5 Simple Ways to Organize Your Home

I’m joining in today on the 5 Simple Ways project spearheaded by Toni of The Happy Housewife.  A number of bloggers, myself included, are each writing a post about 5 Simple Ways to do something in our respective niches.  My post today of course is all about organizing!

colorful buckets

image credit: shutterstock

I’ve had a heck of time trying to narrow down my list to just 5 simple ways though because there are just so many ways!   I decided to focus on some basics for this one since we are at the start of a brand new year.  These steps once implemented will provide a solid organizing foundation for an organized and efficient home.  They have each been adapted from the tips included in my new book, Clutter Rehab:  101 Organizing Tips to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It!  At the end of my post you’ll find the links to all the other participating bloggers and their topics.  Enjoy!

5 Simple Ways to Organize Your Home

1.  Don’t discount what can be done in 5 minutes

So often we get stuck on the huge mountain of stuff that needs to be tackled that we tend to put off dealing with it until it can be dealt with all at once.  The problem here, especially for busy families, is that a huge chunk of time almost never shows up.  Thankfully many organizing tasks can be completed in short bursts of attention.  For instance, in 5 minutes you can gather 5 things for your donation station, in 5 minutes you can check for expired products in your fridge, in 5 minutes you can organize your daughter’s hair barrettes, update your calendar, etc.   Over time those few minutes and tasks will add up!

planner

image credit: shutterstock

2.  Never leave a room or floor empty handed

I’ve written about this one before and it is by far the one thing that helps me stay on top of clutter and reign in the chaos that is “stuff” out of its home. I never go from one floor to the next or one room to the next empty handed. That’s it.  I go into more detail about this on this post here.

3.  Do a 10 minute tidy each night before bed

Each night before bed take a few minutes to walk around and organize yourself for the next day.  This involves just taking 10 minutes to ensure items for school are ready in your child’s backpack, items to be mailed are ready to go by the door, a list of errands to be done is created along with calls that need to be made, you’ve got an idea what you’ll make for dinner, etc.  It’s all about giving yourself the next day advantage.  You may think you’ll have time to do all those things in the morning but without fail something comes up to sabotage your good intentions and you spend the rest of the day scrambling and out of sorts.

girls room

image credit: shutterstock

4.  Use visual cues to eliminate clutter

Sometimes with everything else going on, we can’t remember what we’ve used and what we haven’t.  Of course we want to believe we have used something and even try to convince ourselves we have.  Take any guesswork out of the equation by using some simple visual cues to remind you.  For instance, place colored sticker dots on items of clothing or other miscellaneous items around your home.  Mark the date on the calendar.  When you use the item, remove the dot.  At the end of the year you’ll know exactly what you’ve used and haven’t used.  If it hasn’t been used you know it’s time for it to go!

5. Create “stations” in your home

I’m a huge fan of stations.  Others might refer to them as zones.  Whichever term you use, clustering activities in one place works!  Rather than walk all around your kitchen gathering supplies to make coffee and tea, keep everything located together in one cupboard.  This tip can apply to so many other areas of your home as well….games, craft supplies, snacks, you name it!  It saves considerable time when trying to find what you need.

Happy organizing my friends!  If you are looking for some inspiration and motivation be sure to check out my 52 Weeks of Organizing series.

Please also visit the other participants in this 5 Simple Ways tour:

Laura from Heavenly Homemakers: 5 Simple Ways to Live a Natural Lifestyle
Carrie from Springs Bargains: Simple Ways to Make Money From Your Blog
Myra from The Casabella Project: 5 Simple Ways to Decorate on a Dime
Melissa from A Familiar Path: 5 Simple Ways to Take Better Photos
Jenny from Southern Savers: 5 Simple Ways to Start Using Coupons
Lynn from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures: 5 Simple Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen
Connie from Smockity Frocks: 5 Simple Ways to Have a Successful Homeschool Day
Toni from The Happy Housewife: 5 Simple Ways to Save Money in 2011
Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam: 5 Simple Ways to Dress Fabulously for Less

Filed under: Organizing

Comments

32 Responses to 5 Simple Ways to Organize Your Home

  1. 2
    Peggy says

    I love these ideas. I keep a Sharpie in the kitchen so I can clearly date food packages that need it (it’s not always easy to see a date and sometimes I re-wrap food for the freezer.)

