21 Little Tidying Tasks Professional Organisers Do Every Single Day

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Organising your home takes time and effort, but it doesn’t have to be one big daunting project. In fact, when it comes to decluttering, it’s the little things that make a difference.

“Small tidying tasks are an easy way for busy people to keep their house neat and organised without a large time commitment,” Sarah Giller Nelson, founder of Less Is More Organizing, told HuffPost. “There is a real feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting things done. Since these tasks are small and not very time consuming, it becomes something easy to celebrate: I might not have accomplished much today, but at least I made my bed!”

“As we move through our spaces we are constantly taking items out of their homes to use and enjoy,” she continued. “Since the taking out is constant, the putting back must be constant as well, or else the clutter will accumulate. Doing little things each day helps keep us on top of it all.”

Don’t know where to get started? We asked Nelson and professional organisers to share the small tidying tasks they do on the daily to keep their own homes organised.

Below we’ve rounded up 21 of their go-to mini chores. While it may be unrealistic to do all of these things each day, try to pick a few to work into your routine.
Make the bed 
“I make my bed every morning. It really is the biggest bang-for-your-buck tidying activity you can do. The bed is the dominant feature in the bedroom so if it is made, then the entire space looks calmer. And all it takes is 30 seconds!” ― Sarah Giller Nelson, founder of Less Is More Organising

“Making my bed every morning is a habit instilled in me by my mom at a young age. The day doesn’t feel ready to begin until I’ve done that. There is also the mindfulness aspect to this. When we pay attention to the cycle of things, we can focus on and enjoy the process of what we’re doing. ... Pay attention to smoothing the sheets, fluffing the pillows, feeling the fabric, getting yourself and your bedroom ready for the day. At night, you pull down the covers and slip into bed for a good night’s sleep. You rest more peacefully and better when you enter a bed that is sleep-ready.” ― Linda Samuels, professional organiser at Oh, So Organised
Deal with the mail
“When I bring in the mail, I deal with it right away: recycle junk; file statements (yup, I still get some in paper); put to-dos into my follow-up system (I hate the word ‘tickler file’); put magazines into a tray on the coffee table to read later; leave other non-urgent mail in a tray with a cheery paperweight that says ‘Cheers’ to be dealt with when I have time.” ― Lisa Zaslow, professional organiser at Gotham Organisers

“If you open your mail each day it only takes a few minutes, but if you wait weeks you’re going to have piles and piles of paper which becomes overwhelming. I open the mail, open any packages, fill out return labels and repack anything not being kept. I throw away any periodicals that have been replaced with a new issue ― I discard daily periodicals daily, weekly periodicals weekly, and monthly periodicals monthly.” ― Barbara Reich, professional organiser at Life Organized
Organise the food shop
“I update my food list on my fridge, so I know exactly what I need to buy if I stop at the store.” ― Pooja Naik, organising consultant at Organizing With You, Inc.

“I put away groceries and dry goods and throw away any food in the refrigerator that’s past its expiration date.” ― Reich

“One small tidying task I do every day is keeping my refrigerator clean and organised.” ― Nicole Arroyo, professional organiser at Neatly Nic
Keep the bathroom in order
“When I’m finished showering, I clear supplies off of the counter, put dirty clothes in the hamper, and hang my towel on the rod.” ― Seana Turner, founder of The Seana Method

“I put my beauty products back in their home after use to leave a clear bathroom sink.” ― Jeni Aron, professional organiser at Clutter Cowgirl

“Other small daily tidying tasks include removing hair from the shower drain trap, hanging up towels (nicely), wiping down the sink and bathroom surfaces.” ― Samuels
Wipe down the shower after use
“I wipe the shower after showering to prevent mildew and grout discolouration.” ― Jeffrey Phillip, professional organiser and interior designer

“I wipe down the glass shower door after my shower.” ― Turner
Pick up toys
“Put away all the kids’ toys (they can help with this and should). Basically, reset the house so that it’s good to go when we awake the next day, ensuring a smooth as possible start.” ― Beth Penn, professional organiser at Bneato Bar
Put clothes away
“Clothes can make any space look way worse than it actually is. So keep a hamper for dirty clothes and towels and avoid leaving these things on the floor, in chairs, on the bed, etc. Only wash as many clothes as you have time to put away immediately. Try not to let laundry baskets stay full. Note: There are laundry baskets that flatten so they can be more easily stored.” ― Carolyn Rogers, professional organising consultant at Neat Nerd Solutions

“I never go to sleep with my clothing on the floor. I have a rule that I get undressed in my closet, so I can immediately put things into the laundry, fold them, or hang them and they don’t hit the floor. Like anything else, avoided clothing can become big, messy mounds which are overwhelming to deal with.” ― Tova Weinstock, professional organiser at Tidy Tova

“Pick up clothes laying around the house. Or better yet, don’t put clothes anywhere they aren’t supposed to go. Hang up coats, put laundry in the bin and put clothes in the closet or drawers.” ― Melissa Levy, founder of Declutter + Design
Clear surfaces
“Clear off countertops. Surfaces take a beating, whether it’s mail, homework or other paperwork, it often gets put down and forgotten. So do lots of other things throughout the day. Taking 10 minutes at the end of the day or 30 at the end of the week to target clearing off surfaces will help you stay on top of the clutter.” ― Levy

“Maintain clear surfaces and countertops. Countertops are actually the hidden workhorses of the home. Keeping them neat and clear goes a long way. When they are not being used, a clear surface reads as clean, open and airy. When needed, it becomes a drop zone, baking area, desk or even a game night centre-piece.” ― Dina Smith, professional organiser at Closet Therapy with Dina
Tidy pillows and blankets
“I fluff and fix pillows and cushions on the couch before bed.” ― Phillip

