As a professional organizer, I often get asked if my own home is really organized. And, well, the answer is yes!
I love to organize (it’s my job after all). There are so many benefits to being organized, but the biggest one for me is that it significantly reduces my anxiety levels. So, making sure my own home is tidy and functional is a priority for me.
But I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret: having an organized home doesn’t take magic or super special skills. Once you follow the basic steps of getting organized, you can STAY organized by developing a few simple habits.
Like any other habit, these require consistency and follow-through. The more you practice, the easier it gets, I promise!
Here are four of the small habits that help me keep my home organized:
Habit #1: Putting Things Back Where They Belong
This might be the most important daily habit for me, because it’s all about maintaining my current systems.
Once you designate a place for your things, keep putting them back in that same place after you use them. It’s okay if the house gets messy sometimes – that’s life! But when everything has a place, putting things back where they belong should be a fairly quick and easy way to reset your home.
Habit #2: Pausing Before Purchasing
Over the past few years, I’ve trained myself to not be an impulse shopper. Impulse shopping too often leads to buyer’s remorse (which doesn’t feel good to me) and clutter (which I don’t need).
To be honest, my best advice for staying organized is to have less stuff in the first place.
Before I buy something, I pause to ask myself not only “Do I really need/want this?” but also, “Do I have a place for this in my home? Where will it live and/or how will it fit into my current systems?” If there isn’t room for it, I consider whether I’m willing to let go of something else in order to bring this new item into my home.
I know it sounds like a lot of thinking, but through practice I’ve learned to make these assessments pretty quickly.
Habit #3: Regular Decluttering
I used to do a whole-house sweep twice a year (spring and fall) to remove items I no longer wanted. But now, I’ve gotten to a point where I just keep bins in my closet and in my garage for donations, and I put things in those bins as I come across them. When the bins are full, off they go to the donation center!
Also, I will often take 10 minutes to quickly sort through a drawer or cabinet when I need to, which helps me keep all the little spaces in the house tidy.
When you make decluttering a habit, you maintain power over your stuff, rather than the other way around!
Habit #4: Reassessing When Necessary
If a system isn’t working, I change it. Like, as soon as possible.
I think about why it’s not working and what changes will make it easier to maintain. I might ask myself:
- Is a more visible/accessible spot needed for these items?
- Am I using this item more/less than I thought I would?
- Would a different organizing product make maintaining this system easier?
Remember, the simpler your system, the easier it will be to maintain for everyone – including spouses and kids.
These small habits have really been game-changers when it comes to keeping my home tidy and organized. If you want to cultivate some new habits, I recommend picking just one to start with and building on it over time. Eventually, having an organized home will become second nature for you!