Don’t let chaos take over (again)

Let me guess… At least one person living in your home is messy. If not them, perhaps that person is you. Haha — we won’t judge! Whether dealing with a toddler, a pack of elementary schoolers, or an I’ll-just-set-this-here spouse, maintaining an organized home can feel like an uphill battle.

Whether you’ve invested in professional organizing services or you are trying to go at it alone, you’ll want to implement these tips to keep your shared spaces tidy on the daily.


1. Labels

It is no secret that we organization pros are obsessed with our label makers, and here’s why: It’s impossible for us to remember where everything goes every time. Drawers, bins, and even different areas on the same shelf should contain a label that tells you and your household what goes where.

If you have kids who can’t read yet, consider using picture labels, such as a sticker of shoes for where their shoes go, etc. When we organize spaces for young families, fun stickers are our best tool (and the kids LOVE them).

2. Limits

If coats pile up in layers on the coat hooks, if shoes crowd the entryway, if toys overflow on the shelves, or if toiletries are constantly taking over the bathroom countertop (despite everything having its designated place), it’s time to lay down the law of limitations.

How many coats per coat hook?  One.

How many bottles on the bathroom counter?  None.

How many shoes by the front door?  One pair per human, lined up nicely in a designated area.


3. Learn

This step is two-fold. First, learn how to be consistent in your own organizational habits and thus lead your family by example. This might look like verbally announcing, “Done and put away,” every time you put something back in its place. Or, it might look like setting an official “tidy up time” before everyone goes to bed for the night.

Second, learn how your family uses the shared space. If no tactic will keep that space tidy, perhaps the organization system needs to change. It’s far less stressful building organization around your family unit versus trying to shove your family’s lifestyle into a predetermined category.


Try reusable labels.

Chalk labels for low-touch areas or permanent marker labels that can be wiped clean with rubbing alcohol for high-touch areas are excellent alternatives to single-use labels, especially if you know your family’s organizational needs will change from year to year.


Declutter your schedule first.

A big reason most homes become disorganized is an inefficient allocation of time. One less hour of TV watching or video gaming per week could be put toward tidying up, thus creating lifelong habits of orderliness and encouraging personal responsibility.