Did you make any new years resolutions this year?
I did, and I’m guessing I’m not alone in having various home organisation related goals on the list.
Last year I put into practice a few daily habits that I’ve found have really helped me get my home organised, and keep it that way. I wanted to move beyond “make your bed” and “do the dishes before you go to sleep”, and tackle some habits that would really help me to organise my home and keep it under control.
I’m far from perfecting them (especially number 1… I SUCK at number 1), but I’m working on them and I’ve found they really do work. If you’re up for the challenge, they might work for you too.
1. Go from the car to the bin. My car is the dumping ground of my life. I don’t know how it keeps happening, but no matter what I do it seems to be constantly full. Our family could survive a week on the clothes, toys and water bottles in there. It’s never ending.
One habit that has really helped me curb the chaos in the car is making a bee line for the bin as soon as I get out. Why it is that every plastic wrapped item, piece of mail and other random junk needs to be unwrapped in the car I will never know, but it results in a ridiculous amount of rubbish.
I’ve been trying to get in the habit of clearing any rubbish from the car as soon as I get home. While I’m at it I make the kids take the 76 toys that they’ve insisted on bringing on a 3-minute car trip back into the house.
2. Curb the clutter. Last year was a year of decluttering in my home. I even wrote a book on it! Something snapped and I just needed everything gone. I was ruthless and culled hundreds of bags of clothes, toys, knick knacks, appliances, stationery, decorations and other random items I had forgotten I even owned. I even discovered I owned over 25 coffee cups, despite rarely having more than 8 people who’d need coffee over at once.
Since then I’ve made it a habit to declutter on a daily or weekly basis. I go through random drawers and I chuck things as I notice them. I really consider whether to keep things as I come across them. Yesterday I sent 5 star cookie cutters to the Red Cross shop, who really needs 5 cookie cutters in the shape of a star anyway?!
3. Fold and put away. I’ve always been a folder of clothes as I take them off the line. If you’ve not tried it, start now — you can thank me later.
My problem wasn’t folding. I’d fold the clothes, put them in separated baskets for each family member and maybe even get them to the relevant bedroom. My issue was that I’d then spend the week digging through the basket for new clothes and repeat each weekend. Fail.
I’ve been trying to make it a habit to fold AND put the clothes away as soon as they are off the line. It really does have an instant effect on the neatness and organisation of my home, especially as I don’t have a laundry.
4. Flat surfaces are the enemy. The corner of my bench-top is what I call a clutter “hot spot”. It’s constantly covered with mail, lunchboxes, random stationary and notes for kindy or school. I decided to make a rule that I wouldn’t put anything down on a flat surface unless it lived there. Flat surfaces were the enemy!
I got a vertical file holder to capture paper work and beyond that am trying to avoid putting anything down on any flat surfaces. It’s REALLY hard, but my gosh does it make a huge difference. It really forces me to put things away and throw things away that I don’t need and is keeping that space so much more organised.
5. Meal plan. It’s an oldie but a goodie and this year I’m trying to take it a step further. I’m aiming to meal plan, shop online, and then spend some time prepping meals ahead of time for busy days.
Related: How to meal plan like a Ninja
I’ve been pre-cutting meat and veggies and bagging them up ready to throw in the pan, and I’m trying to build up a stockpile of freezer meals for days when everything falls apart. It initially takes a bit of work but I’ve found knowing what we are having for dinner plus having everything on hand saves me so much time (and money on take away).
I’d love to know if you have any handy hints for staying organised at home. If you want to share, what were some of your New Year’s resolutions and are you finding that you’re sticking with them so far?
More good habits for organised mums:
- The 52-Week Savings Challenge – You Can Do It!
- How to Get the Kids to Help Around the House
- 15 Organisational Life Hacks You Need Right Now