Kill the Chaos! 10 Ways To Simplify Your HomeMay 9, 2021 May 10, 2021 /
Home organizing experts, Nick and Carol Keesey, know what works to simplify your home.
It’s time to simplify your home and create a home that works for you, not against you.
When your home is organized and easy to maintain, you’ll find there’s much more to experience in life than picking up around the house.
If you are a busy professional, you have a lot going on with work and family adventures. You lack the time and energy to be concerned with always cleaning and organizing a home kept in chaos.
Do you routinely walk into the house, a place where you should find peace, only to find chaos?
You know you need a change, but don’t know where to begin to transform the house from what appears to be an island of clutter, laundry that needs to be folded, and toys with missing pieces, to a tranquil oasis.
Alright, maybe your home will never be as quiet as you’d like. But you can make drastic improvements that result in a more orderly, more functional place. Your home should be decluttered, organized, and optimized based on your daily routines. These 10 ways to simplify your home will help turn your home into a destination in which you find peace.
10 Ways to Simplify Your Home
- Don’t put it down, put it away
- A place for everything, everything in its place
- Keep categories together
- Be intentional about what enters your home
- Escape the money trap
- Don’t be perfect, be consistent
- Avoid unnecessary organizing products
- 20 minutes of tidying every day
- Start and finish one task at a time
- The 85% rule
1. Don’t put it down, put it away
It’s easy to find a place to put things in the short term, but finding the right place is what will make your life easier daily. Instead of simply putting an item down wherever it’s convenient, take a few extra seconds to think about where the item belongs and put it in its home. This simple practice prevents clutter and helps you keep track of what you have. It might seem like more work now, but it makes the future-you so much happier when you know exactly where to look for something and you can find it the moment you need it.
2. A place for everything, everything in its place
The best way to guarantee that you will put things back where they belong is to put a system in place. Every item in your home should have a dedicated place to live so you and your family know exactly where things are when you need them and where they should go back to after being used. Labels are your friend : )
3. Keep categories together
Not sure where things should go? Categorize. It might seem like you have a bunch of “stuff” in your house, but your home is filled with specific categories of items, and keeping similar items together is the easiest and fastest way to gain control over your home. When items are categorized you gain clarity of what you have, use, need and want. This prevents the accumulation of excess or unwanted items, saving you money and lots of time finding a place for them to go.
4. Be intentional about what enters your home
When bored, we tend to find ways of entertaining ourselves and shopping seems to be an easy and fast way to create some excitement in our lives. But when we shop out of boredom or pick up an extra item or two at the dollar spot every time we visit our favorite store, we end up getting things that we didn’t plan for and these items contribute to clutter in our home because those objects were not intentionally placed there. Shopping when you are bored does not help you simplify your home.
5. Escape the money trap
We sometimes have a hard time letting go of things because we think about the money spent on them. But keeping something in our home that no longer serves us just because it was “expensive” or we “haven’t gotten our money’s worth” can do the complete opposite. It brings us a sensation of burden, that feeling that something is taking up space, but because we’ve prioritized its monetary value over the real value it brings to us in our daily lives, we struggle to let it go.
Each item in our home serves a purpose in our lives, but that doesn’t mean its purpose is ever-lasting. By coming to terms with this we can learn from these experiences, make better purchasing decisions in the future, and create extra space in our home today.
6. Don’t be perfect, be consistent
Ever hear the phrase “done is better than perfect”? When organizing your home, don’t try to be perfect. Instead, be practical and consistent. Each of us has our limitations to what we are willing and able to do to create a simplified home that we can maintain for the long term. You need to figure out what those limitations are for you and your family. Color coding your entire house might sound like a great idea, but have you considered the maintenance? Keep it simple.
7. Avoid unnecessary organizing products
It’s tempting to rely on products to help us organize, but often these items end up becoming clutter themselves. Many organizing products might look cool when you see your favorite Instagrammers promoting them, but they aren’t very practical, so they end up going unused or just getting stuffed full of things and forgotten about. Declutter and organize your house first, and then determine which products might be useful to you in the long run. Always reuse what you already have, and focus on functionality over aesthetics. As they say, a functional home is a beautiful home.
8. 20 minutes of tidying every day
When we let chores go until we “have time” simple things like doing the laundry become a day-long task, and often go unfinished. But when we get in the habit of tidying our home daily (cleaning the kitchen before bed, picking up around the living room, doing a small-medium sized load of laundry), we are more likely to keep it organized long term because of the amount of work we have at any given time is not very much, and therefore we can easily work it into our daily routines.
9. Start and finish one task at a time
When our home is cluttered, we tend to hop from room to room, tidying here and there, but never accomplishing anything of note. That’s because visual reminders of clutter drain our cognitive resources and reduce our ability to focus. Scientists from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute have used fMRI and other approaches to show that our brains are happiest when things are in order. The solution? Focus on one task in one area and finish it before moving on to another.
10. The 85% rule
The 85% rule is one of our 3 “OC Principles” to create a functional, organized home.
So, what is it? The 85% rule is simple: your home as a whole and every individual area within your home must not exceed 85% capacity. Why? Because disorganization is caused by clutter, and clutter is caused by excess. After decluttering and organizing literally hundreds of homes over the years, we’ve found a sweet spot at 85%.
It’s hard to argue you don’t have enough clothes with a closet which is 85% full, and it’s easy to maintain because you have room to find what you need without stuff falling off the hanger, and you also have space for some new items (you will always have new items) without causing an avalanche of clutter to fall onto the floor.
5 benefits of simplifying your home
- Get clarity on what you’re really spending money on
- Regain focus and think more clearly
- Optimize your daily routines so you can get more done
- Clean your house without moving all the piles from one place to another
- Spend time on the important things, like family, health and wealth
Imagine if after a busy day at work or running around with the kids you walk into your peaceful, functional, and relaxing home. After you simplify your home, you can enjoy your life instead of endlessly picking up around the house.
Say goodbye to the days of shuffling items from room to room with no end in sight, and you get on the fast track to saving money by understanding what really brings value to your life and what you could (and should) go without?
That’s the power of getting organized.
By Carol and Nick Keesey of The Organized Couple
PS: Want to learn more? Check out the Organized Couple’s free training video “How To Declutter & Get Organized Once And For All”