So last week, I told you what you already knew: I am not good at keeping my living space organized. So I turned to my mom with where to start, 5 things to do when organizing doesn’t come naturally. You can be sure that I am taking her advice or trying to. I wish I was more like her. This week I just wanted to follow up because I also have this problem: I organize and clean and before I know, things are back to the old standard. How to maintain? Here are Lifehacks: 5 Tips for Staying Organized with some massive help from my mom:
1. A Catch-All Basket
This is great if you have an upstairs to set on the stairs or to put some place in the living area of your single level home or apartment (like me). Throughout the day, or when you come home from work, items that need putting away go in the basket. At the end of the day, you do a kind of backwards grocery store shopping, taking your basket and putting the items inside of it away where they belong. Then you start over the next day.
This helps keeps all those misplaced or unplaced items in one place instead of randomly all over the place. It overwhelms me to see it around my place and it also makes it seem like there is more to do than there actually is. By putting everything in one place, it’s not only hidden if people stop by, but it takes five minutes to put everything back in its place.
2. Have a Place for Your Things When You Come Home
Hooks are my go to for my purse and for my jacket. My keys always go in the same place. This is a system my mom implemented for me (I’m a total adult, swear) and it keeps me from throwing everything on my couch (something I am prone to do).
If you’re prone to do something that creates a mess, consider a system that stops you from doing that. Maybe you throw all your mail on your kitchen counter. Find a container to place it in. Or I don’t know, ask my mom what to do.
3. Keep a List of Things You Need
Whether it is on the fridge or on a chalkboard keep an ongoing list. Here is where my mama blew me away: if it’s a chalkboard, take a picture on your phone and save the trees (she’s brilliant, I tell ya). I’m going to have to get her a byline here or something.
How am I supposed to remember that I am out of toilet paper and stevia? I remember one when I am in the bathroom and the other when I am making coffee–two very separate times. A list to the rescue which keeps me organized and the house (apartment) running smoothly.
4. When You Come Home, Put Your Clothes and Jewelry Away
I feel like she wrote this one exactly for me. This is definitely where I struggle. But mom says whether it is hanging up a dress to wear again or putting it in the laundry just freaking do it! Also, if you take off your earrings or bracelets or watch, put those away too.
Like I mentioned before, these things tend to end up on the couch and then suddenly I can’t sit on it and it takes me 40 minutes to do what I could do in 60 seconds every day. Also maybe I wouldn’t be scrambling and screeching where is my black dress to myself. Just a guess though.
5. Don’t Let Anything Sit
More wisdom from mama: when the garbage needs to be taken out, do it. Not when you feel like it. Go through the mail everyday. Don’t let it sit. Do the laundry once a week, not when the pile resembles Mount Everest. Wash dishes when you make a mess. Load the dishwasher. Run it when it’s full.
Bonus Tip from both of Us: Get some Clorox Wipes and use them throughout the week. I live for these wipes. I introduced them to my friend, Lis, in SF and they are life changing. They can work on all surfaces and as my mom says “a little spit and polish in between major cleans.”
Any other tips? Thank my mom for me.
Anything that helps you get organized in the first place?
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