Ready to start organizing your home, but don't know how to begin? Grab a few ideas for starting your house organization process to clean and declutter your space for good!
You look around, and your entire house is chaos. There are toys everywhere and an unidentified liquid smeared down the cabinets. There's paper clutter coming out your ears and you have no idea what in the world to do with all of it. And the worst part of it – you're surrounded by things you don't really love and will never have a need for again.
I think we've all been there at some point. It happens to the best of us – even those who try to stay on top of home organization. No matter how committed you are to the process, life just happens sometimes. Things get busy, babies are born, family members get sick. That's life! But what's important is that you're committed to hopping back on the bandwagon and starting your organization journey again.
But let me let you in on a little secret – getting started is, by far, no question, the hardest part of being organized. Once you're in a habit of maintaining organization, it's a breeze! It becomes second nature and you honestly don't even think about it.
Let's look at ten simple ways to jump start your organization process!
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1. Sit down and name five areas of your home that need the most work.
A great starting point for organizing your home is actually vocalizing (or writing) your home's biggest weaknesses. Do a walk-through and see what areas need the most work. If I were to do this right now, mine would be our garage, outside storage room, home office, spare bedroom, and playroom. Even those who are on top of organization need work!
Once you have those five areas named, make a commitment to declutter and clean them, possibly each weekend or a little bit each weeknight for the next five weeks. Just think – the worst areas of your home could be clean in a little over a month!
2. Nail down a cleaning system.
Now you guys know I am a huge fan of having a cleaning system in place – I wouldn't know which way to turn in the cleaning department if I didn't have a simple plan of action for each day. Luckily, I have that covered for you! You can see more info on my popular home cleaning system, Journey to Clean, here.
The beauty of this cleaning system is that you can just start the calendar from wherever you are! Don't feel like you have to clean everything in a day or even a week; that's the big reason I call it Journey to Clean…it's a marathon, not a sprint. I typically tell readers to give it about a month to really, truly see a difference in their home. As long as you stick to it, it works!
3. Have a drop zone.
Depending on your family, you might have to have more than one drop zone for various items. Walk through your home and identify items that are cluttering things up.
Lots of toys? Have a toy box in the living room (like we do in our coffee table, available here).
Have a ton of papers coming home from school? Start depositing school papers in the same place daily, like we do in our kitchen.
This is going to vary for each family – identify your family's problem areas and designate drop zones for each.
4. Start planning your day the night before.
This is an absolute game-changer in the organization department for me. Before I go to bed each night, I go through my to do list (I use Todoist) and identify what did and didn't happen for the day. Move the unfinished items to the next day and celebrate the finished items! Then, I kind of go over what I need to do the next day and mentally sort out when I will do each item. (I talk a little bit more about my to do list organization here.)
The biggest takeaway from this – don't go to bed until you've planned out your to-dos for the next day! You will wake up feeling so organized and ready to take on the day.
5. Meal plan weekly.
Don't you hate that feeling of having an hour until dinner and not a clue what you're going to make? I do – that's why I started meal planning and I absolutely haven't looked back. This is a huge part of home organization in my opinion…not only is it smart use of your money, but by planning once a week/month, you're using time and energy more efficiently.
I have quite a few Instant Pot freezer meal plans available here. They're similar in format to my Original Instant Pot Freezer Meal Boot Camp and include family-friendly, easy to make, and wholesome meals that are completely laid out for you! I've used these systems for over a year now and I can't tell you how much time (and money) it's saved my family.
6. Get the family on board.
This is not a one man (or woman) show. I'll admit, I do most of the organization around our home, but I definitely get our kids involved too! And my husband is great about helping out where he sees a need.
I've got a little more info about getting kids involved in a cleaning system here. That post also has a few great chore charts – I actually use that very one you see above for my 6-year-old right now!
7. A place for everything, and everything in its place.
This is crucial for any organization system, whether it's in the kitchen or garage. Having a place for everything in your home not only makes it super easy to find and replace used items, but really identifies what is important (and maybe not so important) to have in your home. This helps with decluttering and truly needing/loving the things around you.
8. Minimize paper clutter.
I absolutely cannot stand paper clutter. It will take over a house faster than any other kind of clutter I can imagine. So, years ago, I put a system in place in our home that almost eliminated the need for paper in our home. As a matter of fact, we keep probably less than a notebook worth of paper in our home at any given time!
I've got more details on our paper clutter elimination process here. This is the full system we use the dispose of hundreds (thousands?) of needless sheets of paper each month. It has totally changed our home organization system for the better – and it's made life much easier! I love being able to do a simple search from my phone when any kind of paperwork is needed.
9. Declutter for 20 minutes a day…every day.
This rule is one of the cornerstones of my Journey to Clean system, and is just plain old good advice. 😉 I divide this into 10 minute increments; once during my morning cleaning session and once during my evening session. Set a timer for 10 minutes on your phone and don't stop cleaning until it goes off! I promise, if you stop and think you're done, there is something else that can be cleaned or decluttered.
Now, this isn't going to completely transform your home in a day (or even a week). My biggest advice in Journey to Clean is that you should leave your home cleaner when you go to bed each evening than you found it that morning. It's as simple as that! If you follow this rule, you won't believe how easy it is to organize your home and maintain it.
10. Make it fun!
Organization and cleaning is one of those things that you'll quickly get burnout from (and quit) if you don't make it interesting. Integrate something into it that you love! Use a colorful cleaning schedule, or play fun music while you clean. Use fun organization supplies (like I did on our kitchen) that inspire you to keep your home organized.
See more of my organizational posts here.
See more of my cleaning posts here.
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