Do you struggle to keep your house in an organized state? You might find yourself wondering how it is that some people can have several children running around and an organized house when it feels like you can’t even get through an afternoon with a tidy home. What are the habits of extremely organized people?
The secret is that habits of extremely organized people aren’t such a big secret after all. They are simply a list of several different organizing and cleaning tasks that can be quickly completed throughout the day to eliminate an overwhelmingly unorganized home at the end of the week.
Are you ready to take on these tasks and create an organized home in the midst of the everyday busy chaos?
21 HABITS OF EXTREMELY ORGANIZED PEOPLE
1. DON’T BUY A BUNCH OF ORGANIZING CONTAINERS
When you think of organizing – at least when I do – I used to think that I needed to first go out and buy a bunch of organizing containers (I mean, look how cute they are!) before I started organizing.
It turns out that is a bigger mistake than I realized.
One of the habits of extremely organized people is that they organize first, then buy any organizing containers that they need.
The reason for this is because it is all too easy to look at the amount of stuff you have laying around your home and think you need at least 10 different organization containers and baskets to hold all this stuff, but really, when you organize the stuff first you are going to be getting rid of a bunch of it anyway – so it turns out you won’t need 10 baskets. You may not even need 5.
Remember this important step to organizing, that you don’t need to have baskets and containers prepared to put your stuff in before you organize. First organize, then buy the baskets and containers you need, if any.
What happens when you buy the baskets for organizing your stuff first is you end up with far more baskets than you need, and not enough places to put them. Now your house may be starting to look even less organized than it was before.
2. CLEAN UP AND PICK UP AS YOU GO
Cleaning up as you go throughout your day is a great way to eliminate being overwhelmed by a messy house at the end of the day.
By the end of the day, you’re already tired enough from chasing kids around all day and being a homemaker. You don’t need the added stress of a messy house on top of that.
Instead, create the habit to clean up after yourself as you go throughout the day. If you take a book off the shelf to read, put it away as soon as you’re done.
If you take some dishes to the living room, bring them back to the kitchen as soon as you’re done with them. If your kids are playing with blocks and decide to move on to playing with something else, have them clean up and put away the blocks before taking more toys out.
Cleaning up as you go doesn’t require much extra time at all and is an extremely smart habit to acquire. It may take you a few days or weeks to remember, but as long as you’re persistent with it and determined, it will end up taking a significant chunk of tidying up time out of your evenings and you will be so thankful for it.
3. MAKE YOUR BED
There are some people that say you should make your bed and other people who claim it’s better to keep your bed unmade. My opinion on the matter is this – a bed that is made helps the entire room look neater and gives me more motivation in my day to keep the rest of the house clean.
I don’t know about you, but when I walk into our bedroom in the middle of the day and see an unmade and messy bed, it just sets some kind of “blah” mood in me. It doesn’t make me want to keep the rest of our house tidy at all.
But on the other hand, when I walk into our room to see a neatly made bed, it helps me stay motivated to keep the rest of our house tidy and pick up after myself.
Making your bed in the morning shouldn’t take much time at all. Give yourself two extra minutes in your morning routine to make your bed as soon as you get out of it then you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day.
Help your children create the same habit and have them start making their bed every morning as well, this helps teach them responsibility from a young age.
4. CREATE A TO DO LIST
Are you a lists person? I love making lists, but I do know that some of you out there will be cringing at this one.
I find so much satisfaction in being able to create a list helps me stay on track and then cross stuff off of that list. If I rely on remembering things that need to get done throughout the day without adding them to my list, chances are they aren’t going to get done today. Or tomorrow. Or the next day.
Your to-do list doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it could be scribbled on a scrap piece of paper, or you can print off this beautiful to do list to help keep yourself accountable throughout the day.
It doesn’t matter what you write your to-do list down on – as long as you create one. It doesn’t have to be long, either. Start by keeping it simple. If you only have two tasks to get done today, write them down on your list and cross them off when you complete them.
5. FOLLOW YOUR LIST
While creating a to-do list is extremely important, following your list is even more important. Your to-do list isn’t going to do you any good if it’s just sitting there.
Depending on the amount of stuff you have on your to-do list, try to get as much of it done as early on in the day as possible, so that once you have crossed everything off of the list you are free to do whatever you want with the rest of your day.
One of the biggest advantages of a to-do list is that it helps you stay focused. I remember back in the days when I didn’t use any kind of to-do lists. I even occasionally forget to create one some days now, and those are the days when I am the least productive and just kind of meander throughout my day without doing much of anything.
Or, if I’m relying on remembering in my head the tasks I have to do for the day, I don’t often get them done as fast as when I can physically see them on a list in front of me.
6. CREATE A ROUTINE
Another one of the many habits of extremely organized people is creating and following a routine. Whether that’s a certain morning routine that you create to help you start your day off on a productive note, or if that’s a house cleaning routine you do once a week, or small home organizing tasks that you follow a routine for every day.
Everyone’s routines will look different, and that’s fine. Creating a routine that works for you is just a part of keeping yourself and your home organized.
