When working with a client, I always want to create organizational systems that will work for them after our work together is done. The goal is not just to clean up the messy playroom or organize the overflowing pantry. It is to make permanent changes, not just visual one's. While it is always useful to have a professional organizer in your life, there are a few things you can do to STAY organized going forward.
Here are the TOP FIVE ORGANIZATIONAL TIPS to keep Keeping It Simple.
#1) Paper Drop Bin: Papers pile up. It's inevitable. Mail, permission slips, school worksheets, and if you've got littler kiddies, All That Artwork! For some, putting these items in their rightful places (uh, recycling bin) right away is the method that works best for them. But for others, this is not realistic. Having a folder or basket for loose papers is a great way to keep everything in one place and not all over the house. Place this folder where the mail and paperwork tends to end up. If there is junk mail or items you KNOW you won't be saving, put it in the recycling bin right away. Everything else goes in the folder. Choose one day of the week, perhaps one evening when the house is quiet, or a weekend morning before getting out for the day, to go through everything in the basket and sort, file or toss as needed.
#2) House Drop Basket: Just like the rapidly growing piles of papers, houses can easily get cluttered with Stuff! Legos, jackets, stuffed animals that need mending, etc. Use a bin or basket to keep all of these items in one place until you have time to tackle its contents. This could even become a family affair with everyone pitching in weekly to empty the basket completely.
#3) Trash Bag Walk Through: Every so often, once a month ideally-more if needed, grab a garbage bag and loop the house. You will be surprised to find that there are almost always items stashed away that can be tossed, donated or returned to its proper home.
#4) Continue working within the organized zones: During a Keep It Simple organizing session, we will often use baskets, bins and labels to organize the pantry, closets, cabinets and shelves. Having a dedicated space for tea, legos, wash clothes, etc. makes keeping items together, and even putting them back where they belong, much easier for everyone in the household.
#5) Remind and support: Talk to your family right after our work together is done. Show them around their newly organized spaces and discuss how important it is that everyone work together to keep the newly created systems working. Support one another with positive reminders to put shoes away, return folded laundry to their correct drawers, and read bin labels before just throwing groceries into the pantry.
#6) Bonus: I know, I said there were only Five tips to keeping your house organized and flowing, but there's one more that can always help. Keep It Simple offers a 90 minute Follow Up Visit to help tune up areas that may become cluttered over time. When you notice the clutter creeping in, contact me to schedule your follow up session!