The habits of highly organized homeowners – 9 secrets revealed by the experts

Master the art of organization with these nine habits

A small walk-in pantry with a sliding wood and fluted glass door in a green kitchen
(Image credit: Wood Works Brighton)

If you often look at the highly organized homes of your friends or favorite influencers and wonder how they manage it while juggling other life admin, you are not alone. 

Home organizing can be tricky at the best of times, let alone when you are also managing work and social life, which is why it is so important to build quick, efficient habits to keep your home clutter-free that don't take precious time out of your day. 

Here, professional home organizers spill the secret habits of highly organized homeowners that can help you make positive changes in your daily life without feeling overwhelmed. 

The habits of highly organized homeowners

One of the main tricks highly organized homeowners rely on is building positive, maintainable habits that keep their homes tidy while avoiding organizing trends that don’t work. Once you have built systems and established routines, keeping a home neat will take no effort at all. 

This is how they do it. 

1. They build a functional system

Olive green kitchen cabinets with white walls and white counters

(Image credit: deVOL)

One of the worst kept home organization secrets is the fact that you need a good organizing system – or you will be in a constant clutter cycle, warns Amy Berryhill, professional home organizer and Founder of Spiffy Chicks:

‘A system is like a standard operating procedure/how you tend to do things. For example, putting your keys in the same spot when you walk in the door, how you process your mail, having a typical morning routine, or doing a load of laundry every day. When you have a routine that works for you, it becomes a good habit (like brushing your teeth) and alleviates mental stress. 

‘One of our systems is to make the bed every morning. It only takes a few minutes and it’s hands down the fastest way to make your room look clean.’

2. They define what organizing means to them

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(Image credit: The Refined Group)

Another good habit highly organized homeowners have formed is working out the difference between decluttering and tidying and regularly checking in with their definition of ‘organizing’, which continues Stephanie Y. Deininger, pro organizer and Founder of The Organized Flamingo:

‘Highly organized homeowners have a very clear definition of what organizing means to them. Without a goal or a definition, you can go in circles and drive yourself to burnout, trying to make everything perfect. 

‘An example of this is when homeowners define organizing as being able to clean up after a long day in just 10 minutes. In this example, the homeowner will have clear homes for everything so that everything can go back to its place as quickly as possible.’

3. They make a home for everything

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(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

Speaking of having a home for everything, they are essential for building better habits, says Amy Berryhill, professional home organizer. 

‘This old adage is true! In my 17 years of working with clients, I have found that clutter builds up when things don’t have a “home” – for example, not having a place to put your clothing donations or returns that need to go back to the store. If you can take a minute and create a good “home” like a shopping bag tucked into the corner of your closet or a box in the garage for returns, you’ll develop a system that serves you instead of having a home that attracts clutter.’

4. They make their beds

cream bedroom with big pendant light and corner window

(Image credit: Brian Wetzel / styling Kristi Hunter)

There are several reasons to make your bed every day, but it is a key habit for highly organized homeowners that helps them build other positive tidying habits around their home, reveals Francesca Verri, certified holistic lifestyle and minimalist coach and Founder of Verri Organized. ‘This can’t be stated enough,’ she begins. ‘Simply put, when you make your bed, you start the day in an organized way and that helps breed organization throughout the day. 

‘It also means you’ve completed the first “tidy up” task of the day – which leaves you with a sense of accomplishment that you want to continue to add to as the day goes on. Because order breeds order, a made bed will leave you less likely to ignore the first two tips and more likely to put clothes away and keep the flat surfaces (bed, dresser – the floor!) clear of clutter. 

‘But perhaps most importantly, when you come into your room after a long day a bed that is made will welcome you and give you the respite you deserve.’

5. They use teamwork

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(Image credit: Martha Brook)

When you encourage your family to declutter or split chores with a partner, you are automatically setting your home up for success, says Amy Berryhill, professional home organizer – and every organized homeowner does it. 

‘It’s much too overwhelming to have one person primarily responsible for keeping things organized,’ Amy says. ‘Everyone who lives in the home and is old enough to help needs to lend a hand. It’s helpful to proactively discuss this (don’t wait until resentment builds) so everyone feels the responsibilities are shared fairly and can also have some time to relax.’

6. They tidy up every day

i-shaped kitchen with an original aga

(Image credit: deVOL)

One of the things people with clean homes all have in common is that they will tidy up every day – not every so often when mess becomes overwhelming, reveals Francesca Verri, certified home organizer:

‘The most organized people take this tip to heart. Tidy up daily means you take five to 10 minutes a day, before the day ends, to put things back where they belong. Such tasks include straightening cushions and blankets on a couch, clearing the sink of dirty dishes or running a dishwasher, putting dirty clothes in the hamper – perhaps even laying out clothes for the next day. 

‘It is also doing throughout the day the tasks that take less than two minutes to do, like hanging up a coat, sorting incoming mail, putting a task on the calendar, or making that quick call so you can toss the corresponding papers. 

‘When you do the simple, quick tasks throughout the day and tidy at the end of the day, you are more prepared throughout the day. And you end the day on an organized, calm-feeling note so you can start the next day the same way.’

7. They clean as they go

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(Image credit: BHDM Design / Photography Reid Rolls)

We have all felt the pressure of trying to clean a house when you’re too busy, but it is a lot easier if you can get into the habit of cleaning as you go, suggests C.Lee Cawley, certified professional organizer and Founder of The Clarity Connection organizing membership:

‘Turn waiting into winning. While your tea brews, use those precious three minutes to empty the dishwasher or tidy a kitchen drawer. Stuck on hold on the phone? Turn that "Tiny Time" into a mini-desk clean-up session.’ 

8. They stick to Sunday resets

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(Image credit: Shannon Dupre / DDReps)

Alongside tidying up every day, and working little and often, highly organized homeowners also perfect the Sunday reset to cleanse their home at the end of a long week, says C.Lee Cawley, certified professional organizer.

‘Aim for 30 minutes each week to process your "Catch-All Container." Knowing you have a scheduled time each week (e.g.Sundays) keeps the task on your radar and prevents that back of your mind nagging feeling of "when will I get it done?". For example, if you do a weekly wash, sync your sort with your suds.’

It might sound like a lot of work, but coupled with frequent cleaning throughout the week, it will not take very long – or very much energy – at all. 

9. They batch housework

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(Image credit: R. Brad Knipstein)

One of the best habits highly organized homeowners develop is being able to ‘batch’ their housework together to create an achievable cleaning routine they can easily stick to, suggests Cori McDougald, professional home organizer and Founder of Meat and Potatoes Organizing.

‘I am a huge fan of batching similar jobs and areas when it comes to housework. Some examples of this would be Kitchen Day; do dishes, take out garbage, declutter surfaces/tidy, wipe down counters, and start meal prep as needed. Laundry day; gather all dirty clothing, start washer/dryer, fold, and put away. Garage day; put away all tools, tidy up, sweep porch and garage, shake out rugs. 

‘Instead of trying to do all of these things, which can be overwhelming, focus on one area per day and only focus on completing that one space.’

When developing better household cleaning tips and habits, be sure to start small, rather than all at once. Starting with one habit and working on it until it feels natural and doesn't take too much thought will encourage you to try another. If you work on too many at once, you are setting yourself up for failure, discouraging you, and often making your home less organized in the process.  

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.