How to Organize Your Home and Live a Clutter-Free Life
There are fourteen ways to take your home to the next level and create an organized environment for you and your loved-ones that dramatically supports health and success.
Everybody wants to live in an organized home that inspires and rejuvenates.
Nobody wants to live in a home that overwhelms and drains motivation.
It can be helpful to run an energy-diagnostic on your home once each year, to determine objectively what areas of your home are bringing you the most joy – and which areas are weighing you down.
While undertaking an organized spring-cleaning or home improvement project, the temptation is to look only for external solutions. But in reality, what will most help you to get super organized – and stay super organized – are internal shifts.
14 Ways to Create a More Joyful Home
You can change how you see your home.
When you shift your beliefs, feelings, and thoughts about what a home is – that’s when we you are truly poised to begin improving your daily habits and to permanently upgrade your residence.
1. Starting Using a Checklist Again
If you want to organize and become even more accomplished, it will help for you to accept (or even: embrace) lists as a part of your daily time management routine.
The most important checklist is your things-to-do list.
Anybody who’s great at being organized and getting a lot done – in comparatively less time than other people – probably uses checklists of some kind, as part of their own personal productivity system.
Lists are an essential component of self-efficiency. You can use to-do lists to:
- get more done in less time
- move steadily toward your goals
- make your home a place of strength, healing and beauty
- live optimally
2. Give Yourself a Psychic Hall Pass
What’s with the long face? Stop beating yourself up for not being perfect, and approach organizing with a lighter, more-playful energy.
Stay out of the shame zone – it’s a complete waste of your mental and emotional energy.
If you decide to experiment with using a checklist each day, give yourself permission to blow-off the list on any day you’re “not feeling it.”
You will be more likely to stick with using a list if you know you have the option to take a day off from your checklist whenever you feel like it.
If you want to take a day off, take a day off. And If you’re going to take time off from your list, give yourself full permission to enjoy it.
3. Use a Different Lens
The answer to the question: “do lists really help you get stuff done?” is: “yes; if you use them with the right attitude.”
Writing a to-do list is extremely helpful (pivotal, really); however, there comes the time when you actually have to do the tasks on your list.
That’s when it can become hard to follow-through with your plans. You can end up ignoring your checklist or even feeling intimidated by it, and that’s when good ol’ procrastination sets in.
There are tricks to help you get through this sticky spot. If you find yourself in this situation, then I encourage you to look at your list through a different lens.
The degree to which your list of today’s tasks can be helpful to you is determined by the attitude with which you approach it.
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It’s time to kiss and make up with your checklist and remind yourself that your list is there to help you.
Think of your daily task list as a sidekick, it’s the Robin to your Batman, ready to help you take on the day’s battles.
What I suggest is: don’t resent the list, don’t rebel against the list, don’t feel oppressed by the list – because, hey, the list isn’t saying “you are a mess; look how you ignore me,” or, “I am the boss of you.” If your list could talk, it would instead simply say: “I am a tool designed to help you. If you need me, I’m here for you.”
Your to-do list is not only not your enemy, it would like to be your best friend.
You can use a checklist for anything. You can have one for the personal chores you like to do every day at home, another for your daily professional tasks, one for your once-a-week tasks, and a to-do list for your one-time-only tasks. Whatever helps you to stay focused and on-track is worth trying.
4. Re-engage With Your List Every 48 Hours
If you can, try never to take more than two days off in a row from your list. Keep yourself in the game, so that you don’t develop any unhelpful habits that you’ll just have to struggle again to break.
Yes, in Tip #2 (above) I advise you to take a day off whenever you feel like. Heck, take two, if you like. But try to climb back on the horse on day-three (unless you’re on vacation or recuperating), otherwise it’ll be that much harder to reconnect.
5. Trust the Process
Everyone has made a to-do list and then never looked at it again. So what? Big deal. Who cares? The process of writing the list is, in itself, clarifying.
The process of writing a list lets you dump out the worrying contents of your brain onto paper so that all the stuff doesn’t have to recirculate endlessly in your mind. Even if you never looked at the list again, it was still better to have made a list than to have never made one.
Forget those past to-do lists that you never completed; start the efficiency process over and try again.
The primary purpose of most personal efficiency systems is to declutter your mind so you can think more clearly, move more swiftly, and make better decisions. The key principle for allowing any efficiency system to work for you successfully is: to trust the process.
