Greetings, friends!!! In keeping with our November organization challenge, I’ve put together a list of 60 home organization tips to get you started on your organized and stress free home. 🙂 If you missed it, be sure to check out our post on organization basics. And here’s another great organization post that talks about how to simplify your life in three easy steps.
Feel free to jump in in the comment section with your favorite organization tips, and to share how your organization challenge is going.
1. Put things where they work for you, even if it doesn’t make sense to someone else.
2. Make a habit of making your bed (and having the kids do the same) as soon as you’re up in the morning.
3. Make a “bug out plan” for if you need to leave the house quickly due to a disaster or emergency, and have a list of what you need to put in it attached to the bag. Some things to put on the list? Valuable papers, meds, snacks, activities for the kids.
4. Once you’ve got your re-organize done, make a maintenance plan for each area that fits your schedule.
5. Keep a wall calendar in a prominent room so that everyone is aware of where people are/need to be on what days and at what times.
6. Have a small variety of cards on hand from the dollar store so that if an unexpected need comes up, you’ll have a supply ready and won’t need to make a separate run just for a card.
7. Put a basket by the most-used door for keys, etc.
8. Keep a specific file that holds valuable paperwork such as birth certificates, social security cards, passports and diplomas.
9. Reader tip from Liz: Spend 15 minutes a day tidying up around the house. Be sure to have the kids help.
10. If a task will take you 5 minutes or less, do it now.
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11. Whenever you run across anything empty, ripped, the wrong size or never used, immediately toss it in the trash or a charity box.
12. Reader tip from Kay: Be careful not to “over declutter” and give away stuff you really don’t want to get rid of. Take your time and make wise decisions.
13. Get rid of all of those old magazines and books you haven’t looked at for years.
14. Go through each room and closet and do an honest assessment of what you need, and what you don’t, and then get rid of the stuff you don’t need or use.
15. Get rid of duplicates that don’t serve a purpose.
16. Only keep clothes that truly serve a purpose. Most of us wear only about 20% of the clothes we own.
17. When decluttering, don’t think about what you’re “losing”, instead, think “Could someone else benefit for this better than I can?”
18. Reader tip from Barbara: For sentimental stuff that you want to get rid of, take a picture of it so you have a digital memory, then send it on its way.
Organization for kids
19. Give kids their own alarm clocks and post morning checklists for them. (It’ll be less for you to organize.)
20. Teach kids to get in the habit of picking up after themselves.
21. Put kids’ crayons, markers and other art supplies in separate, stackable, covered plastic storage containers.
22. Teach your children to get everything ready for school; back packs, finished homework, outfit, the night before, so that getting ready in the morning will be more streamlined.
23. Keep a tray or basket by the front door where kids can drop off docs from school such as permission slips and homework assignments, that need to be reviewed and signed by parents.
24. Have each kid fold and put away their own laundry, and change the bedding on their own beds.
25. Assign each kid their own color, and use that color when purchasing things for the kids so that everyone will know whose stuff is whose. This works especially well for families with more than one of the same gender.
26. Get kids in the habit of giving away toys they no longer use, especially when new toys come into the house.
27. When wrapping presents, buy each kid their own design of wrapping paper so you’ll know whose is whose on Christmas morning and you won’t have to worry about making tags.
28. Make a list of who you have to buy for and how much you want to spend on them, and then stick to it.
29. Have a list of go-to dishes, appetizers and desserts, along with their recipes, for when you need to bring something to a party. Make a similar list that works for when you host a party at your house.
30. If you host parties often, have a plan in place for where serving tables will go, where people will sit to eat, and how tables will be dressed so that meals are organized and pleasant.
31. Buy one of those big, long storage boxes for wrapping paper, To/From tags, tape and scissors to be stored in.
32. Buy themed napkins, paper plates, etc., on clearance after an event so you’ll have them for next year.
33. Have both a written and digital list that contains passwords, account numbers, etc., and store the lists in a safe place.
34. Store all your instruction manuals in one box or binder and keep it in the place where you’ll use it most, whether that be paper manuals or a computer folder for online manuals.
35. Unsubscribe from all of those commercial emails you never read.
36. Have a car charger for your cell phone or other gadget for when you forget to charge it up at home but still need to be able to utilize it.
37. Set a day/time each week to clear out your email inboxes and sent/deleted items
In the kitchen
38. Have a menu plan and shop accordingly so you always know what you’re making for dinner.
39. Tidy up the kitchen after every meal. A clean kitchen reduces stress.
40. Set up your pantry like a grocery store, lining items up with the oldest in front and newest in back, so that you’ve got a clear view of what you have/don’t have.
41. Use the inside of your pantry door for hanging up aprons and/or potholders.
42. Clear your counters of the things you rarely use unless they have a decorative use. For instance, if you rarely eat toast, put the toaster in a cupboard.
43. Keep a sheet of paper on the fridge at all times for people to write down things needed from the grocery store, which will help you not to forget what you need to buy when making your big shopping list, or for grab n’ go when you’re just making a quick run to the store.
44. Have a “leftover night” once a week to clear the fridge of leftovers so they don’t go to waste and so the fridge stays cleaner.
45. Keep a few meals in the freezer at all times for nights when you don’t have time or are too tired to cook.
In the bathroom
46. Keep a basket in your bathroom that neatly displays extra toilet paper rolls or hand towels/wash cloths, so that they’re always right there when you need them.
47. Rid your bathroom cabinets of all that stuff you never use, and keep only things you need in there.
48. Give the bathroom a quick wipe down every day, and the toilet a quick scrub every day, so that it never gets out-of-hand dirty.
In the family room/living room
49. Use some type of basket, or a chest or ottoman with storage under it for ready-to-use blankets to cuddle up with.
50. Put a plate or basket on the coffee table to hold remotes.
51. Have a basket for newspapers and/or magazines, and clean it out once a week or once a month to make room for new stuff.
52. Keep your cat or dog’s kibble in a plastic trash can with a lid in the room where you use it most. This will keep you from having to dig into the bag and prevent rodents from digging in.
53. Keep a caddy handy to hold pet brushes, shampoos and toys.
54. Keep a spreadsheet of when baths and vet visits are due so that you’ll keep on top of vital maintenance and care.
55. Keep a spreadsheet tracking all of your spending, adding to the list at the end of each day.
56. Schedule payments online at the beginning of the month so that it’s done and you don’t have to worry about it until next month.
57. Make a budget at the beginning of each month so that you know what needs to be paid and have a plan for your paycheck before you get it.
58. Automate savings deposits each month so that they’re out of your account before you have the chance to spend them.
59. Create either an online file or a physical file that contains quarterly investment statements, social security statements, and so on, giving you quick access to your money picture.
60. Have a written 5, 10 and 20 year plan for your financial goals.