Life can be quite hectic sometimes. And then when you add in kids, errands, cooking meals, running a business, working a full time job, and keeping your house clean, it just gets even more hectic and chaotic. Right?
But since you are on a personal project of getting more organized in your life, you obviously want things to be more organized everywhere.
Every day when I come home from work, I check my mailbox. If I have mail, I will take it into my house and just set it on the table.
And then it sits there on the table for weeks.
99% of the time, this is all junk mail and should just be put right in the recycling bin. Now this is a daily habit for me, it goes to the recycling bin before it has a chance to sit on my table.
Mail that isn't junk mail, I will take care of as soon as I set down my stuff from work, take off my shoes and greet my kitties.
By not letting the mail pile up and just sit on my table, I am managing the clutter that comes with having mail. If I wasn't going to use it in the first place, why do I need to let it just sit on my table taking up space and energy in my home.
I still tend to be lazy with my dishwasher. Since it's only me, I only run my dishwasher 1-2 times a week.
But ever since I started closing my kitchen every night, I make sure my counters and sink are free of dirty dishes.
If you get into a habit of running the dishwasher at night when you close the kitchen, then first thing in the morning, you can empty the dishwasher and put everything away.
That way, when the dishwasher is empty of clean dishes, you don't have to let the dirty ones pile up in the sink and on your countertops.
Run the dishwasher at night when you are closing the kitchen, then empty the dishwasher the next morning when you are brewing your coffee.
Then you have no excuse later in the day to let things pile up in the sink when you could be putting them in the dishwasher.
The countertops tend to collect the most stuff during the day.
You go grocery shopping, the food ends up on the counters.
The mail from that day ends up on the counters.
The dirty dishes end up on the counters.
The kitchen is the center of every house, so it's easy for things to end up in the kitchen every single day.
But when you walk into the kitchen first thing in the morning and have clear countertops, it is a good feeling, and it makes for a less stressful start to your day.
Whether cleaning the countertops is part of your closing your kitchen routine or just a part of after dinner routine, put everything back where it belongs after you are done using it.
Use a hamper or a laundry basket for dirty clothes. And keep them collected in that one spot.
Make sure everyone else in your house also knows to keep their laundry in the designated spot for laundry.
This way on laundry day, it's easy to just throw the clothing in the washer and get on with the next task.
At the end of each day, I like to spend 5 minutes planning out what I'm going to do the next day.
What are the most important tasks that need to get done the next day? What am I going to make for my meals for the next day? What other things do I need to get done?
I have finally settled on just using a notebook for my planning. I have tried all kinds of planners and tools out there, but I found what works best for me, is a plain, old notebook.
I start with my top 3 tasks that absolutely must be done. Then I list out any other to do's that need to be done as well. Then I plan out my meals for the next day, as well.
By doing this planning the night before, I don't waste time trying to figure out what I need to do the next morning. I can just get up and get cracking with my day because it's already planned for me.
Just like cleaning off your counters, you also want to keep your desktop clean and organized as well.
I know I tend to be even more productive when my desk is clean and organized.
While you are working during the day, things can get a little messy. But when you are done working, take a few minutes to clean up and put everything back in it's home.
This way, when everything is put back in it's home and you have a clean desktop, you can start your workday tomorrow with a clean slate and be even more productive.
Sometimes it takes more than a few minutes to empty your inbox because there are emails that you want to read.
But the goal is to always keep your inbox as empty as possible.
Since so many companies have switched to sending us most of our junk mail through our email inbox, it can be easy to go through and delete all of the emails that you have no plans of using or reading.
Why keep the emails that you won't really read in your inbox anyway? It's just more clutter in your space.
Take a few minutes and empty out your email inbox to any emails that don't need to be dealt with.
I know I'm guilty of this too. But when I'm out shopping, I tend to let my receipts just float to the bottom of my purse or take up space in my wallet.
And then I let them sit there for days and weeks on end.
But when you take the time to organize the on a daily basis and take care of your receipts, whether that means putting them in a file or throwing them away, you have much better space and organization in your purse or wallet or handbag.
This process can also help you with keeping track of your money better too.