Your increased success and peace of mind hinges on:
- finding or creating an efficiency system that’s right for you
- choosing to have faith that the system will work for you if you lean into it often enough
It can be easy to put off writing a to-do list and instead write a mental list of reasons why you “don’t want to.” What a waste of energy. Ironically, you could have written up your tasks in that same amount of time… and even knocked a couple off the list.
…trust that writing your list will be a beneficial experience”
During our half-hearted attempts to get organized in our minds, we can get lost in thoughts, working out the next steps before we’ve finished the current one. Instead of trying to hold all of those projects and processes inside of our brains, it’s better to actually – physically – write it down.
By writing down everything you want to achieve you have dumped the worrying contents onto paper and freed up your mind.
You are now free to focus on the task at hand as you no longer have all that stuff recirculating endlessly in your mind. You’ve freed-up your brain’s RAM.
Even if you never looked at the list again, you still gained clarity to concentrate. It’s not a failure to first attempt and then give up on a list if you benefit from it in this way. Trust that writing your list will be a beneficial experience.
A to-do list is an energy-infusing activity — trust and follow it and you will start to notice the benefits: feeling energized, feeling positive, ready to take on your day — each and every day – to create and achieve your goals.
Take some time now to plan our your week and see what you can do.
Are you a ‘great accomplisher?’ Great accomplishers use productivity systems. To master any system you must first align with your to-do list.”
6. Make Your Organized Checklist a Loyal Sidekick
It will be tempting to blame the checklist system and divert time into looking for other ways to be organized. But don’t get caught in this trap (you’ll only be delaying progress), Stay loyal to your sidekick pal.
When it comes to our checklists, what most of us need even more than a new system, is a new perspective. However, after you give your attitude a tune-up, then you will need to find the productivity system that works best for you.
I know it sometimes feels like your checklist is scorning you, but try to remember that your list isn’t there to make you feel bad. If you your list could talk, it would instead simply say: “I am a tool designed to help you. If you need me, I’m here for you.”
To reverse that negative energy and get into back into your positive productivity groove, it’s helpful to remember the following:
- remind yourself your to-do list is a helpful tool
- tell yourself the checklist is a list of things you want to happen
- treat your checklist as a crutch to lean on in frantic times
7. Rise Above the Times in Which You Live
The simple fact that you are reading this article is proof that you are rising above the times in which you live.
Currently, the mass cultural paradigm is one of consumerism, hoarding, and clutter. This chaotic energy can eventually seep-in to our living spaces.
It’s so easy to get distracted these days. The trick to succeeding in modern life is to stay on track – to regularly realign with your purpose, intentions, and goals. Checklists are great at this. They help you to correct your course each day so that you live the life that you actually want to live. But there are tricks to using lists correctly that you need to know, in order to have them work for you instead of against you.
Just about everyone has written a to-do list before, and then failed to see it through.
It’s time to get over it, and start again. The great thing about attempting an organizational system is there is no limit to the amount of times you can try.
Efficiency is something for which we can always aim. All you need is a little motivation and a bit of faith.
If you need a reminder that your to-do list is there for you – your best friend forever, your partner in crime – then put a reminder at the top of your checklist. Something to welcome you when you pick it up.
Affirmations are a powerful way of suggesting positive thoughts. If you start your list with a message saying something along the lines of: “Hi, I’m here to help you, let’s get through this day together,” then it might be easier to remember that your checklist is your pal.
Afraid your colleagues or relatives will tease you? Who cares? Productive people who achieve great things are bold, fearless, and innovative. If you need a creative solution to realign with your checklist, then create one.
I encourage you to not give up on to-do lists.
To-do lists are life-improving.
Compiling lists, and referring to them daily, can actually can help you accomplish more during the day, help you to focus your mind, and move you steadily toward your short-term and long-term goals.
You just have to learn how to use lists in a better way, and with more consistency.
If you know the tricks, then using a checklist is not only not a drag, but it helps make a busy day go more smoothly and more enjoyably.
See if these unique solutions for
managing your home more effectively
also help you to create more serenity and joy
within your everyday life.”
It seems that people are now busier than ever – despite all of our modern conveniences and gadgets.
