Getting organized is hard. Staying organized is even harder. It’s easy to let chores and other tasks fall by the wayside, especially when you’re already busy. But letting your living space fall into disarray is a double-edged sword. It’s stressful to look at and live in, and it also takes more work when you are eventually ready to get organized again.
Here are some basic tasks that will help you organize your home more efficiently.
- Make tidying a habit. Dedicate 10 to 20 minutes of every day to simply tidying up your space. This is one of the simplest things you can do to get organized. You just have to make time to do it!
- Declutter your drawers. Use drawer dividers or some spare plastic containers to organize everything from makeup to office supplies. Then, when things are returned to a drawer, make sure they land in the right container.
- Deal with dishes right away. How many times have you put off doing the dishes under the guise of “letting them soak” for many, many hours? Cleaning up the kitchen right after a meal means the mess won’t snowball into an avalanche of dirty dishes.
- Put up a catch-all board. Consider a bulletin board of some sort. Being able to pin up lists or write down appointments, grocery lists, and other miscellaneous info is a great way to make sure you don’t lose track of the important stuff.
- Clean up your closet. Use dividers to keep clothes in tidy stacks. Don’t just toss things in a pile. Give your wardrobe a good once-over to make sure you’re only keeping clothes you wear and donate everything else.
- Sort your files and folders. It might be less visible, but digital clutter is still clutter. Keep your files and photos into albums so you never have to spend an hour looking for a stray credit card bill again.
- Meal plan. If you’ve heard this advice before, that’s because it works. Regular meal planning can ensure you’re only ever buying what you need at the grocery store. It helps you save money and waste less food—definitely a win-win.
- Designate a laundry day. The worst time to do laundry is when everything is dirty. Get in the habit of doing a load or two on one day of the week, which will prevent laundry from building up into a mountain.
- Clean your fridge. If you often find dubious leftovers hanging out in the back of your fridge, make a point of cleaning it out. Clearing out your fridge before your weekly shopping trip will ensure you only have fresh food, and it’ll help clear space for new groceries.
- Clear your wallet, purse, and car every month. If you have trouble finding cash or keys amidst a ton of receipts in your wallet or purse, it’s time to sort through the clutter. A car organizer can also help miscellaneous items from flying all over your trunk and backseat while letting you keep essentials like tissues and sunglasses within reach.
- Write a cleaning schedule. Do all these tasks sound overwhelming? Keep in mind that they don’t all need doing every day or even every week. Making a schedule for which ones need doing every day, week, and month is a good way to actually remember to do them.
If you’re not an organized person, it can be difficult to know where to start, too. The best place to start is by turning small tasks into habits. Once you’re used to doing them, you’ll start doing them automatically. The trick is to remember to do them enough, which is why the first step to getting organized is making a list of tasks. Having a set checklist of tasks that must be accomplished each week is probably the best reminder.