How to Start Organizing a Messy House

So, you're ready to organize your messy home, are you? Well, that's great! A messy house can cause unneeded stress and chaos, so getting your home back in shape can benefit you and your family in such a big way. But now, you need to know where to start and what to do and how to do it and, and, andbreathe. This is not a complicated process. You've already taken the first step by clicking on this post. Now, let's walk through the next steps for how to start organizing a messy house!

Why My House is Always Messy

To be completely honest, it's probably because you, your family, or your kids don't put things back where they got them. Now, I know that so many factors come into play—work schedules, age of kids, evening activities, clutter, etc. But, in the grand scheme of things, those are all just excuses. Are they true? Sure! But that doesn't mean they should be used as an excuse to continue having your house a mess. Right? Right.

Since we got that part out of the way, we can start to dive into certain areas of the home that are typically messy. While the main factor in a messy house is not putting things back, the next is knowledge. How can you organize a messy house if you don't know where to start? Knowledge is power, so let's break some of the common mistakes that people make when they want to start their home organization journey:

Mistake #1 – Not Decluttering First

No matter what, you must declutter your home before organizing it. Decluttering and organizing are not the same thing. While they complement each other, the processes are just different. Decluttering is the first step and consists of touching everything in your home and finding out if you need it or if it is indeed clutter. Organization is the process of grouping things together to make them more appealing to the eyes and less hectic when trying to find things. And, don't be afraid to make a bigger mess as you declutter. That's all part of the process!

A lot of people think that decluttering is a never-ending project. This is not true. Decluttering is a one-time project, followed by organization and maintenance. If you lack the motivation to declutter and clean your home and only want to organize, you will not make much progress. Yes, you can declutter and organize simultaneously, but the overall project will take you much longer. Why? Because you will be spending too much time in one area and ultimately get burned out and not complete the project. Trust me – declutter and clean first – then organize!

The Declutter Boot Camp Online course can help you with those commonly cluttered areas.

Mistake #2 – Not Dedicating Enough Time

I see many blog posts about organizing your home in 30 days. While this is great – it's not how the Boot Camp Mom works. I prefer to block out a window of time where I will only focus on organizing my home. So, say I need to get my closet and dresser in shape, I would work on only those areas until they are complete. Or, if my house has gotten a little out of control, I'll find a time when the kids can go to their grandparent's house, and I will work on getting my home back in shape.

Could I use this time for self-care or date nights? Sure – but I prefer to have my home organized first because otherwise, I won't enjoy that time anyways. I am not saying cancel all of your plans – I'm just pointing out that if you want your home organized, YOU have to take steps to get it done. One of those steps is blocking out the time to get it done.

Mistake #3 – Not Having a Plan

While it doesn't matter where you start organizing your home, it does help to have a plan. Do you want quick wins (hello, junk drawer)? Then join the Declutter Boot Camp to jumpstart the organizing of your home! This course will walk you through those commonly cluttered areas of your home. Do you want to start somewhere that will not be undone super quickly? Then plan to begin in the low-traffic areas of your home first. Focusing on these areas will allow you to keep the organization a little longer with less chance of your work being undone.

The most important part of your plan is to start. Whether you focus on a small area, the kitchen cabinets or the living room doesn't matter as long as you begin the process.

What are the Steps to Organizing Your Home?

Pointing out the mistakes that people make is simple enough – but honestly, when it comes to maintaining an organized home, there are simple tips that you need to follow. Let's first look at the steps involved in how to organize a house:

  • Declutter
  • Block out Time
  • Organize Your Home

Does this list seem pretty simple? Do you think I got lazy and didn't want to put the work into explaining the process? Well, that's because the process is, in fact, super simple. Now, that doesn't mean the work won't be challenging; it's just that the actual process is really this simple.

Say it's your dining room you want to organize. How long do you think that will take? If you did the decluttering already (which might take 15 minutes), then the organizing will likely be 30 minutes to an hour, for real. If you think organizing a room in your home will take forever, I challenge you to start the process so that you can see just how quickly you can get the work done. It doesn't matter if you need to know how to organize workout clothes, or the attic, it's all the same process!