  2. 3
    LisaC says

    God tips! I am VERY pregnant and haven’t felt up to doing much for a while now, but your first tip has saved my house from utter chaos. I can’t do much for long, but I can do lots of things in 5 minute chunks of time.

  3. 5
    Susie's Homemade says

    Great tips! I would add to pick the one area of your house that MUST be perfect for your peace of mind, and go with “good enough” on the other areas. Otherwise, you will burn yourself out too early.

  4. 6
    Heatherella says

    I really like all of these. Numbers 2 and 3 are my favorites! I catch myself doing both. It is easier to do the 10 minute tidy at night instead of being late in the mornings because you did it then. Another good organization idea is for the junk drawer we all probably have! I purchased drawer organizers from LTD Commodities (Lowe’s also sells them). Now my junk drawer isn’t a jumbled mess. I know where “such and such” is by the sections that it made!

  5. 7
    Tami says

    I love #2. I have a basket in each of my major rooms (living, kitchen, master, office…) that is simply for putting things that need to go to another room. It’s a constant reminder for me to grab the items from them and redistribute when I have an empty hand.

    I know you aren’t a fan of stair baskets :-) but I have 4…one for each child. as I find things around the house that belong to them, I put them in ‘their’ basket. They know that if it gets too full mom isn’t gonna be happy…so for the most part they keep up with them on their own.

    Love the tips today!! Thanks!

  6. 8
    Lilianna Grace says

    Great post that perfectly served it’s purpose. Those are all simple great tips. I’m already on board with most of them. I love the one about never leaving a room or floor empty handed! I’m always trying to get my kids to take their goods upstairs when they go!

  7. 9
    Trixie says

    Great tips, I especially like the 5 mintues tip. There are so many times I don’t want to clean or organize something because it will take more than a few minutes — but in 5 mintues I can get a good way towards done or done one or two small things!

  8. 11
    Holly says

    A version of the visual clues I use for clothes is at the begining of the season I place all clothes in the closet and hang the hanger backwards. After it’s worn and return to the closet I hang the hanger forwards. At the end of the season anything still on a backwards hanger goes since it hasn’t been worn.

  9. 14
    Kristy says

    These are great ideas. I really need to get some spring cleaning done and maybe keeping it simple like this will help me get it done. Along with the 5 minute idea, I love the idea of setting the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and doing as much as I can in those 15 minutes and then when the timer goes off, I’m done.

  10. 15
    Camden@Mom Gifts says

    The station idea works great in my kitchen – although guests (my Mom!) find it difficult to find things. I have a lunch making station, a snack station, and a baking station.

    I love the 5 minute idea…having a list of tasks that can be accomplished in 5 minutes really helps too!

  11. 17
    Christina says

    I am new to your website and love, love love it! I will be joining my first MPM this coming week! Cannot wait to share with my friends and family! The organizing tips here are just what I need to kick-start 2011!

  12. 18
    Rebecca says

    I love organising! Your tips are excellent, Thank you. Every month I go onto http://www.howardsstorageworld.co.uk and move onto a new room of my home and use their products to de-clutter and stay organised!

  13. 19
    bloggedyanne says

    You have some great tips here. I am sure to try one or two or three! bloggedyanne

  14. 20
    bloggedyanne says

    You have some great tips here. I can use one or two or three or…. anyway I like your way of organizing!

  15. 21
    Rowyn says

    1, 3 and 5 seem to be the ones that have helped me the most. Great post!

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