Laura’s Top 3 Organizing Tips!
Today is an extra special day!
If you’re normally more of a blog-post-reader than a YouTube-video-watcher, of all days, today is the day I would encourage you to click over and watch the video, because I’ve teamed up with a dozen other YouTubers for a great big collaboration where we all share our top home organization tips!
You can click the video below to hear my top three tips, then head to the playlist link in the video description to hear tips from women like Dawn Madsen from The Minimal Mom and Abby Lawson from Just A Girl And Her Blog! You’re going to love it!!!
This YouTube collaboration is in celebration of Get Organized HQ Virtual 2021 – a great big, free online conference where over seventy women have together to share about all things home management. If you enjoyed this collab, then Get Organized HQ Virtual 2021 is an absolutely not-to-miss event! It’s all online, and it’s all free! Click here to learn more.
Organizing Tip 1: Consistency Really Is Key
Almost every organized space uses some sort of container. When you’re shopping for containers to organize your home, limit the type of containers you buy. It’s best to use only two or three kinds of containers across your home (as much as possible!) This not only gives your home a more cohesive look, but it makes your systems much more interchangeable.
One of the containers I use most often in my home is the Multi-Purpose Bin from The Container Store. I use these in my office, my pantry, my laundry room, and probably some other rooms I’m not thinking of right now! By using the same containers in multiple rooms I can move things around much more easily. For example, when I moved houses earlier this summer, I could set up my pantry, laundry room, and office using the multi purpose bins. If it turned out that I didn’t have quite as much room in my laundry room, but I had more room in my pantry, I could just put the extra bins in my pantry and keep all my systems look nice and organized!
I also recommend sticking to neutral colors when purchasing organizing containers. Don’t get me wrong, I love bright colors as much as the next! But buying this special edition, colorful organizing containers can become a nightmare when it comes to maintaining your systems. If you purchased a few cute, Easter egg patterned baskets in the spring to organize your craft supplies, and then got more craft supplies for Christmas that you needed to organize, it would probably be hard to find another matching basket. Sticking to neutral, reliable colors will save you some heartache down the road.
Organizing Tip 2: Your To Do List Is Not Your Wish List
This tip pertains more to organizing your time than to organizing your spaces.
Sometimes when I go to bed at night I feel literal guilt for not getting more done during the day. I tell myself that I should've prioritized my time better, and I shouldn't have taken so many breaks, and I definitely should've gotten to that thing that's been on my to do list for three weeks.
Have you ever felt that way?
In most cases, the root of this type of guilt is coming from two things: a lack of prioritization and writing a to do list that is really more like a wish list of what you wish you could accomplish if you were the Energizer bunny with zero interruptions.
There are so many things to do on a daily basis, and if you don't prioritize you'll just be left with a jumble of a to do list, jumping from one half finished task to another until it's finally time to sleep so you can wake up tomorrow and do it all again.
It's unreasonable to expect that you'll be able to get every single item checked off your to do list every day. There's traffic, and allergies, and a line at the drive through – life happens, and honestly, I think it's common to underestimate how long any given task will take.
You won't be able to go to bed every night with all the things done, but you can go to bed at night knowing you got the best things done.
That sounds great and all, but how do you know which things are the best things? I like to use the acronym of “HOP to it!” to help me determine what the best things I can get done each day are.
H stands for habit. I could go on and on about the importance of habits. (Truth is, I have, and you can read about it here!) In short, habits are the only way to get more time back in your day. By putting certain tasks on autopilot you'll reserve more of your mental energy for the harder stuff.
I recommend working on just one habit for at least a whole month (if not more!) No matter what, do that habit every. single. day. It doesn't have to be hard or time consuming. It just needs to be something that will make your life easier once your brain truly starts doing that tasks on autopilot. Maybe your habit is going to be washing the dishes right after dinner, or making your bed first thing in the morning. Whatever it may be, I encourage you to pick a habit and stick with it for a month. I think the results will surprise you!
O stands for objective. If you went to bed tonight and had only gotten three things done on your to do list, what would you want those three things to be? The answer to that question will give you a pretty good indication of what your main objectives for the day should be. As I stated before, you won't be able to get everything checked off your to do list every day, so it's important to know which items on that list matter the most.
I would strongly suggest not having more than five objectives for any given day. These objectives are the tasks that you are going to prioritize and get done first, so make sure that they're things you reasonable can get done today!
P stands for passion. At the end of your life you'll want to look back and remember that you did more than take out the trash and vacuum the house. Make sure that every day, even if it's just for ten minutes, you do something you're passionate about. That may be connecting with a family member, reading a novel, baking a new treat, or doing a craft. It doesn't have to take long, and there isn't any right or wrong, but I encourage you to always include something you'll enjoy in your daily plan.
If you've found yourself going to bed with that nagging feeling of guilt, I hope this simple framework helps your prioritize your days so that you can go to bed at peace with the day and with yourself. After all, a good night's rest will only help you to have an even better day tomorrow!
Organizing Tip 3: Create a Reset Space
I want to let you in on a little secret. My house is not organized or tidy 100% of the time.
Yes, I share online about home organization. And yes, I love a well organized, color coded space. But if you think that my house is always picked up and spotless, with all my kid’s toys in perfect order, you’d be incorrect.
The truth is, sometimes I have priorities that trump organizing and straightening my spaces. But to keep me sane, I keep one space (called my “reset space”) organized all of the time.
For me, it’s the shelves in my office.
Even if the rest of the house looks like a tornado has passed through, I know that I can escape to my office and be in a space that is organized and peaceful, because I keep the shelves organized.
Not only does this reset space give me a place to go when the rest of the house is looking a little crazy, it also creates a positive domino effect on the rest of my home. When I go into my office and the shelves are neatly organized, I’m more likely to pick any scraps of paper or tripods that have been left up after a photoshoot. Once the office is clean, I’m more inclined to tidy up the downstairs common area that’s connected to the office, because after all, the office and the common area are so close together.
It’s not a magic way to get your house 100% clean 100% of the time, but if you have a space that stays organized, you’ll likely save your own sanity and probably find yourself keeping more than just that space organized too. You can learn more about how to create a reset space in the #Shelfie Handbook.
I hope these tips have inspired you to get organized and to get the best things done each day! Don’t forget, there’s way more where this came from at Get Organized HQ Virtual 2021, and I’d love to see you there! Click here to claim your free ticket while you still can.
Nancy O. Says
I like your three organizing tips; they sound very helpful. I’ll try them.
Faabiha Khan Says
Wow these are amazing tips!
Donna Marie Says
Your tips are so helpful!!!
These are great ideas, and very helpful. Thank you, Laura! Looking forward to Get Organized HQ!
Harris Beannew Says
I always believe in organized work and that’s the reason I love this post much.