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Small home organizing tasks each day will add up over time. If you only do 15 minutes of organizing each day, you will have done an hour and 45 minutes per week; if you do it for one month, you will have done 4.5 hours. If you do it every day for the entire year, you would have done 54 hours per year of organizing. WOW! But, to do this, you will need to do some planning. You need to find things that you can do to not only clear out the room but also maintain the space not to allow any new piles to form. In this post, I will talk about tasks that you can do to not only get rid of clutter but also keep the clutter at bay. Come along for the ride.
- 1. Trash cans only help if you use them.
- 2. Piles are only useful if each collection has a common topic or theme.
- 3. An organized process in place doesn’t have to be magazine beautiful.
- 4. Labeling is only necessary if you can’t see what is inside the container or bin.
- 5. For frequently used items, have a daily drop spot for everyone to use.
- 6. Stay consistent when putting stuff away, and you will never be disorganized.
- 7. Create a donation pile corner in the garage.
- 8. Have stair bins to store items that need to go upstairs or downstairs.
First, understand that organizing a space isn't the same for everyone. There are some similarities, but every person is different. They have their way of doing things and their way of assessing their situation. They also have their way of finding solutions. I worked with several people over the years, and I found that each person came to a slightly different conclusion when it came to their organizing systems. And that is OK. Each one of us has to determine what works for each of us. One person, even a Professional Organizer, can't force their viewpoint on another, and so is the same with creating organized systems in a home. However, there are some specific tasks that you can keep in mind which will keep a room organized longer and be less overwhelmed with the messiness of the home.
1. Trash cans only help if you use them.
If you have a trash can in your bedroom and you have tissues and other things lying on different surfaces, you are not using the tool that is intended to be used. I found over the years, people would keep trash. Really, garbage! Not for any reason, but they just stop before completing the task of throwing something away.
2. Piles are only useful if each collection has a common topic or theme.
Some people are visual, and they may need to see what they need to do to remember the 'to-dos.' That is OK. However, you need to have a system associated with these piles. For example, one collection could be for to be paid bills. One pile can be for the papers you want to read before taking action on them. One pile can be waiting for action from someone else. Before making a collection, ask yourself to define the theme for the pile. Using a sticky note, write on it what action you need to do with this pile. When you add to the collection, move the sticky note to the top.
3. An organized process in place doesn’t have to be magazine beautiful.
We all love how magazine homes look - perfectly displayed books. Strategically placed figurines with no clutter to be cleared in the house at all. Well, that doesn't happen in real life, sorry to say. Systems need to be in place to truly make a home work. So, don't worry about the perfect look. Just make sure the room works for you.
4. Labeling is only necessary if you can’t see what is inside the container or bin.
Labeling is essential, especially if you have other people using a space. However, if your system is well thought out and you know where everything is, you don't need labels on every single bin, especially if the bin is clear. Seeing through the container makes it easy to see what is inside quickly.
5. For frequently used items, have a daily drop spot for everyone to use.
We use a table in the entryway that holds chargers because no one will leave without their cell phones. If you want to use a closet, try including the charging station inside the closet with cubbies for shoes and hooks for bags. Staying consistent will minimize the lost items, like keys(visit our post about how to organize your keys) when you are rushing out the door.
Visit our other posts about entryway drop zones.
6. Stay consistent when putting stuff away, and you will never be disorganized.
When we take stuff out and don't return them to their home, it can get messy quickly. Creating systems does help. Creating habits to return things to their home will keep the system working for as long as you need the system. Decide when you feel the most productive in your day. Pick that time to spend returning items to their homes. Some people like to do this at the end of each day. Some prefer doing it at lunchtime. Others prefer to do it in the morning when they wake up. There are two benefits of doing this each day.
- you will always be able to find your stuff.
- you will know when something is missing.
7. Create a donation pile corner in the garage.
A garage or basement is a perfect place to add a corner for donations. Keeping these items near the door and donating items each month or quarter will minimize the mess in the home. Add a reminder to your calendar that says "bring things to donate" will keep you decluttering.
8. Have stair bins to store items that need to go upstairs or downstairs.
Do you have more than one floor? Maybe it's time to add bins to the steps. Using small bins and labeling them for each family member will help you delegate the task of clearing out items on the main floor. Check out my post about it. HOW TO USE CATCH-ALL BINS TO STAY ORGANIZED.
Above all else, when determining your process, look at the big picture and decide not only what you want to organize but also how you would maintain the organization. Remember, it's not all about the organization. I hope this post helps you get inspired to get your home organized for good.
Looking for even more inspiration on keeping your home organized, check out these other experts' articles.
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Want more ideas? Visit our posts about organizing small homes.