How to organize your home when it’s a mess
Many of the messes in the house can come from a lack of organization. By taking some time to put some organizational processes in place, you will be able to better conquer the mess. Not only will you be able to better conquer the mess and safely dispose of unwanted items, but you will also be able to keep the mess better controlled going forward.
Do a quick roundup
With organizing it can help to have the mess categorized to better organize it. This might mean that you need to start by doing a quick roundup. An easy way to do this is to break things into piles or zones within a room. There are some easy ways to do this roundup without getting distracted and being less productive. Here are five to get you started.
5 ways to do a quick roundup:
- Have baskets to move things to - When you are working in a room that is a mess, bring baskets in with you. As you pick up the mess, move those items into a basket that goes with the room they go with. Do not take them to that room yet. The basket is for the end of the organizational project. When you have finished the project, move these items to the room they go in and put them away.
- Start with trash - Items that can be disposed of will free up a great deal of space in the room you are working in so you can better organize. Take some time to bag up any trash so that it can leave the room. This could include clutter, waste, or items you know you no longer want to keep.
- Consolidate paperwork - Don’t sit and go through every paper at this time. Instead, use this time to get all paperwork in the room you are working in into a single pile. This will make those papers easier to deal with later and help you to free up space for organizing.
- Clear a working area - When you are working on organizing in a messy room, you will want to make sure you have a clear working area where you can easily sort and organize items effectively.
- Don’t let it overwhelm you - When looking at a messy area that needs to be organized, it can be simple to get overwhelmed and consider quitting before you begin. Remind yourself that you only need to work on the step you are on. By doing this you will be able to take a bigger job and make it feel more possible.
Pick one area to work on at a time
Many times when people set out to organize a messy area, they look at the room as a whole. This can be a very daunting task that leaves you ready to stop before you begin. Instead, pick one area to work on at a time. This could be a desk in an office, the counters in the kitchen, or the closet in a bedroom. By choosing one area, you take the size of the project and scale it down to a more possible project.
Have an organization plan before you start
When you are working on getting a messy room organized it can be tempting to just start and get where you can. This may seem like a good strategy but it can actually work against you in a big way. Instead, take the time to lay out what kind of organizational system you hope to put in place. This will help you to avoid stopping in the middle of the process and derailing your progress.
5 questions to ask before organizing a messy room:
- Where should papers/documents go? - Are you planning to file paperwork away? Will certain items be photographed and backed up on a digital server? Are you needing to save certain artwork from your children? Before starting your project take some time to figure out where these papers will go to avoid problems later on.
- What will be done with all the clothes/laundry? - When working with clothing and laundry it can be tempting to hold onto everything. Have a plan in place for three options when dealing with laundry. Those three are items that need to be cleaned, items that need to be stored, and items that need to be donated.
- What will happen with clutter? - Sometimes the things that feel like a mess can actually be a clutter. Whether those are items that are sentimental or items that just make you smile, they can easily take over a room. Before you start working, ask yourself how you are going to handle the clutter. This might mean moving certain items to storage, donating items, or finding a better location in another area of the home for them.
- What tools and resources do I need to have on hand? - When changing an organizational system out you may need certain tools or items on hand to store things in and move them to. Take some time to look at what you might need before you begin. Items like screwdrivers, filing folders, or shelves may be needed depending on the project. Having everything you need on hand will help you to finish the project more effectively.
- What needs to change to keep this organized setup working? - If you are taking the time to organize a messy area, what needs to change in your daily habits to keep it organized? Take some time before beginning to look at how the new organizational system will work in the context of your day to day life. What changes will it require from you and are you ready to commit to them? Will this system be a workable solution long term? Taking some time to look at this before you start your project can help you avoid going back to the mess sooner than later.