7 Smart Organizing Habits to Embrace in 2023, Says a Pro

Organized linen closet.

@joanna_organize / Instagram

We've been there: scanning a pantry and swearing there’s a can of cream of mushroom soup in there somewhere. Between overflowing linen closets, playrooms that look like a tornado whipped through them, and piles (and piles) of junk mail, a home of any size and style can quickly become overwhelmed with stuff.

We’re calling it: 2023 is the year to (finally) get organized. With just a few easy-to-embrace organizing habits, you can feel calmer, cleaner, and more in control of what comes in and out of your home. To help, we turned to Margaret Ellison, owner of Sunday Plans, a boutique home-organizing company based in Charleston, South Carolina, for her favorite organizing tips to embrace in 2023.  

Read on for seven easy habits you can start today. 

Meet the Expert

Margaret Ellison is the owner of Sunday Plans, a boutique home organizing company that provides customized systems to support your family.

  • 01 of 07

    Say No to Samples

    7 Organizing Habits to Embrace in 2023, Says a Pro

    Sunday Plans

    “The easiest way to stay organized is to keep extra stuff from coming into our homes,” Ellison says. That includes freebies, like makeup samples in a shade you’ll never wear, or yet another free company water bottle.

    “Just today, I was shopping online for a comforter, and noticed at the checkout that the store had added a free tote,” Ellison says. “That's nice in theory, but the amount of branded totes I see in my clients' homes is out of control. Be on the lookout for those freebies and say no—at the dentist's office, in online beauty stores, anywhere."

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  • 02 of 07

    Sort Mail and Packages Daily

    7 Organizing Habits to Embrace in 2023, Says a Pro

    Becca Interiors

    Say goodbye to that ever-present pile of Amazon packages in your entryway or the junk mail that accumulates on your dining room table. Instead, get in the habit of sorting your mail and packages every single day.

    “This is such a simple tip, but it's amazing how much more organized you will feel if you stay on top of your mail,” Ellison says. 

    She recommends setting aside designated time—like when you get home from work, for instance—to check your mailbox. Immediately recycle anything you don’t need, and immediately respond to invitations or pay bills. As for packages, open them immediately and break down the boxes right then and there.

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  • 03 of 07

    Set Up a Donation Box

    7 Organizing Habits to Embrace in 2023, Says a Pro

    Sarah Elliott for Chango & Co.

    Chances are, there are plenty of items in your house that you no longer need. By keeping a donation box in a convenient spot, you’ll be encouraged to consistently add to it. Not only will you feel more organized, but those items will find a better home too. 

    “If you come across a kitchen gadget you haven't used in months or years, drop it into your designated donation box,” Ellison says. “Toys your kids are no longer into? Drop them in the donation box. Have the box somewhere near your doorway, and when it's full, put it in the car and drop it off at a donation spot."

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  • 04 of 07

    Do a Fridge Scan Before Grocery Shopping

    7 Organizing Habits to Embrace in 2023, Says a Pro

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    No more wandering aimlessly in the produce section wondering if you already have broccoli rabe at home.

    “There's nothing worse than getting home from a productive grocery trip only to have minimal room in the fridge,” Ellison says. “Solution: before you head to the grocery store, do a quick scan of the fridge. Look for any ingredients past their prime—last week's cilantro, salad dressing that's expired—and toss them.”


    Not only will this quick and easy organization tip make unpacking new groceries more enjoyable, since you know you’ll have the fridge space, but you’ll save money and food waste too.

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  • 05 of 07

    Automate Your Recurring Purchases

    7 Organizing Habits to Embrace in 2023, Says a Pro

    Sunday Plans

    When Ellison found herself repeatedly needing to buy items like vitamins, skincare, paper towels, and cleaning products, she knew there had to be an easier way.

    “You can get on a subscription basis for anything now, so set these recurring purchases up and check it off your list for good,” she says. Other items to add automate: laundry detergent, cat litter, skincare products, toilet paper, or all of the above.

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  • 06 of 07

    Go Uniform with Basics

    7 Organizing Habits to Embrace in 2023, Says a Pro

    Chad Mellon for Lindye Galloway Design Studio + Shop

    Ellison admits this tip raises some people’s eyebrows, but she swears it has greatly simplified her laundry routine. Parents, take note. 

    “Each member of my household has one brand and color of socks and one brand and color of underwear,” she says. “This is great for kids, especially if you have some who are very close in age and size. Pick one color socks for one, another for the other, and never worry about which socks go in which drawer again.”

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  • 07 of 07

    Do a Linen Closet Assessment

    7 Organizing Habits to Embrace in 2023, Says a Pro

    @joanna_organize / Instagram

    “Linen closets are one of the places in homes where things go to die,” Ellison says. To combat that, she suggests taking stock of your linens once a year. Anything more than two sets of sheets per bed is excessive, unless you live in a climate with extreme temperature shifts. Take stock of your bath towels too, retiring the raggedy ones and replacing entire sets every three years. 

    “Having a slimmed down, higher quality set of linens will be much easier to keep organized, and you'll know immediately if something is missing or needs to be replaced,” Ellison says.