“I neatly fold throws on the couch and fluff pillows. Less than a minute, and the living room feels refreshed.” ― Zaslow
Wash and put away the dishes
“I always make sure that all of the dishes are clean before I go to sleep. That way, when I go in to make my coffee each morning, I am greeted by a clean, calm space.” ― Nelson

“I often laugh and tell people that the major characteristic of living an organised life is frequently walking around and putting things away. I do this continually all day long, and particularly when I finish using a space. For example, after eating, I put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, return the food containers to the pantry or fridge, throw out any trash, and push in my chair.” ― Turner

“Sometimes I leave dirty dishes but never without soaking them in water. I think it’s OK to leave a few dirty dishes at night, but I always make sure to leave them soaking in water. There’s nothing more frustrating than wasting time scraping off food scraps when it can be so easily avoided.” ― Weinstock
Clean out bags
“I always empty my bag at the end of the day and then prepare it for the next day. I throw away any garbage, wash food containers, and make sure the items I need for the following day are packed and ready to go. This daily practice saves me a ton of time the following morning and keeps my bag clear of becoming a garbage disposal ― I’ve seen lots of those in my work with clients.” ― Weinstock

“I put my keys back in my purse. There’s a lot that’s uncertain in life. It’s comforting to always know where your keys are! And extremely frustrating when you have to spend time looking for them.” ― Zaslow
Organise papers
“I stack papers neatly if they can’t be filed or discarded right away and must remain in plain sight.” ― Rogers

“I look at my papers every day, so bills, RSVPs, important messages don’t get ignored. I have a proven system for paper organisation!” ― Naik
Wash face masks
“For the past year I’ve added these steps: Wash my hands and hang up my mask to be washed later. I wash masks so they’re clean and ready for tomorrow.” ― Zaslow
Put items where they belong
“Most of my ‘tidy tasks’ happen through the day and it’s all about putting away what I take out and use as I finish using it. At the very end of the day, I do one final sweep to clear my desk, the sofa, the kitchen counters. My rule: If I take it out, I have to put it back.” ― Regina Lark, professional organiser at A Clear Path

“At night, I corral my remote controls to the centre of the family room table, fold and hang the blanket on the back of the chair, and straighten the pillows. The goal for me is to leave a space the way I want it to be when I return. This means not only looking tidy, but more importantly in such a state that it is ready to function. I rarely leave a room without making sure the surfaces are clear and my supplies are tucked away exactly where I have decided they will live.” ― Turner

“I return any activity items ― work related, hobby related, etc ― to their proper zones in the home and/or proper containers each night before bed.” ― Kellie Powell, lead professional organiser and COO of Dexterous Organising

“Put things away in their designated place when you’re done using them. Make sure that there is easy access to things that are used frequently. Having to pull out multiple things to reach something at the back increases the chances that it won’t all be put away properly or at all.” ― Rogers
Keep shoes in the entryway
“I maintain a shoe-free home. The rule of thumb is, ‘If you are willing to mop, you can feel free to wear your shoes inside.’ Removing shoes cuts down on cleaning, mopping, vacuuming, and lowers the number of germs and bacteria in the home. It also shifts your mood and mindset from outside to ‘home.’” ― Smith

“I tidy the entry area ― shoes away, coats and accessories hung or put away, etc.” ― Phillip
Clean one specific area
“Cleaning precedes organising in most cases, and they go hand in hand. So I try to thoroughly clean one area of my home every day. This is so much easier than having to set aside a whole lot of time to do major cleaning for the entire home. ... I pick an area and try to tidy up with a timer. No more than 5 minutes, but I try to be consistent. When you take baby steps at a time with organising, it makes it more enjoyable and will provide the momentum needed to keep going as opposed to taking on too much at once and then not going back because it felt gruelling. I even recommend setting a timer for organising, like 5 or 10 minutes and stopping when the timer goes off. The important thing is to do the little things each day.” ― Naik
Discard trash and unwanted items
“When something becomes trash, put it in the trash. It sounds simple, but debris adds to visual and physical clutter. Staying on top of things that need to be discarded is a great way to keep things tidy. One tip is to keep a shopping bag for donation in your closet. When you notice something needs to be donated you have a place for it. When it gets full, take it out and open another bag.” ― Smith

“I purge a clothing item if I try it on and it’s not a great fit for me. Putting it back in the drawer is only leaving me to make the same decision in the future.” ― Aron
Remove things from the floor
“I adhere to the rule that the floor is not for storage. At the end of the day, I do a walk through of my home to pick up and put away anything that might have been placed on the floor.” ― Nelson
Organise the desk
“When I’m at my desk, I tend to work messy! Throughout the day I put pens, pencils and markers back in the (not too full!) pen cup on my desk. This is surprisingly satisfying! It’s like a mini break that instantly creates some clear space and helps me focus.” ― Zaslow
Do anything that takes less than five minutes
“Anything that takes less than five minutes to complete, I do it right away. Think about the time it takes you to add it to your to-do list and the action could be almost completed in that time!” ― Julie Naylon, professional organiser at No Wire Hangers
Prepare for the next day
“I prepare for the next day ― plan what I’m going to wear, what I need to take with me when I leave the house, and what I will eat. Thinking about this ahead of time means that I’m rarely caught unprepared.” ― Reich

“Before going to bed I make sure everything is ready to start the next day. This could include doing the dishes and making sure the kitchen is clean.” ― Naylon

“I keep a notebook of errands and to-do items instead of lots of little scraps of paper. One cohesive notebook focuses my brain and allows me to refer back to past tasks from previous days if I need to.” ― Aron

Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.
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