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How to Get Organized at Home and Declutter Your Life

Johnna Kaplan

Are you at a loss as to how to get organized? Learn how to get organized at home with these organizing tips. Your first step should be to get rid of some of your belongings.

You may have heard a lot about decluttering by discarding, partly because of professional organizer Marie Kondo’s bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Although Kondo’s popular KonMari Method and other trendy organizing techniques will come and go, the benefits of a more minimalist lifestyle are permanent. Once you start eliminating unwanted objects, you’ll see how everything from cleaning your house, increasing productivity and saving money will become easier when you own less stuff. Efforts to declutter your life are beneficial in many ways.

Get Organized and Cleaning and Tidying Up Will Be Easier

Cluttered spaces are harder to clean. That’s not to say that a space needs to be bland or austere; it’s just to say that a bare table is easier to clean than one that’s constantly cluttered.

When it comes to how to get organized at home, the fewer things there are to organize, the less time it takes to keep everything tidy. In that sense, decluttering your life naturally saves time on organization, and a packrat lifestyle requires more maintenance.

Declutter Your Life and You’ll Waste Less Time

Get Organized

To declutter your life and to get organized, you’ll need to tackle your closet. Think about getting dressed in the morning. Imagine a closet spilling over with clothes, some of which may no longer fit or go with anything else. Then imagine a closet with a small selection of pieces, each one chosen because it’s versatile, functional, and flattering. You can guess which closet is going to take more time to sort through in the morning. One of our top organizing tips is to go through your closet and get rid of what you no longer wear.

But it’s not only too much clothing that can eat up your time. Mountains of makeup, cluttered kitchen drawers, and piles of paper can also work against you when you’re trying to get out of the door on time.

You’ll Stop Losing and Misplacing Things When You Get Organized

organizing tips

This is not to say that you’ll never lose anything ever again; accidents and mistakes can still happen. But when you declutter your life and own fewer things, you start to value your belongings more and hang on to them more carefully. And it’s also harder to lose things when you’re lugging fewer things around altogether – anyone toting three bags might leave one on the bus, but a single bag is easy to keep track of.

Misplaced items are also easier to recover when you own less because there isn’t much chance for those items to hide among the clutter. When you have one junk drawer, it’s an obvious spot to look for a wayward roll of tape; when your whole room is a junk drawer, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

You’ll Be More Comfortable Opening the Door to Others

When you get organized and your home is free of clutter, all you need to do to prepare for company is to make sure everything is in its proper place. Owning less doesn’t mean that your space will look perfect all the time, but it greatly decreases the chances that you’ll feel too embarrassed by your space to have friends or family casually stop by.

You Won’t Dread Moving

declutter your life

Few people would consider packing fun, but it’s much less of a chore when there’s much less to pack. If you’re thinking about moving or rightsizing your home, having fewer household items to wrap and box-up makes for an easier job. And when you have less to transport, hiring movers might not be as expensive as you’d think.

When You Get Organized, You’ll Be More Productive

Excess stuff is distracting. And when there are more distractions around you, it can make you less productive. Even if you’re not actively looking at a cluttered counter, a giant pile of laundry or a garage that’s so messy that the car doesn’t fit inside, those areas can sap your motivation and make you feel overwhelmed.

This is especially true if you work from home, where no one else can force you to concentrate on a task or deadline. Having a clean and organized environment will help increase your focus and performance.

One of Our Favorite Organizing Tips: You’ll Save Money

A potential result of deciding to own less is transforming shopping from a recreational pastime to an activity performed only when you really need something. (If you love to shop, don’t worry – buying only what you absolutely love, or need can make shopping more enjoyable.) You’ll also need fewer duplicate items because you won’t keep “losing” what you already own at the back of an over-stuffed drawer.

A good way to get organized at home is to have a yard sale to get rid of some of your extra items. Someone may need what you do not anymore. This is an easy way to make some extra cash.

Get Organized and You’ll Make Better Decisions

how to get organized at home

When you actively try to buy fewer things, you must learn to be more discerning about what you do acquire. (And it’s not all about shopping; this is true even for “free gifts” from family, friends, and stores.) Over time, it becomes second nature to evaluate any potential new item based on how much you really love and need it. Being discerning about your possessions is a great way to declutter your life and get organized.

This means you’ll want to choose one great pair of black dress shoes instead of five pairs that are just okay, but this will also spill over into the more important areas of your life. As it becomes easier to distinguish what you really want from what others claim you should want, larger decisions like whether to own or rent, whether to save or spend or whether to retire or keep working can become less complicated.

If the idea of getting rid of some of your stuff makes you nervous, the good news is that even a little bit helps. Throwing out your dried-up ballpoint pens, for example, is not a huge project, but not having to test out three pens when writing down a phone number can make your life less frustrating. And paring down can be addictive.

If you start with those pens, you’ll probably be inspired to move on to your closet, your silverware drawer or that stack of old magazines you don’t read through anymore. And once material things take up less of your time and energy, you’ll have more time left for experiences, knowledge and the people that really enrich your life.

Have any other tips on how to declutter? Share your advice below.  

2 Responses to "How to Get Organized at Home and Declutter Your Life"

  • Extra Mile Staff | July 8, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    I'm sorry to hear of your husband's passing, Carol. It sounds like you have definitely mastered the art of owning less stuff. Thanks for sharing and I hope your new flooring came out lovely.

  • Carol Sutton | July 6, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    My husband recently passed. This opened my eyes to having go through all his belongings and mine I slowly started with the garage and within six months I was able to see the light of day. My next task was hitting everything closet every box in the closet and reorganizing by throwing majority out and restocking what I wanted to keep. Purpose of this is because I had a goal needing new flooring made me do this. I feel so much better and still in the process on a daily basis going through things

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