20 Secrets of Getting Organized

Get a list of 20 tips you can use to organize your entire home. This list of secrets of getting organized will you transform your messy and cluttered room into a space that is neat, put away, and easy to keep that way.

How to organize your home using any of these secrets!

secrets of getting organized

Do you have a crazy neat, and organized friend?

You know, that one person who seems to always have it all together? Her home is tidy, polished even, and decorated to the nines. Her lawn is free of clutter, and the grass is always mowed.

Maybe you wish that you could have it all together like her.

After all, she must be some sort of wizard! She must have a book of secrets of getting organized that, if you could only peek inside, you are sure would fix everything. 

Organized and decluttered kitchen. secrets of getting organized

Good news. 

I may not have that book in my hands, but I do have the secrets.

The inside organizing and decluttering tips that will help you to create a home that is less of a storage unit and more of a place you simply love to be in. 

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Secrets of Getting Organized

I have listed my top secrets of organized people. The ones that I not only use but also incorporate into my routine.

Pick and choose the ones that work for you and see if you can get closer to a home that is neat and tidy.

Secret #1. Start Small

No matter how much you have to declutter or organize your goal when you are first starting out is baby steps.

Nothing will stop you in your tracks than a weekend-long organizing project, especially when you have a family and a schedule, and life all going on at the same time.

Instead, start out small. Your nightstand, for example, is a great and easy project to work on. Small wins are huge in the long game of decluttering. 

Bedroom interior with bed and flowers on nightstand

Secret #2. Declutter First – Organize Last

Don’t be tempted to go on a shopping spree for bins, baskets, and totes for your room organization. Bringing in more, even organizing tools, before you have removed anything will only make matters worse. Instead, choose an area and remove all the excess items. Then make a list of what you want to keep in that space.

Once that is done, you are ready to take a trip to the store and buy the tools you need for that one space only. Small steps are your friend here, even if you are repeating many of them. The more you repeat the more you instill habits that will carry you throughout your entire home. 

Secret #3. Look at Your Home as a Guest

This is one of my favorite tips because it is so powerful.

Ever wonder why it is so easy to keep a space neat in someone else’s home? Because you are the guest and not the resident. When you are the guest, you tend to put things away just as you found them. Instead of pulling 20 things out of a drawer to find one item leaving stuff out to sit until you have the energy to put it all back, carefully find what you are looking for without making a mess. A simple tip that can really help keep open surfaces tidy and neat. 

Secret #4. Remove it Don’t Just Move it

So many times, new declutterers will fill a box in one room and move it to another, thinking they just decluttered. And, maybe they did to a point.

Organized people, however, take this one step further and put that box of clutter directly into their car. This way, the next time they are out running errands, they can make a quick stop at the donation center and get that clutter gone for good. 

woman putting donations into the back of her car

Secret #5. Trash Belongs in the Trash Can

Yes, an obvious tip, but you may be surprised at just how much trash is out in your home right now.

Take a look around. Do you see old newspapers lying out or magazines that have long since been read? How about empty food boxes, junk mail, or napkins?

Get into the habit of always putting trash or recyclables into the trash can right away. This will really help you to keep your surfaces clutter-free. 

Secret #6. Bins are Your Friends

Use them to contain smaller frequently used items so you can put things away quickly. Measuring spoons in the kitchen are easier to find if they are in a small bin tucked inside of your drawer.

Incoming mail stays put in a basket on your kitchen counter so you can easily go through things before they get piled up and forgotten.

The remote controls in the family room never get lost if they have a bin to hold them. 

Secret #7. Make it Easy to Use so You Use it

Don’t get lured into using an organizing tool because it is pretty. Instead, look for its functionality and how easy it will be to use. If you have to take 4 steps just to get to the item you are looking for, chances are you will not continue to use that organizer for very long.

Keep it simple so it works. 

Secret #8. Tidy Up When You are Done

I like to call this a room reset and if you begin implementing this one tip you will be surprised at how much time this will save in the long run. Before heading off to bed, put anything that is out into its home and reset the room to where you want it. This should only take a few minutes especially once you get things decluttered in that space.

A few minutes each day to keep a neat room organized is an investment that is totally worth your time. 


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Secret #9. Keep the Front of Your Refrigerator Neat

You may be amazed at how a cluttered fridge can set the tone for the entire kitchen. Instead of menus, school papers, invitations, and photos all over your refrigerator door set up a command center that you can use to neatly organize these items.

Instead of clutter, you will now have a useful tool you can use to run your entire home. 

Secret #10. Create a Cleaning Kit

Take the time to gather up all the cleaning supplies in your home and store them in a central location. You can keep them in your basement, linen closet or an upper cabinet in your kitchen. Find a sturdy plastic tote to hold all the items that you need to clean with.

When you do this you may be surprised at all the cleaning supplies you have. By keeping your cleaning supplies spread out around your home, it can be hard to know what you have and overbuying can easily be done.

How to Create a DIY Cleaning Bucket

Keep all these items in one place and not only free up much-needed storage in other areas but make cleaning easier to do. 

cleaning kit a secret of getting organized

Secret #11. Keep a Trash Bin in Each Room

This little gem of a tip will really help you to keep that trash put away at all times and propel you towards your room organization goal. Remember, secret #5 was to remove the trash as you find it. Take this tip one step further and make it easy to do in every single room. Don’t worry about having an ugly trash bin in your room, there are so many options available even the most sophisticated rooms can hold a fancy trash bin.

Secret #12. Don’t Keep Broken Things

Maybe you are smirking at this tip just a little, but you may just be surprised at the items in your own home that are broken, cracked, torn, or stained. Sure, we keep these things telling ourselves we will fix them someday…the problem is, someday never comes, and these items instead become clutter.

