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Home Organizing Tips to Keep You Sane

Erin from Managing the Manor is sharing some of her favorite sanity-saving tips today –woohoo!!

Hello Pretty Organized readers! Today I want to share some basic, daily cleaning and organizing tips.

The dream scenario would be that we all have our houses neat and tidy, always ready for guests, and in magazine-ready condition. Unfortunately, most or all of those 3 things are hardly ever true for the majority. Am I right?

Before you drive yourself insane thinking about all that you have to do or should do during the week to keep up your abode, take a deep breath. Clear your mind. And see below for 5 ways to help keep your home (and brain) semi-clean and organized.

1. Pick up.

Do a daily sweep of items that are lying around the house—clothes, shoes, toys, etc. This should take all of 5-10 minutes if you keep it up every day. If you don’t have time to put everything back in its exact place that day—that’s OKAY. Invest in some inexpensive baskets or bins for each member of the house, or for each room, and toss the items in those containers as you stroll through your house. Empty them whenever you do have some extra time. Better yet, if you have older children or other members of the house, have them empty their own bins regularly.

These baskets in our Kitchen Command Center catch items as they come in the door.

Use baskets to create a command center that catches clutter at the door!

These dollar store bins gather small toys until we have time to put them in their original locations.

Use bins to quickly sort & stash items for a quick clean-up!

2. Do one load of laundry, start to finish.

Don’t allow yourself to do more than one load at a time (even on the weekends), or else you may end up with forgotten clothes in the washer (stinky!) or in the dryer (wrinkly!). This is something that we have been doing for almost a year now, and let me tell you—it’s a game changer. I start the load right when I get home from work, throw it in the dryer or hang up to dry after dinner, and fold before I go to bed. It doesn’t always make it to its final destination, but at least it’s clean in a hamper!

This may take some adjusting to get into a good cycle, where all clothes hampers aren’t piling up every day. However, once you get into a good cycle, you will be amazed at how well it works. You also may not need to do a load every single night, especially if you are single or have a small family. We’re a family of 3 and have about 5 loads each week. That means 2 nights with no laundry!

3. Sort your mail.

Notice I didn’t say “take action”.  Just get it sorted into simple piles: Pay/Mail Back, File, or Shred. Set aside time the next weekend to tackle the piles.

Quickly sort your mail as you walk in the door to keep clutter from piling up.

Our mail is put into a hanging slot on our Command Center corkboard. I place the bills into my planner, since I pay most of my bills outside of our home. The items to file stay in the front pocket, and the items to shred are placed in the back pocket.

4. Write EVERYTHING down as soon as you think about it.

Run out of something in the pantry? Write it down. Need to email or text a friend with a question? Write it down. Have an idea for a blog post? Write it down. You get the gist. Recording these thoughts on a daily basis will help you clear your mind for the short-term, until you are ready to take action on them.

The Notes feature on my iPhone serves as my short-term list keeper. I set up lists by store or by event; and as soon as I think of something needed, I type it into its corresponding list. The cool thing is that the next time I’m at a particular store, I have a pre-built list of items that I may have forgotten I even needed!

Writing everything down in the "notes" feature on your phone means that you always have your lists on hand!

A simple notebook or notepad can also do the trick. If you want to sort it and add pretty labels—bonus! Just do what works for you.

5. Have a plan and share it with everyone in your household.

Not a play-by-play of each day, but more of a daily reminder of what’s coming up, such as any doctor’s appointments, sports games, parties, your meal plan, etc. Post the plan where your family will know to look, preferably in a central location of your home. Whether they actually look at it…well, that’s a whole different issue.

Although I have a personal planner with in-depth details, I print out a basic calendar for each month and post it in our kitchen command center, on the same corkboard as our mail organizer.

I document all important events that are applicable to the entire family.

Keep your family informed by listing meals, appointments, and important dates on a calendar in a central location.

Above is a shot of our September calendar. It was printed from a standard template in Microsoft Excel.

Your home may not always be in tip-top shape, but by clearing spaces in your home and your mind daily, you may be on a better way to keeping your sanity—at least, throughout the week. If you have more time to do more chores every day, then go for it! Just make sure not to overwhelm yourself with high expectations. A few daily items can not only help you stay organized, but can also help you have more time doing more of what you enjoy.

Thanks so much, Erin!! Awesome organizing tips!! We use our Gmail calendar for everything, and I really need to get back into putting our meals on there, too — it makes a huge difference!! My entire world feels calmer when I stick with my daily routine. It’s the difference between, “Wow, I have been seriously productive this week!” and “Why am I so awful at life?” LOL!

What are your favorite sanity-saving tips & tricks?


About Erin

Managing the Manor

I believe that a beautiful, organized home can happen on any budget.  We keep our projects low-cost by doing most or all of the work ourselves.  Whether we’re rehabbing furniture, painting, decorating, or landscaping–we get through it one DIY project after another.  I want to share what inspires us and hopefully inspire others.

Check out her blog, Managing the Manor, for more inspiration & awesomeness!

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3 comments on “Home Organizing Tips to Keep You Sane
  1. Electra says:

    Great tips!

  2. annie @ says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. This is SO good Erin!! My favourite is the list idea on your iPhone. That’s SO clever! I truly love it.

    Annie XO

    • Erin@Managing the Manor says:

      Thanks Annie! I know there are so many more sophisticated apps, but this one works just fine for me. Besides–I’m always a little behind on technology :)

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