Looking to get a handle on the chaos? Here are our 10 favorite organizing tips for keeping your home organized all year long!
Do you feel like the clutter is overwhelming you, or that no matter how hard you try, your home just doesn’t stay organized? There is definitely a system to keeping an organized home. And since I get lots of requests for cleaning and organizing tips around this time of year, today I thought I’d share some of my favorite organizing tips.
These are the things I do daily, weekly, or seasonally to keep my home organized and tidy. Because if my home is not organized, I feel stressed. Physical clutter and disorganization feels like mental clutter to me. And then I find it difficult to work or relax in those spaces. When things are organized and everything is put where it belongs, I feel so much better!
This is not an exhaustive list, and there are other things I do to keep an organized home. But these ten easy, actionable tips will go a long way towards getting rid of the clutter and taking back control. And lest you think the small things don’t matter, they do! These little acts really add up. And if you make them a habit, your home can stay organized all year!
Put Things Away Immediately
This might be my favorite organizing tip, or at least the most important one. If there’s one tip that will make the biggest difference in keeping your home organized and clutter-free, this is it. It’s so easy to just leave things where they are and think “I’ll do it later.” So even if you’re tired, put those napkins you only use for company back in the cabinet where they’re stored. Or be sure to return that label maker you used yesterday back to the office. It takes way less time to do it in the moment than it does if you let things pile up and have a ton to put away all at once.
And not just you! Everyone who lives in your home needs to be on board with this and do it every time. Otherwise the obvious happens, things get disorganized again, and you’re back where you started!
Declutter Monthly or Seasonally
Whether it’s tidying up bathroom or kitchen drawers, cleaning out the pantry, or doing a closet overhaul, these are all much more manageable jobs if done more often. I don’t keep a schedule of these tasks per se, but I do try to do them regularly. For instance, go through your kitchen or bathroom drawers a couple of times a year, clean out the pantry every month, and your closet each season.
This makes it so much easier to keep your home organized than if you let everything pile up until the end of the year!
Spend 10 Minutes Tidying Every Night Before Bed
This is another task that really gives you a lot of bang for your buck (or effort!) If you spend as little as ten minutes every night tidying and putting things away, it will go a long way toward keeping your home more organized. Because as we know, messes beget messes. The more disorganized things feel, the less likely we are to try to keep things tidy.
So clear away newspapers from tables, hang coats in closets, straighten the pillows on the sofa, etc. Trust me. It’s so much better to spend that ten minutes than to wake up to a disorganized and messy home. And if it makes it easier, use bins and baskets to organize and store those items.
Get Rid of Anything You’re Saving for ‘Someday’
When this change happened for me, it was an epiphany. I used to keep articles I intended to read in the future, or travel pieces I wanted to refer to when planning trips. But here’s the rub. That leaves a lot of papers to organize and store, and I can get most of that information on the web anytime! Now, if I find an article I want to save (whether in print or online), I simply ‘bookmark’ it on my computer for future reference. Plus, I can organize them into categories like health info, design information, or travel articles.
So whether you’re like me and this is more of a paper problem, or you’re more like my parents and you’re saving that extra phone/clock radio/coffee maker “because the kids might want it or we might need it one day.” Don’t. When it comes time for someone to want it (if they want it), you’ve now stored it for months (or even years) and the physical/mental clutter just isn’t worth it.
Go Through Your Refrigerator Weekly
I’m not talking about doing a deep cleaning here, just a 10 minute go-through every week to contain the clutter. I like to do this on Sunday or whatever day I’m doing my shopping for the week, but whatever day works best for you is fine. As you’re making your grocery list and checking for things you might need, take a moment to go through the fridge. Check the produce bins and throw out what’s gone bad, clear out leftovers that are past their prime, and check expiration dates on milk and dairy products.
That way, not only will you have more room for the groceries when you return from the store, but you won’t unexpectedly discover any ‘science’ projects! 😉
Don’t Buy in Bulk
Okay, I know some of you won’t like this, and I get it. When done right, buying in bulk can save money as well as time. But the key here is “when done right.” Unfortunately, often when we shop at big box stores the great price tempts us into buying too much of things we don’t really need or can’t use up fast enough.
What I actually mean is buy in bulk strategically. If you go through something quickly, or it’s not easy to replenish, then by all means buy two or three of those. Just don’t go crazy buying huge quantities of tissues or giant boxes of detergent that will take you months or years to use up, and that you then have to find room to store!
Clear Your Countertops Everyday
This is a must! Countertops tend to be a dumping ground in every house, with everything from school work, to newspapers, magazines, and everything in between landing there. First of all, make it a rule that no one leaves things on the kitchen counter that don’t belong there. But since none of us are perfect and we know it will probably happen, at least curb the clutter by clearing them off a couple of times a day.
I like to do it every morning and evening. In the morning, there are newspapers, mail or anything else my husband has ‘transferred’ there, haha! And then I’ll do it at the end of the day as part of my 10-minute nightly tidying. However, if for some reason more is there than usual, I’ll do it before I start to cook dinner. We have a small peninsula, not a giant island, so it’s important for me to have some space cleared before I start to prepare a meal. But even if you only do this once a day, you’ll be amazed at the difference it will make. And it will end up being one of your favorite organizing tips, too!
Create a Home for Everything
“A place for everything, and everything in its place.” I know we’ve all heard this, but it is so true. If everything in your home has a designated spot, it will be so much easier to make it a habit to put things back where they belong. Clean out clutter so you can make room for the things you want to keep. (Get my tips on clearing clutter here). Then designate spots for everything in your home.
And if you don’t have enough storage space, work on creating new storage solutions in your home. Whether that’s buying organizing pieces for drawers and cabinets so that they hold more, adding storage closets in a garage or under the stairs, or getting creative with where you store items, there are multiple ways to make room. We live in a house with very little storage so I’ve found that drawer organizers make a huge difference in how much I can fit!
Once everything has a place, people will be less likely to leave things out, making it easier to create the good habit of putting everything away. Below are some of my absolute favorite organizers for drawers and closets!
Keep a Donation Bin in Your Closet or Garage
I have a friend who keeps a basket in her closet for clothing donations. We keep a bin in our garage for all donations, clothing, decor, and the like. Either way, it helps to keep you editing what you have in your home if you have an easy, designated place to put those items.
Then at the end of the quarter, or sooner if you have more, it’s easy to run those items to a nearby charity or have them picked up.
Just Say No to Things You Don’t Need
We all love free stuff, but taking more stuff just because it’s free just creates more clutter. In the past, when I bought cosmetics and was offered free samples, I always took them. Or if a friend offered me a dress that no longer fit her, I would say yes. Now I’ve realized that I don’t need to say yes to everything that’s offered.
Whether I’m in a store or ordering online, I decline the ‘free’ cosmetics samples offered unless it’s something that I really want to try. (And it almost never is!) Other items I decline are the free small toothpaste/floss from the dentist (it’s not our brand and they just pile up in the cabinet) and any kind of ‘promotional’ wear like t-shirts, hats, pens, mugs, or magnets. (There are a lot of those around!)
By saying yes to items we don’t need or don’t even want creates waste. It costs money and resources to make these, so only say yes to those things you really need or want. Another benefit? You won’t have to find room to store them! 😉
Hopefully you found this helpful or inspiring if you’re still struggling to get a handle on clutter. By implementing these 10 easy tips, you’ll have an organized home in no time. And if you have any of your own favorite organizing tips, I’d love to hear about them!
Below I’m sharing some of my favorite things that will help keep your home organized all year!
Shop Organizing Essentials
Here’s to a more organized year – all year!
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