If you’re like most people, you appreciate an organized home. With everything else going on, we tend to let household organization get to the point where it becomes somebody else’s problem and the junk drawer becomes invisible to the naked eye.  Unfortunately, it’s not going to take care of itself.

Not to mention the number of unsurprising psychological benefits to being organized.  Clutter and chaos create stress, fatigue, and an overall feeling of discord that translates to your everyday life.  Getting things in order can lead to comprehensive, large-scale improvements in your lifestyle, and the energy expended taking care of the matter can be satisfying and constructive.

Proper organization can offer you the luxury of time and serenity:  not spending 30 minutes trying to locate that pair of scissors “you know you left on the counter right here!” is worth its weight in gold!  Ridding yourself of disorder provides peace and knowing everything is in its place provides security, all of which is amazingly gratifying.

It might seem counterproductive to take care of these issues in the summer when you want to do less, but think about it, isn’t this the perfect time to dive in before adding to the clutter come holiday season?  Plus, there are steps you can take to help you through it quickly.

  1. Create a List

You must have a plan.  Walk through your home, write down all the rooms and/or areas you need to organize, then arrange that list in order of priority.  Once you’ve devised the working order, deal with one area per day. Take your time and know in a few days or weeks, depending on your load, your entire home will be organized – after that it’s just maintenance.

  1. Prepare in Advance

Make sure to do a little homework.  You don’t want to have a “keep pile” with no place to actually keep it.  Have bins, baskets and any slew of organizational hacks ready to go. If you do not have anything, take a trip to Target or the Container Store. You should also look at home organization blogs and websites for inspiration before buying bins that do not fit or look good in the area.

  1. Be Ruthless

Now is the time to be honest with yourself. For instance, while going through your closet, ask yourself pertinent questions for each item, such as:  Have I used this in the past 12 months?  Do I even still like this item? Am I holding on for sentimental reasons?  Is this item sound (dingy or frayed)?  If any item doesn’t fit the bill, it must go. Decide then and there if want to discard or donate; as a matter of fact, have those bins at the ready.

  1. Take Breaks

If you get tired, take a break!  Go have an Arnold Palmer, pet the dog for a while, or watch TV for a few minutes.  It’s not a sprint.  Remember to enjoy the process.

  1. Have Fun

Did you ever think to re-arrange your furniture, even just a chair or sofa?  This is the simplest, most economical way to change the entire ambiance of your home and what better time to try it than when your home is neat and tidy.  You’ll feel as if you’re in someone else’s house.  You’ll start enjoying your home in a whole new way.

Following these simple steps, by September you’ll be ready to face the holidays, incoming guests, or leave your home in top shape upon your return from your own holiday breaks.  Recognize that an organized home is a peaceful home and a peaceful home is one you