When you are preparing a meal, you will occasionally run out of an ingredient or staple that you keep in your kitchen pantry.
So keep a running grocery list and every time you finish something, add it to your grocery list.
If you are anything like me, if you don't keep that running grocery list, you'll completely forget to buy that one item that you just finished. Then the next time you go to use it, you don't have any.
I have a little tablet that has a magnet on the back that I keep on my fridge to hold my running grocery list.
It also helps to remember to take this list with you when you actually go grocery shopping too. (I tend to always forget it!)
During the day, items tend to make their way from their homes to all kinds of other places in our homes.
But if you spend 5 minutes picking up these items and putting them back into their rightful homes, everything will look much neater.
Ultimately the goal is to get each person who got the item out to return it to it's home, but sometimes that's not always feasible.
My cats have a toy box of their own that I am always throwing their toys back into. Obviously pets can't pick up after themselves and most kids under 4 wouldn't have any idea what it means to put things back.
When everything has a home, you can easily and quickly put things away in their rightful places and keep your home more organized on a daily basis.
This is just a habit that needs to be built up over time and then it just becomes second nature to put everything back into it's rightful home.
The more you read, the more you'll learn. People like Warren Buffet, Will Smith, Bill Gates, all read every day.
It honestly doesn't matter if you are reading books, magazines, blog posts or newspapers. Spend some time reading every day and further educating yourself.
Organizing your life doesn't have to take that long. Plus the more you build up your daily habits around organization, the easier it will be for everything to just be second nature when it comes to keeping everything in your life organized.
You don't have to keep everything in your life Marie Kondo level organized.
But you want a system that works for you and daily habits that you can build to make sure that your home is to your own standards with your organizing.
What other areas of your life need organizing? What daily habits do you have to keep yourself and your life more organized? Let me know in the comments below.
You just got that dreaded phone call - you have guests coming to your house!
NO!!! You haven't had a chance to clean and get your house organized. It's a mess!
What do you do?!?
You've been working on craft projects lately and just haven't had a chance to clean up and get your house back into your organized state.
Write out a list of all of the rooms in your house and then put a number next to each room in the order of priority for that room.
For example, my list would look like:
And then I would number each room with the order of priority for those rooms.
If your guests will be staying overnight, I'd obviously start with the room(s) they will be staying in.
But if they are not staying overnight, your job got a tad bit easier.
What rooms will your guests be in when they will be visiting?
Anything that is in this room that doesn't belong in this room, gather it up and take it to the room(s) that it does belong in.
You can also grab a garbage bag and purge anything that really doesn't belong. And then also make sure you take out the trash, whether it's the garbage can behind the house, or the dumpster in the parking lot behind your house.
Stand back and quickly scan the room. Does it look presentable to a guest? Does it look habitable?
Now go to the next room on your list and complete the same process as above, like you did with the most important room.
If it doesn't belong in this room, then gather it up and take it to the room it does belong.
Gather up anything that can be thrown away.
Stand back and quickly scan the room for presentableness and whether it looks habitable or not?
And keep going on your list of rooms until you have completed the whole house.
Make sure the beds have clean sheets and are made. Vacuum your floors. Sweep your floors. Stow anything that is an eyesore out of sight whether that's under the bed or in a closet. Get out fresh linens.
You've done a quick onceover to all of the rooms in your house now. How much time do you have before your guests are going to arrive?
If you have enough extra time, you can do a deeper clean on your rooms based on the priority list you created above.
Scrub the toilets. Scrub the bathtub. Wipe down the sink. Run the dishwasher. Polish the wood and dust your surfaces.
But make sure that you aren't rushing this process.
One of the most important things to remember, is that your company really doesn't care about the organized status of your house.
And if they really do care about the organized status of your house, then they don't love you for who you are.
Plus you were given really short notice that your guests were even coming.
I know that since you are following this blog, your house is normally pretty clean anyway. You just didn't get a chance to do a deep clean like you would have preferred.
Every single time I go to my parents' house or one of my Aunts' houses, they always say "Excuse the mess" as soon as I walk in.
But there really isn't a mess at all. It just shows that the house is lived in and cared for.
