Simple home organization may not be so simple for some folks.
But I’ve gotta say… I have a pretty keen eye for organizing. Even when I was a little girl, I can remember organizing my clothes by color and type, organizing my shoes in one corner of my closet, organizing my colorful, costume jewelry in another corner, and so on and so forth. Even as a child, I actually enjoyed walking into a neat and organized closet.
(Shhh, between you and I, I actually spent lots of time in my closet writing, listening to my radio, and singing so no one could hear me. It was my happy place!)
I carried these same organizational habits into my adulthood. Until this day, I thrive on seeing and existing in organized spaces because there’s something about the clarity and peace that comes along with a room that is clean and organized.
But when it comes to organizing, you may have no idea where to start, especially if you’ve got kiddos that haven’t really jumped on the organized bandwagon. And if you’ve got a long to-do list to accomplish your organizational goals, it can initially seem daunting, hopeless, and impossible to undertake.
So that’s why I’ve compiled a really short and digestible list of the best and most simple home organization tips to help you get and keep your home in order, no matter how many children you’ve got!
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Simple Home Organization Tip #1:
Get Everyone Onboard
What a waste it would be if you attempted to make your space more organized but everyone else you lived with didn’t appreciate it or try to keep it up. This is even more challenging when you have children who must be taught these skills or if you have a significant other or other family members living with you. But it’s so necessary that everyone plays a part in this process, even if it only involves them keeping their small part of the house organized and clean. Every “little” job matters!
If you are organizing specific categories that your family has access to, then you should involve them in the initial declutter phase so they can see how this should work. This will cause them (yes, even your kids!) to establish an appreciation for the finished product because they are directly involved in the process.
Everyone who is capable should be in charge of specific jobs and tasks to keep everything neat, tidy, and organized. Make sure everyone understands what goes where. Everything should have a home and those things should be put into their homes whenever they are not being used. Having multiple places to store things will eventually lead to a disorganized mess once again. So teach your kids to put it back when they are finished!
Children love chore charts. Chore charts are great tools to use so that every child knows what their job is. These jobs can be simple like making their bed, putting away their toys in the correct box, washing the dishes, or taking out the trash. For children who cannot read yet, you can use pictures and simple words to define those pictures. (And they are learning new words. WIN-WIN!)
You can make it super kid-friendly by using chore chart clipboards, giving each child their own unique chore chart and clipboard, and a place to hang their clipboard. However, you choose to create this chore system, make sure you keep it consistent and hold your children responsible for doing their part.
Simple Home Organization Tip #2:
Don’t Focus on Organizing Individual Rooms in the Beginning
In the past, I have executed organization tasks room by room. Indeed, I got the job done and it was beautiful in the end, but I realized that the same item or items were reappearing in multiple rooms all over the house. After reading Marie Kondo’s best selling organizing book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, I had an “A-Ha!” moment.
KonMari (Marie Kondo), who is a skilled, professional organizer based in Japan, explains in her book that we should not organize by room, but rather, we should organize by category (clothes, books, papers, etc.). I have found that this method is extremely effective and more satisfying because you are decreasing the volume of each category in one-go rather than revisiting the same category every time you get to a new room (frustrating!).
So, do not say, “I’ll organize the kitchen tomorrow, then the bathroom this weekend”… so on and so forth. Make an effort to discard and purge by category. If you are overwhelmed, begin with a small category and work your way up. I recommend beginning with clothing, shoes, purses, bags, jewelry, etc because most households are plagued with these items in large quantities but most of the items are unused or untouched. I can attest that purging this category first is so fulfilling once you are complete, and it gives you a stronger drive to implement organization throughout your entire household and life – period.
Once you’ve pretty much decluttered in each category in your home, make sure each item is stored in one place and not several places throughout your home – or else, you may end up with messy categories all over the house again eventually. Make sure each category is placed in a realistic location where it can be retrieved and replaced easily.
Then, you can keep each room tidy more easily because every category is in a specific place.
Simple Home Organization Tips for Kid’s Toys
Your kid’s toys is probably a huge category that you’ll find extremely satisfying once you sort it all out. Missing parts, broken legs, tattered doll clothing – these are all things we often find in our kid’s toy bins. Once you establish specific groups for each toy category you can use a toy storage organizer to keep each group separate and easily accessible for when your children are ready to use it. Using these organizers will help your children easily see where things go. It’s easy for them to retrieve and put away!
If your kid loves to play with toys in the family room after eating dinner as mine do, you can keep an ottoman or something similar in the room that matches the decor. When you have visitors over, no one would ever know there are toys inside (wink). Also, it’s easy for your children to clean up before company comes over!
Lastly, don’t let your kid’s toys collect in large quantities over time. Every now and then, go through their toys and discard anything that is broken, tattered, and missing pieces and give away anything that they are no longer interested in or that they have grown out of. Staying on top of their toy collection is the BEST way to keep it organized.
And don’t forget to keep your homeschool system organized too!
Simple Home Organization Tip #3:
Keep Only the Things that Serve a Genuine and Necessary Purpose
It’s so easy to hang on to everything we get since most of the time, we don’t have the time or make the effort to go through it all and dispose of what we don’t need or really want anymore. We also tend to hang on to things that we don’t even like or that fail to produce a “special” sentiment within us. I can tell you, when we neglect to pay attention to the items that accumulate in our space, in no time, we will be dealing with a disorganized, stressful mess that we may be embarrassed for others to see. But it’s never too late to start.
