The Top Two Challenges to Staying Organized and How to Overcome Them
Do you have trouble keeping your home organized? Have you decluttered in the past, only to find the clutter popping up all over again? You’re definitely not alone. A lot of people struggle to get and stay organized in their homes.
Why Can’t I Stay Organized?
As professional organizers, we’ve seen all kinds of spaces in all states of disorder (but ya know what? We love what we do). And after all that work, we’ve noticed that most people struggle with home organization for two main reasons:
1. Your Things Don’t Have a Home
Clutter and disorganization reign when things don’t have a specific, logical place in your home. You can’t find your keys because you don’t have a place to put them when you walk in the door. Mail and paperwork build up on the kitchen counter, the dining table, or wherever there’s extra space because you don’t have a system for it. Kids’ stuff, magazines, shoes, and on and on…everything you own needs its own home!
So that’s the first step: find a home for everything you have. Think about how you use an item, where you use it, how often you use it, and designate a home for it that takes all that into account.
No more running around searching for keys or throwing your jacket on a random chair – everything is right there, in the same spot, every day. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Make Labels to Define Spaces
Whether you’re organizing a pantry or updating a filing system, labels help you clearly define where things go. Use labels on bins, drawers, and shelves, and keep categories broad (think “Pasta” not “Macaroni”).
For more labeling tips, sign up for our guide to Labeling Like a Pro!
2. You Have Too Much Stuff
Okay, tough love time. The truth is, most of us have too much stuff that we don’t need or use – or even like in some cases. And when you have too much stuff, it’s hard to stay organized.
The best solution? Pare it down.
We get it: it’s not easy to let go of your things. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by decluttering, start small. Grab a box and pick a drawer or a shelf. Remove any items that you don’t use or love and put them in the box. Repeat with the next drawer or shelf. When the box is full, tape it up and donate it. When you’re feeling more confident, move on to larger areas in your home.
Will this take time? Yes. Will it be worth it? Totally.
You don’t have to be perfect at this. You don’t have to get rid of everything. But the more you let go of, the more space you’ll have to breathe and see all the things you do use and love. And that’s an awesome feeling!