For many seeking a fresh start, January is the perfect time to take stock and de-clutter the home. Savvy organizers like Martha Stewart know that maintaining order is a year-round job and her latest book, Martha Stewart’s Organizing , breaks these tasks down into manageable parts. The book offers the lifestyle guru’s guidance, methods and DIY projects for organizing with room-by-room strategies, seasonal advice and daily and weekly plans for de-cluttering and cleaning.
“An orderly and organized life calls for creating and then sticking to clear rules, pre-set schedules and to-do lists that are dictated by your own lifestyle and that of your family,” says Martha. “This deliberate, individualized approach will save you so much time in the long run when dealing with life’s surprises. It will save you from disorganization and leave you free to spend less time on chores, more time for the activities that prove meaningful to you.”
Click through for inspiring tips for every room.
In The Entryway
Use drawer pulls in assorted sizes to add pops of (custom) color for DIY hangers. Mounting knobs at a kid-friendly height will let little ones grab their gear with ease, and hang it back up. An upholstered bench ups the comfort ante and provides a perch for you and your stuff.
Photographer: Burca Avsar
In The Living Room
Group smaller objects on a tray to keep the table clutter-free (and easier to clean). A wall-mounted lamp such as this industrial-style model is an up-to-date alternative to a floor lamp — and avoids the need for a side table. Placing a mirror on the wall behind a sofa opens up a small living room; the brass frame adds warmth to the otherwise neutral palette.
Photographer: Bryan Gardner
In The Kitchen
Empty wall space is wasted space — small, strategically placed shelves will help free up counter space for a few personal touches. This shelf houses an artful collection of vessels that is put into use when entertaining. A freestanding wooden farm table adds warmth — plus, doubles as a work space (for a makeshift island) and storage unit for baskets underneath.
Photographer: Annie Schlechter
In The Bathroom
A bath tray keeps soap and other toiletries where they are most needed. Short on storage? Park a stool in the bathroom and rest a basket on top, for spare towels and other supplies.
Potted plants liven bathrooms and purify the air — and thrive in the humid conditions.
Photographer: Eric Piasecki
In The Closet
The space-saving drop-down ledge provides a convenient place to fold clothes. A clipboard hung above it doubles as a folding board for sweaters — they’ll take up less room folded properly. Keeping shoes and boots off the floor gives the appearance of more space; install a shelf down below to hold them. Round up all your clothing maintenance supplies and put them in the closet on a dedicated shelf: a small box holds a sewing kit; the larger bin holds shoe polishes and cloths.
Photographer: Ngoc Minh Ngo
In The Laundry Room
Wide shelving provides generous storage, and Shaker-style pegs offer spots for cleaning tools, hangers and a handy stain-removal chart. Group like items together (lint brushes, stain-fighting solutions) in separate containers, to keep them tidy and allow for easy access. Create a work space atop the washer/dryer units: a muslin-covered board is convenient for ironing. Squeeze in a storage cabinet, if you can — it’s nice to have an extra surface for sorting and folding. Stock wicker baskets with washable fabric liners to hold folded items.
Photographer: Matthew Williams
In A Kids’ Bedroom
Unify a collection of mismatched chairs and a table — found at flea markets — with a coat of paint in the same shade. Replicate this built-in with freestanding bookshelves and wall-mounted shelves. Neutral shades are less likely to become outgrown or outdated; use pillows and other objects to inject color and personality.
Photographer: Matthew Williams
Author: Wendy Jacob
Martha Stewart’s Organizing: The Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines © 2020 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.