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!
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!
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.
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