6 Organization Mistakes You Might Be Making

An organized home is an art form. You might think you can buy some baskets and a label maker and call it a day, but you’d be wrong. There are a few common organization mistakes that many people make when trying to streamline their home. You might not even realize you’re currently making a few of these errors! But don’t worry, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and you can rectify any organization missteps and turn them into organizational dreams.

organization mistakes

Mistake #1 – Shopping before organization

You can’t put the cart before the horse, or however the saying goes. Too many people buy a bunch of organizing containers with high hopes that they’ll cure all your woes, but it actually makes it harder to organize this way. Edit your belongings first, and then purchase accordingly. While you’re working on the “how,” make a list of boxes, baskets and bins that you need. And don’t forget to measure your space! There’s no point in jamming containers into spaces they don’t fit.

Mistake #2 – Not purging regularly

Organization isn’t a one-and-done project. It’s an ongoing, living document of sorts. I like to play “toss or keep” every three to six months with the major storage areas in our home. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it or worn it in six months and it’s not season-specific (i.e. your winter coat or inflatable pool), you probably don’t need to hang on to it. You can’t organize your life without making sure that you’re not holding on to clutter. Because here’s a secret: you can’t organize clutter. It doesn’t happen. This is a crucial step if you truly want to streamline your life.

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Mistake #3 – You use unrealistic inspiration

Can I let you in on another secret? No one’s home looks like a Pinterest board 24/7. If you’re using a perfectly styled photo as your inspiration, you’ll only be disappointed. Because who has perfect lighting, perfect storage space and perfectly half-filled jars of sugar in their kitchen cabinets? Real life requires real organization. It’s fine to use those photos as style inspiration, but don’t let it be the end-all-be-all of your organization.

Mistake # 4 – You stash stuff out of sight

We’ve all heard the saying, “Out of site, out of mind.” But if you’re relying on this mentality to organize, you’re likely holding on to clutter you don’t need. And having a neat house and a nuclear bomb of a garage does not an organized life make. If you have stuff you’re shoving into linen cabinets and in the garage and never worrying about it again, you likely don’t need it.

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Mistake #5 – Thinking neat piles = organization

Repeat after me, “A pile is not an organized solution.” We’re all guilty of stacking a pile of papers onto the counter and calling it good. But when countertops are clean but covered in pretty little piles of crap, they’re not organized. This is where I like to utilize the Konmari method of giving everything a “home.” Papers can go home to the letter bin instead of the pile, it makes a world of difference.

Mistake #6 – Skipping labels

Labels are a handy little way to help trick your brain into being more organized. When a bin or basket is labeled, it helps you pause and think, “Oh, this doesn’t go in here.” Don’t let all your hard organizational come undone by a hasty clean up job. Labels help ensure that your organizational plan sticks and that everything goes where it belongs.


Main + featured image via our home tour with Paige Jones.

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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram