Some people are naturally drawn to being neat and tidy, and some simply aren’t. For those of us who struggle to keep our homes clean and organized, we may wonder how to stop being messy.
The wonderful news is that it is possible. With a few tweaks to our thought patterns and a few new habits, we can live the un-messy lives of our dreams.
It is possible to stop being messy by changing how you view cleaning and tidying. Start by acknowledging the problem and visualizing your end goal. Declutter and clean the space and ensure that every item has a place and is returned to it after use. Create a habit of being neat by tidying up for a few minutes every day.
You can stop being messy, and it will not be as difficult as you may think. Tidying up is a mindset and a habit. Once you allow the tidy bug to bite, you will start to notice changes in your home.
Read on to learn a few steps you can take to stop being messy and step into your tidy, clean, and organized future.
Why Should I Stop Being Messy?
When your home or workspace is messy, it can leave you feeling anxious, depressed, and chaotic. A cluttered environment can be a symptom of a cluttered mind and heart, and it could mean you are struggling to control other areas of your life.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can help yourself and your home become neat and clean in many ways.
The best part is that tidying doesn’t have to be a substantial once-off job. It is something you can tackle bit by bit over time as you learn to change the way you view yourself and your home.
Let’s start with practical ways to stop being messy and start being your new, tidy and organized self.
11 Simple Tips to Help a Messy Person and Get Organized
#1. Acknowledge the Mess
Recognize and accept the current state of disarray in your living spaces. Acknowledging a problem with messiness can be difficult due to societal norms, emotional attachments to possessions, and the fear of change.
It often involves confronting shame, overwhelm, and a lack of awareness about the impact of clutter on one’s life. However, acknowledging the issue is the first step towards making positive changes.
#2. Visualize Your End Goal
Visualization is important whenever you are about to embark on a new project. In the case of a neat and tidy home, you need to be able to picture the space and your end goal for it.
As you visualize, go into as much detail as possible. Get ideas from Pinterest, friends’ homes, or simply by looking at the room in your home.
Imagine exactly what each area of the room will look like. What will the space be used for? What storage and other furniture will be included in the end product?
The more detail you can include in your visualization, the more likely you are to be able to achieve the end result.
Having an end goal to work towards will motivate you and remind you of your reasons for tidying up and working to change.
#3. Set Clear Goals
To set clear goals, first, identify what you want to achieve—be specific and measurable. Then, prioritize these objectives, outlining steps to reach them, and regularly review and adjust as needed to stay on track.
Whether it’s achieving a tidy kitchen or maintaining an organized living room, setting clear objectives provides direction.
#4. Declutter the Space
Before you can live a less messy life, you need to rid your home of excess stuff. Being messy is kind of a gateway to clutter. It goes something like this:
You have a rechargeable battery charger… somewhere.. but you can’t find it. So, you buy another one to use. When you’ve finished with it, you put it down… somewhere… In a few days or weeks, you need it again, but can’t find it, so you buy another one.
Now there are three battery chargers in your home, and you can’t find any of them. They have become clutter.
If your home was tidy, you would know where the charger is and would not have to buy more, adding to the clutter and mess.
So, decluttering is a must to get into the mindset of a tidy home.
Start with one small area at a time sorting items into categories (keep, donate, discard) and making intentional decisions about each item.
Do a significant purge of everything that you do not regularly use. Get rid of all the clothes that don’t fit you anymore, are broken, are no longer your style, or don’t look good on you. Give away or sell things that do not serve you or have been sitting in storage.
Once your home is clear of excess items, you will find it much easier to clean and tidy.
After your initial purge, make a commitment to purge regularly. Perhaps you can declutter every summer or spring. Whenever it feels right for you.
You can also keep a donation box in your closet and toss clothes and other items there throughout the year.
#5. Clean Up
Once you have decluttered your home, doing a deep clean is a fantastic idea before placing your remaining items in their places.
Wipe all the surfaces with soap. Vacuum, sweep, and mop. Wash your bedding, curtains, and cushion covers. Get your home sparkling again. Consider this a fresh start.
You may also want to read this post for tips on how to clean a messy home.
#6. Organize Your Belongings
Organizing your belongings can be one of the trickiest parts of being less messy. Knowing where to put things, how to group them, what storage option is the best, and so on can get you seriously tripped up.