It really doesn't matter whose house you go to, people are going to show up unexpectedly. You are going to get the notice to excuse the mess. But none of that really matters. You aren't there to inspect how well these people live.
And neither are your guests. They aren't doing an inspection.
You live your life and are busy. So you also need to consider this when you think about how clean your house is.
The most important thing to do is set a list of your priorities when it comes to cleaning. I already know you are going to tell me that all of the rooms are the most important, but they aren't.
You can set an order of importance for all of the rooms in your house. Then just move through your house according to the list of order of importance.
Your house will look neat and tidy when you follow this plan, even though it does already look pretty neat and tidy.
Save this post for later when you really do need to tidy up quickly!
Have you ever paused to take a look around your house and actually noticed all of the stuff that you have?
Do you even know how much stuff you own that you don't even use?
And if you don't use it, why are you even keeping it?
Well, the main reason is because you are a human and accumulating stuff and holding onto clutter is a thing that we do as humans.
For so many of us, it is really hard to get rid of something.
What if I need that later? I'm going to need it someday.
Honestly, if you haven't touched it or thought it once in the past 6 months, you aren't going to use it all.
So many of the things that we keep are useless and irrelevant to where we are in our lives right now. And it's really not something that you need to keep around in your life.
How often do you run out of storage space for your stuff?
How often are you running around like a crazy person trying to clean up your stuff when company is coming over, but you have nowhere to put stuff?
How often do you buy something new when you go to the store, only to come home and find that you have one already just like that?
We use excuses to hold onto this stuff and not declutter our homes and our lives. And these excuses are no longer serving you or your stuff.
The biggest thing holding you back from living in an organized and neat home is your stuff. You simply have too much stuff to create a neat and organized home.
So let's talk about these excuses and what you can do to eliminate these excuses once and for all.
Yes, someday exists, but only in our minds. It's not a day in the week and it's not a day you can find on the calendar.
When you actually look for something in your closet, how often do you find everything else but what you are looking for?
If you have not used something in the past 6-12 months, then your someday is not going to come. And if it does come, you won't even remember where this thing is that you really were saving for this occasion.
I saw a decluttering experiment a while ago. A lady went through every room in her house and packed up everything in each room, except for the basics. She put this stuff in boxes and put it away in a closet.
Then over the next 30 days, if there was something she needed that was packed away, she got it out. Otherwise, it stayed packed away.
At the end of the 30 days, whatever was still left packed, she got rid of, because she clearly wasn't using it and didn't need this clutter taking up her space.
If you really have a hard time getting rid of things, then try this experiment and actually notice how much of your stuff you don't even use.
Then you can sell or donate your stuff that you no longer have a need for and declutter your stuff.
You may have paid good money, but how often have you actually used it in the past 30 days?
If you went through your house and totaled up how much money you spent on stuff you don't even use, would you even want to know the resulting number?
Just think of how much money you could have in your savings account if you never bought this extra stuff!
There are going to be things that you and your family outgrow - furniture items, clothing, shoes - but that's normal. If the things you are outgrowing are still in good shape, consider donating or even selling them.
When you sell things, you can at least recoup some of the cost that you paid for the item.
True, sentimental items are hard to get rid of. But when you store these items in a drawer or box somewhere, how are you really remembering the person that gave it to you.
You don't have to declutter the sentimental things and actually get rid of them. But put them on display somewhere in your house so that you can hold that special memory of the person who did give it to you.
So many of us hold onto our old clothes because we want to be that size again. And clothes are expensive to buy, so when you hold on to those clothes, you'll be able to save the money by not having to buy them again when you can fit into that size again.
I know exactly what you are going through. I kept a section of my closet just for that old size I used to wear. But it had been years since I last wore that size.
How often do you hold onto something simply because you just don't know what to do with it?
You bought it with the intent of using it. Maybe it was for a decoration. Or for a project you were going to start.
But now you don't even remember why you bought it and what you were going to use it for. So now you are holding onto this thing waiting to see where you can use it.
You've had it for how long now and have yet to use it? Do you really think you are going to end up using it at all?
You really don't need to keep hanging on to it. Find someone else who can use it, sell it, or donate it.
