Need to bring some order to your house? Here are 8 ways to get organized right now!
By Danielle Tate, Contributing Writer
I felt like we moved. I had boxes, bags, and bins of stuff sitting everywhere. Buying a new camper and selling our old one on the same day meant I needed to pack, unpack, and get organized fast. There was a great deal of work to do but instead of seeing the clutter, I concentrated on getting organized fast.
We’re transitioning to full-time RV living so getting organized has never been so important in our family. You may not have recently moved or been downsizing like we are, but the stuff you have piled up around you can be organized. Really, it can. You can get organized fast with these tips and tricks:
#1 – Reduce, reuse, recycle
I remember this catchy phrase from elementary school. It was meant as a way to introduce us to the idea of recycling garbage, but I think it’s valid when we’re getting organized too. Reduce by eliminating unnecessary, broken or half-working items. Reuse by repurposing. Look at things with fresh eyes and see how you can turn an unused item into something different and usable. Recycle by donating or selling off what you don’t want. Tax breaks and extra cash are a nice bonus to the reduced clutter in your home.
#2 – Make Temporary Piles
Clean off one surface and make piles or categories with the stuff based on tip number one. Then, sort those piles immediately and have a trash bag ready for the stuff you don’t want and a few boxes of stuff to donate. The key is, don’t let piles lay around. They must be sorted right away so the clutter doesn’t overwhelm you.
#3 – Everything in its place
As a budget coach, I’m constantly telling my clients, every dollar has a job to do. When getting organized, every item must have a home it belongs in. We recently had a family meeting and discussed the importance of every item being in its home when we aren’t using it or by the end of the day. For younger kids, you could say, “all toys and books need to go to bed before we do.” Get into the habit of putting things away. It goes a long way toward your goal of getting organized (and staying that way!)
#4 – Get Vacuum Seal Bags
As we downsize and transition to full-time RV living, I’m falling back in love with space-saving vacuum bags. Invest in a box of these bags and organize your bulky winter clothing, blankets, and bed clothes shrink to a manageable size. Label the bags and store under the bed, in the attic or the basement. Vacuum seal bags are an amazing way to organize oversized goods. If getting organized is a priority, make this part of your next shopping trip.
Image by: Unsplash
#5 – Start A Planner
Organize your day better with a free planner app or a simple paper tablet. You don’t need a fancy planner, (though some are very cute!) Do a quick download of a free planner app and get started organizing your life. Grab a paper pad and work with it right now. Keeping a To Do list, and even a Want-To-Do list will help you sort out the things that need your attention right away and those that can wait. Mental clutter can weigh you down, so get organized now!
#6 – Set up Syncing
Besides a wife and mom, I’m a business owner, a budget coach, and a fundraising coordinator. Lots of plates spin some days. I’ve learned the power of syncing. Although I have to run my calendars separately, I merge them together so I can view all my appointments in one. Merging calendars and syncing between devices is key to getting organized. You want to be able to view your schedule on any device.
#7 – Personal Baskets
Find some extra baskets or bins from around the house and designate one for each household member. This container becomes the go-to place for their personal stash of stuff that’s used daily. We use a small basket for my husband’s work keys, wallet, pocket knife and other pocket items. This keeps my kitchen counter clutter free. For children, cover a cardboard box with paper and let them decorate it. We did this for our son for books but it’s a great idea for their favorite toys or stuffed animals, too.
#8 – Go Paperless
Part with your paper. Seriously. In today’s age, we can easily access old bills online if we need them. Have your bills set up for paperless invoicing but even if you prefer to get the bill in the mail, ditch the paper after it’s paid. Paperless billing means less junk on your counters. And don’t worry about digital clutter, you can find my tips on digital decluttering here.
Maintain Organization with the One in, One Out Rule
One last tip for you. As you organize, build the habit of one in, one out into your life. If you buy a new shirt, one gets donated. If the kids get two new great books for Christmas, two get donated. Adopting this rule will help keep clutter from piling up and help keep you organized.
If you want to get organized fast you’ll need to add effort and creativity into the mix but it can be done. Get your family on board and create lifelong habits for organization success. For more in-depth decluttering help, check out these decluttering resources and grab this free decluttering printable.