Perhaps your home is currently cluttered and you are wondering how do I start to declutter my home? Or perhaps, you are already on the road to organizing but are unsure how to continue on that journey. There are certain habits of organized people that will get you on that road.
Do not lose all hope as it is indeed possible to have a home that is organized by beginning with these 16 simple habits of organized people. I am all about keeping things simple and working as efficiently as possible. I would rather spend my time partaking in hobbies or hanging out with friends than continually cleaning.
So how can it be done? Follow these simple secrets (psssst, I guess they aren’t really secrets anymore, are they?) to keep your space mess-free. I guarantee these tasks can be done quickly and with minimal effort so you can get on with the rest of your day.
#1. Buy Organizing Containers After You Go Through Your Things
My first mistake when I attempted to get organized was looking at tons of pictures of organized rooms on Pinterest. I can have a room like that I thought; I just need a ton of beautiful baskets and plastic containers. Yep, I went out and spent more money on these things than I ever should before I actually went through my things.
Go through your belongings and purge like a mad person! Then take a look at what you actually have left and how many pretty containers are realistically needed. It is also wise to have transparent containers so you can see exactly what it contains. What is the purpose of having a basket of stuff that you never use because you cannot see it?
#2. Clean As You Go
Any time I move in my place, I make a point of cleaning something or putting something back where it belongs. For example, if there is a glass on the coffee table and I get up to go to another room, I pick up that glass and immediately put it in the dishwasher. This way, a mess does not begin to accumulate and make me feel overwhelmed. Essentially, it is easier to maintain and keep organized and is one of the most useful habits of organized people.
I live in a small space and my kitchen table becomes a catch-all for everything – papers, bills, books, keys. I purchased a small basket that things now go into and therefore, the tabletop is kept clear. I purposefully bought a small basket so that not everything fits into it.
#3. Make a List
I am a total list person. Hmmmmmm I may even have a list about my other lists. Ok, maybe it isn’t that intense but I do find making a to-do list extremely helpful and motivating. It also helps me to actually remember what I wanted to do and well, if I can’t remember it, it isn’t ever getting completed!
#4. Follow Through With Your List
Making a to-do list is only good if you actually do the things you listed! What a revelation, eh? I find that I am most productive in the morning and therefore, try to accomplish as many tasks from the list earlier in the day. I have always been like this and if I procrastinate even into the afternoon, nothing ever gets done. Know yourself and figure out when is the best time for YOU to be productive. It is the best way to follow through with these habits of organized people.
Another motivational part of completing my tasks is crossing off the tasks with incredible enthusiasm! Yep, I am weird but seeing a list of tasks I was dreading having dark lines through them is pure satisfaction!
#5. Routine. Routine. Routine
Highly organized individuals have a routine that they follow. Find what type of routine works for you. Maybe certain things must be done daily while other things must be completed on a weekly basis. It is a matter of being self-disciplined so you can reach your goals.
#6. Make Your Bed Every Morning
OK, I will admit, this is one I am still working at. Why make my bed when I will be crawling back into it at the end of the day? The reality is a made bed makes the room look so much neater and organized. This also motivates me to keep the rest of the room clean as well.
Make your bed as soon as you get out of it. Do not wait until after your shower, or after you eat breakfast. Let’s face it – these are only excuses for procrastinating actually making your bed.
#7. Perfection is Not Realistic
If you are attempting to recreate some sort of pristine house you saw photographed on Pinterest, let go of that idea immediately. Those homes have been staged by professionals for the sole purpose of being photographed not for living in them.
I never aim for perfection in my organization but in general tidiness. What degree of tidiness do I want to attain? This will inevitably differ from person to person. Decide what you and your family are happy living in.
#8. Store Items Where You Use Them
Keep things where they are used the most. This seems fairly logical, doesn’t it? There is nothing worse than being in the bathroom and realizing that the extra rolls of toilet paper are in the basement and you only have three squares left! Instead, store that toilet paper where you use it – in the bathroom.
When we keep things where we use them, we are more likely prone to putting the items back in their proper place. If I normally store my blender in the basement closet, I probably won’t feel inclined to return it thereafter using it, and leave it on my kitchen counter – causing further clutter.
#9. Have a Home For Everything
Every item in your home needs a place where it belongs. This makes it easier for you to put it away when not in use but it also makes finding it a whole lot simpler too.
If you find that you have more things than you have room, you need to begin purging again. Think about the items.
