4 Tips that Will Help You Stay Organized for the Long Term

Anyone can clean a house and put it in a reasonable semblance of order. The bigger hurdle is keeping it that way long term. That involves a lot more than a feather duster and rearranging closets. A big part is identifying habits and creating better solutions so that you’re more likely to do the right thing than not. Some of those solutions are small and simple, and some are as sophisticated as custom home storage solutions.

If you’ve recently organized your home and want to keep it that way, a little nudge in the right direction might be in order. If you’re just getting started, you’ve got a little more work on your hands.

How can you ensure your home becomes and stays organized?

1. Identify problematic areas
2. Zero in on behavior
3. Be realistic about your lifestyle
4. Don’t shy from help

Perfectly organized closet with white finish and clothes neatly hung

#1: Identify Problematic Areas

Your home probably doesn’t look like an episode of a hoarder TV show, so you’ll need to identify the areas that bother you most. And if it is your whole house, break it into manageable chunks. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.

Maybe your desk always has a few coffee mugs on it, or your dresser is the landing spot for everything from keys to mail. Whatever the issue, mark it down. For every problem, there really is a solution. And identifying problems is one of the most important steps to staying organized.

Start prioritizing by making a list of what you’d like to get done. Set realistic goals by keeping in mind the amount of time you have available. Stay focused by writing down 2 or 3 short-term goals for each space. For example, you may want to tidy up hats, gloves and scarves in the mudroom and give each their own proper location, or keep shoes off of the floor and out of plain view by storing them underneath a sitting bench or behind cabinet doors.

Organized mudroom and entryway with clothing accessories hung and stored in cubbies

#2: Zero In On Behavior

So your keys really do land on your dresser every day? It’s time to think about why. If you’re like most people, a bad habit begins because it’s easy to do. Your dresser is a flat surface, and you always know where the keys are. It’s a logical, if counterproductive, habit. But it’s relatively easy to break.

Every problematic area happens because it’s the most convenient way to approach it. So to stay organized, Life Hack says all that you have to do is find a better way that’s also easy. For keys, a hook by the door might do the trick. If it’s coats hanging on a newel post in the entryway, a mudroom or closet system will provide additional storage options for gloves, hats, and scarves. This is a practical alternative to layering them at the foot of the stairs.

Another behavioral tip is to keep things stored where you need them and at the point of use. This is where you are more likely to find the item and put it back when done. Why? It is easy and convenient. If you are like most, you probably have many pairs of shoes. Shoe shelves are a great place within a reach-in closet to give every pair its own space. No more rummaging through shoe boxes or having to dig deep to get your favorite kicks or dress footwear.

Reached-in closet organized with customized cabinets and open shelving

#3: Be Realistic for Your Lifestyle

One of the reasons a home doesn’t stay organized is that advice is much the same but people are radically different. Maybe you don’t care about coats in the entryway, but the pile of shoes at the bottom of your bedroom closet makes you cringe. Identify what’s important to you, says Psych Central, and you’ll find your organization style. Know what you can tolerate and understand what is “organized enough”. There is no need to get stressed about every little item on the floor.

For many people, an ultra tidy home where nothing is out of place is the pinnacle of organization. For others, that same home might feel uncomfortable. What matters isn’t that you follow a step-by-step guide for keeping the ultimate home. If you create your own system in a way that works with your personality, you’ll have a much better chance of it sticking for good.

The space must be functional, efficient and practical for the tasks you are trying to accomplish. If you need a space with the flexibility to serve as an office as well as a guest bedroom, a Murphy bed provides a realistic solution. With a variety of options available, including home office setups and sliding bookshelves, wall beds can be utilized wherever a mattress can fit and be stored either vertically or horizontally. They fold away when not needed, giving you the additional storage and workspace in an attractive dual-use room.

office organized with murphy bed pulled down and open

#4: Don’t Shy from Help

If all of this organization stuff gives you anxiety, by all means, look outside for some help. Professional organizers don’t just find the best spot to put a vase, stack mail and store clothing. They have a more holistic approach that helps you create a plan that can work long-term.

And if not a professional organizer, ask family or a friend to help. Any objective opinion can help you jump out of a rut and find the answers that have eluded you so far. Designing a closet system works in much the same way. Through a Designer’s eyes, you’ll identify problem areas and find possibilities to pull it all together in a home organization solution that works.

laundry room organized with slide out baskets and hanging

There’s an old saying, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Turns out, that’s not just a platitude. When all of your things have a home, you already know where everything goes. That doesn’t mean your coats don’t go on the newel post. But it does mean that giving things a dedicated place keeps them from piling up or making rounds around the house before landing in the sink, washing machine or even the kitchen trash.

Creating the best-dedicated storage is what The Closet Works do best. Our expert Designers take precise measurements and then work with you to build home storage solutions for any room. Schedule a free design consultation to learn more about the ways we can help you get organized and stay that way for the long term.