I’ve been doing a bunch of decluttering lately as I’m moving house this summer (hooray!) and I thought I’d share my top 10 tidy and organization hacks for keeping your space tidy and organized.
Keeping our environment clean and tidy isn’t just enjoyable for living in, but it helps us feel more organized, less overwhelmed and stressed, and can also help us be more productive. Although I’m not 100% tidy 100% of the time, all of these habits are one’s that improve my organization big time.
10 Tidy & Organization Hacks
1. Clean As You Go
Whether in the kitchen or anywhere else, when you’re done with your items/ingredients, put them away so they don’t pile up as you use them. This makes it so much easier to stay tidy because much of “tidying up” is already done.
2. Minute or Less Rule
This rule is simple: if a task takes a minute or two or less to complete, just do it! Washing a dish, hanging up your coat, putting your shoes on the shoe rack, or making the bed are a few examples of tasks that take no time at all. Making the bed is my favourite tidy habit – it sets the tone for the rest of the day and organizes your environment right off the bat.
3. Have a Spot for Everything
This one’s a gamechanger. It is so easy to bring something home and not have a proper spot for it! This alone is a recipe for clutter. Take a moment to select a proper basket, drawer, jar, etc. for your household items. This not only tidies your space, but makes it so much easier to find things as they’re always kept in the same location.
Having a spot for everything also applies to the files and documents on our computer. If you’re like me or many others, you use your computer a lot. Get into the habit of saving documents and files to properly labelled folders so they’re easy to find
4. One In, One Out
The one in, one out policy essentially means with each item brought into your space, another item is eliminated. Whether it’s a new piece of clothing that can replace an older piece you no longer wear, a new piece of furniture, kitchen gadget, rug, you name it! This helps prevent over-accumulating too many things. Simply be aware of what “new” items you bring into your space and donate or get rid of what’s being replaced.
5. Have a Cleaning Schedule
Having a specified cleaning day (or more than one day, if that works for you) is an excellent way to help you stay organized and on track of your tidying duties. For me, Sundays always feel like cleaning days. Laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the windows, and a bit of decluttering if need be.
Tip: Try setting a timer for 15-20 minutes for little cleaning bursts throughout the week or month to give you a push to clean within a dedicated time block.
6. Assess Your Belongings Regularly
This applies to anything, and it’s so very helpful! Regularly assess the things that you have: Go through your kitchen cupboards, your pantry, clothing, makeup, drawers, etc. and get rid of things you no longer or that have expired. This feels so good to do!
7. Have a Donate Bag/Bin
Having a bag or bin handy that’s dedicated to items you no longer want or need and can donate is a fantastic way to help you stay tidy. I find I’m much more likely to shove something back into my closet or drawer if I don’t have my “donate bag” on hand. Simply toss items in as you come across them and make a trip to your local thrift store when ready. Alternately, if you prefer, you can save a bag or bin for items you’d like to try and sell.
The time spent while cleaning can simultaneously be used to your advantage by learning something new or interesting by listening to a podcast, an audiobook, or simply just playing some music. Turn your cleaning time into an enjoyable activity. In fact, I find tidying often becomes “me” time, and I really quite enjoy it.
9. Create a Blank Slate
Ever tried this before? Completely clear off your desk, counter, table or whichever surface you choose, and re-add items one at a time. This is a great way to assess belongings and have a visual for how you want each space to look and feel. You’ll likely realize you have so many more things than you thought that you can now store elsewhere (have a spot for everything, right?), donate, or toss.
10. Unsubscribe From Mailing Lists
Ahh, the classic dilemma of too-many-emails. How many of you have mailing list subscriptions and receive emails constantly that you don’t read or you just delete? These emails quickly pile up – so take a few moments to scan your email inbox for subscriptions you no longer care for. Keeping your email inbox tidy is another way to keep our computer spaces organized, which in turn helps our brains feel a whole lot more organized, too.