home Organization 101: easy steps to a clutter free home

When you first move into your home it seems like you have so much space. 

BUT, as the years pass, you might find yourself becoming a pack rat. Where clutterdid all this “stuff” come from?  What are you going to do with all the stuff you have accumulated?  Perhaps it’s time to weed out the unnecessary items and organize your home.

Home organization is a step-by-step process.  It will take more than a day or even a week to get everything to a manageable level, but once you do staying organized is an easier task.  If you have a family, enlist their help.  They can pitch in and learn a thing or two about controlling clutter in their life.

1. Tackle the high traffic areas.  The living room and kitchen are usually the two most used rooms in the house.  Everything gets dropped on a counter or the couch in these two places.  Concentrate on getting everything set up the way that you like it before moving on to another room.

2. Discover the Joys of storage containers.  I love bins, totes, and tubs. Over the years, the style of storage containers has upgraded to be pretty as well as functional.  InsteaDollar Store binsd of storing containers in stacks in the garage, purchase ones that match your décor in each room and integrate them so that no one would even notice they were being used for storage.These bins are also an awesome way to organize smaller kids’ toys or games.

3. Divide items into categories.  You can use heavy duty trash bags for this part.  Everything that you find can go into a pile: KEEP, THROW AWAY, GIVE AWAY, and RELOCATE.  Items that will stay in that room are to keep.  Things that you don’t need or are broken can be thrown away.  Clothes or furniture still in great condition can be donated and scheduled for pickup by the Veteran’s association or Goodwill.  Anything that definitely belongs in another room can be labeled for relocation when you get to that room.

4. Clean it Out & Start FRESH.  This is a time-consuming process but it is easier to start with an empty space and fill it instead of simply pushing things around.  If you line things up on the counter, someone else can help by putting the items in some type of order. This also give you a chance to evaluate the contents as well.

5. Get Creative on your Available space.  There’s always available storage space in unconventional places. In the kitchen, for example, appliances or extra containers can be stored on top of the cabinets provided they don’t extend all the way to the ceiling.  That’s extra storage space without benefit of a storage container.  Also use the top of the refrigerator for cereal boxes and breakfast food like boxes of instant oatmeal or grits.  In the bedroom, shoes and winter clothes can go into flat storage bins that slide easily under the bed or the dresser. I have a friend who stores her large holiday platters under her bed as well.

6. Label your Containers.  Use tape and a permanent marker to identify the contents of your storage containers.  Avoid writing on the actual container in case they are reused and the contents are changed.  Labeling also makes for easy identification if you decide to sell or give away a container of books or something.  You won’t have to open each container to locate them.

(Click to Tweet) Organizing is like anything else in life. It’s something you need to work on daily.

Organizing your entire house takes time.  But, once it is done, returning everything you use to its proper place will maintain that same level of organization. Organizing is like anything else in life. It’s something you need to work on daily to ensure your don’t “back-slide” into old, clutter-filled ways.30 Days to an Organized Home

Another tool I have come to rely on heavily is a great resource book I found at Moms-In-A-Blog. 30 Days to an Organized Home is a gold mine of checklist, guides, and tutorials. I gained some awesome ideas from this e-book and it’s helped my organizing efforts immensely. Get more details or score your copy here. It might be just the kickstart you need to get on the organized path!

Staying organized as a work at home mom

It’s all too common to get overwhelmed or disorganized when you’re working at home and a mom. After all, you have more obligations: there are so many tasks and people demanding your attention.

Something has to give, which often means things get pushed to the side or forgotten.

The key is to start getting more organized. When you do you’ll find you’ll stay on track, be more productive, and get more profitable.

Here are some suggestions:
1) Take advantage of technology. With all the smart phone applications and online services, organizing is often as simple as finding a system that feels intuitive to you and easy to use. Start by choosing ones that you are most comfortable with already, and find out how to use them to the max.

2) Create a Hub. Do you have a central workspace? If not, create one. Even if you work from the kitchen table, a small mobile computer station cart or a portable file box will help keep you organized. Keep all of your business related documents in one central location.

3) Establish habits that work for you.  Whether you clean your desk at the end of each day, once a week, or once a month, schedule time to get it done. Make sure you have a place for everything – and label it. For example, business receipts go into a file folder organized by month. If you don’t have a place for everything, it’s time to create one. Simple binders and file folders do the trick.

4) Group like tasks together. One of the things that often throws a day are errands and chores. Instead of spreading them out through the day or week, consider devoting a day to managing chores and errands. Segmenting your time helps you focus on getting them done.

This also holds true for your business tasks too. Instead of checking email every hour (or worse, every time you get a new email), make time to do this only at certain times of day.

5) What’s holding you back? What’s the single biggest thing that prevents you from staying organized? Is it a lack of space? Is it a missing system that might pull everything together? Identify what’s keeping you from being as organized as you’d like and create a plan to overcome it.

6) Maximize Space. One of the reasons many moms who work from home feel disorganized is that they lack space. If there even is a home office, the space . There are wonderful, and simple, tools that can help you maximize your space. For example, a receipt scanner can digitally store all of your documents – including your receipts. This means you don’t have to keep file cabinets and boxes lying around. Shelves are also a simple way to get items off of the floor, desk, or table.

I also suggest looking at Pinterest for some inspirational ideas to help!

7) It’s all about the schedule. It may sound obsessive – however, consider scheduling everything from showering to planning your business. When you lay out your day, week, and month in this manner it’s easy to see how much you can accomplish and when you can get it done. Scheduling prevents you from overbooking yourself and it helps you stay on task. And yes, this means your down time too!

Whatever you do, the key to more profitability – and your sanity – is to be as organized as possible. It may take some time to put all the systems in place, but  it’s totally worth the effort in the long run.

These are just some of my tips. What do you do to get and stayed organized?