Organization doesn’t come naturally to most people. Over the last couple of years, many of us have been drawn in by shows and websites that encourage us to have the most organized spaces. While you might understand the benefits of being organized, it can be overwhelming if you’re a naturally messy person.
Prefer to listen rather than read? Press play below.
This post may contain affiliate links. What does that mean for you? Nothing. It means that if you use a link I provide to buy a product, I get a little kickback, but it costs you nothing.
Even if you’re a messy person, you shouldn’t have to be stuck in a whirlwind of chaos either. Here are some tips for keeping your home organized and some resources to check out for more ideas.
Get Rid of Trash
I know that for me, this is always the easiest place to start. When you throw away the things that have piled up, you immediately open space and you’ll feel better. Mail that you thought you’d need to reread, notes from school, empty water bottles…we see it all get left around. Start simple.
Give Things a Home
This is a premise that all home organizers talk about. If it doesn’t have a home, you’re supposed to find a home or get rid of it. I live in the real world where I’m not going to throw something away that I use just because it doesn’t have a home. Sometimes, it takes time to figure out where or how you can store things. What you need to do is find homes for as much as you can. If there are a few things left, so be it.
Think about what you carry in your purse. Most of the items are things you use every day and you want them with you. That’s their home. But sometimes, you’ve had to throw something else in there and then it sits. And sits. Remove those things that don’t belong in that home.
Knowing you have things to clean is not enough to ensure that it gets done. You need to schedule cleaning and organizing just like you schedule anything else. Decide how you work best – in big chunks of time or short bursts and plan your cleaning like that. If you’re a big chunk person, set aside one whole evening or weekend morning to do nothing but clean and organize.
If the thought of doing nothing for a few hours but cleaning is enough to make you poke out your eyes, then you’re probably a short-burst person. Give yourself 1-2 small tasks to do every day.
Contain the Clutter
Choose where you can put the clutter until you have time to deal with it. Instead of having piles of clutter all over, give it a designated space. Maybe it’s a junk drawer in your kitchen or a corner of your desk or a box that you keep near the closet. If clutter has a home, it will be in one spot waiting for when you have the time and energy to organize.
You don’t have to get super fancy here. Dollar store containers, bins, and baskets are perfect. Think about how you can use containers for specific items to keep them organized. A bin in the living room can store blankets so they’re not constantly thrown all over the floor and couch. A basket next to the couch can hold magazines or coloring books for kids so they’re not spread on every flat surface. Start small until you find things that feel right and work for you.
One note about using containers: If you have ADHD, you might often forget where things are. Out of sight out of mind isn’t just an expression for you. You can still use bins and baskets. Clear bins are great because you can still see what’s in them. If you’re using something that isn’t see-through, use a label or a picture of what it contains so it’s a little less “out of sight.”
Create a Nighttime Routine
Even if you’re not a short-burst cleaning person, having a regular nighttime routine to just pick up the areas of your home that fill quickly with clutter can do wonders. Whether it’s your kitchen or living room or den, think about where people spend the most time. That’s probably where clutter collects first.
Take 10 minutes each night to just pick up what’s lying around. This is also something you can get the kids involved in – or better yet, make them responsible for. It doesn’t require a lot of effort, just consistency.
Make sure shoes and jackets are picked up. Backpacks are where they need to be for the morning. Clear off the counter, and toss laundry in the basket. The small things can have a huge impact.
Here are some resources to help you on your organization journey:
Books for Inspiration:
The most important thing to remember when organizing is that you have to create a system that makes sense and works for you. It doesn’t matter how cool someone else’s house looks if they use a system that stresses you out. Try different methods, look for inspiration everywhere, and implement the things that feel right to you.