In this week’s Podcast or Post, we’re going to talk about 7 helpful organization tools and resources you can use to manage your home and day-to-day life so you can stay sane and organized at the same time.
(Below you can read the post or play the podcast version- about 12 mins.)
Below are the home organizational tools we mention in this week’s Podcast or Post. (Keep scrolling to read the full post.)
✅Free Printable Sample Schedule Worksheets– These will help you to customize a daily & weekly schedule you can stick to that fits your circumstances.
✅Free Printable Daily Cleaning Roadmap– This includes a daily cleaning checklist and shows what tasks should be done first. It includes a checklist you can fill in to keep track of daily cleaning tasks and track when you’ve done them throughout the month.
✅Organizing from the Inside Out– This is a book by Julie Morgenstern.
✅Decluttering at the Speed of Life– This is a book by Dana K. White.
✅Trello– This is a free website & app that can be used to track things, make lists, and stay organized. (They do have a paid version too, but the free one is what I use.)
✅Free Resource Library– Included in here are all of our free printables, and there are a few videos, one of which is a tutorial for how to use Trello to make a grocery shopping list.
✅Countdown Timer (You can also use an app on your phone for this.)
✅The Paper Organization Roadmap– This is a free printable guide with paper clutter solutions and includes steps for organizing papers, tips for avoiding overwhelm, and a detailed list of which important papers you should keep.
✅Clothes Decluttering Cheat Sheets– These cheat sheets outline steps & tips to declutter clothing.
✅The Living Well Planner– This is by far my FAVORITE physical/paper planner. It has hourly time blocks and helps you organize your goals and schedule. (Note: I am no longer using their referral program, but I still like this planner.)
These are all resources I have used myself. Some of them are free. And the ones you do have to pay for are pretty reasonably priced, (in my opinion,) and definitely worth the price if you actually use them.
We’re going to talk about each of these 7 organizational resources, what the purpose is of each, and how they will help you manage your home better.
After I saw how having a sample schedule benefited me, my home, and my time, I designed some free printable sample schedule worksheets, which have hourly time blocks for each day of the week.
The goal with the free sample schedule worksheets is to help you identify the categories in your life that are important to you. This includes both things that are necessary, but also things that you want to include in your schedule each week.
Then you write down all the related tasks and fit them into the hourly time blocks to see how a sample week can look.
You’ll see more details and instructions on the pages themselves when you download them- there are 7 pages total.
Using a sample schedule has changed the way I view my time, has helped me to realized how much I can realistically fit into my week, and has helped me to be more balanced with using and scheduling my time, especially being a busy wife, and mom & stepmom of 4 kids.
This is a really nice, good quality, physical planner that is not dated. It was designed by Ruth Soukup, who is the owner of the website Living Well Spending Less.
I use this planner to make out a daily schedule based on my sample schedule.
It has hourly time blocks so you can plan out your entire day and week.
There is a small section below each day to write what meals you have planned for that day.
This planner is also themed around your goals for the year and even things you want to accomplish each month. There are sections for your goals for each month, a worksheet for planning a project each month, and a section for your monthly budget and expenses. There are pages for notes and thoughts and thanks for each month.
Personally, I favor physical planners over electronic/digital planners. And I have tried many different physical planners over the years. But this one is by far the one I like the best.
I’ve used this one 2 years in a row. And I don’t ever plan on using a different one, because this has everything I could ever ask for in a physical planner.
If this is something you know you want to get for yourself or for someone else, try not to procrastinate. This is a really popular planner. And they have run out of stock at certain times of the year because so many people order it.
If you’re asking yourself why you can’t keep your house clean, I’m going to take a wild guess that you may not be doing a daily cleaning routine for all the regularly used areas of your home.
I designed these free printable daily cleaning checklists to help other people who feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start (which is how I felt for years before I started a daily cleaning routine.)
I have literally taken the most basic strategies I used to change the state of my home, and I put these in the daily cleaning checklists. There is a list of what tasks to do in each room, what order to do them in, and tips to help you save time and be successful with your home.
The fact is that maintaining your home daily will in itself keep your house more organized and eliminate stress and chaos.
Organizing from the Inside Out is a book by Julie Morgenstern, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
This book was the first thing I ever came across that made me believe I was capable of keeping my house organized.
This is a great resource for anyone trying to organize specific areas of their house. It goes step-by-step, explaining what you need, what to do (and what not to do,) and how to do it.
The author taught herself how to be organized after struggling with being disorganized for years. And if you are someone who struggles with keeping your house organized or clean, I really think it’s important to learn from people who understand where you are at and how to overcome it.
There are people who seem to always have had this natural knack for keeping their house looking great. And while they know how to do it and I’m sure have some great tips, they don’t understand the thinking and struggles of people, (like me,) who aren’t naturally great at keeping a house clean and organized.
