My secret to staying organized or at least one of them….

It isn’t earth shattering, it isn’t huge, but it is 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.

Simple I know but it works amazingly well and it definitely works for me. For example, if I’m going from the living room to the kitchen I take a quick look around and take with me anything that belongs in a space on my way….cups, papers, newspapers, etc. If I’m going from the living to the study, I’ll not only take a look around for anything that lives in the study but anything that resides upstairs as well. The reason for this is because on my way to the study I pass the stair landing and I can leave whatever needs to go up on the landing for the next time I go upstairs. Or if I buy shampoo or bandaids etc. that belong upstairs I’ll also leave those on the landing so I can’t miss them the next time I go up. I also do this with the downstairs stuff. I’ve even known some people to keep a basket on their stair landing to catch and contain these items which is also an idea that might work for some. For me a basket on my stairs would just be something to trip over but that’s just me. Now without even thinking I know to check the space and not just walk over it or around it but be conscious of where I am going.

I am in the habit of always taking a look around when leaving a space in anticipation of putting it away in the space that I’m going. It saves me time in the long run because I’m not leaving it all to clean up at one time. I’m always on top of it.

Still each night before I go to bed I do a quick tour of the main floor of my house and do what I call my 10 minute tidy. This means I simply ensure everything is tucked back into its designated space. It’s now a habit and it makes all the difference in the world to how my next day is going to go. For example, loose papers on the table are dealt with including any school papers that are required for the next day, items needed to go somewhere are put on the I’m outta here shelf, kitchen is tidy, etc. This is something I know I need to do for my sanity. The days I don’t I’m a growly bear the next day because I find myself scrambling and that just sets the wrong tone for the whole day.

So you see taking the time to create a designated space for everything and then staying on top of the clutter everyday will save you so much time not just in the long run but each and every day. All those minutes add up and contribute to keeping stress levels at a manageable level… least it does for me and I hope it will do the same for you.

Filed under: Organizing


26 Responses to My secret to staying organized or at least one of them….

  1. 1
    Robin says

    So simple, but a great tip and reminder. Definitely something I need to train myself to do.

  2. 2
    Mommy says

    “Don’t pass it up; pick it up.” Right? I say that to myself many times a day.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. 3
    ChupieandJ'smama says

    You are so wise. It’s so simple, but what a big impact this technique would have. I’m going to try to remember to do this. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  4. 4
    Kookaburra says

    I ALWAYS do this. I can’t seem to leave a room without taking something with me to put away. And I do the same thing before bed. It’s soooo much easier to sleep knowing that everything is in it’s home. This is nothing that I trained myself to do or anything. It’s just a compulsion of mine. Atleast now I know I’m not the only one!

  5. 5
    Debi says

    I always do that, too. I could probably count on one hand how many times I’ve gone to the basement empty-handed.
    I love the idea of your 15-minute tidy! There’s already so much to do in the evening (getting ready for breakfast the next morning, packing lunches, getting everyone’s clothes ready, etc.) that I’m not sure I want one more “thing” to do. But I can definitely see how it would pay off…and I’m definitely going to give it a try!

  6. 6
    Susanne says

    This is a great tip, Laura. I find it really helps reduce all that clutter. Now I just need to train myself to put it away in the right spot in the room I’m taking it to, instead of just putting on the most convenient surface. *sigh*

  7. 7
    Karen says

    First let me say how much I enjoy your blog! I pop in often to see what’s goin’ on. I love today’s post. I’m starting this right now, right here. It makes so much sense. Also, loved the link to the I’m Outta Here. I have a collapsible box in the back of the van, although it rarely gets folded up. It works for me. Now I know what to call it!

  8. 8
    Karen says

    Great tip! I posted something similar not long ago. I tell myself “Just leave it better than you found it”. It makes everything so much easier! Love your site. 🙂

  9. 9
    Elizabeth at A Biblical Home says

    Great ideas! I am sure that I could cut way down on clutter if I just get into the habit of not going from one room to another empty-handed. Thanks!

  10. 10
    Once Upon a Dream... says

    Awesome tip, Laura! I’ll have to start doing that! lol

  11. 11
    Ginger says

    I’m not so much and organizer junkie as a container junkie so I was excited to find your blog. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  12. 12
    Sunydazy says

    I didn’t get a chance to wish you a happy blogiversary the other day, I was sleeping! Ahem…anyway, now that I’m awake…I wish you another great year!
    (I just recently had my 1 year anniversary too.)

    Thanks for all the encouragement you give us everyday.

  13. 13
    Barb says

    Simple but just amazingly effective. I’ve done the same thing forever.

    By the way, I posted a photo especially for you this morning. It’s at the bottom of “Because I haven’t posted a photo in a while.” You’re gonna love it! LOL

  14. 14
    Michelle says

    Great idea! This is my first time reading your site and you have practical tips for the everyday person. The company I work for, ORG, also has some useful organizing tips. For an organizing junkie like yourself (as am I) you would love them. Check it out!

  15. 15
    Justice Fergie says

    I do this too.

    Can I come live at your house? It sounds so wonderfully tidy.

    I just read about your “I’m Outta Here!” Shelf, and I loooove the idea. Thanks!

  16. 16
    Lori says

    I’ve really been trying to put this one into practice lately. And I love the idea of the quick tidy before bedtime. My house is so little that it would take no time at all!

  17. 17
    MnkyMama says

    excellent idea…..I have GOT to start doing this…but my apartment is so tiny I turn around and am in another room….lol…..go figure!

  18. 18
    Mrs. U says

    Yes, very simple, but it DOES work! We live in a ranch style house and I do this even when going from room to room. This way, I am constantly on the lookout for clutter.

    Mrs. U

  19. 19
    Laura says

    Great tip, Laura! My mom does this, but I’ve not developed the habit. I know that it works, and I just need to do it.

    Thanks much!

  20. 20
    Jennifer says

    I agree. I do have stuff that piles up, so I try to do that as well, but I don’t always actually DO it!!

  21. 21
    khadija says

    i was thinking i’m the only one has
    clutter and cleaning isue
    thank you for making it easy as 1,2,3

  22. 22
    Priscilla Marvin says

    I just came across your site and I already love it! My problem is I don’t pick up stuff that I don’t have a place for. Odds and end items that have just come into my house. Should I have a “odds n ends” shelf?

  23. 23
    Kamani Siriwardane says

    Great tip! Actually I do the SAME thing. But only at the end of the day. I take a basket with me and go around the house. Whatever misplaced item I see in the house goes to that basket. Either I fill the basket with misplaced items or I empty the basket when I go to the appropriate place. When I walk from room to room I can empty the whole basket.
    Thanks very much for your tip

  24. 24
    Tracy says

    I get really cranky when the house is messy. I get mad at myself for “letting it go”. I usually just throw everything on the bed or couch and clean the floor. Once I see the floor looking nice, I seem to get a little out of control and can’t stop cleaning until the couch and bed looks nice. I should try this. I go from room to room all the time. I should have something in my hand from now on. I’ll just pretend I am takin it to its ‘home’ lol.


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