My house isn’t perfectly clean and organized all the time; but for the most part, it’s relatively neat and picked up. And no, I don’t have a housekeeper, magical powers, or a super special secret to share with you… just a few habits I’ve learned over the years that make it possible to keep my home neat and organized every day without tons of effort.
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t necessarily love cleaning and organizing but still wants a neat and organized home, here are 5 important habits of organized people that you can start implementing in your own home and life.
1. We put things away when we get them out.
Putting things away when we get them out is probably the simplest and most important thing we do on a daily basis (maybe an hourly basis!) to keep our home neat and organized.
Whether it’s putting clothes away after we’ve finished wearing them, putting dishes and food away after dinner, or putting piano books away after we’ve finished practicing… those few minutes here and there save hours and hours of cleaning and organizing later on — plus I don’t have to look at the clutter surrounding me all day!
2. We declutter extras.
I try not to hang onto extras of anything because by not owning extra stuff that I don’t need, use, want, or love, I have less stuff to store, less stuff to clean around, less stuff to organize, etc.
This one can be tricky for freebie lovers (I know because I used to be one). Then I realized that even if something is free but I don’t need it, it still costs time, energy, and effort to store it and clean around it.
Now I try to only bring things into my house if they have a place and a purpose — no matter how great of a deal they might be!
3. We don’t let things pile up.
I keep paper to a minimum, and I file any paper I need to keep ASAP. I rarely let dishes pile up next to the sink for more than a couple hours after dinner, and I try to keep clutter away from all my flat surfaces.
I also don’t let dirty laundry back up…. or folded clothes stay in the basket for days at a time.
Take care of the paper, the clothing, and the dishes right away (while it’s still manageable) because if you let things pile up for days, it all feels overwhelming.
4. We don’t make excuses.
We can come up with dozens of excuses for anything we don’t want to do — and yes, there are days when I procrastinate and make excuses — but they are not the norm.
It may be more immediately gratifying to put off chores and work, but in the long-term, it’s SO much more beneficial to “do it now” versus making excuses and putting the tasks off until later.
5. We leave every space better than when we arrived.
When I’m leaving a room and going to another room, I’ll do a quick 3-second scan of the room to see if I can pick something up, bring something to the other room, throw something away, etc.
When I’m in the kitchen making dinner, I’ll wipe down the counters while I wait for the water to boil or I’ll chop onions and peppers for the freezer while the kids are coloring at the table and cookies are in the oven.
When I’m in the bathroom, I’ll take 10 seconds to wipe down the countertop before I leave, or empty the trash if it’s getting full.
Often, I’ll even catch myself doing this in a public place — like throwing trash away or wiping up spills I see. I just can’t let myself leave a space without doing something to make it better, neater, cleaner, and more organized than when I arrived.
It usually takes less than 30 seconds to make a positive change in the space, and those efforts do add up over time.
Get started today!
These simple tips won’t magically transform your home into a blissfully organized oasis overnight. However, if you start now and implement a few of these tips on a daily basis, I know you will see positive change.
It might take weeks or even months, but you’re headed in the right direction — not to mention you’re creating awesome habits for yourself and modeling those good habits for anyone else who lives with you.
It might not seem like much now, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll look back in a few years and realize that these simple, small changes have completely transformed the way you live your life and how you feel about the spaces around you!