Here are some organization tips to help guide you:
- Assign specific spots for every item
- Use bins or boxes with clear labels for easy identification
- Divide spaces into zones for different functions or item categories
- Group similar items together for efficient organization
- Keep frequently used items easily accessible
- Stick to the established system to maintain organization
Tidying up and keeping things in their places should be easy and seamless, so do what feels right for you.
#7. Develop a Daily Habit (Tidy Up Every Day)
There is a saying that we absolutely love and live by. “A place for everything and everything its place.”
With this as your mantra, make it your mission to tidy up a little every day. If you are not a naturally tidy person, this concept is likely foreign, but stick with us because it is entirely doable.
The trick is to make tidying up a habit. Since it takes about a month to form a new habit, you must stick with it for a while.
It can be as simple as making the bed each morning, cleaning up after meals, or spending a few minutes each day decluttering.
Try one or all of the following ways to get yourself tidying up daily.
Make a List
Start by thinking of all the tasks needed to make your home look and feel neat and clean. They can be things like:
- Wipe the counters
- Neaten the couch cushions
- Make the bed
- Sweep the floor
- Pick up the toys
- Pack the dishwasher
- Put the clean clothes away
- Clear the coffee table
If you want to feel exceptionally accomplished, print out your list with added checkboxes and laminate it. Stick it somewhere you can see and promise to complete at least three daily tasks. (Here’s a daily cleaning checklist you may find helpful.)
Set a Timer
Another method you can try is setting a timer for daily tidy-up time. Give yourself ten to fifteen minutes a day and tidy as much as you can in that time. If it feels too short, make it longer the following day and marvel at the difference you can see in your home in such a short time.
Leave The World A Better Place
A personal favorite of ours is the belief that you should always leave a room looking better than how you found it. Not only does this have a saving-the-world ring to it, but it also integrates tidying into the day.
As you go about your day, you may walk into the sitting room to ask your child to do something. While there, you might see a few toys lying around. Remembering the rule, you grab them before leaving and put them away before carrying on with your other tasks.
Quick, easy, and a huge impact is made.
#8. Practice the One In, One Out Rule
The one in, one out rule implies that for every new item brought into a space, one existing item should be removed or donated. This helps to maintain a balance in possessions, preventing clutter buildup.
Carefully consider the necessity of new purchases and be sure let go of an item before bringing in a new one.
#9. Have Fun
The words “have fun” and “tidy up” may not seem like they belong together, but believe it or not, they can be put together to help your brain enjoy the process and want to keep on becoming a neat freak.
So, how can you have fun while learning not to be messy?
- Listen to a podcast or an audiobook while you tidy.
- Create a fun and happy playlist while you tidy and clean.
- Buy cleaning products you like.
- Make use of aromatherapy. Buy detergents with lemon or lavender scents, and use diffusers once cleaned.
- Reward yourself. If you declutter, clean, or tidy a designated area, you may watch a specific episode of your favorite series, eat your favorite chocolate, or something similar.
Here are more tips on how to have fun cleaning your home.
#10. Call in Reinforcement
Keeping a home tidy, clean, and clutter-free can be challenging when it comes down to one person being responsible for tackling it daily.
To stay on top of it all, call in reinforcements. Recruit your partner and children if you have. Children can do chores for their pocket money, and your partner can receive payment in other ways. (Wink, wink)
If you live alone and feel like the mess and clutter become overwhelming sometimes, there is no shame in calling a trusted friend or family member to help from time to time.
If that option is out of the question, call on a professional cleaner and/or organizer to help you tackle your home. Reputable companies will also be able to educate you about maintaining your tidy home going forward.
If clutter and mess overwhelm you and make you feel powerless to deal with them, it may be worth chatting with your doctor. You may have ADHD, depression, anxiety, or something else that can be treated to help you manage more efficiently.
#11. Embrace a Minimalist Mindset
Embracing a minimalist mindset can help you stop being messy because it involves prioritizing your purpose and value. Hence, it helps you focus on what truly matters so you can let go of excess possessions that don’t align with those priorities.
In other words, you make intentional choices, seek quality over quantity, and find contentment in simplicity rather than the accumulation of stuff.
Final Thoughts on How to Stop Being Messy and Get Organized
In the quest to stop being messy, remember that it’s not just about tidying up physical spaces. It’s about creating a mindset shift toward embracing order and simplicity. By embracing the strategies mentioned here, you’re taking steps toward an organized life. And remember, progress matters more than perfection on the journey to a clutter-free, balanced lifestyle.