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General Organizing

7 Most Effective Organizing Habits To Practice at Home

7 Most Effective Organizing Habits To Practice at Home


Organized people practice the following top organizing habits.

It is common to believe that you are either lucky enough to be born with the natural ability to be organized, or you are not. If you have labeled yourself as a disorganized person, doomed to live a life of perpetual untidiness and chaos, I have good news, being organized is a learned skill. By developing some good organizing habits and routines, you can learn to become significantly more organized.


Organizing habits are learned skills that can be practiced and honed.

The following habits are the ones that stand out above the rest when it comes to keeping us organized. They are so important that I share them with every single client I work with.


Top 7 Organizing Habits:


1. A Place For Everything and Everything in Its Place.

Everything that lives in your house should have a place to call home.  Where do your car keys go?  Do you have one designated spot for your light bulbs?  What about your can opener, gift cards and checkbook? Assign homes to everything you own, start with your purse, and work all the way down to your fingernail clippers. It is also helpful to name each space that holds specific items; coffee cup shelf, medicine cabinet, sock drawer, etc.   


2. Practice the 2 Minute Rule.

Practice the 2-minute rule, if it will take less than 2 minutes to put something away, do it now, not later.  Don’t set something down on the dining room table and leave it there. It’s always easier to put things away sooner than it is to wait until you have an overwhelming pile of put backs to tackle.  James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits states that, “Small habits make a big difference! It is so easy to underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.”

In the beginning, training yourself to put things away immediately will be challenging if you’re not used to doing this now. But if you don’t give up, after a few weeks of practice, this little tidying habit will become automatic and soon you’ll be performing it without even realizing it. This is when the habit begins to give back, and serving you.

Developing mini organizing habits that you can do when you are doing other things can also be helpful.  For example, you are on your way to the bedroom to fetch something and you happen to see three bobby pins and a hair band laying on the kitchen island, so you scoop them up and drop them on the counter in the bathroom on your way to the bedroom. 

Now you have gotten them half way home.  The next time you go into your bathroom, it will be easy to grab them and put them away.  It didn’t take you any extra time to do this because you were already on your way to the bedroom. I have developed the habit of doing  this all the time without even thinking about it.


3. Write It Down to Get it Out of Your Head

I am a big fan of to-do lists. A calendar and a to-do list are wonderful helpers when it comes to staying organized.  Even routine chores like washing the bedding is more likely to get done if you write it on your calendar.  Daily TO-DO lists are also great for getting those nagging thoughts of what you need to get done out of your head and onto paper.  But be sure to keep only ONE list and keep the list manageably short. 

Get yourself in the habit of sitting down each morning with your cup of coffee and creating a to-do list for that day.  This will help you organize your day and will stop all those thoughts from rolling around in your head. 

Person writing on pad.

4. Keep Organizing Systems Simple.

The easier it is to access and put things away, the more likely you will be to use and maintain a system once it is in place. Focus on organizing everything so that things are super easy to find, access, and put away quickly. Avoid stacking too many things on top of each other or placing frequently used items in hard-to-reach areas. Don’t overcrowd your spaces, this will only make things hard to put away and retrieve.

If your organizing systems are too complicated, they will require too much time and effort to maintain. For example, it may sound like a great idea to store all of your different types of socks in several different small containers in your sock drawer.  But it will be easier to maintain if you just dump all of your dark socks in one bin and the light ones in another.

If you are struggling with a disorganized storage space, figuring out a more complex organizing system will not solve your problem.  It is more likely that you have too much stuff stored there and need to prune your inventory for best results. Trust me, I have witnessed this scenario again and again over the years.


5. Less Is More.                                                            

If I were to give you just 1 tip that would have the biggest impact on keeping you organized  it would be that less is more…so much more. The less stuff you have in your home, the easier it will be to keep it all organized.  Get serious about decluttering your home and not keeping anything that isn’t serving you in some way. Just simplifying your surroundings can make a huge impact on how in control you feel overall, from day to day.

Look around your home and evaluate everything you have in it.  If you have a surplus of items that you have not used and/or they no longer inspire you, consider letting them go. Having some empty space allows energy into your home and creates a peaceful, Zen-like environment.


6. Create Zones within Your Home. 

Every home functions better when the spaces within it are separated into work or play zones. Author and Professional Organizer Julie Morgenstern uses the example of a Kindergarten classroom in her book Organizing From the Inside Out. Imagine a kindergarten classroom with separate areas designated for activities such as reading, painting, storytelling, etc. 

Everything you need to perform each of those activities are stored right there so that using each space is easy for young children to manage. Clean up is made simple because everything is clearly labeled and in open containers to keep things sorted. A kindergarten classroom would otherwise be challenging to keep organized with the chaos of 30+ kindergarteners all in one classroom.

Consider what activities take place in all of the different areas of your home and store all of the items needed for that activity nearby. Use open bins and labeled containers to make retrieval and cleanup as easy as possible.


7. Establish Helpful Routines.

We all function better once we have developed a system. Forming habits like doing household tasks at the same time every week, can help you feel more in control. Routines give us a sense of security and predictability that makes our lives feel less chaotic. 

Having set weekly routines for things like paying bills, and doing laundry help us stay on task and get things done. Life simply runs smoother when you have routines in place. Evaluate your weekly tasks and see what you can turn into a routine.


Hopefully, you can take at least a few of these organizing habits away with you and start practicing them in your own life.


Forming helpful organizing habits can be great tools to help keep you organized from day to day. Good habits benefit everyone, but organizing habits are especially helpful if you happen to have ADHD. 

Also keep in mind that new habits are hard to practice and should be developed slowly. If you try to force yourself to change too much all at once, you will only be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, work on honing one small habit at a time and build on your successes.


Laura Coufal

About Laura

I  am a Southern California turned small town, Midwest Mom. I am wife to Bruce and mom to my three girls.

Back when I first started my organizing journey in 2013, I had what I thought of as a dirty little secret. I have ADHD and although I am organized, and enjoy the process of sorting, and tidying. I knew that there were many others with ADHD who really struggled with staying organized. I had a case of imposter syndrome and mostly kept the fact that I had ADHD to myself. That is until I learned that there are other successful professional organizers who have also learned to compensate for their ADHD.

I eventually realized that my need for order and simplicity actually stems from having ADHD as a way to compensate for my short attention span. So my gifts and my challenges are all ironically tied together to create who I am,  and I am able to relate to and help others as a result of this coping method that I have developed for myself.

I help women and moms with ADHD, but I also help those who struggle with clutter without having ADHD.  Because simplicity and less clutter are always at the heart of staying organized, there is much overlap when it comes to finding solutions to clutter and disorganization.

I am dedicated to keeping my life as simple as possible and to helping others do the same by teaching them how to declutter their homes, simplify their lives, and manage their busy families better.

I have been helping others stay organized since 2013.

It is my deepest hope that you will find resources here that will bring you closer to living a simpler, more intentional, and more peaceful life. 



always have



in your space…


…but let it be

as simple

as a daisy

in a vase.



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