So you know that thing that you bought that is sitting on the dining room table just collecting dust because you really thought you would need it, but it turns out, you have no idea what you need it for?
But you still leave it on the dining room table collecting dust because you can't get rid of it, but you really don't have any use for it.
This happens a lot because we like to spend money on things that we think we want when we see it in the store, but really have no idea how we are going to use it or even if it's something we actually need.
When you implement the 24-48 hour rule (wait 24-48 hours before completing a purchase), you will eliminate the purchases of things you really aren't going to use.
My dad uses this excuse all the time and it drives me insane!
There are all kinds of broken parts and pieces cluttering up my dad's garage, but he may have a use for it later, so he can't get rid of it.
But in all of my years of watching my dad, he has only used this old stuff once or twice. The rest of it just sits there with the possibility of being used, but just causing more clutter.
If he would just get rid of this broken stuff, you would easily be able to walk through the garage.
Don't be like my dad! Get rid of the old and broken stuff. It serves you no purpose right now and it is just taking up space in your house.
The space that you have in your house is valuable. The stuff that you allow into this space carries an energy as well.
When you take the time to go through your stuff and get rid of the clutter, you'll notice how the energy of your house changes almost immediately.
What excuses are you using to keep yourself from decluttering your house?
Save this post for later to help you defeat your decluttering excuses once and for all!
Marie Kondo has both a book and a Netflix series about tidying up your home using the KonMari method. For some people this works and for others it doesn't work. It's just like with any other guru out there, you can follow their methods and they may or may not work for you.
Each person is completely unique, which is why not all methods will work.
Whether or not these tidying up tips from Marie Kondo work for you, I'm sure there is at least one tip here that will work for you, no matter what stage of your home organizing you are in.
The KonMari tidying up method is inspired by minimalism and tackling your stuff by category.
The object of using the KonMari method is to create a more peaceful and happy home while organizing and releasing the clutter from your home at the same time.
As an added bonus, the happier your home life is, the happier you are in life in general.
Have you ever noticed how the clutter in your home just wears you down? It changes the energy of a room because it's just clutter not being used, loved or appreciated.
Commit yourself to be tidy
Imagine your ideal lifestyle
Finish discarding first
Tidy by category, not by location
Follow the right order
Ask yourself if it sparks joy
I binge watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix one weekend and it jumpstarted my drive to really clean, declutter and organize my entire apartment. While I don't completely follow her rules, I have learned some amazing tips from the show.
When watching the show, not everyone really liked this part of the KonMari method that Marie did at first. Many would join Marie in praising their home, but a handful of them thought this process was a little bit cuckoo.
And you may think it's a little bit cuckoo as well. But just hear me out.
When you bless and praise your home, you are letting it be known how much you appreciate your home and what it does for you. Your home is your own personal sanctuary.
And when you bless it and let your home know how much you do appreciate it and how it has created your own sanctuary, it will be there to support you even more.
You may also think that this tip doesn't have much to do with tidying up of your home. And while it doesn't on the surface, it's a part of the emotional and spiritual side of cleaning your home.
Before you start your journey of tidying up your home, take a moment to thank your home.
Take everything out of it's current place and pile it up all in the same place.
For example, if you have clothes in 3 different dressers and 2 different closets, get all of those clothes emptied out and piled into the same place.
When you pile it all up, you are able to see everything that you have. You get everything together and allow yourself to go through each item that you do own.
Most of the time, you'll be amazed at how much stuff you really do have. When everything is in multiple different places, your brain doesn't always comprehend how much you have.
I was amazed at the amount of clothes that I own when I emptied everything out. I filled multiple trash bags full of clothes that I haven't worn in years. It's not just clothes that we have like this either.
For example, I recently emptied out my drawer of kitchen utensils. I had so of these utensils, that most of which weren't even used and when I went to look for one specific thing, I could never find it. But I emptied it out, discarded 2/3 of the ones that I had and only kept the ones that I use and actually still need.
Looking at the 5 categories above that are a part of the KonMari method, you only want to tackle just one category at time.
I actually take this tip one step further. I focus on one category at a time, one room at a time.
