The thing about getting organized is that it’s an ongoing process. You can’t go on a cleaning-and-sorting tear and expect your house to stay that way without a little upkeep. But if you do certain small tasks regularly, your home will always look and feel tidy. Here’s your new DIY organization to-do list, whether you’re starting fresh in a new home for sale in Atlanta, GA, or cleaning up a home you’ve lived in for years.
Identify where clutter collects
Every home has a spot (or seven) that’s prime for discarded shoes, keys, papers, etc. Declutter these spots daily. If your entryway is on the list (and you know it is), Lisa Zaslow, a New York City–based professional organizer and founder of Gotham Organizers, recommends creating a “drop spot” where you can place your personals as soon as you walk into the house.
“Use an attractive basket, box, or tray to temporarily contain your keys, sunglasses, gloves, et cetera,” she says. “No more scattered items — and no more searching for what you just brought into the house before the phone rang.”
Store trash bags inside the trash can
You are much more likely to replace the bag right away if it’s in front of you.
Make use of a magazine rack
Even if you do most of your reading online, chances are, you still have your fair share of magazines and catalogs floating around the house, says Zaslow. When the rack gets full, purge the old ones.
Box up your receipts
At the end of each day, toss all of your receipts into a box designated for this purpose. Bonus points if it’s pretty and has a lid. Go through the box monthly and toss the ones you don’t need to keep.
Label your leftovers
Instead of tossing food because it might have gone bad, get in the habit of writing the date you open or store an item right on its jar or container, suggests Zaslow. When time comes to clean out the fridge, you’ll know exactly what needs to go.
Buy decorative baskets
They have so many uses and are especially good for collecting and hiding clutter. Keep one under or near your stairs and fill it with any out-of-place items you come across throughout the day. Once it’s full, start reshelving. (A laundry basket also works in this scenario.)
Embrace the tray
Not only do they serve as decorative items, but placing a large tray on your coffee table also is an efficient way to keep drinks and snacks corralled, says Zaslow. “It also makes it easy to bring your empties back to the kitchen at the end of the night.”
Consider the corners
The corners of a room are a discreet place to keep sturdy fabric totes that are perfect for housing toys, says Zaslow. Your toddlers can help with the cleanup, and their toys stay out of the way when not in use.
Invest in stacking plastic drawers in the bathroom
These are ideal to organize extra bath items, cleaning products, and first-aid supplies under the sink, says Zaslow. Label the drawers so you know what’s where — and aren’t liable to upend them all while looking for a Band-Aid.
What little things do you do to keep your house tidy? Share your tips in the comments below!