Habits are behavioral routines that occur subconsciously. One way to remove a bad habit is to eliminate it’s triggers (change your routine) or add a reminder to do things differently (a bright post it note to yourself). Most homes I work in have one thing in common. Items are placed in many different places around the home until there is a reason to clean up, (like a party). Then items are scooped up in any available container and put in any available space until….? Does this sound familiar? If it does, you have a habit of putting things down and leaving them wherever they land. Most all disorganization stems from this very thing.
Each organized person I know has developed habits that result in a clutter-free home. Here are a few to consider for yourself:
• Put things away as soon as you get home. When you bring something into your home whether it be groceries or anything else you have acquired take the items out of the bag and put them in their proper place. If an item doesn’t yet have an official home, put it in the room where it will be used. Eventually you will have organization just by developing this simple routine.
• Group like things together. Organized people have the habit of keeping likes with likes. When you do this it’s very easy to keep track of what and how much you have. Start doing this in small steps. For example: choose a place you are going to keep something and then whenever you find a like item in a different place you can start to group it in it’s new home.
• Use labels. Organized people use clearly labeled containers that are easily identified. Start organizing your home by getting rid of all the cardboard boxes and paper bags you are using as containers and replace them with clear bins. You can do this a little at a time. As you swap containers, purge any unwanted items.
• Throw away or recycle unwanted paper immediately. Pitch your junk mail before it hits a hard surface in your home. Throw away envelopes and any junk paper that come with your bills or other correspondence. Have a stapler on hand to connect anything with more than one page. Pare down to just the essential paper.
• Clear clutter on a continual basis: Organized people have the habit of letting go of excess on a continual basis. This doesn’t mean that they don’t live in abundance. It simply means that they don’t wait for one day to go through the house and decide what to donate-they have a donation receptacle handy and they do it continuously. They have a natural eye for elimination and usually don’t like the look of visual clutter.
If you incorporate these five habits you will be on your way to an organized life. If you start to group things together, put things away in the room where they are used, donate often and take the phrase ‘I’ll do it later’ out of your vocabulary you will be surprised at the change in your home this time next year.