Although there’s nothing I love more than spending an entire day blissfully organizing my home, I recognize that this is not everyone’s idea of nirvana. If the thought of spending the day organizing is daunting, I recommend spending a few minutes every day to keep clutter at bay. This way, you can maintain organization without putting in a lot of time or energy.
So, in addition to NOT creating a mess each day, here are some ways you can proactively avoid clutter build up:
1. Make your bed as soon as you wake up every morning. There are few things that take less than 5 minutes that give you as many organizing points as this one. Not only does this start your day in the right mindset, but don’t underestimate how happy you’ll be to see it neat and orderly when you come home later in the day.
2. When you’re getting dressed in a hurry, you may change outfits a few times. If this is the case, Do NOT discard clothing on your bed or closet floor. After you try something on, it takes literally seconds to hang it back on the hanger. Also, if you find that every time you try something on, you opt not to wear it, maybe it’s time to donate it. Whenever you take something off a hanger, move the empty hanger to the front of your closet. This saves time when you need a hanger, and it allows you to accurately see how much space your actual clothes (not empty hangers) take up.
3. Wash your dishes as you use them and empty the dishwasher when the dishes inside are clean. This keeps a dirty pile from accumulating in the sink. When you prepare meals or snacks, make extra, so there’s some available for another day.
4. After showering, hang up your towel. Quickly wipe down the counters and mirror to keep surfaces clean.
5. Sort your mail every day. Throw away junk mail, catalogs, and solicitations immediately. Put bills and anything that needs to be processed in a designated in-box.
6. When you walk into your home, hang up your coat and bag. Charge your phone in the same place every day, so you don’t have to run around looking for it.
7. If you can, multitask. Phone calls can be made while doing light exercise or straightening up the living room. If you commute to an office, capitalize on this time to answer emails or catch up on news on your phone.
8. Follow the “one thing” rule. Whenever you leave a room, bring one thing in the room to its rightful place elsewhere in the house. Try not to leave a room without SOMETHING in your hand, unless, of course, everything in the room is in its proper place.