An organized home isn't a mysterious concept that some people get and others don't. Being organized is about getting into a routine and sticking with it every day, simple as that. Although some people seem to have been born with the tidy gene, that doesn't mean everyone can't have a tidy home. It doesn't take drastic changes, and it's easier than you think if you're willing to focus on some of these organized home tips.
Organized Home Tips #1: Make Your Bed
There are certainly two camps here. Some people believe in making the bed every day. Others believe there's no point, since it's only going to get messed up again every night. But with that logic, there's no reason to clean or tidy anything.
Psychology Today says most people who make their beds report being happy, while most people who don't make their bed report being unhappy. Plus, it starts you off on the right foot each morning.
Organized Home Tips #2: Keep What You Love
You've heard it before: To have a tidy, organized home, you have to purge everything you don't need. But how do you decide what makes the cut? The Today show's Meena Hart Duerson says that being organized comes down to keeping what you love, and only what you love.
This method is part of a Japanese system that's making the Pinterest and blog circuit. Author Marie Kondo's book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” says the only things that you should keep when you do a regular household purge are the things that you absolutely positively cannot live without – the things that give you joy.
Organized Home Tips #3: Work Smarter
Anyone can clean a house and make a closet look tidy. That's not the real problem. Making habits that you can maintain, and that make sense for the way that you live, is trickier.
A stack of perfectly folded towels a mile high doesn't do anyone any good, no matter how pretty they look. The first time someone needs a towel, down they'll fall and you'll be back to square one. It's all about simplicity and function. If you're not completely sure how to organize a closet or your whole kitchen, then you really should check out our post, “Getting & Staying Organized a Challenge?”Savvy Homeowner Tip – Don't get fooled by the shelves builders put into new houses. They might look great, especially when they're bigger than your current closet. There's a big difference between space and usable space.
When we bought our Arizona house, we focused on the backyard and it wasn't until I unpacked one suitcase (top photo), that I knew I had to add more shelves or replace what was there, with a custom closet like the ones I had in New Hampshire. We opted to add shelves and only then did I realize why I wasn't organizing the closet — not until I could do it the right way!
Organized Home Tips #4: Finish What You Start
Many potentially tidy homes never quite get there because momentum is lost along the way or something steps in to distract. An important key to an organized home is finishing everything that you start.
If you half purge, you'll re-store things that should have gone to charity. If you only straighten half of your kitchen cupboards, it might be months before you try again. If a job is worth starting, it's worth finishing. So don't stop until you're done.
Organized Home Tips #5: Forget About Perfection
Perfection is an unattainable goal. If you're not quite a believer, then ask a homeowner whose house you admire. Chances are, the cleanest and tidiest house you've seen has its dirty little secrets. (Read: 7 Organizing Tips for Clutter Magnets)
More important, when you get realistic about what's achievable, you're able to involve every family member in keeping your house clear of clutter. If you believe in starting an organized day with making beds, then teach your children to make their bed. Then extend this to their clothes, toys, school and sports gear — soon you can delegate family tasks too, like cleaning up the bathroom.
If you always aim for perfect organization, you'll never be satisfied. And you might give up too soon out of sheer frustration. No home is perfect, and neither is any organization style. If you can find what you need and you don't have too much stuff, then your style is on the right track.
Probably the most important thing about organization, whatever your routine happens to be, is sticking with it. There are people who clean house, and those who keep house. House cleaners let problems build up before taking them on. House keepers clean and organize a little every day.
Sticking to a routine is the only way to create a habit, and it helps keep clutter from taking on a life of its own. A list might help, at least at first. Then once you're used to doing certain jobs regularly, it will become second nature.
Do you keep a tidy and organized home, or are you in the other camp that's always searching for the best way to get it done? Or maybe your mindset falls someplace else. We'd love to hear you ideas about organization and what's important.