Sometimes the smallest changes can make our homes (and our lives!) run soooo much smoother! The following hacks are some small and big changes that I haven't really seen others talk about, so keep reading or watch the video here, and I'm almost positive you'll learn something new!
1. Have an inbox in every room.
It's inevitable that when we bring things into our home, sometimes we won't have time to put them away right away. Every closet and main living area should have an inbox, or a place where we can stash things that we just need to deal with later. This keeps your home MUCH tidier and helps control the crazy until you have time to put things in their permanent homes. I have an inbox in every single room. It can be a drawer or a pretty basket– basically anything that can hide all the things until they can be put away.
2. Have an Outbox too.
Outboxes are for things you no longer need. I absolutely keep one of these in every closet. That way when I have a shirt that I just don't like, I can toss it in there easily. When my kids have outgrown something, it will actually get donated instead of them just hanging it back up because it's easier. Periodically I'll run around and gather up all the donations to from the outboxes to drop them off. Outboxes make it much more likely that my clutter goes where it should– out of my home!
3. Use this reminder trick.
It's easy to set a reminder on your phone to cancel a subscription or something. But take it one step further and attach a consequence to give yourself motivation to actually follow through once reminded. I don't tell myself “cancel X subscription.” I tell myself “cancel X subscription OR pay $269.” Which one is most likely to get some action out of me, LOL?!?
4. Use grocery pickup and delivery.
Just using the pickup/delivery saves so much hassle. But the other thing I love about it is that I can pull up a previous order, and just edit it. I can add or take away things, but we buy a lot of the same food over and over. This way I don't have to shop from scratch every time!
5. Start your day the night before.
Do literally every single thing you can do the night before. Choose clothing, pack lunches, set out backpacks and shoes, etc. Make it as easy as possible to get out the door in the morning.
6. Don't fold your laundry.
Yes, really! Are there things you don't really need to fold? How about a basket for your washcloths? Do your underwear really need to be folded? Baby onesies can be easily tossed in a basket. Where can you simplify and just eliminate the folding part?
7. Have a car trash can.
We seem to ALWAYS have trash in the car. If you have a place to stash it until you get home or fill up on gas, it will keep your car so much cleaner. I don't know about you, but a super messy car really stresses me out!
8. Don't save all your papers.
Most bills do not need to be saved once you pay them. There is online access to so much of the snail mail that comes into our home. You can also scan important papers before tossing. I have a whole course on this called the Paperless System. Check it out here!
9. Don't fold your sheets.
When it's time to change the sheets, I wash in the morning, dry, and then just put them straight back on the bed. i do have one spare set in case we spill something at night, but I just despise trying to fold a fitted sheet, LOL! So I don't do it.
10. Have one reset space.
It doesn't even have to be a whole room, but you should have one area or drawer that you keep perfectly organize that you can go to visit when you need a reset. For me it's my shelves that are behind me in videos. If you want to have shelves that make you smile, too, I wrote the Shelfie Handbook here.
These shelves stay organized and beautiful, even if everything around me is falling apart. Often by keeping just one space super organized, there will be a positive chain reaction. It will give you motivation and spread to the rest of your home.
11. Use Hoopla and Libby for audiobooks.
I LOVE these free library audiobook apps. There is nothing physical to pick up or return, and I can access it anywhere. I can also “read” while I'm doing something else productive like cleaning or working out.
12. Buy pre-chopped veggies.
I used to chop up a bunch of onions at once and freeze them. Then I discovered that grocery stores literally sell these in the freezer section, and they're really not any more expensive! It's so much easier, and I don't have to cry chopping onions anymore– Win-Win!
13. Shred chicken with your mixer.
I can't remember where I read this, but after cooking chicken in a crock pot, just toss it in your stand mixer, or use a hand mixer and shred it right in the crock pot. It's so much faster and easier, and the shreds turn out better, anyway.
14. Keep your travel toiletries packed.
My best travel tip is to keep a bag of toiletries ready to go at all times. Buy doubles of everything you'd need to take with you. It isn't really adding much expense because you'd buy these things anyway, but it's so fast to pack, and you never have to worry about leaving something off the list and forgetting it at home.
15. Delete duplicate photos daily.
Virtual clutter is a real thing! I use dead time like waiting in line at the store or kid pickup line to just quickly go through my recent photos. I choose the best one (because I always take 10+ LOL), and delete the rest. I delete screenshots or photos I don't need. It makes it so much easier to go back and find the photos I really want later on.
16. Use photoboxes for everything but photos.
I store literally everything and anything in these. They're the perfect size, and then label away so you know what's stored there!
17. Label to help you put away.
Even if a bin or box is clear, slap a label on it! It's an extra reminder for our brains that something belongs in there, and we need to put it away. I promise, it WILL help you and your family to put things away more often. The labels don't have to be pretty. They just have to tell you what goes where.
18. Use the same bins throughout your home.
I buy the exact same style of bin for every room in my house. If you've been here long, you know my favorite bin is the Multipurpose Bin from The Container Store. But even if you use something else, keep it the same throughout your home. It makes it so easy to move things from one room to another without having to buy all new bins if your storage needs change.
Also, I'd recommend choosing a neutral colored product that will be sold for years to come in case you need to buy more in the future.
19. Buy matching socks.
Choose one style of sock for each family member. Bonus points if they are very different from each other to make it easy to identify. There's nothing worse about laundry than having to match 50 different colors/patterns of socks!!
20. Wash scrub brushes in the dishwasher.
They're so hard to clean, but I know if I run them through the dishwasher, they are sanitary. Be careful with this one, though. I've never had a problem with this method, but not all brushes should/could go through the dishwasher without damage. Use your best judgment.
21. Use washi tape.
Add washi tape to airpods or charging bricks to help identify what belongs to each family member.
22. Practice Reverse Organizing.
I made an entire video on this here. Instead of pulling everything out, sorting, and then putting back, choose the items you want to keep first, immediately donate or get rid of the rest, and then put the keepers back.
23. Don't store out of season clothes.
I keep everything in my closet year round. It saves me having to pack up things twice a year. I live in the midwest where the weather can fluctuate a TON in just one day. So sometimes I need winter and summer clothes in the same day. I also choose items that can be layered, like adding a denim jacket to a summer dress.
24. Keep a running grocery list.
We use our Alexa, and the kids can add things they're running low on, like applesauce packets. Then when i go to the store, I already have most of the list compiled. You can also use paper and pen or your phone, but just have a place to add stuff to a running list.
25. Have a go-to meal for company.
My go-to meal is pulled chicken. It's gluten and dairy free on it's own, but I serve it with different BBQ sauces, buns, etc. We're not having the same people over every week, so it's not like they'll be eating this too many times in a row. It makes it much easier (and therefore more likely!) to have people over when I already know what I'm cooking.
26. Put a basket where clutter collects.
Is there one spot in your home that you just can't keep decluttered no matter what you do? Stick a basket there. It's just as easy to toss something in a basket as it is to toss it on the table. Then it will be contained, and it will visually seem like one item instead of ten. Sometimes it's best to not keep fighting a losing battle and change the strategy.
If you enjoyed these hacks, then you would LOVE our annual event, GOHQ Virtual that is coming up. There are tons of speakers who all come together for a live event to talk about organizing, simplifying your life, how to reduce stress and have a home you love. There are SO many topics covered, and it's absolutely FREE to attend live. Click this link to get your free virtual ticket!