As summer fun comes to a close, Americans are getting ready to send their kids back to school and are falling back into their normal routines. While spring is typically known for cleaning, a recent survey by SpareFoot.com found that nearly half (45 percent) of Americans believe fall is the best time to get organized – making for a more seamless transition back to the grind.

Temporary Tidiness

While 22 percent of Americans cite September as the best month to get organized, that reorganization doesn’t seem to last long. Thirty-nine percent of Americans say that less than one week after summer break they’re disorganized again.

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Millenials are the worst offenders – 46 percent of Millennials admit they’re back to their disorganized ways in less than a week compared to 34 percent of Gen Xers and 36 percent of Boomers.

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Hoarding Habits

Many Americans think of reorganization with an, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude, shifting their stuff to parts of the house where they’re less likely to come across it in their daily routine. These storing habits have led to some unruly results, with nearly half of Americans with garages (47 percent) admitting there have been times when they couldn’t even park their car in their garage because there was too much stuff. This problem only grows more severe when children are added into the mix, with 60 percent of parents admitting they’ve been unable to park their car in the garage due to their overflowing belongings.

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Garages included, there are many places in the home that turn into natural places for clutter to gather. On average, Americans have three areas in their homes that have become substitute “storage units” – meaning areas primarily used for storing items.

“Americans often face what I call a ‘transitional challenge’ when needing to get reorganized after summer. The task becomes more complex because you often don’t realize you’ve acquired too many items,” said Professional Organizer Danielle Wurth, founder of Phoenix organizing solutions company Wurth Organizing. “We know we need to clear out clutter and get our households in order, but the task of navigating through the excess items and deciding what can stay or go can be overwhelming.”

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Wake-Up Time

With everything in its place, waking up and getting out the door should be easy… right? Unfortunately not according to most American parents. When the school year starts, 80 percent of parents feel it takes them longer to get ready in the morning than during the summer. And, nearly one in three (31 percent) feel it takes more than 20 minutes longer. When you have kids, back to school routines can make mornings stressful, making organization key to create more productive mornings.

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Back-to-the-Grind Tips for Success

To help you fall back into your routine this fall, here are some quick, helpful tips:

  • Post a Daily Routine: Designate a location to post a daily to-do list – helping your children establish routines for homework, reading and bedtime.
  • Set Up Storage Space for Gear: To eliminate morning chaos, designate a location for book bags, lunch boxes and shoes. Decorative hooks and colorful cubbyholes work well for storing items in convenient locations for your kids.
  • Label, Label, Label: Label boxes, bins and even your time. This helps both adults and kids manage to-do lists better.
  • Clean as You Go: Straighten up your kitchen while cooking, hang up clothes when you change and put supplies back as soon as you’re done with them. This will save you hours later.
  • Prepare food the night before: Make breakfast and prepare lunches the night before, whenever possible. Throwing together breakfast on the go and organizing lunches for the whole family can make a busy morning even more overwhelming.

To access the full study results, read tips on decluttering, organization, and getting back into the fall grind, and more, check out the following links:

About SpareFoot

SpareFoot is the largest marketplace for storage, making it simpler to move and store your stuff. Our website lets you compare the most storage options nationwide and pick the best solution for your needs, whether it’s traditional self-storage or Full-Service Storage. With the most up-to-date information on storage available, SpareFoot makes finding and reserving storage the easiest thing to cross off your to-do list.

Methodological Notes:

The SpareFoot “Back to the Grind” Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,019 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+ between July 15th and 21st, 2016, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population ages 18+.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points in the nationally representative audience from the results that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the samples.

Jodi Holzband
  • http://www.janetbarclay.com/ Janet Barclay

    I’m not sure when it started for me, but I’ve long considered fall a more practical time to develop new routines than January. Maybe because our routines are already shifting, so it’s a bit easier than just a random date in the middle of winter.

  • Stephanie

    I like this approach- Breaking it down with generational demographics and statistics!

  • Rob_Steinman

    Amazing site, congrats God bless you!