8 Secrets to Staying Organized Once & For All
Unfortunately, getting your home organized is not something you do and it stays done. It’s an ongoing process. Here are eight secrets to getting organized and staying organized.
1. Figure out your top organizing priorities.
Take stock of your home, room by room, by identifying the spots that are most in need of organizing. Simply stand in the center of a room and let your eyes find the problem areas where clutter accumulates. Note them and make it your plan to get those spaces under control first.
2. List your organizing goals.
Take your organizing tasks and turn them into a list of written goals. Not only does the physical act of writing set the goal into your subconscious, it’s nice to have a way to gauge your progress as you go about completing the project. Check off those items on your list as you complete them and feel empowered.
3. Set due dates.
Because many of us start strong but have trouble making it to the finish line on larger projects, at the very minimum figure out a reasonable due date for your project and set up a few key milestones to meet along the way. It’s important that you have something concrete to work towards. However, to reinforce the goal, it’s ideal to set up due dates for each step, along with the end date for the project. And to further increase motivation, try incorporating an important event or end-of-project party at your house close to your deadline so that making that goal is a top priority.
4. Break big tasks down to mini-projects.
Simplify a big project and make it easier to manage by breaking it down into smaller bites you can accomplish in 15-60 minutes. Keep the list specific and targeted so you don’t get overwhelmed by decision making. For instance, one mini-project might be sorting clothing by type, so all you would have to focus on is getting through that task, leaving further steps to another work session.
5. Edit your clutter.
There is no point in deciding where to store something if you don’t really need it in the first place. An effective approach to decluttering is to divide your rooms into a series of smaller chunks. For instance, instead of organizing an entire office, try focusing on a desk drawer or a shelf at a time. Prioritize your time to include organizing by scheduling decluttering sessions with yourself.
6. Employ tried and true storage strategies.
After you’ve made it past the decluttering, it’s time to store the stuff that made the cut. There are many excellent strategies out there, including the SIMPLE method developed by professional organizer Kathy Jenkins. This method removes overthinking and helps structure the process of decision making that burns people out. Here’s how it goes:
- S – Sort like with like.
- I – Identify what you want to keep.
- M – Make a home for it.
- P – Put it into containers.
- L – Label it.
- E – Establish a routine.
7. Incorporate organization into your daily routine.
Following through and accomplishing a major decluttering and reorganization project is a huge deal. That’s why you should keep the momentum going by making it a habit. This does not have to be complicated — in fact simplicity is best, such as taking care of the mail daily when you come home, or having a house rule that items should be put away after use.
8. Celebrate your new skills.
Once your organizing goal is met, take pictures and share your experience. Inspire yourself and others. Keep the photos handy for when a reminder is needed of how amazing organization looks and feels.