How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

10 Foolproof Habits to Home Organization

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Cleaning > 10 Foolproof Habits to Home Organization
10 Foolproof Habits to Home Organization

Except for those afflicted by serious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) most people are okay with a little clutter around them – it is comfortable and homely. But often the clutter and mess increases unnoticed until one day you find that the home you are living in is a complete mess. It is not just a question of it looking bad. An untidy home is a dirty one which can soon become an unhealthy place to live. And the chances of damage to property and possessions in a cluttered home are much higher than in an organized one.


Messiness is not something we choose for our lives. The lack of time to clean up clutter and the consumerism that affects all of us contributes considerably to the messiness of a home. Sure, the mess in your house is not of your choosing, but due to circumstances beyond your control. What is important is not the clutter but what kind of clutter it is and if it works for you. For example, some people list out on a calendar the dates on which different bills are to be aid and put them neatly in a drawer. For others leaving the pile on the desk is the best reminder that bills need to be paid. One is very neat and the other a bit cluttered, but both work.

  1. 1.When do you need to become serious about home organization?

    The lack of time to clean up clutter and the consumerism that affects all of us contributes considerably to the messiness of a home.

    For most people, one of the most disturbing things about a cluttered home is the impression it leaves on others. This is a mistake. If your home works for you and everyone in it, you should be okay. But there is no harm in looking at the things you can do to make it a better place to be. The best way to decide if you need to organize your home is by honestly answering the following questions.


    • Is the mess that worked for you now becoming a problem? Are you finding it more difficult to find the right place to put things and then do you have problems locating them later?


    • Are the piles that worked for you are now growing bigger and becoming unmanageable?


    • Does the clutter in your home get in the way of activities?


    • Is the sight of the mess, which you were comfortable with before, now becoming a depressing sight?


    • Is your domestic routine being affected by the mess and clutter?


    • Are you finding more bugs and insects in the home?


    • Do your friends seem uncomfortable when they come to visit you at home?


    If you have answered yes to all these questions then it looks like your clutter has overtaken you and is no longer a system that works. You need to start taking steps to organize your home.


    If you are looking for professionals who can help you to organize your home or suppliers of closet organizers and other equipment that can help you get your home in order, you will find the professionals and sellers in your area online and with just a few clicks and inputs, you can find a home organizer (if your mother is too busy or not in the area) that is willing to make it happen. Contacting them about your problem will give you a better idea of where you are and what you need to do. TLC says the key to knowing if you need to organize your home is not whether the clutter you have disturbs others but whether it still works for you.

  3. 2.Ten Essentials of Home Organization

    Organizing your home is a personal exercise that needs to take into account the needs of everyone in the family. But since a unanimity of views is most unlikely (unless yours is the perfect family), in the end you are going to have to make decisions and call the shots. Rather than inflicting a major domestic upheaval on everyone, it’s better to make a habit of re-evaluating your living conditions regularly and initiating the small changes that you need to keep your home organized. One way to do it is by sticking to the following habits. It may be tough at first, but if you stay with them, they will become unconscious actions for you and your family and lead to a well-organized home.


    1. Designate a place for everything and make sure everything is kept in the right place. If need be make a list of different places and the things stored there. Never allow yourself the easy options of having a miscellaneous area. It will become a junkyard before you know it. Instead be prepared to keep categorizing where things are to go, at least in the early days. Once everyone gets used to the system and the number of questions about what goes where drops, this is an easy habit to follow.


    2. You will constantly need to make small changes to keep things organized. Don’t try and do everything at once. Make it a habit to tackle the issues slowly, one at a time, so you have time to think about you actions and ponder the various alternatives before you.


    3. Set up routines for all regular activities – shopping, doing the laundry, going to the bank, paying bills etc. Treat each activity as a task that must be completed before going on to the next. Do not try and combine activities unless it really makes sense such as doing your bank work and shopping together because the supermarket and the bank are next to each other. You should take care of your errands though, one after another, if you can, rather than driving home in between each one. With these ridiculous gas prices, that would not make too much sense. Because of time though, it would not make too much sense anyhow.


    4. Have a separate folder or drawer where all pending documents like tickets to the movies for the day after, or tickets for next week business trip are kept. Have a separate drawer or folder for each member of the family so that everyone is responsible for their own documents.


    5. Clean up as you go. If you have finished working, tidy up your desk before leaving it. If you have done all the cooking, clean up the kitchen before leaving it. Allowing cleaning up to accumulate only makes the work harder and more unappealing.


    6. When you finish some work, do you put the things you have used away or leave them nearby in case you need them again soon? Put them away! The number of times that you may need these items suddenly is going to be very small, but the clutter of having tools and odds and ends lying around will last for a long time.


    7. Designate a “Pocket Place.” Whenever people come home they have all kinds of things in their pockets or handbags – keys, cell phones, wallets, IDs, and who knows what. Give everyone a different and convenient place to empty out their pockets and their bags when they come home. Once this becomes a habit, the days to looking for lost keys or rushing back home to pick up a forgotten wallet are over. The amount of clutter these small things can create can be frightening.


    8. Don’t let organization become an obsession. You can’t have everything at home in the perfect place all the time. Trying to do that will become frustrating and burn you out. Find an acceptable level of organization and make it a habit of sticking to that and not trying to achieve perfection which will take up all your time and never be successful.


    9. Even the most organized of homes is subject to a recurrence of clutter. This happens slowly and can go unnoticed until cleaning it up is a major job. Get into the habit of vising each room of the house once a week and casting a critical eye around to see if anything has changed or been added to it – even a small thing like a decorative coaster on a table. If it does not belong in the room or serves no practical or decorative purpose, remove it. These can often be very subjective decisions and lead to family arguments, but sooner or later everyone will understand where the others are coming from and a viable balance between flexibility and organization will be achieved.


    10. Make it a habit to keep examining the habits that are keeping your home organized. Often some of them have outlived their usefulness or have become outdated. Get rid of them so you can put something better in their place. You have to be willing to change. Moreover, once something becomes a habit, stopping it is hard, but carrying on with a habit that is no longer serving any useful purpose is a waste of time and can often result in adding to the clutter it is supposed to end.

  4. 3.Be Comfortable in Your Home

    Your home is not a showpiece. It is a place where you live in comfort (at least that is the goal). Being organized is a part of this. But it must not be the focus of your home life. Organization and the habits needed to achieve are the tools to comfort, not the end in itself.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 24 hours or less.