clean eating mistakes

Photo: Cassandra Aarssen

1. A Landing Strip

The idea of creating a "landing strip" at your front door isn't a new concept. In fact, I have heard this tip so many times I roll my eyes when I read about it in a new organizing book because it is literally in every single one (including this one, cue eye-rolling as I write). Do you know why every single Professional organizer mentions a landing strip in every single book he or she writes? Because it really is a must-have for every home. To truly have a functional landing strip, you need a hook or container for your keys and other designated places for all the things you set down when you first walk through the door. The top of your kitchen island or tossed onto your table is not a proper landing spot.

kitchen command center

Photo: Brand X Pictures/Getty

2 A Kitchen Command Center

Having one central place for a family calendar and place to put notes and reminders is a must-have for every home. I like using the kitchen because it is where we spend most of our time together as a family. We use the side of our fridge to hold a magnetic family calendar, message board, and a host of to-do lists, as well as our weekly menu. We also have an accordion file folder for important school papers, friends' birthday invitations, extracurricular activity schedules, and so much more.

cord box

Photo: Cassandra Aarssen

3. Cord Box

This simple organizing solution was one of the first I ever used and I am still using it today. Before the cord box USB, HDMI, phone cords and so many other random chargers were always left here, there, and everywhere. Now we have a home for all of those cables, and we always know exactly where they are when we need them. I did light micro-organizing inside of our cord box, using separate smaller containers for USB cables and another container just for chargers.

action file

Photo: TommL/istock

4. An Action File

Paper clutter is always one of the biggest complaints I receive from clients and my followers online. I always recommend creating an action file to store your incoming important papers until you have the time to deal with them properly. In our home, the action file is a magazine rack, which hangs on the wall in our office, so it is really visible for my husband. We have labeled our file folders to be paid, to be filed, to do, and for review. When we bring in the mail or print off an important paper, we place it into the appropriate file folder.

cleaning caddy

Photo: Cassandra Aarssen

5. A Cleaning Caddy

You can save a lot of time cleaning your house just by organizing all of the products and tools you regularly use into one easy-to-carry caddy. I picked up my cleaning caddy from the dollar store and filled it with rags, gloves, cleaners, a toothbrush, duster, and scrub brush so that I can quickly move from room to room and have everything I need. So grab a pail or a caddy and organize all of your favorite cleaning supplies together today.

lost socks

Photo: slovegrove/istock

6. A Lost Sock Bag

You should never, ever put lonely socks into your sock drawer; it just creates unnecessary work and frustration. I began by emptying my sock drawer and only putting back the paired matches. All of the lonely, unmatched socks went into a bag, my lost sock bag. Whenever I come across a lost sock, I toss it into the bag with the others. Now here's where the fun begins! Once a month or so, my family and I empty out the bag into a big pile, and we race to see who can find the most matches. It's actually a pretty fun family game, and my kids and even my husband love to play.

Excerpted from Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day by Cassandra Aarssen. Copyright © 2017 by Cassandra Aarssen. Reprinted with permission of Mango Publishing Group.