People are always asking me how I’m so organized! I usually describe myself as an extremely lazy perfectionist. Basically, I never put things away and then I get frustrated and even overwhelmed with my mess. So, I’ve had to come up with ways to counteract my laziness while simultaneously satisfying my need for organization. My goal has always been to have a home for each item. This means that when I get a burst of organizing, I can quickly scuttle around putting things away and then I can go back to being lazy.
There are 3 Main Steps to Keeping an Organized Home:
1) Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need.
If you don’t use it, wear it, or need it- donate it. If its actually trash- throw it away. I am constantly donating old clothing and shoes. If it’s out of style or doesn’t fit or I’m like “wait, I never wear this”, I donate it. This also frees up closet space for me to buy more.
I get a bunch of design magazines and sometimes I don’t have time to read them so they just pile up (which is just sad). When the pile of ones waiting to be read gets too high, I grab a bunch of the old ones and either chuck them or I cut out inspiration images and put them in a folder (1 folder vs 10 magazines… yes please!)
2) Everything Should Have a Home.
This makes it that much easier to quickly clean up quickly, leaving you more time to live your life. You’ll spend a bit of time now deciding on where everything should go, but in your day to day functions you won’t even be thinking about where everything goes. So you can spend more time doing things you enjoy and less time cleaning. I’m organized by nature and even I would rather be out living my life than cleaning up my stuff. I’m not saying that you need to spend a lot buying boxes and bins. (That’s why they invented Home Goods, Target, Amazon…and yes IKEA!).
3) Have a Bunch of Temporary “Dumping Grounds”.
These are for those daily moments you are not in the mood to put stuff away. By having these designated spots, you are actually forcing yourself to be organized without having to think about it. The idea of drop zones is that you can easily grab each specific pile and quickly put those items away, easy peasy.
It can mean a spot for the pile of clothes you couldn’t decide on in the morning, or a place for your “lazy clothes” (you know, the stuff you wear for 2 hours in the evening that really isn’t dirty and can be worn again) or it can even be something like: the tiny cardboard jewelry box that stays in my nightstand for those days when I forget to take my costume jewelry earrings out before bed (I keep extra hair ties in here for when I’m too lazy to get up). I also keep a box just for receipts, its a place I can just toss my receipts in- close the cover- and ignore it, but I also only have 1 place to search for a receipt if I’m trying to return something.
I even keep a bin on the first floor of my house, so when I get home and I’m downstairs (and I don’t want to walk up the stairs), I have a drop spot. I like to call this my dump box. Every now and then I will grab the whole bin, bring it upstairs and put things away while I watch some tv.
Living an organized life doesn’t have to be complicated. It also doesn’t have to take over your life. Believe me, the second you decide to donate things you no longer need, you’ll feel like organization is possible. Creating homes for everything will make cleaning up something you could do in your sleep. Creating drop zones means you won’t have things EVERYWHERE- just in these designated areas. So you won’t be overwhelmed cleaning when you need to. You don’t need to be neat all the time, I’m definitely not, but these tips will make it so much simpler when you need to/want to be neat.