Sometimes, particularly when we feel rushed and distracted, we look for external solutions to try to improve our lives and make our days more enjoyable.
We need to modify our thoughts, feelings and beliefs about how the world works and our place within it. This is especially true when it comes to: time.
Modern life seems to offer an endless and relentless array of potential distractions that impede our productivity and squander our use of time. Fortunately, there are solutions to these chaotic challenges.
8. Choose to Believe that the World is Filled with Answers for You
Seek individualized solutions. In our peculiar, hustle-and-bustle culture, so many of us feel time-constrained and yet no one solution is perfect for every person. Each person’s situation is unique, and each time-management solution must be tailored to fit. Sometimes we need to think differently in order to find creative answers for taking care of ourselves and getting things done.
The funny thing about time management is, that the more you angst and worry over there not being enough time, the busier and more disorganized your life will become.
I have a few curmudgeonly friends who seem to see the problems in their own life vividly. They tend to exaggerate when they speak, often using words like “always” and “never.” They seem eager to identify problems, but less optimistic about solutions.
Be careful about how much time you spend identifying negative things and using negative words. The universe has a funny way of giving us more of what we’re doling out.
The truth is, the world is abundant in solutions. Each time you walk out of your front door, there are an exuberantly high number of solutions waiting to greet you, but your lens must be clear enough to see them.
The law of attraction shows us that when we focus on finding solutions with a light heart — instead of dwelling on the problem – our path is made clearer. Hold space for solutions.
9. Take Yourself Off Auto-Pilot
No one likes to think about it, but the truth is that: the older we get the more important it becomes to take care of ourselves.
But how do we make time for extra self-care protocols – freshly-prepared meals, exercise, meditation, quality time with our friends and family – when we already feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?
In order to find the answer that will work best for you, you’ll need to take yourself off “auto-pilot” for a while, and look at your day – and how you spend your own time from minute to minute – objectively.
10. Organize Your Own Physical Energy
In order to learn ways to use your time even more efficiently and increase your personal and professional productivity, you’ll need to begin to pay very close attention to your physical energy:
- notice throughout the day, when you’re energy is higher, and when it is lower.
- what foods increase your energy… and which foods seem to drain you?
- is your energy naturally higher in the morning, or the evening?
- do you get energized by being around people, or do you recharge your batteries by spending time in solitude?
Your time and and your health are two of your most important resources.
When you have excellent health and the time to enjoy it, almost anything is possible. Ironically, most people spend very little conscious energy looking at their time and health objectively or making thoughtful plans and preparations for gradually improving these two essential areas of life.
11. Use the Sell/Toss/Recycle Method
Once a year, our Spring Cleaning ritual involves de-cluttering our entire home. Here, I’ve created three crates that are primed and ready to help me with removing clutter from our home.
Now that you’ve made the internal shifts, it’s time to target your physical environment. Begin by crafting 3 boxes or crates with large signs taped to them, reading “Sell,” “Toss,” and “Recycle.”
As you de-clutter your home, any item that isn’t functional or deeply inspiring to you will end up in one of these three boxes. You will be either selling your items, throwing them away, or giving them to friends or charities.
12. Start at the Top and Work Clockwise
Start at the top floor of your home (the law of gravity means dust travels downward) and begin in a corner, de-cluttering one area at a time – tossing unneeded items into one of those three boxes. Work clockwise from there.
This clockwise method of decluttering will save you time and make it easier for you to pick up where you left off the following day (depending on the size of your house, condo, or apartment).
13. Spend Extra Time on Clutter Hotspots
Every home has clutter hotspots. In many homes, the clutter hotspots are:
- office area
- junk drawer
- side of the house
These clutter-prone areas are like leaks in your lifeboat. They slowly drain serenity from your life.
Spend extra time on these dreaded spots, and turn them instead into highly organized, enjoyable areas. Treat yourself to a few items from your local container store to help make the area more efficient and fun to use.
I can make an impromptu work area anywhere in my home. I call it my “blogging station.” Note the cushion positioning for optimized posture while sitting cross-legged, the clipboard checklist, and the big mug of homemade cinnamon butter pecan coffee. If ever there was a snapshot of my typical morning, this would be it.
14. Rethink Your Home Office
The home office deserves extra attention because, for many families, it is the hub of organizational activities, bookkeeping and prosperity.