Without routine comes forgetting things and getting distracted easily because you don’t have a routine keeping you accountable.
Go ahead and create an organizing routine to follow and do these small tasks each and every day to eliminate your house from becoming a big mess.
7. DON’T AIM FOR PERFECTION
If your aim is perfection and you won’t be satisfied with anything but, you’re in trouble. The truth is, your house is never going to look perfect and it’s never going to be truly spotless. This is especially true if you have a house full of kids.
Don’t make perfection your aim or else you will get discouraged quickly. Realize that your house will never look like that house out of the magazines, but that’s okay because you’re raising a family and creating memories in your house.
Make tidiness your aim and remember that what is tidy to one person might not meet another person’s definition of the word, and that’s okay. Keep your house tidy and organized for you and your family’s expectations, not other people’s. You are the ones that have to live in this house, after all.
8. SET GOALS
Goals are always an important step in any area of your life, have you noticed that? Whether you’re working on bettering your finances or creating a budget, goals are what are going to get you there and keep you on track.
The same thing goes for creating an organized house – goals and hard work are what is going to get you there.
Go ahead and create some realistic home organization goals to keep yourself motivated and give you something to work towards.
Picture what your ideally organized house would look like. How far off is it from your home? Write it down, now get to working towards that goal by using these organizing tips and the ones to follow.
9. KEEP THINGS WHERE YOU USE THEM
Have you ever taken time to think about where you store your stuff? If you think about it, it doesn’t make sense to store your toilet paper across the house from the washroom as much as it doesn’t make sense to store your kitchen cleaners in the bedroom.
Rather than storing items in different places than where they get used, and having to trek them all the way across the house to be able to use them, consider moving some stuff around and making room for them in places closer to where they get used.
Store your toilet paper as close to (or in) the bathroom as possible. Make room so you can store your kitchen cleaners under the kitchen sink, rather than having to go hunt them down and carry them across the house to the kitchen.
Keeping things close to where you use them is an effective way to eliminate unorganized chaos.
If you are constantly dragging stuff halfway across the house to where it needs to be used it’s a lot easier to tell yourself it’s okay to place them somewhere that they absolutely don’t belong (like leaving them sitting on a counter or on the floor), just because you don’t feel like bringing them back to where you had them.
If you store the items where you use them you won’t face that problem and it will be just as simple as putting them away where they belong after you’re done using them as it would be to leave them on the counter (let’s avoid that).
10. HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING
Like the point above, if you’re going to be able to put stuff away where it belongs, that means you need a place for it.
If you have so much stuff that you simply don’t have space for it, it’s time to say goodbye. It’s better to have less stuff than to have a house that is bursting at the seams trying to hold everything inside.
Go through your entire house over the course of a few months and find a place for everything. If you can’t find somewhere for a certain object, it’s time to say goodbye to it. You don’t need it in your house doing nothing but taking up space and creating an unorganized atmosphere.
11. PURGE YOUR HOUSE REGULARLY
Rather than letting little things pile up then finding yourself face to face with a heaping mess, try to purge your house on a regular basis.
If you do this every day, or even every week, you will find it doesn’t take much time at all. Simply walk through each room in your house with two bags or bins. One bag is for the trash, the other bag is for donating.
Do a quick walk-through of all the rooms in your house grabbing things that are broken, you don’t need, and you don’t use anymore and toss them in the bags. If you do this often, you likely won’t end up with heaping bags full each time, and that’s a good thing. It should only take you a few minutes, too.
12. MAKE IT FUN
Cleaning and organizing aren’t many people’s versions of fun, but if you do little things to make it even just a little bit more enjoyable, you might even start looking forward to your short, everyday organizing times.
Make it a time where you unplug, put away distractions, and make it relaxing. Although organizing may not sound relaxing to you, it can be. It doesn’t have to be stressful. Focus on working to organize one part of the house at a time, and give your kids small organizing tasks to complete, too.
Turn on some music while you organize, or keep it quiet if that’s what you prefer. Make a game out of it and try to approach organizing with a lighthearted attitude.
13. BE HAPPY WITH LESS
You don’t need to have the newest and greatest gadgets to be happy. Rather than always buying more, focus on buying less and being happy with what you have.
If you don’t have something that you need, but you have another object that you could use to improvise, find creative ways to make that work rather than going out and buy more.
An important part of keeping your house organized is having the ability to say no to purchases that are unnecessary. Things that you want but don’t need.
Not only will doing this help you create and keep an organized home, but it will also help you save money by saying no to buying things.
14. DITCH DUPLICATES
Another one of the habits of extremely organized people is getting rid of duplicates. There is no use in having several different sets of steak knives sitting around, and you don’t need to have a spare coffee maker in your storage room, either.
Keeping duplicates is handy for if something you have breaks, but if you kept duplicates for everything in your house just in case something broke, you wouldn’t have any room to live.
When you start ditching duplicates it might be hard to initially start getting rid of your stuff, but once you start you will see the impact it has on the entire neatness of your house.
