Home Organization ~ Easy Ways to Declutter and Keep it Neat

Decluttering, organizing, purging…these words go hand in hand. I recently joined a decluttering Facebook group, and have been so motivated to work on smaller areas of my home. I have been purging, reorganizing, and getting things under control. It’s all about starting small, and I’d like to share some of my tips with you today! Learning how to eliminate clutter and keep your home organized keeps everyone happy!

Home organization is key for my sanity.  I am a huge surface person. In other words, I like to keep the surfaces of my home clean. I can’t stand things on the kitchen and bathroom counters, making my bed is a must, and I like to keep the floor clear. My mom always told me to make my bed because it makes the whole room look neater.  Now, I’m proud to say she’s right…when I was a teenager, I wasn’t so quick to admit that.  That’s a household tip that has stayed with me since I was still living at home with my parents, and it has carried over to the other rooms in our home.  As I’ve obviously grown up, had kids of my own, and now have a house to keep up with, I’m learning a few more things along the way. 

Home Organization

1.  Make the bed. Home organization starts with a mindset that you can perform a simple task and it’ll make a difference. Every bed in our house is made before we leave in the morning.  It takes about 2 minutes tops, and it truly makes the whole bedroom look neater.  And a great comforter covers a multitude of not so straight sheets :).  My kids have learned to make their own beds, and it has made a world of difference. 

2.  Attack the school paper or mail stack everyday.  As soon as the boys get home from school, they take out their planners and I make two stacks-papers to send back/keep and trash.  I have explained to them time and again that if I kept every paper they brought home, our house would be overrun with papers and we’d have room for nothing else.  Same with the mail. There are many days that everything in our mailbox is junk mail. It doesn’t even come inside the house. It goes straight into the recycling or burn pile in the garage, and what is important comes inside.

3.  Never leave a room empty handed.  No doubt, things get out of place very easily.  I try to never leave a room empty handed-shoes upstairs, coupons to the office, coats to the hall tree, kitchen towels brought downstairs from the laundry room.  By taking it a little bit at a time, I can easily have each room maintained when I follow this rule.

4.  Clean the counters.  I am a counter freak.  It’s about as bad as making the bed.  I can’t stand papers, cups of drinks, dirty dishes, cell phone chargers, etc. on the counters.  I feel like when my counters are clean, then the whole kitchen looks picked up. My hope is that each night before I go to bed, the kitchen counters are cleared and the sink does not have any dirty dishes in it. This makes an easier morning, and I am not walking into a mess to be cleaned up as we are getting ready for our day.

5.  Take decluttering and home organization one room at a time.  Before I leave a room and move on to another, I try to make sure that I’m leaving that room satisfactory.  I don’t like to have open ended organizing and cleaning tasks.  With three  kids in our house, I get interrupted a lot and have a lot of stuff to organize.  It’s much easier when I set my sights on one room at a time.  Cleaning and maintaining the bedrooms, putting laundry away, and one bathroom clean during a nap time or in a short time stint, I’m happy.  I don’t try to clean and organize my house in one weekend, let alone one day! 

By taking it a small step at a time, I can focus on really decluttering and organizing one area. I choose smaller tasks when I am short on time, larger tasks when I have a few hours. For example, I cleaned out our coffee mugs, water bottles, and glass cabinet in about 20 minutes before I took my daughter to school. Our home office, I organized and purged in a few hours on a Saturday morning. In our house, home organization is a family effort, and I try to NOT do all of it….if I do all of it, I am not teaching our children how to keep a home as they grow into adulthood.

6. Commit to Goodwill, consignment shops, or the trash right away.  As soon as I have my piles of donate, sell, or trash, they go to their respective places. I drive by a Goodwill on my way to the gym every morning.  If I have items to donate, then they right in the car and I drop them off ASAP. Stashing them somewhere else until I can get to it, doesn’t do any good! It just keeps the clutter around! Anything I have filled in a trash bag goes to the garage. If I have consignment items, those I do stash away for a little bit, until I have built up enough to make it worth the trip. Our consignment shop isn’t super close to my house, and they like you to come and pick up your “pass” items ASAP. So this I combine with another day of errands.

7. Your closet is not a catch all. It is so easy to just stow stuff in a closet, isn’t it? During the holidays my closet is the gift stashing spot.  That gets to me after a few weeks, and I can’t even stand to go in there. Since we have his and hers master closets {thank heavens}, we can keep our own stuff organized in our own way. Arranging the clothes by color makes it super easy for me.   Shirts, pants, dresses are all sectioned off by type and then by color. My husband arranges his clothes by type.  He has his suits and sport coats together.  Then he has his pants hung by color.  Shirts are arranged “no tie”, “tie”, polo, and casual. I organize our daughter’s closet in much the same way ~ by type. Dresses, hoodies, shirts, jackets etc, all grouped together.

8. Use what you have to organize what you have. Often while I am purging, I come across a bin that I can use again, a box to use for Goodwill items, etc. That keeps me from spending money on organizing bins and bringing MORE items into the house!  I find the over the door shoe organizers to be amazing and so versatile. The 9-cube shelving units make a great way to keep things together, and we use various baskets and bins as well. The point is to use what you have before you go and buy more!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your house and keeping up with everything, I’d encourage you to start with one room and get it to the point where you can maintain it.  Home organization and decluttering go hand in hand.  But neither one happens overnight. Then, add another.  Before you know it, you’ll be on top of your tasks and feeling more organized. 

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