The following is a guest post with 5 quick tips to organize your house fast by Amy from Deliberately Here.
Creating an organized home is no small feat. It requires time, work, and dedication. No one has ever been able to take their home from a place of pure disaster to a beautifully organized house overnight (and if someone has… I’d love to meet them). But, just because organizing requires a lot of effort doesn’t mean it’s impossible – or that it needs to take up hours upon hours of your time. There ARE things you can do to spend less time organizing while still creating a beautifully organized home.
I realize that not everyone has hours of spare time every day to spend organizing. Oftentimes we are so busy we don’t even have time to think about organizing as we go through our day. It isn’t until the evening when we’re finally sitting down to relax that we look around and realize how big of a mess our house is. There are toys scattered across the floor. Laundry (clean? dirty?) is in every room. Books and magazines are everywhere EXCEPT where they should be – in the magazine rack and bookshelf. There are miscellaneous papers on the coffee table, kitchen counter, office desk, night table, and just about everywhere else.
It’s at moments like these when organizing can feel overwhelming. When you look at the messy state your house is in and realize that it’s going to take you months to get it back to a presentable state (maybe not months, but days nonetheless). And, it’s moments like these that you feel like panicking when someone asks to get together for coffee – and you want to offer up your house, but you can’t because of the mess.
So, how DO you create an organized home – especially when you don’t have time to organize your house? There are thousands of organizing tips online and in books that all offer great advice – but what do you do when you don’t have the time to do it all? What about when you don’t even have time to sit down and read those books to learn their organizing techniques?
You have to make time.
When I don’t have time but I know I have to do something about the mess in our house, the very first thing I do is MAKE time. If I have to postpone a coffee date or reschedule an appointment, I will. The first step towards tackling an overwhelmingly unorganized home is to make time, then dedicate that time purely to organizing.
If you are able to focus 100% of your attention on organizing your house, it shouldn’t take you any longer than an afternoon. (But, if the mess is so out of control that it does take longer than expected, do all you can do today, then come back tomorrow to finish the job.) THEN, once I have tackled the mess in our home, the second thing I do is implement these 5 quick tips to get your house organized into my daily schedule. These tips don’t take much time to complete at all, and they make a whole world of difference.
When I do these 5 organizing tips every day I am able to keep our home from becoming the cluttered mess it once was. Are you ready to learn what these 5 quick tips to organize your house are? Let’s get right to it.
5 Quick Tips to Organize Your House Fast
1. Use a to-do list
Even if you aren’t a lists person, using a to-do list is a fantastic way to keep yourself and your home organized everyday. Your list doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or well-written. It can be as simple as a piece of scrap paper where you write down the things that need to get done for the day and cross them off as you go. If I didn’t use to-do lists, nothing would get done in my day. I tend to get easily distracted, and even though I have good intentions of doing everything I need to do, by the time 9am rolls around I’ve usually long forgotten what it was I needed to do.
I like to keep a weekly to do list so I don’t have to write a new list every day. At the beginning of the week I write down everything that needs doing throughout the week (appointments, projects, cleaning tasks, etc) and then I write them down into the appropriate days of the week. As new things come up throughout the week, I just add them onto my weekly to-do list. This way I don’t have to worry about forgetting important appointments or tasks. (There was a point in my life when I was missing more appointments than I was showing up to… it wasn’t good.)
2. Purge your house regularly
When you hear the phrase “purge your house” the first thing that probably comes to mind is a house with essentially nothing in it. But, that’s not what I’m meaning when I say that you should be purging your house regularly. Purging your house on a regular basis simply means getting rid of things that don’t belong. Things that don’t have a place in your house. Things that you don’t need. Anything that you don’t need and don’t use, should go.
There’s no point in holding on to things that are just taking up space in your home. I like to think that if something doesn’t have a home in our house, there’s no point in keeping it, because it’s just adding one more thing for me to organize and clean around in our house. (I like to keep things as simple as possible, so making unnecessary work for myself is not something I like to do.)
My husband and I have been living in small basement suites for over two years, so we’ve become pretty good at only keeping the things we need. (Though there was a point in our lives when we held on to a LOT of useless clutter for no reason at all.) Even though we don’t have much space for stuff in our house, we have always seemed to be able to find a place in our home for the things that we need and things that matter most to us. The rest of the stuff? We’ve gotten good at getting rid of it. And we’ve learned how to make do without it.
To purge your house regularly – go through it with a box or a bag and get rid of anything that you really don’t need to be holding on to – you’ll be making your life a WHOLE lot easier when it comes around to organizing.
3. Put things away when you’re done with them
This is a habit that MANY people haven’t picked up, but it’s something that makes a world of difference when it comes to keeping a clean, organized home. Think of it – if you leave every dish, book, and item that you use throughout the day where you use them (NOT where they belong), you’re creating a lot of extra work for yourself when you do finally clean and organize your house. Whereas if you put things away as soon as you’re done using them, you’re freeing up a lot of time, and keeping your house in an organized state throughout the day.
When you’re done eating, bring your dishes straight to the dishwasher. When you’re done reading a book, put the book back away where it belongs. This is also a good habit to teach your kids. Have them clean up their toys as soon as they’re done playing with them, have them bring their dishes to the dishwasher or counter as soon as they’re done eating. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at the end of the day by how much less stuff you have to clean up and how much neater your house looks.
4. Use a miscellaneous basket
This is one of my favorite organizing tips that I’ve picked up over the years. Even though you’re working on picking up the habit of putting things away as soon as you’re done using them, there’s a good chance there will still always be something that gets left laying somewhere it doesn’t belong. To drastically decrease the amount of time it takes to clean up your house every evening, whether that be time spent fishing for toys that got kicked under the coffee table or putting gadgets back in their spot, you can set up a couple miscellaneous baskets in the high-traffic areas of your home. These baskets act as a “catcher” for out-of-place items.
Throughout your day if you notice something in the living room that doesn’t belong there, but you don’t have time to put it back where it does belong, quickly toss it into the basket. Then, in the evening you can pick that basket up and walk around the house putting everything back in its proper place.
Cleaning things up all at once by using the miscellaneous basket will cut down on the amount of time it takes to clean up. Instead of spending 30 minutes and endless trips around your house putting things away (because we can only carry so much), you can now spend less than 10 minutes and make only ONE trip around your house putting things from the basket away.
The two most common areas of our home that seem to collect various items throughout the day are the entryway and the living room, so I find it extremely helpful to keep a basket in each room.
5. Tidy up for 10 minutes each night
This is another one of my favorite quick tips to get organized because it’s something you can include the whole family in – rather than doing it all on your own. Make a habit of having everyone in the family spend 10 minutes tidying up each night before bedtime. Put toys away, load the dishwasher, sweep the kitchen floor, put items from the miscellaneous basket away, etc. You can make this a fun task by having your kids “race” the timer. Set a timer for 10 minutes and challenge them to get everything done before the timer goes off.
Do you struggle with keeping an organized home? Have you tried to organize only to find that it takes too much time? My hopes are that you will be able to take and implement these 5 quick tips to get organized into your daily life to create (and keep) an effortlessly organized home in no time. You’ve got this!
Amy is a young wife and a new mother who knows that homemaking can be a thankless job. Amy is the founder of DeliberatelyHere.com where she is using her passion and skills for homemaking to help other wives and moms create thriving homes that they can be proud of with helpful tips and resources to encourage and inspire them along the way.