Organizing a home isn’t always the most exciting thing in the world. On the contrary — following through with home organization projects can be downright intimidating.
But daunting as it may be, there is evidence that home organization is a form of self-improvement, and provides benefits well beyond a clean living space.
For example, a 2009 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women who described their homes as “restful” or “restorative” were happier and less stressed than those who felt their homes were full of “unfinished projects” and “cluttered.”
The latter group of women had higher levels of cortisol, the main hormone indicative of stress. Therefore, this research suggests that, for some people, keeping an organized house could help you maintain a good mood with low levels of stress.
Also, a 2013 study published in the journal Psychological Science found that clutter, as a stress-inducing trigger for your brain, can influence you to make poorer food choices. The study found that participants who worked in a messy space for just 10 minutes were less likely to choose a healthy food option over a non-healthy option. But, participants who worked in a neat space were two times more likely to choose an apple over a chocolate bar.
Of course, knowing the benefits of living in an organized home is one thing, but mustering the will to actually make it happen is quite another.
For some, it helps to simplify home organization down to two simple steps. At its most basic breakdown, we could say that organizing is simply:
- Identify non-user-friendly spaces and areas of clutter.
- Transform those spaces into areas that are user-friendly.
Organizing your home can still be a somewhat stressful endeavor, but luckily there are tons of tools available to help. Below are seven suggestions you can use to start making your home more organized today.
Make Stocking Your Kitchen Easier With Shelf Scouter [No Longer Available]
Shelf Scouter app will help you organize your pantry, and keep it that way for good. Think of the app as a personal inventory manager for your kitchen. It tracks the products you use and alerts you when you’re running low on something.
One of its best features is the ability to create quick and easy shopping lists based on the items you have (or don’t have) in your inventory. The lists can then be viewed using the mobile app, sent to your email, or printed for easy access while out shopping.
Users can also share lists of ingredients, products and even recipes with friends and family, or browse the lists of others for inspiration.
Download — Shelf Scouter for iOS (Free) | Android (Free)
Keep a Record of Appliances With Serial Plus [No Longer Available]
If the above app is an inventory manager for your pantry, then Serial Plus is the same for other household items, including appliances, furniture, and electronics.
Put it this way: you know that area of your file cabinet with all your family’s key warranty and serial number information? This app is a streamlined digital version, complete with the ability to track the types of items you have, model and part numbers, serial numbers, purchase information, manufacturer warranty data, and more.
The app is particularly useful if you ever need any of this info for insurance purposes. It also allows you to store photos of each item you enter, specifically for that purpose.
In addition, the app can backup and restore all your data, or export it in a variety of formats to the various spreadsheet programs.
There’s also a free version of the app that allows you to save five items before investing in the paid version. If you like the app, you can easily upgrade to Serial Plus from within Serial Plus Free.
Download — Serial Plus Free for iOS (Free) | Serial Plus for iOS ($4.99)
Organize Your Household’s Schedule With Hub
If your system of planning and organizing events consists of flyers attached to the refrigerator or bulletin board, along with an over-scribbled calendar, the Hub family organization app is for you.
The app does exactly what it sounds like: it helps your family stay organized and eliminates the need for messy calendars and shopping lists. With Hub, you can create calendars, tasks, lists, and notes, and then easily share them with the family.
One of the most useful features is the app’s use of lists. You can create grocery, shopping and to-do lists, and then assign items or tasks to individual family members so everybody knows who’s doing what.
Need a couple of last-minute items for a barbecue, but mom or dad are already on their way to the store? Add the items to the app’s grocery list and it will send an update to whoever is out doing the shopping.
Make Moving Less Stressful With Sortly
The Sortly app is another for managing home inventory. But this one specializes in helping make your move a lot less stressful. Not only does the app help you track which items you have, but it also helps you identify where that item is at a given time.
You can easily create moving checklists, labels, tags, notes, QR code labels, and even short, 15-second videos to help accommodate your move. The app can be used for a variety of other purposes as well, such as general home inventory, tracking valuables or collectible items, and even inventory for small businesses.
Other strong features include the ability to automatically back up and sync your data across devices, as well as an auto-save feature that uploads your info to one of the best organization apps around: Evernote.
Download — Sortly for iOS (Free)
Organize and Plan Your Wardrobe With Pureple
By now you know there are plenty of apps out there to help you organize and track items in your pantry or refrigerator, but what about your clothes closets? That’s where the Pureple app comes in.
Pureple works similarly to those other organizing apps, the obvious exception being it’s tailored for your wardrobe.
Its main strength is that it basically digitizes your wardrobe, giving you easy access to your clothes without wasting hours buried in them.
The app allows you to organize your clothing, tag specific items, create new outfit combinations, and set up private wardrobes. It also includes a list of professional stylist profiles in case you want to hire a pro to help you refine your personal wardrobe.
While the Pureple app is only available for iOS, others can access its features on PCs or Android devices using a web browser.
You can upgrade the app to a Pro version for $1.99. The Pro version appears to have an annual storage fee of $9.99 tucked into it.
Download — Pureple for iOS (Free) | Pro Version for $1.99 (with $9.99 annual fee)
Motivate Kids to Clean Up With ChoreMonster
One of the keys to maintaining an organized home is making sure household chores are done on a regular basis. That can make parents the bad guys in the eyes of kids. So, the ChoreMonster app is there to help ease that pain a bit.
Here’s how it works: The app allows parents to easily create chore schedules, with each task assigned a point value. When kids finish chores, they get points for each task. Parents also add “rewards” to the app that can be obtained when the kids trade in their points.
The idea is to entice kids to actually want to do chores, rather than dreading and complaining about them. The app is easy to use for both parents and kids alike. It’s also available on a variety of devices beyond just Apple and Android.
Create a Laundry Process With Excel or Calendars
Let’s face it: laundry isn’t that fun to do. But it’s even worse if you have a mess of a laundry room or a dirty clothes hamper that’s constantly overflowing.
While it won’t magically make doing laundry enjoyable, organizing your laundry room can go a long way toward making the chore a lot less painful.
You can use Excel templates to create a weekly laundry routine for the rest of your household. Or, you could even set up a shared calendar to schedule laundry days for you and your roommates. Use free printables available online and call on your family for extra hands.
Using a calendar to reserve your drying machines or to plan a group trip to the laundromat could save last-minute frustrations later. You could use Hub (mentioned above) for this, or pick another calendar with sharing features.
Remain Calm, Stay Focused
The purpose of home organization is to help you create a stress-free living environment — not stress you out even more.
While, at times, staying organized can be painful, remember that not everything has to be done at once. Handle each task as an accomplishment, with the larger overall goal of an improved life and more relaxing living environment.
Do you have a different strategy for staying organized? Tell us about it in the comments section below!