5 Tips for Keeping a Happy Home

An organized home is a happy home. I have found that when my kitchen is clean, laundry is folded, papers are filed and drawers are closed, our house (and everyone in it) seems to function better. Unfortunately for my husband, these simple tasks aren’t my second nature. I am a queen of procrastination, and more often choose Netflix® over organizing.

However, I know that running a household is not for the faint of heart (shout out to all the women and men whose daily job is to maintain a thriving home and family). So, here are a few tips that help maintain order and create calm amidst the chaos of our busy lives.

1. Purge

I’ve been known to have some “collections” of useless items. Hundreds of pens fill our home (yet neither of us ever seems to find one when we need it) and we have more dishes than we could use in a year. If you can relate, spend a weekend purging and you might be surprised how quickly organization can fall into place. Focus on one room at a time and sort items into three piles: keep, donate or toss. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time for it to go.

2. Everything has a place

Even though my mom said it to me every day as a child, it’s taken 30 years to really sink in. Putting things back in their proper place immediately when you’re finished keeps the counters clean and floors clear of clutter. It’s so easy to leave a cup on the table or towel on the floor, but taking the extra two seconds to put them away means you can come home to a clutter-free house each day. And remember, if you have kids, they mimic what you do so save yourself the headache of having to train them to do the same.

3. Maximize space

You can fit a lot into a small space with the right organization. Invest in shelves, bins and organizers to neatly sort your items in a storage space, closet or garage. Be sure to label them for quick visual reference when you need something or want to store something. Each year I go through our house and re-organize spaces. Buying a shelving unit at IKEA or decorative wall shelves at Target can create a stylish space to store items.

4. Daily tasks

If cleaning the whole house in one day isn’t your idea of fun, try doing a small portion each day. For example, make Mondays vacuuming day; Tuesdays could be for dusting; Wednesdays tackle the bathrooms. Spend 20-30 minutes each day checking one task off your list and you’ll find that to-do list constantly shrinking.

5. Stay proactive

It’s easy to put off difficult or mundane tasks. Whether it’s taxes, bills, laundry or mowing, we all have activities we would choose over most household chores. However, take it from the procrastination queen herself: those tasks never go away. Tackling your least favorite items on a to-do list first means you get them out of the way early and can spend more time with the people or activities you love.

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