Getting rid of duplicates will help you free up space so you have room to spread out and organize the stuff that you really do need in your house.
15. DON’T LET DISHES PILE UP
This one is just like the earlier habits of extremely organized people that I mentioned where they clean up after themselves throughout the day. It is such an important tip that I needed to mention it again.
Don’t let your dishes pile up throughout the day.
I get that your days are busy, but keeping all your dishes on the counter until the end of the day will only cause you to spend more time in the evenings scrubbing dishes. Nevermind the food particles that have leeched themselves to the dishes and refuse to be scrubbed off by the evening.
Start washing or loading your dishes up into the dishwasher after every meal and drink you have, that way you won’t be welcomed to a counter overflowing with dishes at the end of the day.
16. DEDICATE 15 MINUTES EVERY EVENING TO CLEANING UP
Just like creating an organizing routine for your days, another good one on the list of habits of extremely organized people is dedicating 15 minutes each evening to cleaning and tidying up your house.
Get your kids involved in the task, too. If you have been cleaning up throughout the day doing a quick cleanup of your entire house in the evening shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, and might even take as little as 5 minutes.
Pick up any toys, and blankets that are laying around and quickly sweep the floors so you are ready to start the day tomorrow off with a clean house.
17. SET TIMERS
If there is a big area of your house that needs to be organized, rather than letting it overwhelm you, decide to attack it in bite-sized pieces, for short periods of time.
Using the timer method is one of the most effective organizing, decluttering, and cleaning methods out there.
Simply set a timer for 10 – 20 minutes (or however long you would like – but keep it short), set aside all distractions, and organize. From the second you start that timer to the second it starts dinging you should be doing nothing but focusing on the single task at hand.
Then, once the timer goes off, take a break, eat a snack, or do something fun for a while. If you are feeling ambitious, you could set another short timer sometime later in the day to tackle a bit more of the organizing that needs to be done.
The idea of using the timer method is that you are completely focussed on the task you are doing and you aren’t allowed to do anything else until the timer dings. It is meant to help you stay focused, and setting a timer for just a short period of time helps ensure you don’t get worn out and start lollygagging.
18. FOCUS ON ONE TASK
Focusing on a single task at a time, rather than trying to multitask and get several different things done at a time will help you be much more effective and efficient with your organizing.
Many people believe that when they multitask they truly are saving time, but what they don’t realize is that organizing a room, writing a grocery list, writing a to-do list, checking emails, and dusting really isn’t as efficient as doing one task all the way through to completion, then moving on to the next, then the next, then the next.
When you try and do 10 things at one time, you waste so much time switching from one task to another that you could actually have all the different tasks completed in a fraction of the time if you were to just focus on completing one at a time.
19. STOP PROCRASTINATING
We all have experienced those random things that pop up in the middle of the day and require our attention. If we leave our to-do list to the end of the day and something comes up that takes away the time we thought we had to complete our to-do list, it won’t get done.
Instead, get everything you need to get done for that day as early as possible that way if something unexpected comes up, you won’t have to worry about pushing today’s tasks onto tomorrow and having an overloaded list tomorrow.
It’s time to stop procrastinating and start completing your tasks as early as possible.
20. START ORGANIZING VERTICALLY
A very smart one of the habits of extremely organized people is they way they organize vertically, rather than horizontally.
When organizing strictly horizontally, you run out of space all too quickly and things become cluttered looking. What we seem to forget is that there is a whole world of organizing potential just out of our reach. (Thankfully, with the help of a stool, we can reach it).
Start organizing your items vertically to utilize space and help your house look less cluttered.
Rather than sitting your plants on windowsills and coffee tables, grab a hanging plant holder to keep your plants off of your surfaces.
Consider storing cooking utensils on the insides of your cupboard doors by adding hooks to the cupboard doors.
Invest in hanging spice racks rather than having your spices sit on your countertops.
There are countless ways to organize vertically rather than horizontally. Become creative with your organizing efforts and you will be surprised by how much space is freed up.
21. START A MEAL PLAN
Dinner time is often a time of complete chaos. Your kids may be constantly asking what’s for dinner and you may be feeling stressed out because you don’t know what to make, and dinner time is quickly approaching (or already long past).
Start meal planning with these simple meal planning steps – you don’t need to dedicate an entire day to meal planning. Keep it quick and simple, find some of yours and your family’s favorite recipes, then write on your meal planner what meals you will be having this week to eliminate all the dinner time stress.
Once you’ve figured out your meals, write all the ingredients you will need on your shopping list so you only need to buy exactly what you need – no more and no less.
Are you a regular organizer, or do you struggle from a house that overwhelms you? Take a handful of these habits of extremely organized people and apply them to your life. Start with just a few minutes of organizing a day, and keep going.
Don’t give up or else you won’t have a chance to see the great difference you’re making in your house.
What is your biggest struggle with organizing? Which one of these habits of extremely organized people do you struggle the most with? I’d love to hear from you!
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Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12