Hacks for maintaining an organised home

People whose homes always appear clean do not wait until it looks dirty to clean, tidy up as and when necessary.  PHOTO/RACHEL MABALA 

What you need to know:

  • Experts reveal that keeping your home organised takes a little resourcefulness and creativity. They share simple tips for maintaining an organised home. 

Living in an organised environment is very good for our overall mental health. Some people do their best to keep their homes tidy, while others just falsely believe they are naturally untidy. The truth is cleanliness is not a quality people are born with, it is acquired. 

Experts reveal that keeping your home organised takes a little resourcefulness and creativity. They share simple tips for maintaining an organised home. 

Keep your exterior neat
First impressions are important and the state of the exterior of your house tells a lot about its occupants. Ivan Mukisa, a landscape designer, notes that a home might look great but an unkempt compound will ruin its image and vice versa. 

To give your home an organised and tidy appearance, Mukisa advises cleaning windows regularly, repainting if you have wood siding, repairing and cleaning  it as soon as it starts to get mildewed or dirty. Nothing makes a home look well cared for than neat, well-kept flowerbeds filled with healthy flowers and shrubs. 

Spend at least one day a week in your flowerbeds, planting, watering and pulling out weeds. Line the gardens with bricks, or edge them to keep them looking neat and to stop the plants from growing into the yard. Fill them with mulch or chips to get rid of weeds and give them an organised look. 

Take care of fences
Fences that are old, peeling and falling apart make your home shabby. If your fence is an eyesore, tear it down and either replace it with another one or leave the space empty. If it is not in such a bad condition, repaint or power wash to remove the layer of aged wood, and then apply a polish to keep it looking new and shiny.  

Mow the lawn
Mukisa observes that a home automatically looks beautiful and new when the grass is thick, lush and green. Water your lawn if the rain is not enough and fertilise it often. Mow your lawn and regularly remove weeds growing in your pavers.  Edging the grass along the flower beds and driveway always makes your yard look nice and well taken care of. 

Declutter balcony
Keep your balcony or verandah neat. The main doorway of the house is a focal point, so keep it looking as neat as possible. Get rid of all the shoes, toys and other things that tend to find their way on the balcony and become permanently part of it. Instead add a bench or a few chairs, a table and flowers either hanging or in pots. 
Make sure that any railings are newly painted and in good shape, along with the door. If you have steps,  keep them sturdy and reliable, for safety issues as well as looks.

Clean interior
Find a place for everything. Ruth Nanyondo, an interior designer from Rafo Interiors, suggests you keep everything in its place. Establish a house rule that shoes, bags, jackets, and keys are kept in a drop zone at the door. You can make this easy by availing a shelf right at the entrance or other storage items. Put your unwashed laundry in a particular basket or basin and do the same after washing.  Keep your sink clean, wash up dishes as soon as you use them. Do not allow them to pile up.

Make your bed
Declutter your interior, keep your living spaces airy and spacious. Open your windows every day to let in fresh air. Make your bed every day.  According to retired Admiral William H. McRaven, author of  Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life . . . and Maybe the World,  “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

Create a simple morning routine, this may include mopping and dusting. Nanyondo says getting organised requires effort but staying organised requires discipline. If you devote a few hours regularly to organising your home, then it will not become overwhelming. It will even be less overwhelming if you involve the family and everyone understands their responsibilities and chores.

Do only one thing at a time to avoid confusion and repeated work. People whose homes always appear clean do not wait until it looks dirty to clean. Rather, they have routines.  

This might mean rearranging throw pillows and folding blankets when they are done in the family room each night, having children put toys back in the toy box, hanging up clothes at the end of each day, and folding the laundry right when it is dry.  Get out of these bad cleaning habits you may not have realised you had.

Make cleaning fun
If it is not your thing, it is hard to imagine putting a fun spin on cleaning. But there are ways to complete a task while distracting your mind. Listening to your favourite music. Get wireless Bluetooth headphones to give you the freedom to move all around the house. 

Have a place for everything
If  a  house is filled with clutter, it becomes impossible to actually clean. So if you have a peg in the kitchen for your keys or a shelf for your newspapers and magazines, use them. An over-the-door organiser with variety of clear pockets can help store jewellery and make-up.