Our Organization Expert's Best Tips For Keeping Your Home Organized With A Short Attention Span

It happens to everyone: You're planning to organize a certain area of your home but other tasks keep getting in the way, or your attention span simply can't encompass all the work that needs to be done. Whether you're easily distracted or just have a lot on your plate, these plans can easily get back burnered, even though an orderly space often helps people focus. If you find your mind wandering right before getting started on a tidying project, our organization expert might be able to help get you back on track. During an exclusive interview with House Digest, Jill Koch, professional organizer and owner of Jill Comes Clean, offered some tips on how to refocus and tidy to achieve maximum results. According to Koch, "Your best bet for keeping [an] organized home is to develop systems that are realistic for your space and daily life and to develop habits you can stick to so it just becomes routine to maintain the organization versus feeling like a chore."

Developing a system is one of Koch's top recommendations, as it helps to navigate the daily task of tidying the house. She notes that functionality should take precedence, as this will keep your dwelling orderly and accessible throughout the day. She explained, "If you are organizing under a bathroom or kitchen sink utilize organizers that are going to maximize the space and keep your most used items in the front and easy to access."

Creating a system is important

Koch went on to point out that it is important to track your system because if an area continues to become messy or chaotic, it might be time to re-evaluate your setup and try something different. Not every room will be as easy to tackle as others. "If you struggle to keep up with organization, pick one area and commit to keeping it tidy for a month," suggested Koch. "This will help it become more of a habit you do without thinking." Studies have shown that habits aren't formed in a set amount of time, but repeating a task or activity with intention can help train your mind, and Koch's answer to tidying on a short attention span can help anyone create a consistent routine.

Another technique she recommended is training yourself to put items away every night before bed. In areas you use regularly, make sure that you store and organize the space at the end of every day, so that the following morning you wake up to an orderly room or rooms. "As you do this over and over it will start to become part of your routine and easier to maintain and soon you'll find yourself tidying areas without thinking twice," Koch explained.

Buy with purpose

It is also important to consider every new item you bring into your home. According to Koch, being mindful of purchases will ensure you're actively committing to keeping your home organized. You can even use helpful tricks like the TikTok three-second rule to determine if you need an item. "This is where it's helpful to give things a home when organizing because if you know exactly where to return an item, it can prevent you from adding in unnecessary clutter," she noted to House Digest. "Discipline yourself to get in the habit of putting it away where it goes instead of putting it down wherever it's convenient." It's easy to set something down and convince yourself you will come back to it, but as your attention gets pulled in different directions, that simple task might get lost in the fray, and when items pile up, chaos ensues.

Koch acknowledged that life can get busy, and even those who pride themselves on their organizational skills can falter. "Get in the habit of doing little weekly or monthly resets if you can to stay on top of your organization, and if an area gets out of control again just take time to declutter and reorganize it and then make it part of your routine where you tidy it often," she suggested.

Organization tools and tips

When it comes to tools that help with organization, Koch shared an armory of suggestions with House Digest. "I always recommend a label maker for containers where the items aren't easily identifiable, or to organize like items together." Bins, containers, and boxes are all great for keeping clutter at bay, and by labeling them, you save yourself the hassle of having to search through each one when you need an item. "For drawers, I like dividers and containers to help create sections for items so everything has a home and for small or loose items in cabinets or on shelves I like bins (also with labels)," Koch added.

Cabinets can be tricky, especially if they are deep or set into corners. Koch's motto is, "What's visible is usable." She recommended implementing additions that will allow you to access everything in your cabinets or shelves. "Any time you have shelves or cabinets where things are lined up consider using a lazy Susan, installing a drawer that pulls out (they make ones now that don't require hardware and stick to a shelf), or a tiered organizer with drawers." Koch explained that practicality and functionality are the cornerstones of an organized home, so utilize pieces that boost these within your home and orderliness will come.