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How to Organize Your Home’s Catch-All Areas

Desk Covered With Clutter Common Catch All Area
By:Paul Barney| Last Updated:04/05/2024
Time to Read: 4 min

How to Organize Catch-All Areas

We all have rooms in our home that instantly attract clutter.

The attic, basement, garage and office are the biggest offenders, and notorious catch-all areas for just about anything that comes through the door.

Don’t worry – even the most organized people struggle to keep these areas tidy. With these quick and simple home organization tips, you can cut down on the clutter and control the chaos.


Make the Most of Attic Space

An attic can be one of the greatest storage spaces in a person’s home. It can also be one of the messiest. Half-filled boxes, holiday decorations and piles of unused items can add up quick. The good news is that organizing an attic is not as hard as you think. Follow these easy steps so that everything you need is accessible and you’re not tripping over loose items every time you go up there.

Tips to Organize Your Home Office
  1. Assess the mess: As you sort through your stuff, decide which items you’re going to keep, donate or toss.
  2. Keep like things together: Seasonal clothing, holiday decorations and tax returns should be given their own separate box or bin and not combined with one another.
  3. Label boxes and bins: For anything that’s in a box or bin, label it with blue painter’s tape and a permanent marker. That way when you need a certain item, you won’t have to sift through everything.
  4. Consider shelving: Metal shelving is affordable and will allow you to bring your stuff up off the floor.
Person Writing on Storage Organization Labels

Tame an Unruly Basement

For some, having a basement is a blessing. For others, it’s a curse. While basements provide a lot of extra storage space, they can become a dumping ground for all the stuff you never get around to organizing. If your basement is cluttered, adopt these home organization ideas to tame the mess:

  • Take inventory and assess value: Deciding what you need and don’t need can be hard, but if you haven’t used it in the past year, pitch it.
  • Get rid of extra stuff: Once you’ve decided what to toss, consider donating gently used items to family, friends or your local charity.
  • Sort items into bins: For all the items you’re keeping, sort them into bins. According to Diane Henkler, DIY decorating and home blogger, “various size rectangular clear bins are the best since you can see through them and they stack on top of each other.”
  • Label everything: Labels allow you to know exactly what’s in each bin, box or bag quickly without having to think twice about it.
  • Add storage space: Built-in cubbies and shelves are versatile storage options that allow you to make use of every square foot.

Regain Control of Your Garage

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 percent of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park inside. Additionally, 32 percent of them only have room for one car. If you fall in this percentile, it’s time to organize your garage. This doesn’t mean you have to find a new home for everything else you have stored there. Get your garage organized in no time by following these helpful home organization tips:

Outdoor tools hanging on a garage organization board
  • Take everything out: This will give you a better idea of the space you’re working with, as well as allow you to easily determine what items you need and don’t need.
  • Maximize wall space: Getting stuff up and off of the floor is important if you’re planning on parking your car in there. Mount sturdy shelves up higher to store larger items and add hooks to hang everything from bikes to yard tools.
  • Install cabinets: Cabinetry is not just for your kitchen and bathroom. Cabinets are a great addition to any garage to keep out-of-season items out of sight.

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Organized Desk in Home Office

Avoid Distractions With a Clean Home Office

A cluttered home office can really slow you down, especially if you’re trying to run a business or simply pay the bills. While it’s easy to overlook this room compared to other areas of your home, organizing your home office is essential for improving productivity. Get rid of that distracting mess by using these tips to organize your home office.

  • Clear your desktop: Clear all papers, pens, books and anything else that’s scattered on the top of your desk. For those documents you no longer need, toss them in the trash, or better yet, shred them. If you’re like Dana White, author of A Slob Comes Clean, one of the ways to cut down on paper clutter is to opt out of stuff.
  • Create a filing system: One of the easiest ways to get rid of paper clutter is to establish a filing system to store important documents. Categorize each folder or bin according to your needs (i.e. bills, medical, outgoing mail, etc.).
  • Manage cables: Cords snag your feet, get tangled, attract dust and are an eyesore. You can fix all that by bundling your cords with cable ties, sticking them under your desk with adhesive cable strips or investing in a wireless keyboard and computer mouse.
  • Store items out of sight: The more you see, the more cluttered a room appears to be. A simple solution is to store all office supplies in baskets, bins, drawers or any other storage unit you have.
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“Over time, as my husband and I get various paper statements (not bills), I’ll look to see if they have an option to switch to email statements. There are also various ways to get yourself off of mailing lists.”
Dana White, A Slob Comes Clean


Not sure where to start when it comes to home organization? Check out our Complete Home Decluttering Guide!