Simple Tips for a Clutter-Free Home, Part 3

How to Avoid Doorbell Panic

Thanks for stopping by for Friday cleaning day video series!

simple tips for keeping a clutter free home

My house fell apart this week.  The kids decided this was the Week of the Train Track and it occupied the living room floor during the day all week.  (And yes, I make exceptions to the no-toys-in-the-living-area rule for occasional train track week.)

Can’t see the video? Watch it here.

Here’s how I keep a clean house without being organized:

There’s tons of info out there on how to organize your house and life.  But a main point that is missed by books is that some people cannot organize (raises hand).  I’ve tried – sort of.  But it just frustrates me and my house falls apart while one closet gets micromanaged.

And then of course is the issue that I share a home with three other people.  I already fuss at everyone enough as it is.  I sure don’t want to add to it by fussing at them for failing to file the bath towels alphabetically by color.

My philosophy is this:  if you can’t organize, don’t.

I keep things neat with bins.

Every closet and shelf has at least one bin that I can toss loose, homeless stuff into.   In my pantry, I have 4 galvanized steel bins from Ikea that I corral small items like cans, sauces, bags of beans, birthday candles, etc, into.

In a fit of craftiness, I hot-glued pinterest-worthy yellow legal pad labels to them with very general categories:

  • Cans
  • Baking
  • Quinoa & Rice (this one fell off last year…)
  • Snacks, Coffee & tea
simple tips for a clutter-free home part 3

It’s a loose system, but as a general rule, I can find a can of tomato sauce if I need it.  And I can pretty much count on the cocoa powder being in the baking bin most of the time.

Putting away groceries is a snap:  pull out bin; dump.  This has been my system for years now and it works pretty well for me.

My mother, the most amazing organizer of all time, will never understand me.

Happy cleaning!

Miss a post?  Here’s Part 1 and Part 2.


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  1. I too had a vision of you having everything alphabetized and organized to the “T”. If you get what I mean. Well, you make me feel better now. I do tend to be a little OCD about some things but most of the time don’t have the energy to keep even those things anything close to organized. Lol!
    I did have the DVD’s alphabetized at one time, but after multiple children and grandchildren moving in and out of the home and not necessarily putting them back where they were, I gave up on that.
    These days I do good to get things put away in the proper cabinet or drawer. No attempts to alphabetize or categorize otherwise is attempted.
    Just thot I’d add my 2 cents worth.

  2. Michele Uldrich says:

    Hahaaa…your system is much like my own. I call it sorting into “families”….our stuff likes to mingle! =)

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