Home organization is not about having a perfect home – it’s about having a home that functions for you. Millions of dollars get spent every year on organizational products and services. Why? An organized home makes your life easier by saving you money, time, and frustration.
As a beginner to home organization, you may find yourself saying,
I want my home organized but don’t know where to begin…
It’s just so overwhelming…
I have so much stuff…
I start to organize but it’s cluttered again before I know it…
I can’t get organized, I have kids and pets…
It’s time to flip your script! While getting organized requires some effort, staying organized doesn’t have to. Did you know it takes the same amount of time to hang up your keys as it does to toss them on the counter? Or ironing wrinkled laundry takes more time than folding or hanging it straight out of the dryer? Think of these five rules as time-savers and you’re more likely to stick to them.
Home Organization Rules
- Avoid the clutter shuffle
- Eliminate duplicates
- A place for everything
- Everything in its place
- One in for one out
Let’s dig a little further into each.
Avoid the Clutter Shuffle
You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Well, you never want to sacrifice one space (room) for another when decluttering. Avoid the temptation to clear off the coffee table by moving its clutter to the dresser. Instead, go through everything on the coffee table and pitch, donate, or move it. Shuffling your clutter only grants the illusion of an organized space. Your brain knows the difference.
Do you actually need five wine openers and three coffee pots? Doubtful. Duplicate items only add to the cluttered and disorganized feeling of your home. Gather your multiples and examine each one. If it’s broken or no longer works, toss it. Select one of each item, that’s in good condition, to keep. Donate the rest to a nonprofit and take care to not buy duplicates in the future.
A Place For Everything
Having a place for everything in your home is a struggle, I get it. But how do you know where something is if it doesn’t have a home? Every item needs one assigned home so that when it’s not in use, it’s in that home. To make things easy on your family, keep items where they get used.
Everything In Its Place
The best way to maintain your organized home is by keeping items in their homes (see above) when not in use. It’s fine to get out all 37 board games at once, just make sure they find their way home when you’re finished.
Tip: Put a basket or bin on your steps if you have more than one story. Items inside the basket go upstairs the next time you do.
One In For One Out
There is one very simple rule for combatting clutter: one new item in the home means one like item leaves. (I said it was simple, not easy.) Yes, the new sweater you received for your birthday requires one current shirt to leave. Same with the new skillet you picked up – the old one goes. Avoid the temptation of doing it later, which often turns into never. (Am I right?) Keep a box/bin/bag in the garage or basement for items you can donate and recycle or pitch the rest.
By implementing these simple rules, you are on your way to having a more organized home. Remember that decluttering and home organization is a marathon, not a sprint. Your home is an evolving command center for your family and as such, the way you use it will change over time. When you’re ready to declutter your kitchen, check out The Beginner’s Guide To An Easily Organized Kitchen.
What’s your favorite rule for keeping your home organized? Leave a comment below and let’s chat!