If you are worried you will need the item, try this. Place it in a box to replace and add this item to your errand list.

two baskets with one labeled errands on a tag

The next time you are out, purchase a replacement so you can then let go of the damaged item without worry. 

Secret #13. Keep the Clutter Out of Your Car

When running errands bring with you a large tote bag to toss small purchases inside. You can also toss any trash from the day (use a compact trash bag to toss in the trash) in your tote along with your sunglasses, phone, or even purse.

This will allow you to gather up the stuff that does not belong in the car and carry it inside in one trip. 

D/M Pro Tip: Once inside your home be sure to unload your tote putting everything away. Keep your tote near your purse. As you find things you need for your next errand trip toss them into your tote. No more forgetting returns, library books, or other items that you need for your next errand day.

Secret #14. If it’s Expired Let it Go

This goes for food, medicine, makeup, or anything that has a date.

Decluttering is already hard enough and the decisions can seem endless. Cut yourself a break and don’t stress out over tossing expired things. 

Secret #15. Use Baskets for Easy Cleanup

A large basket for blankets in the family room will go a long way to keep things neat.

This tip also works well for toys, pillows, dog toys, and shoes. By having a simple way to get daily clutter out of the way, you will find it so much easier to keep areas in a room clean. 

Secret #16. Let Go of Duplicates

We have this ongoing battle in our home.

Hubby feels that we need to have at least 6 spatulas, whereas I, on the other hand, feel 3 is absolutely plenty. If you need one and they are all dirty, simply take 5 seconds to wash it. I can not tell you how many times we have (kiddingly) argued over them, but I intend to stand firm.

Just because I have room for 6 spatulas does not mean I SHOULD have that many.

The point is to only keep the number you need so your drawers stay neater and are easier to maintain. 

Secret #17. Everything Has a Home

I am sure you have heard the saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place”. When it comes to clutter, this is the golden rule.

Make sure your things have a home, a drawer, cabinet, or a basket – assign a location where you intend to keep each item.

organized silverware drawer

Not sure where to keep something? Ask yourself this question.

If I was to look for __________, Where would I go first? More often than not, that is where you should keep it. 

Secret #18. Put Things Away When You are Done Using Them

This is a biggie, huge even.

If you have done tip #17, then this tip should be nothing more than learning a new habit. Encourage yourself to take the time to put things away EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU ARE FINISHED USING THEM.

Not just close to where it belongs, but all the way away.

This one tip will all but eliminate surface clutter and remove that annoying eyesore once and for all. 

all the way away quote copy 2

Secret #19. Give Away Rather Than Donate

If you have items in your home you no longer want, yet donating them to a total stranger is just not where you are at yet, why not find a new home with someone you know?

a white basket labeled give away

A newly married couple may love to have your grandmother’s quilt. Or the elderly woman that lives alone from your church might be in need of new dishes. Maybe she would love to have your set from when you were first married. The one that is just sitting in a box collecting dust.

Find someone you know and care for and share your things with them. 

D/M Pro Tip: Do not use this to pass clutter on to someone else. Always ask permission before you give and be ready for a “NO” in return. Give only what will be received with gratitude and share your things without making them a burden for someone else.

Secret #20. Decluttering Never Stops

This is a tip that will change everything for you.

Decluttering is one of those things that you don’t do once, and your home (and you) are cured of excess stuff.

Decluttering is something that needs to be on your to-do list weekly or even daily. Learn to weave decluttering like you do laundry or cooking throughout your day.

A little every day goes a long way to keeping our home neat and organized.  

Keeping clutter under control so you can set up an organized home is all about your outlook. Try to see your things as just that, things. The tools you need to live in your home. This can make how you store, use, and view a large majority of your stuff much easier.

Save the memories for those things that truly deserve them. Remove the excess and bring those treasured items out where you can remember and enjoy the love they hold. 

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  1. I wish I could get my husband in on the de-cluttering. He is terrible at #17 & 18. He is constantly taking things from their “Home” and then leaving them somewhere else. Then when I need that item I am either looking for it or asking him what he did with it. We have had many “Talks” about him putting things back where they belong.

    1. all I can tell you, Rose is to be patient. I know it can be disheartening but we simply cannot force our family to declutter. Work on your own spaces and hopefully, he will eventually get on board.
      Best wishes,
      Tracy Lynn

  2. Hi Tracey. I am wondering what is the best book to buy with regards to declutting? I need help. Been on workcover. Last 4 years. Suffer from depression, anxiety. Plus arm and back pain then been put off work. Now have to clean up unit as its on market. After being here 20 yrs. Doing it by myself. No family here. I only have a phone. So prefer a book. So I can write in it. Hope you can help me. Denise Arter ( Australia . Victoria).

  3. My Husband is a messy. His office space is always layered with papers. He never folds his blanket after he uses it. leaves mail and packages on the table all the time… I never touch his office stuff, I learned to live with it! Once or twice a year he’ll clean it up. I let his blanket lie where he leaves it. Till wash day! Mail I leave for 2 days then I ask him to remove it or put it away. After all it is his home too! And he always makes the bed 🙂

  4. EVERY topic you covered I’ve done. It’s hubby who is THE most cluttering person ever. He’s an expert “clutterist” and only brings in more junk to add to the clutter. When I finish uncluttering, it’s an invitation to bring in more clutter. I think he has a psychological problem of “wanting” things now that he can afford to and based upon what he told me about his childhood. His cure is only going to come from a psychiatrist but hubby doesn’t think he has a problem. I’m through.

    1. I am so sorry you are having a hard time with your husband. Can you give him a place for him to keep his stuff that is not in the main area of the home? Then when he brings things in and puts them in the kitchen or family room you can just relocate them to “his space” and keep those things out of yours.
      Good Luck!
      Tracy Lynn

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