Why You Should Run Your Home Like a Business: How To Declutter and Get Organized

February 8, 2013 10 Comments TAGS: Uncategorized

By Guest Blogger Laurie Palau 

Have you ever wondered how it’s possible to keep it all together at work, yet at home, it’s a struggle to get anyone to even put their dishes in the sink? You are not alone if your house looks or feels like an episode straight out of Hoarders.

As a Home Organizing Expert, one of the most common complaints I hear is: “Why am I so organized at work, however my house is filled with clutter?”

If you’ve ever shared these sentiments, rest assured, you are not alone. As a working mother of 2 active kids, I feel your pain.

We’re all really good at following rules at work, yet we often fail to hold the same level of accountability at home.  Yes it’s true that no one is going to “fire you” from your organizational responsibilities (although sometimes you might want them too!), but if you are surrounded by clutter and disorganization, it affects other areas of your life. Yes, it’s the good ol’ ripple effect.

Since there is no training manual for an organized home, I developed an “Accountability Checklist” for you, the CEO of your home. It’s made up of 4 simple steps: Strategy, Teamwork, Routine, and Maintenance.

Let’s get right to it! How to get off the fence and get organized:

  1. Strategy: The first step in getting organized is developing a Plan of Action.  Having a strategy of what you want and how to achieve it is a critical part of the organizing process. Keep in mind that whatever systems you implement in the home, should be easy and efficient. If you don’t overcomplicate the process, you are more likely to stick with it. As an example, I make it a point to sort the mail everyday and everything goes in one of 3 piles. ACTION, REFERENCE or RECYCLE. Once you have your piles, you can put the remaining items in their appropriate place until you are ready to act on them.
  2. Teamwork: At work, everyone has a job to do; your home should be no different. Let’s face it– trying to do everything alone is exhausting. If you have children, I strongly encourage you to empower them with age appropriate tasks such as making their bed, putting away their laundry, taking out the trash, or setting/clearing the table. Kids are never too young to have responsibilities and learn that it takes teamwork to maintain a functional household.
  3. Routine: Having a routine that you follow is crucial for ensuring you stay organized.  The more diligent you are in following your routine, the easier it will become. Try getting in the habit of making your bed, putting away laundry, and sorting the mail before things pile up and become overwhelming. The key is completing tasks AS THEY ARISE, so they don’t pile up. It makes for a much calmer, more zen home environment.
  4. Maintenance: Once you establish a routine, the challenging part is sticking with it. You will be amazed at how little time it takes to hang up a jacket, put away a backpack, or place dirty clothes in the hamper.  Yet people skip these little steps that inevitably make their lives easier. How many times have you run around the house like a lunatic looking for your keys?  I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true, we’ve all been there. A solution is finding a designated area for your keys, or allotted spot for the kids’ backpacks, etc… It’s simple and game-changing in your home.

You want your home to have an aura of calm when you walk through that door. I know organization can seem overwhelming. The way to get it done, is to literally start organizing room by room. Slow and steady still wins races. And in getting your home organized, a good thing to ask yourself is if you REALLY need something. If you hesitate, chances are, you don’t. Purge it.

Let’s face it; we all work hard. We deserve to feel proud of our homes and enjoy the time we spend in it. Following these steps will help guide you from chaos to calm.

~Laurie

About Laurie Palau

Laurie Palau, founder of simply B organized started her company out of a passion for organization and simplicity. Having “stuff” is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean that you need to live in chaos. At simply B organized, Laurie and her team teach methods for organizing your home without becoming consumed by clutter in a way for you to maintain moving forward.

Laurie publishes articles for local, regional and national magazines in addition to her own blog “A Life More Organized”. Laurie also teaches workshops and seminars on getting and staying organized.

Tell us, do you struggle with clutter and disorganization at home? Do you agree with the philosophy of running your home like a business? If you’re a real-life Mary Poppins (okay, you’re still welcome here), share some of YOUR best organizing tips! 😉

    10 Comments

    1. Hello every one, here every one is sharing such knowledge, so it’s nice to read this weblog, and I used to pay a visit this webpage
      daily.

    2. Today, I went to thhe beach with mmy children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
      Shee placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
      There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
      She never wants to go back! LoL I know this iis entirely off topic but I had to tell
      someone!

    3. It sounds so easy…just wish I could follow through with it. 4 easy steps should not be that hard! With two toddlers and Mr. Messy – I long for the old days of calmness!

      • Laurie Palau says:

        Charlie, I feel your pain! 2 toddlers certainly make it challenging (I remember those days only too well). Give yourself a break. don’t worry about chasing toys every five minutes. Designate times to pick them up (perhaps when the kids go down for a nap, if in fact they still do) and then before bath time. Trying to get ‘Mr. Messy” on board is your most challenging task-try having a conversation and set a few realistic goals that you would like for him to do that will help you not feel like a maid. Remind him that the less tired you are from catering to everyone, the more time you have for him ;). Best of luck!

    4. Christina says:

      Just the motivation I needed. Things are getting cluttered around here shall we say.

    5. Laurie Palau says:

      Erica, Thanks so much for allowing me to share my article with your readers!

    6. Thank you for these great tips Laurie. I go through stages – often I am the model of organization, and then other times, if I let things slide for a while, then the clutter builds and I often walk away overwhelmed. I’m inspired to declutter this weekend though, that’s for sure!!

    7. JUST what I needed this morning! I started a new job and my house has imploded. My husband is picking up the slack, but it doesn’t feel entirely right to throw so much on him when he’s working full-time as well. Rather than randomly getting through each day, I definitely need a strategy for dividing up the work systematically…kids included.

      One thing I’ve noticed is that my kids follow my behaviors–like on a daily basis. Normally, I tidy things as I go along. They know the house is supposed to stay that way (though, seriously, I do have to remind them…a lot.) But lately, I’ve been throwing things down, picking up new things and headed to the next task. I look around and suddenly everyone is doing the same. It’s as though my no-time-to-tidy behavior turned on a green light to just dump whatever you want, wherever you want. And then I don’t have a leg to stand on because my pile is just as big.

      Thanks for the reminder to just take those few extra seconds to put things away as they are used, because then EVERYBODY is reminded of what is expected!

      • Laurie Palau says:

        Shelly, I’m so glad my article could help provide you with some direction and focus. Regardless of how organized we are, we can all benefit from a pep talk every now and again! As for your kids mirroring your behavior-I can’t agree more. Setting a good example and the precedent you want them to follow makes it that much easier for them to mimik the behavior (don’t get me wrong, I still often need to remind my girls to hang up their coats and backpacks after school, but at least they know where to put them!)

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