How to Stay Organized at Home

Inside: How to get organized and stay organized at home with organization habits. Creating easy home organization habits will help you keep a tidy space.  Post includes 10 Organization Habits to help you stay organized at home.

The sun warmed my shoulders as I stood and waited for the kids to run out of school.  Briefly, I chatted with another mom and we decided to do a play date the next day…at MY HOUSE!

Wait, what?!?  My house.  This would require some tidying up.

The kitchen counter had once again become a clutter trap.  There were piles of mail, bottles of vitamins, and every electronic device you could imagine plugged into an outlet on the counter.

Kids’ crafts littered the dining room table and toys they had outgrown sat in piles near the couch.

It was tempting to push everything into my office and close the door.

But the reality was, that approach in the end would create double the work and twice the time.

How to Stay Organized at Home

Getting motivated for a big home organization project can be hard.  At times, finding the will and the time to start can be near impossible. So, when you actually get your home organized you want to keep your home organized!

That’s why having systems including routines and habits is essential for staying organized at home.

There are three parts to my Organized Home Equation: Right Stuff, Right Place, and Right Method.

Graphic shows the organized home equation: Right stuff plus right place plus right mentod equals organized home.

If you organize and declutter, but don’t have the right habits in place, it will be hard for your home to stay organized.   It could take weeks or months, but it will go back to the way it was.

Bad Habits To Break

Just like anything, bad habits can unintentionally creep in.  You start the new year off with a bang…eating right, exercising more, but before you know it, you’re eating snacks and sitting too much.

Or, you have a goal to save more money then make a quick trip to the mall and end up with a few impulse purchases you hadn’t planned.

When it comes to organizing your home, habits like tossing the mail on the kitchen counter, piling clothes on a chair in your bedroom, or taking socks off and leaving them in any give space start to happen.  Maybe, like me, you’ve shoved things in your closet to deal with at a “later” time.

Defeating bad habits can feel like an uphill battle, but it can happen and it doesn’t have to be hard!

How to Create New Habits

Habits are like a small rudder on a ship.  They are things we often do without thought.  It has been said that habits dictate how we spend 40-50% of our lives every day.

While habits are most often formed unintentionally, you can also intentionally create or break habits.

This process involves taking what is unconscious and making it conscious.

In James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, he shares 4 Laws of Behavior Change to help you create new habits.

  • Make it obvious
  • Make it attractive
  • Make it easy
  • Make it satisfying

He also says, in order to break a bad habit you do the opposite:

  • Make it invisible
  • Make it unattractive
  • Make it difficult
  • Make it unsatisfying

Create New Organization Habits to Stay Organized

When it comes to home organization, you want to identify the habits that are no longer serving you or your home and create ones that will serve you better.

Let’s apply the Laws of Behavior Change to decluttering and home organization systems.  Here are some new home organization habits you could try.

Sorting paper every FridayMake it attractive by bundling the less desirable habit with something you enjoy. For example, only watch your favorite Netflix show when you’re sorting the paper.

Making the bed in the morningMake it easy by simplifying the bed-making process. Remove any decorative pillows and blankets while you are establishing this new habit. So that it’ll take you 2 minutes or less to make your bed.

Clearing the kitchen counter after dinner. Make it satisfying by immediately rewarding yourself after accomplishing the task. For example, have your dessert, only after you clear the counter. Or take a bubble bath after the counter is cleared.

Picture of a woman walking down stairs carrying laundry with post title How to Stay Organized at Home

10 Organization Habits to Help You Stay Organized at Home

It’s been shown that highly organized people consistently practice specific behaviors. There are countless things you could do to help you stay organized at home.  But for starters, check out this list of 10 habits to help you stay organized and keep clutter away.  Consider what you could incorporate into your daily routines. 

1) Make your bed in the morning

2) Decide on a daily designated tidy time

3) Clean out your refrigerator before compost day or before going grocery shopping

4) Identify 1-3 things to discard/declutter before going clothes shopping

5) Leave your keys in the same place when you come into your home

6) Never leave a room empty-handed

7) Immediately toss your junk mail

8) Do a daily load of laundry and sort out clothes that are outgrown or worn out as you fold them

9) Clear off and organize your desk at the end of the day

10) Tidy up a cluttered space while you talk on the phone

Which of the above daily habits will help you stay organized at home?  Are there ways you can make them more obvious, attractive, easy, or satisfying?  Check out James Clear’s book Atomic Habits if you’d like more ideas on how to easily create new habits in your daily life.

Small Change Bit Impact

Small home organization habits help you maintain a tidy and organized home.  They can be as easy as throwing junk mail away, tidying before you go to bed, or making your bed daily.  These routines will help you stay organized at home.  They prevent panic when an unexpected play date comes up or when guests pop by.  It’s counterintuitive, but these small routines create more space in your day and a sense of peace!

While habits are often subconscious, you can be intentional and make new ones.  The key to making new habits stick is to make them obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying.



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