I’m not one of those people that love my home to be super spotless, but I do like it to be organised and clutter free. I find I feel happier and more productive if my house is tidy and so I have developed some habits for an organised home, and I’d love to hear your tips as well!
1. Create homes for everything
The easiest way to be able to keep things organised and tidy is to make sure that everything has a proper home to go to. This means sorting out cupboards, shelves and drawers to have separate places for everything to go and making proper use of storage boxes, drawer dividers and other containers. The more specific a ‘home’ your items have the more likely you are to put them back there, and to be able to find things again later! Keeping like-items together really helps with this as well.
2. Don’t have a dumping station
We all have that spot (usually just inside the front door) where we drop bags, keys, umbrellas, the mail, you name it, but breaking that habit is key to an organised home. Determine what it is that you normally deposit there and set up new ways to deal with each of those items. I now have a hat stand next to my front door so I can hang my bag, umbrella, hat or scarf to stop them just being dumped onto my dining table. It could be a hook for your keys, a shoe rack or a mail sorting station (more on that later), but whatever it is put it in place and get rid of your dumping station for good!
3. Do it now, not later
Changing the mindset from ‘I’ll do that later’ to ‘I’ll get it done now’ is a huge one in improving the organisation around the home. If you just do the smaller tasks as they arise rather than letting them pile up then they don’t seem so overwhelming and are much easier to achieve. If something will take less than 5 minutes it’s almost always best to do it straight away as you’ll barely even notice at the time, but you’ll definitely notice how on top of things you feel afterwards!
A great way to get lots of those smaller tasks done is to do them while you’re waiting for other things to happen – put dishes away while you wait for the kettle to boil. There’s literally a lot of small time intervals you can efficiently use.
4. Wipe down benches every day
This is one of those 5 minute tasks that can be easy to overlook, but really does make a huge difference! Every day make sure you wipe down bench tops in your kitchen and bathroom, not a deep clean, just to remove the crumbs and grime of the day. It leaves those key rooms looking clean and tidy and makes the actual weekly clean much easier as well. I tend to wipe my kitchen benches after doing my dishes after dinner, and my bathroom sink and bench after brushing my teeth at night. It only takes a minute, but it is definitely worth it!
5. Put things away before bed
One of the last things I do every evening before I go to bed is pick up anything that is out of place and put them all away, allowing me to start my next day in an organised home. This includes putting away clothes, shoes, books, you name it, as well as folding up the rug I keep on my couch and doing my mum’s favourite task – fluffing the couch cushions! I also put away my dishes from dinner that have been drying on the rack, leaving me with an organised and tidy kitchen ready for breakfast the next day. It only takes a few minutes but it definitely makes a difference.
6. Put things away after use
If you make this a new habit then the one before becomes much easier to achieve as well! It really is as simple as making sure that when you finish one task or activity you put everything away from that before moving on to something else. It’s the approach they use in schools and kindergartens, and it makes as much sense around the home as it does there! It might add a few minutes to the end of each activity but in the long run it will save you time and make your home a more organised one!
7. Set up a filing system
One of the biggest clutter problems most of us face is dealing with the paper that comes in. Changing as many of your bills to be online is one excellent way to not only save paper but keep things tidy, and for anything else you need to set up a system to stop them ending up in a pile on your dining table. I try and open all my mail as I get it from the letterbox and then put anything I don’t need straight in the recycling, bills on the fridge until I pay them and everything else goes straight into the appropriate file in my study.
Sometimes I can’t deal with it all straight away so I have a place next to my desk I put anything that needs actioning or filing, and make sure it gets dealt with when I bring in the next lot of mail. If you get lots of mail you might want to get a divided stand or folder to put it in for actioning, whatever system works for you that doesn’t involve a massive pile of papers sitting on your table!
8. Keep surfaces clutter free
Now, I don’t mean you need to live in a completely minimal home with nothing out on display anywhere (unless that’s your decorating style of course!) but just to keep your surfaces as clutter free as you can. This is most important with regards to table tops and bench tops, where things tend to get ‘stored’ unnecessarily, leaving your home feeling disorganised. If you’ve completed step 1 then everything should have somewhere it lives, so put them all away and leave your coffee table for displaying pretty items and your kitchen bench for preparing food!
9. Get rid of unwanted items regularly
One really great habit is to go through each room in your home (as well as other storage spaces like a garage) a couple of times a year and pull out anything you haven’t used or no longer need. These can then either be donated, recycled or disposed of through other means (I covered off on how to dispose of household items in a previous post), leaving you with much less clutter to deal with. We’re all generally pretty good at cleaning out our wardrobes, but less so other rooms in our house, so setting up a process of moving room to room over time is a great way to make sure all parts of your home are nice and organised!
There we have it, my 9 habits for an organised home. I’d love to hear your suggestions too!