How To Organize A Room

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Ever wondered how to organize a room? No worries. I have the BEST simple tip to organize any space in your home.

Sometimes it’s not just about how to organize, it’s about the why’s and decisions behind the organization process. I was so frustrated with all my stuff until I discovered the number one tip to organize any room.

how to organize a room tips

Over here at thistlewood we’ve been talking a lot about organization lately.

We’ve chatted about ideas for organizing under your kitchen sink.

We’ve discussed my favorite way to organize a linen closet.

We’ve talked about what we call the drawer where everything ends up in the house and what to call it.

We’ve even discussed how I organize a day in my life.

And all that organization is amazing.

And wonderful.

And makes me so happy.

But truth? So many times keeping your house organized or organizing a room isn’t really about the actual organization process. I know might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the real solution isn’t about organizing at all. Instead, it’s so much deeper than that. It’s more about the reason why it all got there in the first place.

I’m a big believer in the process.

And all that process and analyzing the why and the reasons that all the stuff piled up, led me to this tip.

If you can apply this to all your stuff? You can organize any room and more importantly?

KEEP it organized.

how to organize a room bookshelves


Here goes.

(takes deep breath)

Let’s start with an example. We’ll start with one of the most challenging areas in most people’s homes.

The kitchen counters.

Kitchen counters are a magnet for stuff. Everything ends up there. You walk in from the car and put your coffee cup on the counter. Homework books show up. Random pieces of odds and ends like straws and Tupperware and pens and paper and notes and receipts and water bottles.

It all collects in one place and you walk into the kitchen and look at it and it overwhelms you.

All. That. Stuff.

So you shove it into drawers or put it all in a basket or just leave it on the counter hoping it will all put itself away.


Here’s the truth. Here’s what I want you to hear. It all shows up there because every single thing on that counter is a DECISION. A wonderful friend of mine named Kathi Lipp told me that once and I’ve never forgotten it.

All that stuff is just sitting there waiting for someone to tell it what to do.

Where to go.

Where to find a home.

how to organize a room putting things away

That’s the real reason why things aren’t organized.

No one has DECIDED where they need to go.

Does this make sense? I know it looks like I’m stating the obvious, but it’s an obvious that so many of us overlook. That stuff sits there for days and sometimes even weeks before it leaves its place on the kitchen counter.

And the solution?

Here’s my tip that works to organize any room. Are you ready? Drum roll, please.

Have a place for everything and then put everything in its place

Because when you have a place for everything? It takes the DECISION out of your hands.

Remember when we talked about my morning routine? The reason why the morning routine works is because all the decision-making has been taken out of the equation (especially first thing in the morning before you’ve had coffee). I wake up and when my feet hit the floor, I head to the bathroom and I wash my face. Then I stretch. Then I have a quiet time. Then I finish the rest of my morning routine.

The morning routine works because I don’t have to decide what to do. It’s already all been decided for me.

That’s just like organizing.

You have to figure out where everything goes and give it a home.

Let’s go back to our original kitchen counter example.

  • The coffee cup goes into the dishwasher and then into a shelf for just coffee cups
  • Homework books go on a shelf in the kitchen (or a basket)
  • Extra straws go into a plastic bag of straws and then into a container with all of the paper goods
  • Tupperware (why do all those extra lids show up all of the time) should be matched with a lid and stacked on a shelf together
  • Pens go into the junk drawer
  • Receipts go into a file folder
  • Water bottles go on their own shelf

If you know that everything has a place, it’s so much easier to keep everything organized because all the DECISION-MAKING has been taken out of the process.


So now we have the basic principle of organizing.

Deciding where it all goes.

Before I add the rest of the solution, let me start with encouragement. If you are looking at your kitchen counter right now and it’s covered with stuff. No worries.


I’ve got some actual real-life ideas and inspiration to put all that stuff away. Then you only have to decide once where it goes once.

Here are some places to DECIDE where it all goes:

I could literally keep listing ideas, but my list was getting long.

So I thought of another solution.

Remember that post from long ago with all of those great solutions for quick snacks to keep on hand in the pantry?

I still read all those comments.

I’d love to have a list of comments about organizing like that over here on this post. So if you have an organizing tip or if you have something that needs organizing or you don’t have a place for right now, just leave it in the comments and I’ll comment back with a solution.

Then we can all organize together.

Decision making is so much more fun with friends. 🙂

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

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