The home office has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Now, with digital documents and laptop computers, many homes no longer need an entire room for an office. In fact, not even a desk is required anymore. Often, just an organized cabinet designated for office activities is sufficient.
In order to take your life to the next level and enjoy even greater success, it really is helpful to have an organized workspace that you enjoy being in. A good workspace facilitates your productivity.
It is so much easier to undertake a challenging task when your physical environment is serene and free of clutter.
Reimagining Your Workspace
Does the idea of reorganizing your home office environment seem daunting?
It can be helpful to remember that complicated feats begin first with a simple intention.
What is the intention for your home? How do you imagine it, ideally?
Whether you have a four-story mansion or a studio apartment with a roommate – what do you picture in your mind when you see your home serving you better? Start from this intention!
Next, set an intention specifically for your office area. Create a clear visual image in your mind, of you standing in your workspace and feeling supported by it. Imagine that the environment is so simple and clean and organized that you feel certain you could accomplish anything there.
I haven’t used a conventional desk for years – here is how I often work instead:
- standing desk (with laptop stand, wireless keyboard and mouse)
- bodyball and kitchen table
- cross-legged on sofa
- back porch (where I do coaching calls on Skype)
- car (I keep box in truck with extra office supplies include a “desk” that attaches to my steering wheel)
- favorite chair at Starbucks
(sidenote: I realize many people work from their bed, but for me the bed is for sleeping and romance only.)
My favorite productivity gadgets:
- bose soundproof headphones
- Rainy Mood (a white-noise website)
- Google Drive (I also use an autobackup service)
- Skype and Google Hangout
- Asana (web-based project management)
Consider state-of-the-art homemakers. They conceptualize their “profitability” as making an organized home that successfully helps to restore and re-energize their family. When you think about, that’s just about the most noble profession that there is.
you did not say, ‘I’ll go forth and struggle into joy,’ because from your Nonphysical Perspective you know it is vibrationally not possible. You cannot struggle to joy. Struggle and joy are not on the same channel. You joy your way to joy. You laugh your way to success. It is through your joy that good things come.” – Abraham-Hicks
This process of beginning with a clear intention is an effective first-step toward achieving any goal. It is particularly effective for undertaking improvements to your physical environment.
Paths toward Organized Achievement
Need extra inspiration to be consistent with your new lifestyle habits? Become better organized by subscribing to our Quality of Life newsletter. Each week you’ll receive a simple lifestyle strategy that will inspire you to make better use of your time and energy. It’s free. Sign-up now and as a bonus you’ll also get instant access to our downloadable report on using checklists to become highly effective:
Every minute is valuable when you’re working toward growing your family’s prosperity. You won’t have to waste time on unnecessary inconveniences when you’re organized. Losing your train of thought because your surroundings are so chaotic will be a thing of the past. My philosophy on this is pretty basic. I have found that there are in essence two different paths toward making significant achievements within your life.
Being Bombastic (not recommended):
The bombastic method of achieving involves constantly fighting and struggling to overcome obstacles and emergencies.
Swimming with the Current (recommended):
The swim-with-current way of achieving involves using flow and focus to align yourself with a purpose.
Which of these two methods of achieving greater success do you choose?
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It’s easier to understand this principle when we look at an example:
Chicago’s O’Hare Airport had over 2,400 flights a day last year. That’s almost 70 million people floating up and down through the air. We’re talking about enormous, heavy flying machines ascending and descending every single minute, carrying live human beings.
If we humans can be organized with a project as outrageously intricate as Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, we can certainly make our homes organized. Every day people are successfully completing huge projects. I’m referring to projects that have so many moving parts that many would have said, “impossible!” But extremely complex projects are entirely possible if you start with a clear intention.
This article can serve as a valuable resource to you each season when you undertake a deep cleaning and reorganization of your home. You are encouraged to bookmark this article and share this freely on your social channels so that you can return to it easily whenever you need it.
Steps to an Organized Home Office
- set a clear intention
- craft a productivity system that meets your unique needs
- complete your home office tune-up by deciding where the best place to put your desk is (if you’re going to have a desk).
Tell me about your home office in the comments section below: what do you like most – and least – about your workspace?
Try to remember that starting to get organized is always the hardest part. Once you get the ball rolling, the process will not only become easier but more enjoyable.