Want to organize your home but feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start? Here’s a helpful post that breaks down how to get organized in an easy, manageable way! Plus tips on staying organized, too!
We all have things we want to organize: the kids’ old baby clothes, the pantry, the linen closet, the garage, the playroom, the kitchen cupboards, and on and on and on. The problem is that we often don’t know where to start. Sometimes we have so much we want to organize that we don’t even begin.
Organization is another one of the topics that was brought up when I asked my fellow mamas on Instagram about areas they wanted to improve. And I’ve seen about a billion posts on social media about the Marie Kondo Netflix series that just came out (which, honestly, I wasn’t super impressed with). Organization seems to be a common struggle!
Now I’m no professional organizer (which is actually a real thing, Google it), but I have managed to keep an organized house with a husband and three young kids.
So for today’s post, I thought it would be helpful to not only talk about how to get organized and some of the things I do in my home, but also how to stay organized after you’ve put in all that work. Having kids can definitely make it harder to stay organized, but mamas, it doesn’t have to prevent you from maintaining an organized home!
Also, a quick note, I know that when you scroll through Pinterest or Instagram and see gorgeous pictures of organized pantries and playrooms it can be disheartening. The amount of money some people spend on bins, boxes, and storage can be absurd. But I promise, organization doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, it can save you money because you’ll know what you have and where everything is and you won’t have to go buy something because you can’t find the one you used to have at home.
How to Get Organized
To start, let’s go over a few tips to help you get organized.
Make a list of things you want to organize. Get it all out there. Then decide to do one a week, one a month, or one every other month if it’s a big project that will take a while. Break it up so it’s more manageable, and then hold yourself accountable to get it done.
Go through things. As you go through those closets and clothes and toys, decide what to keep and what to get rid of. You can do it in a Marie Kondo does-it-bring-me-joy way or you can do it in a more practical way. Get rid of things that haven’t seen the light of day in years, things that don’t fit, toys your kids don’t play with, or things that are broken or overstocked. Decide what to donate, what to keep, and what to throw away.
Try a declutter challenge. If those first two tips seem too daunting, try a declutter challenge. It’s a good place to start if you have a lot of “stuff” and aren’t sure where to start. I did this one before we moved to Minnesota and it was awesome.
One thing at a time. Breathe. Organizing your home is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on one thing at a time, give it your all, and then move on to the next thing. You can’t do it all at once or you might literally explode.
Everything needs a place. Whether it’s a shelf, a basket, or a drawer, everything needs to have its own designated place. You want to keep like with like and make sure things have a place so you can put them away after using them. Like I said before, you don’t have to use bins or big storage tubs, but if you want them, check your dollar store, use these big cheap Ikea boxes, or for storage tubs, buy the buy the seasonally colored ones after the holidays are over (like orange and black the week after Halloween when they’ll be on sale).
Try using a central command station. If you’re thinking this is great and all, but you want to try and organize your life, too, try creating a central command station with a big calendar, a place for mail and keys, a menu board or grocery list, and anything else you think would help you stay on top of things.
I know these are simple tips, but if you follow them, you can make the job of organizing your home a lot more manageable and less intimidating.
How to Stay Organized
Great job! You’ve taken the time to get rid of things and find a place for the keepers. Give yourself a high-five. But now what? Sure you might’ve organized your home and put everything away, but how can it stay like that when you’re using those things and actually living in your home? Here’s what works for us:
Follow the same system as when you organized things. Regularly (maybe annually?) go through things and decide what you need and want and what can be trashed. We all know that just because a toy can be your kid’s favorite today doesn’t mean it will be his favorite in a year. And when that time comes, get rid of it. Otherwise your decluttering will have been for naught.
Put things away. When you use something, put it away. When you get something out, put it away. Instead of thinking “I’ll put it away later” (which we all know is a lie) put it away right after you use it.
Finish tasks. Sometimes we get things out to work on them and then end up spending weeks on them. Or we start putting away the kids’ laundry but then something else comes up and the laundry doesn’t get put away for three days. Little things like this will make you slip right back into that disorganized mess you just cleaned up! So finish what you start and don’t leave things laying around.
Don’t buy useless things. If you’re only going to use something once and then put it in a closet, don’t buy it. And if you do end up buying something you think you’ll use only to realize you hate it and it’s useless, either return it to the store or get rid of it.
When you get new things, get rid of old things. This applies to clothes, toys, dishes, towels, sheets, etc.
Only buy things you love. This is especially important for clothes and for decorating your home. One thing I personally do is everything I decorate my home with is something I love or have a personal connection to. A lot of our paintings, I’ve done. I collect stamps and instead of keeping them in a box in the closet, I display them. This really helps you live in a more minimalist way, which helps you stay organized and able to enjoy the things in your home.
Make sure everyone in the family knows what’s expected in terms of cleaning up. This is a big one with kids. We make our kids clean up their toys every single night before bed. They know to put their dishes in the sink when they’re done, and trash in the trash can when things are gone. We all help out (so mama doesn’t go crazy) and it helps us stay organized every day.
How are you feeling? Motivated? Ready to tackle those toys and closets? Me too! I think I need to go find something else in my home to organize! Getting and staying organized really is easier than you might think, as long as you break it down, don’t take on too much too fast, and implement a few simple strategies to maintain order in your home.
Now get to it! You’ve got this, Mama!
New Year, New Mama Posts Up So Far:
How to Start Living Your Best Mom Life
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Such great advice! My house stays generally clean, but I feel like I could definitely be better about staying on top of the organization. I’ve been watching Tidying Up and now I want to organize all the things! I just wish there was more time in my day to do it!
Chelsea Johnson says
I know how you feel! One thing at a time 🙂