There are many “tips and tricks” for keeping a home and office organized but most of them are filled with fluff that looks pretty but doesn’t necessarily help keep things organized. This list is for the person who wants practical advice on how to get organized and stay organized. Let’s dive right in!
This is so key!! There is no point organizing things that a) you don’t need or use or b) don’t have room for. So step one is to get a giant garbage bag or empty box and decide what stays and what goes.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to decide:
- Have I worn this in the last 6 months?
- In another 6 months will I care about this thing?
- What does this do?
- Who’s is this?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no” or “I don’t know”… see you later, it goes!
OK, get crackin’, I’ll wait… I’m serious, go eliminate the excess stuff weighing you down right now. Work your way through every room until you’re done.
See, that wasn’t as painful as you thought it would be, was it? I bet it actually feels good to get rid of some of that stuff that was lurking in the recesses of your closets and cupboards.
Organize like things
OK, now take all the things that are left and put like things together. In an office space this is pretty easy. Put all the pens, pencils, highlighters, and markers together, put all the post-its together, all the envelopes, all the tools like hole punches, staples, etc. This will make it a lot easier down the road when you need a pen and know all the pens in the house are in the left drawer of your desk. No more checking 101 places before writing it on the mirror in lipstick.
Again, go through every room in the house and repeat this process.
Use opaque containers
This is the part where you get to be creative and let your inner interior decorator free. So, get on Pinterest and start collecting some inspiration on container ideas for your collections of like things that need a home.
One huge thing to keep in mind with these containers: make sure they are closed and not see-through. Although it looks really pretty to have glass everything let’s be honest, a month or two into the process of staying organized and the pens are going to be thrown into the pens container willy-nilly. They aren’t going to be nicely placed according to shape and size with all the nibs at the same end. Trust me, closed containers are your friend.
You might be thinking, “But how will I know what’s in all my nice, new, matching containers if I can’t see inside them?” This is where you’re going to become new best friends with labels. Labels come in so many beautiful options: craft paper, twine, ribbon, chalk board. The possibilities are endless.
Everything in its place
The biggest take away from this should be everything has its place and it goes back to that place after being used. If it doesn’t have a place to live then go back to step 1 and decide if you really need it to begin with. If it has a place but you never put it back figure out if that’s because the place is wrong or you need to change your mindset and just plain clean up after yourself.
There are always exceptions to every rule. In this case there are two exceptions to the organization rules that will help you stay organized.
A command centre is a central station where you put your daily items like keys, cell phone, spare change. It also houses things that help the household run smoothly like a calendar of everyone’s schedule. This is not a dumping ground for everything you can’t be bothered to put away. It’s only for those things that are used so frequently they don’t need a place away on a shelf.
Quick draw desk spot
This spot is ideal for a desk or workstation. It houses one of everything that you need when working at your desk on a daily basis: pen, pencil, eraser, highlighter, paper clip, post-it pad. This will save you time opening and closing your drawers 100 times a day for the same pen.
By using these five tips for organization, and the two exceptions to the rule, you will have a more organized and efficient house and office space. The key is sticking to it. If you can follow these steps and stick to them you will be in organized bliss.