Essential Habits to Maintain Home Organization

I believe it is harder for people to maintain their home organization than to get their home organized. As stated above, there really isn't much to the organization process. However, people can easily get discouraged when their home is messy again after spending the time to get it in order. That's why I think it is essential to focus on the following maintenance habits:

Habit #1 – Implement Staging Zones

Staging zones are essential to maintaining home organization. Setting up a specific area in your home to put items in limbo will ultimately stop all the clutter you usually have. We do not want one home counter to have all the items that need to be dispersed.

Instead, implement a staging zone so that you and your family know if an item is in that area, it needs to be handled. I have multiple throughout my home, and my kids will even set them up if they have some toys that they want to take back downstairs during pick-up time. Trust me – staging zones will save your home organization!

Staging zones are a must to maintain an organized home!

Habit #2 – Put Things Back Where They Go

Yup – that's a big one. You need to stop the habit of putting items down after you use them. Taking the extra 5 seconds to put the scissors back in the junk drawer will help you maintain your home organization. If you don't want to walk upstairs to put the board game away, set it in a staging zone at the bottom of the stairs to take it up with you the next time you go.

“Well, my kids never put things back!” Then start teaching them to. You don't have to have your child put things up as soon as they are done. But put the work in now to have your kids pick up before bed, and it will quickly become a part of their nighttime routine. Whether you do the picking up, or your child, it doesn't matter as long as it gets done.

Habit #3 – Never Go To Bed With a Messy House

You know when you are a newlywed, and everyone tells you not to go to bed angry? Well, when you are trying to maintain organization, you never want to go to bed with a messy house. If you've put the work in to declutter and organize, why would you want to leave items lying around? It will take you 15 minutes to pick up everything that is out in a day, especially if you do that each and every day.

Habit #4 – Implement Go-Bags

If you are in a season of life where your kids have a million activities, it's time to implement go-bags. Go-bags are a bag that you have designated for a particular activity. Rather than having one bag that you use for soccer, swimming, basketball, and school – get a specific bag for each activity. This way, when you wash the swim gear or the soccer stuff, you can put them in their designated go-bag, and you are ready for the next time you need those items.

Go-bags not only help you maintain organization at home, but they also allow you to save time hunting for an essential item you need for a certain activity. If you implement this habit, you will know each time you head out the door that your essentials for that activity are in the bag and ready to go. No more hunting for shinguards!

Final Thoughts

We've covered the mistakes to avoid and the habits to form, now I want to go over some of the additional tips that might help you get your messy home organized:

Tip #1 – Make it a Family Affair

Grab a family member and have them join you in your decluttering and home organization journey! You can hold each other accountable, ask questions as needed, and even challenge one another to see who can get what area done the fastest. The Declutter Boot Camp has built-in accountability and challenges to get you started!

Tip #2 – Use Storage Containers

When going through your home, you don't want to forget about storage containers. There are two sides to this – first, you want to make sure you go through your current storage containers. Is there anything that you can get rid of? Are the contents necessary?

Secondly, you want to see if you can repurpose the containers. For instance, if you go through a bin in your attic and deem the contents unnecessary, you can then take that bin and reuse it for an item you want to keep but don't necessarily have a place for.

Tip #3 – Home Organization is Not Reached in a Single Day

While here at Boot Camp Mom, we love spending an entire day on a project; you will not get your entire house organized in a single day. It's not possible. So – go ahead and throw those thoughts out the window. I am a huge advocate for dedicating time to your home decluttering and organization, but I also don't want you to bite off more than you can chew.

The worst thing we can do is get frustrated with the process. If you do get hung up during your organization journey, join me in our Declutter and Organize Facebook group and ask me questions directly! I am always here to help!

Tip #4 – Maintenance is a Never-Ending Journey

I will not sugarcoat that maintaining your home organization is a never-ending journey. It's not impossible, but because you and your family LIVE in your home, there will always be some picking up todo. Rather – focus on implementing the habits mentioned to stay ahead of the chaos instead of letting it get out of control.

Declutter your home, Organize it, and then Maintain it. That's the process you need to organize a messy house!

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