I love to be organized and until I really started going through my stuff item by item, I didn't realize how much useless stuff I had.
But what I mean by doing this one category, one room at a time, is that I also process what I'm doing with organizing, so it's not a super quick process. And for most people doing any type of organization project is something that is going to take a while to do and not just be completed in a few hours. When I divide this down by room, it allows me to still live my normal life without having the crazy chaotic energy permeating every part of my life that clutter creates.
When you only tackle on category at a time, it allows you to break the tasks down into smaller chunks and make it a tad bit easier as well.
When you organize your items by their size, you can create a system that stacks the little items inside the big items. Or it puts the bigger items in the back and the smaller items in the front.
You will end up creating more space by stacking items by size. And you'll be able to find the smaller things when they are in front of the bigger items.
This also allows you to create a more neatly organized system.
This tip is pretty much led by logic. The items that you regularly use should be stored in easy to access spaces.
The items that you use infrequently should be stored in the back or in the places that aren't as easy to reach.
By storing items this way, everything is in a better space to be used with ease.
When every item has a home, it's easy to find it (as long as the last user put it back in it's home).
Plus by giving everything a home, you are doing a very good job to release clutter and open up the energy of your home.
This process allows you to find things much quicker and easier too.
While watching the show, a lot of people scoffed at this tip from Marie as well. But as time when on and they began thanking all of the items that they tossed, they began believe in her process.
While this is also a more spiritual and emotional technique, like praising your home, you are putting an energy of gratitude into each item that you are discarding. It has served some sort of purpose in your life and you need to let it know that it has.
When you just toss a bunch of old things (whether they are actually thrown away or donated), you want to do this with gratitude for how it has served your life.
Marie uses boxes and the box lids in every part of her organization. Since boxes are usually square or rectangular, they make for easy storage. And when you put like items in each box, you've created something that is easy to take out and put back with ease.
Also by using boxes and their lids, you are spending less money on organization supplies because most people have boxes just laying around their house.
But if you want organizational supplies, I highly recommend using the dollar store to buy bins for your storage. There is a wide selection of bins to choose from that can all be easily used.
Marie recommends that you fold your clothes into rectangles so that you can stack them vertically in your drawers. This allows you to see what each item is that you have.
But not only does she recommend her folding technique with clothes, she recommends stacking everything vertically so it is standing up and you can easily see exactly what you have.
The easier you can see everything, the more useful it will be to you because you know exactly what you have. And when you know what you have, you can easily use it, instead of letting it just sit in a corner somewhere, just wasting away.
For most people that are just learning about Marie Kondo, they hear the spark joy portion of the conversation before anything else. I actually heard about your belongings sparking joy a year before I knew about Marie's methods. I heard about it from a friend when I was at a conference. She encouraged each of us to unpack our suitcases, when we got home, one item at a time. And with each item that we took out, hold it and ask if it sparked joy.
That is the whole premise of Marie's method.
She asks that you hold each item in your hands. And notice what you feel in your body with this item.
Does it spark joy when you hold it? Is it just meh? Or is it nope don't want it?
For most of your items, you will know immediately whether it's a yes or a no. But there will be some items that you don't know immediately if they spark joy. And that's okay.
Create a separate pile for the maybes or the I don't knows and come back to them later.
Chances are, if they don't give you a hell yes on the first time, then they don't spark joy for you.
But most of this stuff that we are buying, we don't need. And it just ends up becoming clutter and taking up space in our homes.
When you actually tidy up and create a home that sparks joy, you'll be happier. You'll enjoy life more. And more people will want to be around you.
Save this post for later or share with your friends!
Living in an organized house helps to make it a peaceful and less chaotic home. Let's face it, life is quite chaotic most of the time. But your home doesn't have to be.
When you have an organization system in place, it's easy to keep this chaos under control.
It won't matter if you have kids, pets, a spouse or just live alone. Having a system in place makes being at home a peaceful, heavenly experience.
But when you start any type of organization project, you never know where to start first. Right?
The easiest thing to do is to just start somewhere small. Start with a drawer. Start with one cupboard. Start with one shelf.
