Sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that you need to, PLUS make sure the house doesn’t look like a tornado has blown through it. I’ve been really busy myself lately, and so I compiled a list of 15 ways to be organized in 15 minutes or less. Hopefully this article will help you tackle organizing your home in a timely manner as well!
Make your bed. I know this one sounds really simple, but sometimes it’s easy to say, “oh I don’t have time, I’ll do it later”. However, I’ve done this, and when I come back in to my room, and see an unmade bed, it just reminds me how short on time I am, and how much I wish I was a more organized that day. It’s simple, and doesn’t even take 15 minutes! My housemates would always joke about the fact that they would know if I was going to have a bad day based off wether my bed was made or not. It’s such a small thing, and it makes such a difference!
Put away laundry. I’m a huge culprit of feeling like I have ‘nothing to wear’ even though I have a full closet. This leads me to try on like seven different outfits, and then toss them on the bed (or worse, the floor!). It’s tempting to run away from your clean pile of clothes if you’re short on time, but I guarantee you’ll feel better if you hang back up your clean clothes. And toss any dirty clothes in the hamper. Clothes are so bulky and can make a clean room look dirty if they’re left all over the place.
Wipe down the bathroom counter and straighten it up. I am very tidy in the bathroom, and have most of my makeup/toiletries/etc in baskets, or lined up against the wall. However, the bathroom can look like a mess if the counter is dirty. Just take a washcloth and wipe it down (don’t to move the things on the counter), and when you are done straighten up the things that live on your counter. It will make it look much more organized!
Straighten the mats in your house. What? This sounds silly, right? Well, it makes a HUGE difference. We have a lot of hardwood flooring in our home, and so we have mats (bathroom, entry way) and rugs (hallway, dining room) all over the place. Nothing can make a room look more hap-hazard than messy mats. Just straighten them up to make the room look instantly more put together!
Sort through your mail and loose papers. Do you have mail and papers lying on the dining room table or on your desk? Sort through them, and make piles and put them away. I am a big fan or sorting papers, because for me, if they’re not organized I tend to lose them. I find that the easiest way to sort papers is to use a filing cabinet. And I’m one for aesthetics, so I don’t like to have the big metal ones hanging around. I have a cute 2 drawer wooden filing cabinet that I got from craigslist (in the free section!) that has made my life so much more tidy. But you can also get small (and decorative) filing cabinets at most home goods stores.
Make a ‘to-do’ list. Sometimes just writing a to-do list can help you stay organized. This way you know everything you have to do, and won’t accidentally forget something. I love to write mine on paper so I can have satisfaction when I cross things off. It’s so rewarding to see something get crossed off the list! My mum has always been a fan of to-do lists, and so have I, but my dad isn’t too keen on them. I think he’d benefit from doing one though. It’s so easy to forget something if it isn’t written down.
Update your calendar. I have a calendar on my computer, which makes it very easy to update. I just click on it, and add the events I have for the week, then it’s all typed up and neat and easy to read. This way you won’t double-book a time in your week. It’s also nice to do this with your to-do list nearby. Then you’ll see when you have the most free time to get done what you need to get done. I like color coding my calendar too. Everything has a different color; events, parties, deadlines, gym time, birthdays, work, etc.
Clean out your purse! I have a big purse, which is really a terrible idea. I always end up carrying my whole life in there, and then my shoulder gets so sore because the bag is heavy. It’s a good idea to go through your purse every couple of weeks, and organize things in there (I have pencil pouches, and different compartments for easy organization) so you can get what you need to out of your purse quickly. It will also eliminate clutter from your purse to go through it often, and you won’t be carrying extra weight in it. Guys, the same applies for your wallets.
Tidy up the shoe pile by the front door. We have a ‘no shoes’ rule in our home, because we want to keep the house clean, and also because one of my housemates has really terrible allergies. Keeping our shoes in the closet by the front door is a great way to save her allergies, and the carpet too! However, the shoe pile can get out of hand. It turns into a monster that comes out of the closet and likes to lay all over the hallway. Take a few minutes and just straighten up your shoe pile (or shoe rack, or whatever). It makes a big difference to have this area clean because it’s the first thing you see when you get into the house.
Push in your chair. Wether it’s at the dining room table, or your desk, push in your chair to maximize the space in the room, and also make things a little more tidy. Nobody likes to trip over or have to walk around a chair that’s in the way!
Label boxes and bins. As I mentioned earlier, I like to keep my things organized in bins, boxes, and decorative storage spaces. However, it’s easy to forget what goes where if they’re not labeled. This allows you to quickly find (and put away) items. And other members of your house will know where things are too!
Go through your tupperware. I know from personal experience that the tupperware (and empty jar) cabinet can be the most messy part of the kitchen. Nothing ever has a lid that fits, yet there are 30 lids in the cabinet! Take out ALL of your tupperware, and put lids on the tupperware containers. You will probably end up with some containers without lids and vise versa. I save these, and put them (in a neat stack) at the back of the cabinet. Then I put like containers on top of each other (with lids on), and make stacks of those. This way when you go for tupperware, everything is put together, and you will save a lot of time!
Corral loose items on trays or in bowls. This goes along with my style of ‘basket organization’. However this is great for countertops and coffee tables. It lets you keep the things you need handy, without having them strewn all over.
Clean one surface in your home. Take everything off that ONE surface, dust it, clean it with pledge. Clean the items too and then place them back (if they belong there) in a neat fashion. Return items that don’t belong to their rightful place and throw away any trash. If you do just one surface, it won’t even take 15 minutes. And just think, if you do this once a day, by the end of the week your home will be looking great!
Organize your computer desktop. A lot of times, our computer desktops are a lot messier than they need to be. Things just seem to end up there. Spend a few minutes putting things in folders, and organizing your desktop, and your computer will become tidy and user friendly!
I hope you have enjoyed these tips for making your house more organized in 15 minutes or less! If you liked this organization article you might also like my article about organizing your messy kitchen. Good luck organizing!