MY BEST TIP: Everything needs a home.
1. Have designated drawers for designated items. Seems so silly and logical but I know people who don’t have a sock drawer or who don’t have a utensil drawer. Start one drawer at a time find a home for the items you see sitting around.
2. Have a shoe station. We have a mudroom. I’ve seen people use big barrels, use baskets, or use shoe racks in the garage. Put those shoes somewhere when they come off the feet. I’ve found taking them upstairs or to bedroom closet does not work. They need to a spot near the door.
3. Have a mail station. When we get bills or paper, I have a small bin on my desk that they all go in. I know about once a week to go through them. This gives me a place to physically take them from the mailbox to a designated area.
4. Have a key/charging area. Simple right, but how many times have you lost your keys. For women, we have a purse, aka the hidden abyss :), but often times my husband will leave his keys on the counter. We have a basket for keys and a jar for loose change, and a charger near this area. Come in drop your keys take out your change and plug in your phone. Ours in on the kitchen counter. Not ideal, but it works as our closest drop zone.
5. Have a bin in your child’s closest for outgrown or seasonal items. Once the season changes or my boys grow out of clothes, it goes in the discard bin. I don’t think about it. I just throw it in. Then twice a year during consignment season I go through the bin. I either goodwill, consign, or trash the item. You don’t have to consign, but you can take one thing off your plate of constantly going through their clothes. Just toss the discards in a bin at the bottom of their closest till you have time twice a year to sort.
6. Keep Toys out of sight. Now, this is almost impossible with riding toys, scooters, play kitchens etc but I’ve found that baskets and totes are a great option. I’ve always hidden my kids’ toys as best as I can and neither of them (maybe by fluke) ever really make messes. They take out what they are playing with and then we put it back or we have time to clean up at the end of the day. Having clear bins for tiny legos, superheroes, etc makes it easy for them to find what they want and have them in collections. My boys like this.
7. Keep cleaning products under each sink in the house. This has really helped me. When I see a toilet that needs to be cleaned instead of putting it off, which I use to do. I can simply reach under the sink and grab the cleaner and paper towels. I use one cleaner all over the house. Its a Seventh Generation multipurpose cleaner and I also keep a toilet brush behind each toilet. This is quick and easy and instead of going downstairs to get a bit of cleaning supplies I have them easily accessible in each bathroom. Its a must for me!
8. Clean out the fridge and pantry. Oh, how I hate this job. I have found though that if I clean and purge each time I put in new groceries it helps in the long run. Go ahead and toss a few items here and there as your loading in the new ones. It helps immensely.
9. Have Baskets for each child. We homeschool, but I think this would benefit any parent. Each of my boys has a basket. Within that basket it what we are currently working on or reading. If its a puzzle, a book, current school projects or current lists this is where it goes. If your child has a favorite book or coloring book put them in there and each child feels like they have their own tangible “office” something they can carry to the table carry to the playroom that is full of their personal fun or current school work they are working on.
10. Run the dishwasher and laundry constantly. I load and run the dishwasher every night and usually always have my washing machine going. Now I have yet to perfect how to put the laundry away but it only works if I put it away right when I’m done the folding, does it always happen no but it definitely helps if I do it immediately. If the dishwasher is going it means my kitchen is clean for the night. My husband and I both agree that a coming down to a clean kitchen helps start the day better. Some people feel this way about making their beds. It just gives you a certain feeling of accomplishment and readiness.
11. BONUS: Make daily lists. We all have things we do daily. Feed the cats, feed the dogs, check email, why not write that down and have it ready for you to view each morning. It helps me to be able to say ok I’ve done my tasks and here is what I want to accomplish today. I literally talk to myself (you all do don’t lie) and say Rachel, what is your goal today? It can be as minute as get that laundry put away or as-as challenging as finish painting the wall, but I always try to give myself one goal. ONE goal makes a huge difference.
Those are my ten tips, and I think I could write quite a few more. If this is something you enjoy. Leave a comment. Send me all the tips you use to keep organized. Help a sista out!
All images via Pinterest and hyperlinked.