Then once you finish that one area, move on to the next area.
This right here is why I said above to start somewhere small. Pick one drawer. Pick one shelf. Pick one cupboard. Just make it easy on yourself.
The best thing about finishing one space is the momentum it gives you to keep on going forward and continuing the process.
When you start small, you are able to finish the first space, and easily move to the next space, because you have built the momentum to help you continue onto the next space.
This first step is to take the space that you have decided to start with today and empty everything out of it completely.
By emptying everything out of the space, you get to start again with a clean slate. Plus, it allows you to see everything that you have, assess what you actually need and don't need, and then make the most of that space.
The best way to tackle this step is to get three boxes or bins. Label each box as donate, toss or keep.
You've completed step one and emptied the space completely. Now you need to go through each item that you had in that space. As you go through each item, decide if it's something you want to donate, throw away or keep.
And put each item in the correctly labeled box or bin.
Most of the time, you don't need everything that was originally in that space.
If it's worn out or stained, just get rid of it.
If it's broken, get rid of it.
If you have multiples, get rid of it.
If you haven't used it in over a year, get rid of it.
You can't organize clutter. And there is no point in holding on to broken, worn or, stained stuff. Why do you really need 3 almost empty rolls of tape? Why do you need multiple copies of the same book?
So often we buy things we don't need and just let it accumulate. But when you organized and purge the things you really don't need or use, you can stop spending the money on useless things that are just going to cause clutter.
Next, you are going to group similar items together.
For example, I'm currently working on my kitchen. I have this huge drawer full of utensils. I would group all of the spoons together. I would group all of the spatulas together.
When they are grouped together, you can see what you have. And this also allows you to figure out what kind of organization supplies that you need to buy.
Now that you've got similar items grouped together, you can find the right organization supplies to store everything together in one easy spot.
The organization supplies that you use don't have to be expensive either. You can use things you already have - tissue boxes, shipping boxes (from all of those Amazon purchases), and even dollar store bins and containers.
You want to start with using the things that are most accessible to you, before you go spending hundreds of dollars on organization supplies.
If you want your system to be pretty, use pretty paper and tape to decorate the old boxes.
The easiest way to find things after you've moved them is to have labels.
But these labels not only help you, they help everyone else in your house as well, and even guests.
With labels, you easily know what is stored in each container instead of having to sort through each container just to find the one thing you are looking for.
Now that everything is grouped with similar items, it has it's own organization system and a label, it's time to put everything back into it's home.
If things were stuffed into this space before, they shouldn't be now because you eliminated some of the items from coming back into this space.
By having your organization system and labels in place, you will now be able to have more space (but this doesn't mean you need to go buy more stuff to fill it!) to put everything back where you want it to live. And you will be able to find things more easily and quickly.
This new system will also help you notice when you are running low on something and need to buy more, like paper towels, toilet paper and tissues.
This is going to be the hardest step of them all.
Most of the time, we get so cluttered and disorganized simply because we don't put things back where they belong when we are done with them.
And if you live with other humans, getting them to put everything back where they got it from will also be a chore.
But when everyone develops the habit of putting everything back where it goes, then the system will begin to work like magic. Everything will also be right where it should be. And you won't have to rely on mom's magic brain of knowing where every single little thing is.
No new system is perfect the first time around. Heck, even the second, third and fourth time it's not even perfect.
So when you are creating a new system for yourself and your home, you need to be okay with making changes to this new system.
Continue to tweak the system that you have until you do find one that works for you and your family the best. If something doesn't work right the first time around, find a new way to make it work for you.
Just because one person has said to create a system this way or that way and that's what you do, if it doesn't work for you, then change it.
It's true that organization is going to be much better than the cluttered chaos that is going on now, but you don't have to settle on the very first system that you find. You really want the system that you use to work for you.
This process is completely repeatable. It makes creating a home organization system easy. You can organize every space in your house with ease. And you can do this over and over again.
Creating a home organization system doesn't have to be hard or overwhelming. Follow these simple 8 steps and repeat it over and over again every time you need to organize any space in your house until you no longer have any areas of your home that need to be organized. (But you will always have areas that need to be organized.)