And so before I really got my house under control, her book really resonated with me. She understood what it was like to be in my shoes, and well, how to walk out of them.
Her strategies and tips are a bit different from the things that I share. She focuses more on how to get organized in a way you can keep up with realistically.
(The strategies I talk about in the Podcasts or Posts I share and in the course I’m working on are more focused on cleaning and maintaining the regularly used areas of your house.)
I do feel very strongly that a daily cleaning routine goes a long way when it comes to keeping your home organized. And even in my daily routine, I would definitely say that there is some organization involved.
But to learn how to organize every area of your home in a way you can maintain, this book- Organizing from the Inside Out– is definitely the tool you want to read and use.
This book, by Dana K. White, is written by someone who is not naturally clean & organized. And she has found strategies for decluttering that work for people who have too much stuff, and how to overcome the obstacles that go along with that.
Now, I did just talk about the book Organizing from the Inside Out, which is focused on organization, and decluttering does play a role in being organized, for sure.
There are differences between cleaning, organizing, and decluttering. Not everyone fully understands this. And we often use these words too freely, I think, which adds to the confusion.
Here is an example- using dinner plates- to illustrate the difference between what these words actually mean.
Washing a dinner plate is cleaning.
Getting rid of plates you don’t use or have extra of is decluttering.
And arranging the dinner plates in your cabinet- where and how you store them- is organizing.
So while all of these tasks can affect each other and often overlap when it comes to caring for our homes, there are distinctions between each of these.
So this book- Decluttering at the Speed of Life– I really feel is great for anyone who gets stuck when it comes to what to get rid of, who wants to hold onto extra things even though they know they have too much stuff, or for someone who can’t find a place for everything they have.
It talks about pretty much every reason we rationalize keeping things that we don’t need to keep. And it basically explains how to overcome our own thinking when it comes to decluttering.
The author also runs the blog and podcast called A Slob Comes Clean.
Trello is an organization app and website. I personally have only ever used the free version.
It is more geared towards business organization. But honestly, I use it not just for my business, but for home management too.
The way it’s designed is to be really customizable. I use Trello for my shopping list, my cleaning checklist, for meal planning, and more.
I used to use it for budgeting. But my husband handles all the bills now, so I personally don’t need it for that anymore. I’ve used it for so many things and if you haven’t used it yet, give it a try.
I have a video I took showing how to use the Trello app to make my grocery list. You can view that video in my free resource library here.
Or if you sign up for either our sample schedule worksheets or our cleaning checklists and receive them via email, one of the emails you receive will also have the link to our resource library as well.
In addition to watching the time and trying to stay within a schedule, I do recommend using a countdown timer.
This can be as simple as using a timer app on your phone. Or you could get a separate countdown timer if you prefer that.
Set the timer to the amount of time you estimate will take to complete a task or the amount of time you have available in your schedule to work on a certain task or activity.
I use this to stay on track within my schedule for certain tasks such as cleaning. And even while I’m working at home, I use a timer for my work blocks.
It has been said that the method of using a timer and having a set time to do a certain task in, has been proven to actually make you more productive.
And for myself, that is 100% the case. I am way more efficient when I use a timer. And it does help me to stay organized with my time.
Update 04/11/2021 to this post, (please note the audio version of this Podcast is still the original recording):
I am adding this Paper Organization Roadmap as a bonus organization tool on this list of resources. I did a separate Podcast or Post (#13): Organization Tips & Paper Clutter Solutions, (which you can listen to or read here.)
Update 12/19/2021 to this post, (please note the audio version of this Podcast is still the original recording):
I’m adding these Clothes Decluttering Cheat Sheets as another bonus organization resource which I just recently made.
I also did a full Podcast or Post on How to Declutter Clothes & How to Decide Which Clothes to Keep with additional tips.
So those are the organization tools and resources you can use to help you manage your home. By managing your time, the state of your home, and keeping track of what you do and need to do, you can keep your house more organized.
The best organization tool or resource will not help anyone if it’s not actually used.
You can have everything listed on your daily cleaning checklist. But if you don’t actually clean your home, it won’t do you any good.
For years, one of the biggest mistakes I made with my home was not regularly putting into practice the things I needed to do to maintain it.
So take whichever tools of these we mentioned that will help you and use them! Your home will thank you later.
✅Don’t forget to grab our free sample schedule worksheets or our daily cleaning checklists. If you sign up for one, we’ll send you the link to our free resource library to access our other free printables.
If you sign up & stay subscribed to our emails, we’ll notify you of new Podcast or Post episodes. And we’ll inform you when our premium cleaning course we’re working on is complete.
That’s all for today; thanks for reading, and have a great day!