Written by Melody Thacker, Independent Watkins Associate on July 25, 2008
Keeping your home neat, tidy and organized isn’t always an easy task, especially when you have a busy family. You want to create a welcoming, tranquil environment; they seem to want to take over the entire house with their hodgepodge.
You can have a more organized home with a little thought, careful planning and effort. You may need to start a new routine and get the entire family into the habit of living more organized. Following are some easy organized living tips to help you create the welcoming and peaceful home you and your family want.
First make a plan of what needs to be done. Go through each room and identify which rooms need extra storage, and what type of storage. You may want to invest in a few storage and space saving solutions. For example:
- under bed storage
- hanging storage
- closet organizers
This is also a good time to reconsider your room’s layouts. By arranging furniture and storage in a practical configuration it will be easier to stay organized and keep things tidy and clutter free.
Time to Sort and Purge
You have your storage needs determined, now you can start organizing by tackling one room at a time. Get your family involved in this process, they can help you decide what is worth keeping and they will be happier knowing you haven’t thrown away anything that’s precious to them. They will also be more motivated to keep organized in the future.
Make three piles, one for items you want to keep, one for charity and one for the trash. Be honest and totally ruthless. If you haven’t used it within the last few months maybe you don’t need it anymore! Give it to charity or add it to the trash. If the object has sentimental value then you can either start using it, store it or give it away. Think about how wonderful you and your family will feel coming home to a clutter free, organized home.
Now that you have a plan and have all your family’s storage solutions ready, it’s time to get down to work and start organizing your house. The following tips will help you do just that and more importantly help you maintain organized living for the long term.
First you need to make sure you have a place for everything in your house, then get into the habit of putting things away as soon as you finish with them. Teach your family members to do the same. If you take a few seconds to put things away you will never have an overwhelming problem on your hands. Make sure your family knows where the appropriate place for everything is.
Mastering Paper Clutter
Take care of your bills and mail as soon as you receive them. Dispose of junk mail and flyers right away. Set up a filing system for bills that need to be paid and documents that need to be filed. Set aside a bit of time to file them at least once a month. Sort through your old papers and files. If you haven’t used something in a while but may need it in the future put it in a box labeled old files and store it away in your attic or garage.
Don’t let old newspapers and magazines pile up all around your house, more than likely you won’t get back to that newspaper article or magazine column again so once you’ve finished with it, recycle it. Tear out any articles you want to keep and immediately file them in the appropriate place.
Children’s school work and art work is precious, however it adds up over time. Frame the most current or best works of art and display them in a place of honor. Admire the rest and purge at least once a month to make room for next months papers.
Keep your telephone, pens, note pads, mail and calendar in one central location. Write down all your family’s important dates and appointments on the calendar as soon as they are scheduled.
Maintaining Organized Living
Don’t let precious time slip away, try to do two things at once. If you are on hold on the telephone why not use that time to clean out a nearby drawer. If a friend calls for a chat, clean the house or fold the laundry while you’re talking. You will get your chores done without even noticing.
Clean as you go rather than go back to do the job. It only takes a minute to clean the shower as soon as you get out. The bathroom sink can get a quick wipe while you are washing your hands. Wash dishes while you are cooking or load them into the dishwasher as soon as they are used. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen.
Go from room to room with one large basket and place items that don’t belong in that particular room inside your basket. As you go though the house put the items back in the rooms where they do belong. The basket technique works especially well if your house is set over two or more floors. This will save you time and help keep things organized.
Every evening take a few minutes to go through your home and put everything back in it’s place. Try to do a quick tidy up and leave everything ready for the next day. This will help you avoid the morning rush but most importantly you and your family will feel fantastic waking up to a neat, tidy organized house.
It takes time to learn new habits and get into a new routine, by persevering you and your family can do it. Little steps like this can make the overall task of staying and living organized a whole lot easier.