Note from Cathy: This post is actually from my best friend. Donna is the most organized person I know so I asked her for some tips for an article I was writing. Her organizing tips were so good, I decided they needed to be in a post all their own.
Have a place to put everything! Spend a day organizing. Don’t stop until everything is stored somewhere.
Store your items in the room in which you most use them. For example, if you paint your nails in the kitchen (it could happen!), then store your nail items somewhere in or near the kitchen, not across the house in your bedroom. When it’s easy and faster for us to clean up, we’re more likely to do so.
In order to accomplish the previous tips – have shelves, baskets, and/or drawers in every room of your house. I even purchased living room side tables that have drawers for easy storage. If you don’t have drawers, you can purchase inexpensive, decorative baskets. In other rooms, I mounted cheap shelves on the walls to hold items and more storage baskets.
If you need to put up cheap shelving but don’t want the room to look like a warehouse, cover the front of the shelving with a pretty fabric that coordinates with your room. Fabric sold on remnant tables at fabric stores is CHEAP. I have installed it in front of shelves by folding it into pleats and staple gunning it to the wood, or by folding over the top inch of the fabric, sewing it, and inserting a 99 cent tension rod from Wal-Mart through the top. Each end of the tension rod sits against the inner sides of the shelving unit.
At the end of the day, do not go to bed until you have walked around and returned all items that are sitting out to their proper place (see tip #1). I do this no matter how exhausted I am! It will cause you to go to sleep feeling calm and organized and when you wake up to an attractive home, it will motivate you to continue keeping it that way.
Chaos does not promote inner peace! Comfort, warmth, and order do.