Marie Kondo does a wonderful job explaining this in her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. She explains that anything that doesn’t “spark joy” within us is most likely something we no longer need with us; thus, we should give it away (if it is reusable) or discard it (if it is no longer usable).
I remember standing in my closet one day, annoyed by the large number of clothes hanging up that I didn’t like or couldn’t fit anymore. Why am I still holding on to this? I don’t like it. It doesn’t fit me. I stood there and said to myself. I couldn’t take it anymore. It was stressing me out to see so many clothes. So I jumped off the deep end, got me some black trash bags, and started stuffing them with every piece of clothing item I no longer liked, felt connected to, or that simply didn’t fit.
Let me tell you… IT 👏🏽 FELT 👏🏽 GOOD 👏🏽 !
The best part about it was I didn’t throw anything away. I didn’t sell it to get a profit. The majority of it was given to someone who really needed it, and the rest was donated. I stood back and looked at my closet and felt… relieved. Very relieved.
So I encourage you, as you go through decluttering your categories, really take some time to hold and think about the things you have. Do you love it? Do you really need it? How does it make you feel to have it? If it doesn’t hold a legit, special purpose in your life, then you probably don’t need it and can live without it.
Decluttering – Sort your Items into Piles
When you do go through the decluttering phase, you can focus on organizing your piles into these categories:
- throw away – anything that can longer be used or refurbished
- donate – anything that is in good condition and can be used again
- recycle – anything that is made of recyclable materials that are recommended to be recycled and not thrown away with the regular trash
- keep – anything that brings joy, that is still useful, and that serves a purpose
- sell – anything that is worth donating that you would like to make a profit from
I like to sort these categories into trash bags. You can write what each category is on an index card and staple the index card to the bag. Trash bags are cheap and easy to carry. They get the job done!
Simple Home Organization Tip #4:
Don’t Wait to Get Rid of Stuff
If you designate items to throw away, donate, recycle, or sell, take care of those items right away. Don’t let them sit around your house taking up space. Your task is not officially complete until you get rid of that extra stuff! Not only that, it’s stressful and annoying to see bags full of things you or your kids don’t want or need anymore sitting in the middle of the floor.
For this reason, I strongly suggest giving as many items away for free as you can, that way you can get rid of them more quickly. Selling takes more time and effort and it may take you weeks to work up the mind to do it.
Find a place in your local community that accepts donations. Ask a family member or friend if they could use something that you’re giving away and ask them to come to get it or meet them so you can get it out of your house!
Simple Home Organization Tip #5:
Use Simple, Storage Solutions
Don’t over complicate your storage solutions. The goal is to find a solution that you will be willing and motivated to keep up for the long haul and that your children can easily manage without getting frustrated because it’s too much to handle. Simple systems are simple to maintain. Complicated systems are… well – complicated.
The best organizing solutions have proven over time to be: bookshelves (these are versatile and can be used in closets, offices, etc.), durable, plastic shoe boxes (these can be used to separate items in drawers, shoes, etc.), and baskets and bins (extremely versatile and many can add an aesthetic view if they are placed in open spaces). Don’t go cheap, but you don’t have to overdo it either. Once again, keep it simple so everyone can realistically keep it up over time.
Simple Home Organization Tip #6:
Stay On Top of Each Category
When you finish going through each category and you have disposed and purged where needed and have kept only the items that genuinely spark joy, you may think that that is it. Far from the truth! Maintenance is key to maintaining an organized space, but if you made sure to build a simple organizing system, you should have no issues here.
If you go out shopping for new items, make sure to consider whether or not you really need this or if you’re just buying it because you like it. Your goal is to keep each category to a minimum and if you have to purchase something new, make sure you find a home for it. (I like to say, “If it doesn’t have a home, then it’s trash.” That may be a little extreme for some, but you get my point.) If you don’t have space for it, then maybe you don’t need it right now or maybe you should get rid of something old as you replace it with something new.
Simple Home Organization Tip #7:
Take your Time – It Won’t Necessarily Happen in One Day
If you’ve got a big job on your hands, don’t be ashamed. You’re not the only one. More importantly, don’t feel as if you have to rush to get it done.
You can focus on decluttering one category at a time. Some say not to start with the most stressful category, but I beg to differ. I say go for it because tackling that big category can be that motivation to help you keep going to tackle more! Plus, imagine how relieved and satisfied you will feel once you sort through that category that is plaguing you? I’ve been there, and it feels mighty good! (in my country girl’s voice)
If it would help, sit down and make a plan. Write down your goals and save pictures of ideas you find in magazines or on Pinterest. Write out what your categories are and decide which category you are going, to begin with. (I usually start with the one that is plaguing me the most – the one that I can’t stand to look at any longer or I’m going to scream!)
It’s also great to give yourself a timeframe to meet your goals that way you have some accountability to keep you motivated to finish and not get stuck. Don’t get stuck! Just do it!
I have an AWESOME printable JUST FOR YOU! Print it out and tape it to your bulletin board, mirror, refrigerator, or wherever else will help you get and stay motivated on your organizing journey. You can ACCESS this printable along with an ENTIRE library of FREE printable content from my Classroom Library by signing up below!
Hopefully, you’ve been inspired to get in there and get the job done. If you’re looking for a little bit of help and you wouldn’t mind having someone to keep you accountable throughout this organizing process, I’m here for you. It’s not always easy and sometimes someone to stay in your ear to motivate and encourage you makes all the difference.
Leave your comments and questions down below about your organizing successes and challenges. Let’s support one another! And if this post has helped you in any way, share the love with someone else who needs it.