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Getting your home organized is one thing, but staying organized is a whole different game. If you find your organization overhaul isn’t sticking, then read on:
Tips for Staying Organized
Practice makes perfect…and habits
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “practice makes perfect.” Well, I think that practice makes habits…good or bad. And, when it comes to staying organized there are two important behaviors to practice. (Because, at the end of the day, no one likes running around last minute for unexpected visitors).
- It’s a group effort- Everyone in the house needs to learn to put things away after use. This may seem like an impossible task but you will never have a tidy home without learning this important job. This was not an area of expertise for my family. If my family can do it, then trust me, yours can too.
- It’s a daily deal- Commit to spending a few minutes at the end of the day doing a final pickup. I know, I know, the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is to do more work. But seriously, you will feel so much better going to bed with a tidy house and it makes an easier start to your day.
A revolving door of “stuff”
Everyone likes shopping and getting new things, right? Well, this can lead to more clutter if you’re not careful. Tell yourself this: “When I bring anything new into the house, I need to get rid of something old.” It’s simple, if you don’t get rid of things as new items come in, the clutter will start to pile up again.
My husband had a birthday recently and received three new shirts. As he was putting them away I asked which three old shirts he was going to get rid of. He quickly pulled out the shirts he was willing to part with. He wasn’t always so willing to give something up when something new came in. He’s had a lot of practice over the years so now he knows the drill.
Check out my post filled with ideas on how to get rid of your unwanted stuff. Just be sure to take care of it immediately so your giveaway boxes don’t become your new form of clutter.
A place for everything
When bringing in a new item, it’s important to spend a few minutes finding it a home. Not having a dedicated space for things is the number one cause of piles. And no one likes sorting through piles, especially when they need something in a hurry. It’s tempting to say that you’ll figure out where to put stuff later but then later quickly becomes never and piles start again.
Pay attention to what’s in your piles. Is there a recurring theme? Brainstorm possible storage solutions and then put a plan into action.
A little bit of maintenance
The longer you put something off, the more daunting it becomes. This also goes for home organization. Make the time to tackle the upkeep of home organization, especially in the most used parts of the home. This is about maintenance, not a major overhaul so it shouldn’t take very long for each space.
During maintenance you should make sure the stuff you have still has a purpose in your life (check out my clutter clearing questions) and determine if the organization system in that area is working.
Think about each room or area of your home and how often you will need to maintain it. I’ve provided some general guidelines but you’ll need to adjust based on your own set of circumstances. Of course, if you notice areas aren’t staying organized then you need to revisit those areas sooner and rethink your system for the space.
Paperwork – daily or weekly
Closets, dressers or any other areas where you store clothes – seasonally or at least two times per year
Pantry – weekly or after each trip to the grocery store
Bathrooms – 3 months
Toy areas – at least twice per year. I like to go through all the toys before Christmas and the kids’ birthdays to clear out any unwanted toys so there is room when the new toys come in.
Garage – 1-2 times per year. My family needs to do this in the spring to get ready for summer and in the fall to get ready for winter.
Craft areas – This is going to vary based on how much you craft and the type of crafts and products you use. Kids craft areas probably need to be checked every month or two.
Mudroom/Entry area – 3 months
Office – 3 months or sooner if you use it a lot
Keeping your home organized is hard. I totally get it. It takes effort at first but once you get into the habit, you’ll feel so much more peaceful.