You may have discovered (thanks to this post) that you've been making keeping your house clean harder than it has to be. Might you also be making it harder to keep your house organized, cleaning's important and annoying cousin? A stress-free house is not just a dust-free one, it's one where you can find stuff when you need it and don't have stacks of unnecessary stuff adding to your home's clutter. Check out this list of six ways you might be making it harder to stay organized and see what you can eliminate this weekend!
1. You don't immediately toss unimportant stuff
Put a recycling bin next to your mail box and a shredder next to your door. The moment you get your mail, toss what you don't need, shred personal info-marked things you don't need and then immediately file what you need to file. Don't put things in a basket to look at later. If you want to look at it later — just put it where it's supposed to be anyway, and go look at it later there.
2. You emotionally hold on to stuff you know you don't need
This is always a tough one, since objects can have memories attached to them. But we're not talking about that stuff. We're talking about the hiking boots you've never worn once that you keep hanging on to because you might climb Everest one day. We're talking about the "perfectly good" things you bought for a good reason but have never used once.When it comes to keeping organized, having more stuff than you need to organize is just silly. Less stuff, less things that will need organizing.
3. You've convinced yourself you don't have enough room, and so have given up hope
Hey we get it. Having a tiny home is tough on staying organized, especially when you lack obvious storage. But don't give up and give in. Kick that defeatist attitude to the curb! Pay attention to the first two tips in this post for sure. But then also make sure you're maximizing the storage you do have. Got three inches under your bed? Use them! Have only one hanging rod in your closet? Come on — fit more in there! Don't have any shelves above your doors or up high? You've got to be kidding me. If you don't have room for the things you legitimately need, make room. But don't make extra storage for future stuff, as you'll definitely find something to fill it up with.
4. You haven't given yourself the right tools
The trick here is really giving yourself the right organizing tools that work for you. Spend a week or more really looking at your home and where the clutter collects. Are you someone who tosses clothes around your room when trying on outfits and never re-hangs them up? Either switch to drawers or plan your outfits ahead of time and place an over-the-door hanger in the room just for that purpose. Are you a chronic junk drawer creator? Fill it with dividers so you're forced to stick to a system. You don't have to get fancy and drop a ton of money at the Container Store, but do invest in the tools you'll need if they'll help you.
5. Your filing system is too complicated and so you never stick with it for long
That's really awesome that you spent that weekend alphabetizing and labeling and whatever else-ing until your home was the absolute pinnacle of organization — for like a day. But if something is too complicated — or too hard to get to — you won't stick with it. And sometimes being too specific with labels can work against you — when you come across something that doesn't perfectly fit into a label you end up not putting it away and a pile gets started. And piles multiply faster than tribbles.
6. You're not asking for help when you need it or setting boundaries
There's no shame in asking for organizing help from a friend if you need it. But you also need to learn to ask for help with the people you live with — work with them on showing them the organizational methods you've put into place and tell them it's important they follow them, too.
What ways do you think you're making it harder to stay organized around your house? Share if you've figured out how to get over any of them!
Re-edited from a post originally published on 8/10/2014 - cm