that--lived in.
9. Re-purpose or recycle items that are washed and clean. We use an old ice cream container as our compost bin (no garbage disposal), and an old oatmeal box or tissue box stores plastic bags nicely. I sort my son's toys into old plastic containers and label them so we don't have too much of a toy mess in his bins. It corrals the smaller stuff.
10. Give yourself grace. If you are not good at organizing (or you happen to live in a small space like I do) look for ideas to add to your mental bank. I've found a lot of great ideas for small spaces at apartmenttherapy.com.
16 hours ago