6 Messy Habits You Need to Break

6 Messy Habits You Need to Break

From disorganization to hoarding, kick your bad habits to the curb with our organization tips.



Jumpstart a feel-good season by ridding yourself of a few common habits that cause clutter or frustration. The key is to start small, so if you identify with a few, follow these tips to help curb them easily.

1. Desktop Disorganization

  • Sort mail immediately, tossing junk and organizing the rest in a drawer
  • Try hanging a repurposed shutter by the front door to easily separate the mail you need from the mail you can discard
  • Conquer paper clutter right away and file bank statements, receipts and more in a file system
  • Repurpose on-hand items like jars or PVC piping as desk organizers

2. Magazine Hoarding

  • Lay them all out on the floor and choose two or three of each title to keep
  • Recycle, repurpose or donate the rest
  • Store them on a rustic ladder, in a suitcase or on a tray — if you haven’t read them in six months, recycle
  • Scan for your favorite recipes and projects, clip them out, attach them to index cards and file like you would recipes

Tip: Get rid of bulky magazines and decorate at the same time! Frame and display your favorite covers or use them to decoupage.

3. Bargain Shopping

  • Begin using a rule: one new item comes in the home, another one goes out
  • Put rarely-used items in a box — if you don’t open it for six months, donate it
  • Organize a garage sale once a year
  • Clean out closets once a season and donate unwanted items
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Tip: See something to purchase, but not sure if you need it? Think about it for 24 hours first. You’ll be surprised how often you forget about (or realize you don’t need) the item.

4. Laundry Pileup

  • If you tend to throw dirty clothes on the floor, keep hampers where they pile up
  • Wear clothes like jeans, sweaters, blouses and pajamas more than once
  • Keep a clean, organized laundry room — if it’s an inviting space, you’re more likely to enjoy being in it

5. Dirty Dish Pileup

  • Keep dishwashing supplies near the sink for easy access
  • Hand-wash dishes as you use them, or put them directly in the dishwasher
  • If you can’t clean dishes right away, work in small batches to lessen the load later
  • Play music or hang a TV in your kitchen to stay entertained as you do the dishes
  • Clean and organize cabinets to save frustration when putting away clean dishes

6. Car Clutter

  • Keep a plastic grocery bag under the seat for trash and replace it once a week
  • Use a bag-lined plastic cereal container to keep trash contained
  • Place a small coin purse in your glove box or cup holder to store loose change
  • Keep car documents together and tidy with a clip or rubber band

Have you overcome any bad organization habits? Tell us how in the comments section below!

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