Get organized stay organized. I’m sharing my favorite tips and tricks for keeping your home organized and clutter-free. Wanna know more? Read on.
Have you ever spent time organizing a drawer or a closet only to find that a few months later it looks like sh*t again?
The organizing part is not that hard. Staying organized is harder.
I’m not gonna sugar coat it.
Organizing is not a once and done thing. Unfortunately, you have to keep up with it and make it a periodic thing or all the things will start to take over your life again.
I’ve been there. I think many of us have. Because life gets busy, we get tired and we don’t always put everything back where it should go. Staying organized takes effort! And care! And thought!
But it doesn’t have to be so hard.
If you remember a few simple rules.
The key is finding a system that works for you and your family. Then staying organized becomes much easier. Today I’m giving you more than a few tricks and systems that we use to get organized in our home and STAY organized.
How to Get Organized and Stay Organized
Here are the systems we use in our house to keep on top of everything. These systems work for our family, and perhaps they will work for you too.
One // Store things where you use them
This simple little rule changed my life.
Have a place for everything – but keep things where you actually use them.
You probably (hopefully) already play by this rule for some of the obvious things, like pots and pans near the stove, office supplies near your desk, laundry stuff near your washer/dryer, etc.
But what about the not so obvious things? That’s really what made a difference for us.
Here’s a good example. Keep bed sheets in the rooms where they are used. We can all find a little place to store a couple of sets of sheets, whether it’s under the bed or in our closet. This makes life so much easier when changing sheets. You can take down the dirty ones with the rest of the laundry for the week, and immediately put on the fresh sheets.
Don’t store them in the linen closet down the hall just because you think that’s where they should go. It’s ok to break the rules!
Another good example is cleaning supplies. I realized a long time ago that I have WAY too many cleaning products. So I started making my own or buying multipurpose products to cut down on the clutter. Then, I bought a portable caddy with a handle to store it all. The caddy lives under my kitchen sink where I use it the most. When I need to clean other rooms, it’s super easy to carry from room to room.
Just one more example for ya …
We keep our paper shredder near our kitchen “mail pile” instead of tucked away in the office closet. I can immediately dispose of paper documents this way. Come to think of it, my label maker is also stored in our kitchen drawer – where I use it the most!
TWO // ABD (Always Be Decluttering)
I’m always decluttering. Always!
Almost every room in our house has a donation basket or bag tucked in the closet. When it gets completely filled up with stuff, I take it to Goodwill to be donated.
This method works for everything. Toys, clothes, games, kitchen wares. Everything! Keep the mindset that you are always decluttering.
You may have heard of the one in, one out rule. It’s the same basic idea. It feels so good to get rid of stuff you no longer use.
And keeping up with the decluttering is one of the things that help you stay organized. If you are just starting to declutter, take it room by room. Remember, it’s not a race. Start with the biggest clutter bug, typically the kitchen, and just purge what you don’t use or don’t really like. Then, move on to other rooms and do the same.
Three // Clean a Little Bit everyday
And no, it doesn’t have to perfect. Taking the time to clean or straighten up the house every day not only builds a good habit, but it also cuts down on the time you need to spend really cleaning. At some point every day, I vacuum and straighten up the main floor, make beds and clean the kitchen. If I can do more, I do it. But if not, at least the general areas stay clean and tidy.
I suggest you start by making your bed. This sets the day off right and nothing helps a bedroom feel cleaner than a freshly made bed. You will be so thankful you took the time to do this. And who doesn’t love climbing into a neat and tidy bed at the end of the day?
Another tip of mine is to keep a timer! You can easily set this up on your phone. Take ten minutes every day to clean something or straighten up and when the timer is done, you’re off the hook. If you want to do more, then do it. But at least you did something.
One trick that has helped me immensely is to actually time how long it takes to do certain tasks.
For instance, I hate unloading the dishwasher. Hate it! But when I actually timed how long it took – all of 3 minutes – the task started to feel smaller and less annoying. Now I know that I squeeze it in while my kids are getting ready to leave for school.
Four // Make a List
I am obsessed with to-do lists. I might even have lists for my lists. Kidding. (kind of).
It’s so hard to hold all those mental notes in our brains. Writing them down frees up your mind and keeps you sane. Research has shown that keeping a to-do list makes you a more productive person and more effective at getting things done.
I love buying pretty to-do lists and keeping one for each day. I first prioritize the tasks for the day and I know that some of them can wait. That’s why I wrote them down. To take it off my mind and have my to-do list keep the memory for me.
There’s nothing like the feeling of crossing something off your to-do list. Nothing.
Five // Take advantage of ‘The Cloud’
Paper seems to be the biggest challenge for a lot of us in our homes. There are just so many papers! And we get more of it every single day.
One of the best ways to stay out of paper hell is to just stop receiving so much of it. How did we do this? We removed ourselves from junk mailing lists and credit card offers by going to this website. We also signed up for paperless billing. We also keep a good paper shredder handy.
And we take advantage of the cloud. We use Amazon’s cloud, but there are dozens of other ones. If you are an Amazon Prime member, Amazon will give you an unlimited amount of storage space for photos. My husband and I have it set to auto-upload photos from our phones to Amazon photos. You can also get 5GB of storage for videos, documents and other things you need to store.
If you’re not comfortable with storing personal documents in the cloud, you can use an inexpensive jump drive and keep it somewhere handy.
We have been able to free up a lot of space in our home just by uploading things online, getting off mailer lists and paying our bills online. It’s amazing!
Related Post : How to Declutter your House Fast
That about does it for my top five favorite tips for helping you get and stay organized. Don’t forget that organizing is a journey, not a destination. And nobody is perfect!