How to Get Organized at Home (And Stay Organized!)
It’s one thing to spend a day (or two, or three…) organizing your home. It’s yet another thing to keep it that way. Fortunately, there are methods for accomplishing each of these goals. Read on to learn how to stay organized — for good.
1. Start With the Biggest Problem
Where do you need organization most? Is it an overstuffed bedroom closet, or is your pantry overflowing with boxes, bottles and bags? Whatever bugs you the most should be where you start your life-organizing mission.
Taking on such a huge task will set the tone for the rest of your organizational effort. Plus, putting this task first will probably make it the most memorable of all your to-dos. As such, when things start to fall into disorganization, you’ll remember how tough of a task it was to get it together last time — and you probably won’t let it get to that place again.
2. Try the Marie Kondo Method
So many of us become attached to things not because we need them, but because we want them. Organizational extraordinaire Marie Kondo has a simple way of deciphering what we should keep and what we should toss. She says we should pick up an item, hold it and feel if it “sparks joy” within us. If there’s no feeling attached to a belonging, then we should discard or donate it.
The Kondo method can apply to so many different areas of our lives. But it’s especially effective when it comes to reducing clutter. It requires us to look inward and reflect on why we keep so much stuff in the first place. Chances are, you’ll have a moment of realization about your stuff — and that it’s just that. It’ll be easier to let go of inconsequential items now and in the future, too.
3. Make It Fun
You’re probably thinking… there’s no way that organizing can be something fun. But if you set the mood, you can make the task a more enjoyable one. For starters, a motivating playlist can get you up and moving, and it can inspire you to keep going as the going gets tough. Put on your favorite tunes, sing along and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time passes.
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To that end, you might work well with a timer or other cue that tells you how long you’ve been working — or, perhaps, how long you’ve been dawdling. Turn on the clock to keep yourself on track, and use the same method for the small clean-ups after your big organizational session. This will help keep you organized in the future, too.
4. Finish What You Start
One of the biggest mistakes novice organizers make is to start the job… and never finish it. A half-complete organization system won’t work much better than what you had before, and you’ll soon find the clutter and chaos has returned. As such, perseverance is a required step when it comes to simple organizing — dedicate yourself and get it done.
5. Remember Your Why
To make that it easier to focus — and, really, to partake in any of the above steps — you need to know why you’re organizing in the first place. Perhaps you want to entertain friends more, or you want to carve out a place where your kids can play. Whatever it is, that’s your motivating factor, and it should be at the forefront of your mind while you organize.
You’ll recall it when it comes time to pick up and maintain the system that you’ve put in place. So long as you know why you’re organizing — and how it will change your home and your quality of life — you will be so much more likely to keep up with it.
It’s not easy to organize, but it’s a task that’s so worth it. So, keep these five tips in mind as you push through the initial clean-up, and remember them whenever you need a refresh. You’ll be so glad that you did.
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