- Do you really NEED it?
- Does it serve a PURPOSE?
- When was the last time you actually USED it?
- Does it bring you JOY?
So if you cannot find a home for something, maybe it is time for you to get rid of it. It may just be contributing to your cluttered home and interfering with your goal of being organized.
#10. Purge Regularly
The important word here is REGULARLY. Once you have made the massive purge and have what you truly need and want in your organized space, remember that in order to maintain the organization, you must purge on a regular basis. Without these habits of organized people happening on a regular basis, you will inevitably be back where you started.
I am a victim of holding onto every little card or drawing my nieces make for me because they hold some sentimental value. However, I have learned to only keep either the most recent or significant pieces. The others I hold onto for a short period of time and then get rid of them (shhh, don’t tell the girls). However, those things still hold some meaning for me and therefore, I take a photo of them before tossing.
If things are broken, stained, not used, throw them away or better yet, recycle them. If someone else can use them, donate them to a local shelter or clothing bank. I can guarantee that you will not miss those items. You probably won’t even remember you had them.
#11. Get Rid of Duplicates
I developed a bad habit when I lived in an isolated community – gathering duplicates of things. I was very far from anywhere that I could actually purchase things so I kept multiples in case I would run out of it or it would break for some absurd reason.
After my divorce, I started over and my family was a great help with helping me out with necessities. The unfortunate thing is I kept accepting them even though I already had 8 of the same thing.
Keeping duplicates of things leads to a cluttered atmosphere and often you will run out of space for the things you really need. Go through your belongings and decide what you reach for. I had 5 wooden spoons but only used two so BAM! I donated the other three. Someone else was able to get use out of them and I did not miss them one bit.
#12. Tidy up For 10 Minutes Daily
So, if you have been cleaning up after yourself as you go and develop a routine for your specific cleaning tasks, it will only take 5-10 minutes to tidy up each day. Commit to these few minutes on a daily basis to pick up the blanket off the living room floor or remove your papers off the kitchen table. Decide what time of day works best for you.
Personally, tidying up in the morning while I am getting ready for work makes me feel accomplished and even more determined to tackle my day. Simple tasks like emptying the dishwasher or taking out the trash take but a few minutes but are a few less things I have to do after a 12-hour workday.
Involve the rest of the family in this daily routine. Make it like a game and incorporate an element of competitiveness into the process. Set a timer and discover what a motivator that can be for everyone!
#13. Tackle The Dishes Immediately
Yep. Dirty dishes are my enemy for sure. I absolutely hate washing dishes and in my small kitchen, a few piled up dishes make it look like a disaster.
Wash the dishes throughout the day or put them in the dishwasher immediately. Therefore, it doesn’t seem like a daunting task and it is actually easier when the food isn’t crusted on. It is probably one of the habits of organized people that I get the most satisfaction from.
It is a feeling of satisfaction to wake up in the morning or come home after a long day’s work to see the kitchen is clean.
#14. Avoid Multitasking
Avoid multitasking when it comes to organizing. Whaaaaaat? Yes, this is the time you want to be focusing only on one task at a time if you want to be efficient and effective in your organizing. Choose one task and focus on just that. Is it doing the dishes? Or perhaps washing the bathroom? Or maybe vacuuming the carpets? Complete the task from beginning to end before moving on to another. Things will get done well and in less time.
#15. Just Do It!
Procrastination is your enemy. Create your to-do list as mentioned above and start the tasks right away. Because, really, what are you waiting for? Attempt to complete the tasks as early in the day as possible so that when other miscellaneous things pop up, they are already done.
#16. Go Vertical!
This is sometimes a challenge for me – I am 5’2” so there is a whole lot of room above me that I do not see. That means a ton of space I am not using to get better organized.
Well-organized individuals utilize the vertical space in the home to its fullest potential. Now be careful here – this doesn’t mean to stack everything to the ceiling and keep everything you have ever come into contact with. Still using the rule of only keep things you NEED, begin thinking out of the box to use the vertical space. For example, perhaps installing an extra shelf at the top of your closet will enable you to organize your clothing better.
Maintaining an organized home does not have to be difficult or overwhelming as long as you incorporate these pointers into your daily routine. It will leave you feeling accomplished and free up more time in your day to enjoy the things you love doing.
You have purged unnecessary things from your house but now you need to adopt these simple habits of organized people to avoid it returning to the chaos you once knew!