Think you’re one step away from being featured on one of those reality shows about hoarders and how cluttered their homes are? Chances are, your home isn’t really that bad. You just need to acquire some mad organization skills.
1. Admit You Have a Problem
Let’s face it. You are addicted to the convenience of just dropping your things when you get home. There’s a pile of mail on your table because you can't trudge to the recycling bin. The mound by the front door is a convenient place to kick off those shoes, and that pile of clothes on the floor in your bedroom is the result of being too tired to walk those additional ten steps. Yes, you have a problem, so let’s solve it.
2. Analyze the Situation
This step is going to take old-fashioned hardware. That’s right, get out pen and paper; we have lists to make.
Note the areas that need organizing. Use a separate sheet of paper for each room. The kitchen might need the junk drawer cleaned out, or maybe the top of the refrigerator has been collecting odds and ends. In the bathroom, it might be under the sink that's an issue, and in the living room, it is likely the entertainment center and the surrounding shelves. Get the idea?
3. Make Amends
Now figure out how to correct each of the problem areas and write it next to the issue on the list. In the living room, you could set a basket for remote controls on the end table, and a clear Rubbermaid container might serve as a home for video game paraphernalia. In the entryway, a cubed shelf will solve the issue of shoes, and moving the laundry hamper to the bedroom would keep those clothes off the floor.
Tape the lists in a not so conspicuous area, so you are forced to look at them until you’ve completed the next step.
4. Take Action; Attack the Clutter.
You've heard it over and over. No one said it would be easy; they only said it would be worth it. In this case, it's true. You don't have to de-clutter all at once. Take one room at a time, or tackle the first item on each list, and then move on to number two. Do it all in a weekend, enlist the whole family, or set aside twenty minutes each day to work on the problem areas; It’s up to you, but your home won’t get organized without some effort.
5. Vow to Never Let Clutter Take Over Again
Keeping your home organized won't happen overnight. It's going to take diligence. You may need to leave the lists up for a couple of weeks as a reminder. Get a penalty jar and have each person pay a quarter every time someone has to pick up a pair of shoes or put a sticky note on the bedroom door of the offender, so they're reminded of where items are supposed to go.
Will everyone in the house like it? Probably not. But, they'll get used it, and eventually, it will be second nature to put the shoes on the shelf or the keys on the rack.