10 rules for staying organized

By: Mom Foodie

With the start of the New Year, many of us have a resolution to get and stay organized this year. Doing our best to stick to some rules may help with our quest to get organized in 2016.

1) Have a place for everything, even that junk drawer can stay organized.
Having a place for every item can allow a cleaner and more organized home and environment. Doing simple things like using old cardboard jewelry boxes or vintage tins in the junk drawer can make a place for all of that junk so that when you need that super glue super quick, there is not sifting needed to be done. If you are currently very unorganized, make a timeline for organizing your home. Each day organize a small portion until everything has a place, and then follow rule number two.

2) When you are done with something, put it back where it belongs.
This goes for EVERYTHING in your home. When done eating, either rinse your dishes, or put them in the dish washer right away. When you are changing outfits, or undressing, hang clothes up, put them back into their drawer, or the hamper, and don't let them sit on the floor. Ever. When you're done doing your hair, put the hair products back in their place. Follow this rule throughout your home.

This rule applies to your children as well. Create a method with bins, when one bin of toys are out, another cannot be taken out until the first one is put back in its proper place. It's amazing how quick this method clears up that toy clutter sitting around.

3) Never leave dirty dishes in the sink.
This is a very important rule that was mentioned above in rule number two. It follows the "put things back where they belong" element of organization. When you're done eating, either rinse those dishes thoroughly that they will be easy to clean, or get them straight into the dishwasher. Leaving dishes in the sink can create another item on your to do list, getting them into the dishwasher or rinsing them well, gets half of the job done. Making washing them in the evening a much easier task.

Also create a rule in your home that the dishes MUST be done either when the sink gets full (NO dishes on the counter!), or in the evening before bed time. A good time to get them all done is right after dinner. But this can vary with each family's customs.

4) Never leave a room empty handed.
When leaving a room, always check if you can bring anything with you. Are there any dishes that could be brought to the kitchen? Dirty laundry that needs to be taken care of? Toys that weren't picked up? By doing this you can keep more things organized at once and save the hassle of doing a full home cleaning every single day.

5) Reset your home every night.
Before you go to sleep, be sure that you're home has been "reset". Clean up the kitchen, clean off the coffee table, pick up those extra toys. If you need to prep breakfast for the next day, do so. Doing things like this will allow you to wake up feeling refreshed and can make mornings run much smoother, especially with little ones running around.

6) Make the bed each morning.
This is a simple rule, but you will be surprised at how it creates a great start to your day. Start organized to stay organized. If you have children, teach them this rule as well. When they get out of bed have them put their pillows back and help them to spread their blanket out. It doesn't need to be perfect, but creating a clean environment will start the day out right no matter your age.

7) File, don't pile.
When you obtain a lot of paper work, use this rule to avoid clutter. Have a place for types of paperwork rather than tossing it one big pile that you will just have to sift through later. Is it a bill? Have a bill box. Is it your child's school paperwork? Have a school folder. Coupons? Create a coupon box, binder or folder. Having a set place for paperwork creates a de-cluttered desk and a less stressed mind.

8) Write everything down.
When you think of something that you need to purchase, need to get done, or something that you forgot, write it down! Keep a pen and paper handy on any table surface that you are near often, or download a note app to remind you of what you need to do or buy. This ensures that you do not forget anything from being side tracked.

9) Purge often to get rid of things around the house that are just taking up space.
When you have a home, you realize that you simply have too much stuff. The best way to keep clutter out and keep things organized in your home is to purge often. Go through clothes, especially children's clothes often and get rid of things that no longer fit, or have rips or stains. Donate these items to your local thrift stores, and take a peek if there is anything that you need while you're there. (Thrift stores are a great place to find many needed items, especially children's clothing since they grow out of them so fast, for a decent price.)

10) Make a meal plan, shopping plan, and inventory lists.
Planning meals is not only convenient for a busy family, but allows you to eat healthier and keep a better budget at the grocery store. Buy what you need, not what you want. You'll save tons of money by doing this. Before shopping be sure to go through your inventory of the fridge, freezer, and pantry to know what you already have.

Last but not least, make a shopping plan, and shop the sales. You will be very surprised at how much can be saved by simply planning what you and your family will be eating during the week. No coupons needed! (But if you do come across them, of course use them!)

See more from Mom Foodie:
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Pineapple cheesecake blondie bars
Blood orange and thyme spa water

Looking for more organizational tips & tricks? Watch how to organize your jewelry box:

Fashion Fix: Organize Your Jewelry
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