Would you believe me if I told you that 80% of adults are actually organized? Maybe I made statistic up. But out of all the in-home clients I have worked with (and it is in the hundreds), 80% of them are actually organized. They just forgot some of the steps they have done in the past to actually be organized.
Because they are living with more people than just themselves, clutter easily piles up. It is hard for one family member to be responsible for all the things inside of a home. How is one person supposed to know what is meaningful to every single family member?
To get your home back on track, I created the ultimate guide to organizing your home. This guide walks you through the entire organizing process you may have forgotten you were good at. You may have forgotten some of the steps. Maybe you know all the steps but need a refresher on what to do.
Use this guide to support your organizing. Because when you remove the clutter from your home, you find the calm!
Start Where You Are
Before you even think about starting an organizing project, you have to first define what organized means.
When you are saying things like, “I need to get more organized”, what does that even mean? Do you need to put away things? Do you need to throw away things? Are bins and baskets involved? Maybe labels? Or do you need time to sort through papers. Does everything have to look like it was cut out of a magazine? Do you want things to be functional? Are you willing to spend money to get a look you envision? Will the people in your household stick to that vision? Can you actually keep up with whatever plan you have? Do you really need to have a pantry look like the one you saw on Pinterest? Does a space work well for you but doesn’t look pretty? Do you feel you have to keep things organized for show? What are your motivations behind getting organized?
Woah…so many questions!
So don’t even pick up an item until you get crystal clear as to what organizing means in your home, right this second!!
Some of my in-home clients want function. They want things to be put back where they belong without too many “steps”. Steps are like how many things they have to do to put something away. Let’s say you want the tv clickers to go in a box. But to actually put them in said box, you have to walk to the tv, open the lid, put the clickers in the box, then put on the lid. That is 4 steps! And most people have no patience for that many steps. Instead, limit the amount of steps by putting the box for the clickers on the coffee table without a lid. Then to put the clicker back, all you have to do is lean over and drop clickers in box.
I have had other clients want spaces in their homes to look like pictures from a magazine. Whatever you desire is what you should strive for. Not someone else’s goal for an organized home, but your own!
Have you ever noticed that when you are in a negative mood, everything around you instantly annoys you? You can find the flaws in every little thing. Your home, your clothing, your hair. But when you are in a good mood, everything around you is positive or you can easily find a solution to a problem. Like, even if you aren’t totally happy with how your home is set up, you are more likely to figure out a way to fix that problem, rather than stew on it. Well, your mood and your mindset go hand-in-hand. When your mindset is focusing on the negative, your mood can be crabby, annoyed, or short-tempered, according to Harvard Health.
Now you may be asking what does this have to do with organizing.
Well, your mindset on any topic effects how you tackle said project. For example, if you are annoyed by the amount of clutter you have in your home, you may have a negative mindset about your abilities to actually organize the space. This then plays into the fact that you aren’t following through on your organizing tasks because you “believe” that you are disorganized. It can be a vicious cycle as clutter can cause anxiety which then effects your mindset which then stops you from completing the task to declutter and organize.
So how can you stop this crazy mindset spiral?
You can stop overthinking things. That means that when you make a commitment to organize, you stop thinking about all that you have to actually do. Which can cause overwhelm.
Instead, you focus on your goal…to get organized. Based on how you decided organized looked in your home.
Then you make your plan of attack!
Make A Plan
Once you get clear on what organized looks like in your home and make the mindset shift to get organized, you can now make a plan. This plan is how you are actually going to organize your home.
What areas in your home do you want to organize? What areas are working for you right now? When are you going to get these spaces organized? What are you doing with the unwanted items? Where are they going? How are you selling things? When does all this need to be completed? How often will you work on each task?
When you make a plan for yourself, you are more likely to stick to that plan. Use the Ultimate Guide To Organizing Your Home to create your plan now!
Keep What You Use
One way to truly organize your home is to take everything out of the space you are organizing, sort through all the items, and only put back things you use/like/find helpful.
I always recommend doing this because you can easily see if you have multiples of things and are able to quickly get rid of things. The piles of stuff sitting around makes you work faster. And it helps when you can see the giant mess so you don’t accumulate as much again.
But this can be really overwhelming as well. And not everyone can do this and have success.
So another way to declutter your things is to do a declutter session for specific areas, like one drawer in your kitchen or one closet. By doing smaller declutter sessions, you are still able to only keep items you love without getting overwhelmed.
Both ways work. So pick one that you feel comfortable doing.
More Posts On How To Declutter:
How To Store Things
One thing that has stumped a lot of my in-home clients’ isn’t decluttering their things. Instead it is where to actually put the things they want to keep!
So I have a few tricks to help you figure out the best place for YOU to store things. What I have learned over the past 8 years doing in-home organizing, is I can recommend all the places for items to go but you have be the deciding factor on actual placement. What I believe will work doesn’t always match what you will stick with. So you have to decide where things should go.
Play pretend. Act out like you are putting away the items you want to keep. Let’s say you are figuring out where to put kitchen cooking utensils. So you stand by the stove to pretend cook. Where do you immediately go to grab a kitchen utensil you might need while cooking at the stove?
When you pretend or act out, you are able to see where you immediately go to grab an item. This will help you decide where to put things away.
Use sticky notes to label where you want things to go. We do this when we are unpacking a house after a move or reorganizing a big space. To do this you write down all the things you have on sticky notes. Then you place the sticky notes on drawers, cabinets, and shelves for where you want those items to go. Put the items where you put the sticky notes!
Group like items together and store them where they can all fit together. When you store all the same type of items together, you are able to find spots that can fit all those items. This is perfect for toys, clothing, and decor items.
These blog posts have more helpful tips to guide you into putting things away that make sense for you:
Keeping It Organized
Once you put away everything where you think it best belong, you can add labels to your spaces.
I highly recommend labels because they are a clear reminder for where things belong. Now you don’t need fancy labels to keep things organized. I have a client who added tape to the Post-It note labels I added to her kitchen cabinets. Those Post-It notes have been on her cabinets for almost 2 years. She doesn’t care because they work.
Which goes to show that labeling is key. But how you label is up to you. You can get super fancy with labels or use sticky notes. Whatever you decide, just make sure you add those labels.
Not sure what is the best label for you? I have some of my favorite ways to label below:
Tidy As You Go
To keep up with your newly organized spaces, make sure you tidy daily. I do this by creating organizing habits to ensure that I do the tidy every day. An organizing habit is ways in which you keep things organized by doing them over and over. Think of it like when you bring in the mail. Where does that mail go? Do you deal with it right away or do you let it pile up? Do you have a plan for tackling it daily? Weekly? Wait until it is all over before you look at it?
If you find yourself with a habit like dealing with mail daily or weekly, then you have created an organizing habit that works for you. If you find that you leave the mail to pile up and get overwhelmed by the clutter, then your organizing habit isn’t working for yourself. That is where you can tweak your habits.
Everyone has habits. The question is are those organizing habits life-changing or are they causing you overwhelm.
So create organizing habits that you do daily to keep your spaces tidy.
I have more tips for creating habits below:
The Ultimate Guide To Organizing Your Home
I want to remind you that you need to define organized in your home before you go any further. Because when you get crystal clear on what that looks like, you are able to actually make it happen! Then change your mindset about organizing. Declutter all the things first. Then put away the items you need, use, and find helpful/special. The rest of the items aren’t worth saving. Unless they belong somewhere else, then put them where they belong. To ensure everything gets put away in the appropriate spots consistently, label all the drawers, cabinets, and shelves. Then make it a habit to tidy up every day. It will help you stay organized for good!