Have you always dreamed of being a naturally organized person? Well, nature or nurture, it's not impossible to train even the most un-organized of folks to create homes where everything's in its place (most of the time). But since building habits is a long process, spend your energy wisely. Invest your time in forming these five home habits.
1. Write everything down and be a "list" person
You don't have to have highly detailed spreadsheets you spend hours a night coordinating, but try and be a step above jotting a few items on the back of a napkin. Creating lists that not only let you know what tasks need completing — but also tell you what supplies/tools you need to do them — is a great first step in never forgetting to change your air conditioner filter or steam clean the carpet. Digital or analog, it's about getting it out of your head and in front of your eyes so you can take action.
2. Find a spot for EVERYTHING (customize and label if you need to)
Want to be more successful with being organized? Don't have a general idea of where things go. Look at every object you own, and find an exact place where it lives. If you need to customize your storage to have more compartments or shelves so you have more spots for things, do it.
Always Be Putting Things Back in Place. There is no "oh I'll file that later." If you move from room-to-room, grab something that doesn't belong and put it where it's supposed to go. Bring your rooms back to reset mode each night. You don't have to take a ruler to the space between objects on your storage shelves, but take the extra effort to put items all the way back to where they live.
4. Never put things on horizontal surfaces, ever.
(And while you're at it, stop keeping baskets and boxes around for catching "clutter," too.) This an extreme viewpoint, but if you always find yourself drowning in piles of things on your counters and tabletops, you might consider declaring your horizontal surfaces off-limits for stuff (or at least be extra vigilant with ABPTBIP).
5. Don't let it in, and regularly look for opportunities to get stuff out
We've said this before, but it bears repeating. Just don't bring stuff you don't need or really want into your home in the first place. And always be looking for opportunities to declutter (garage sales are a great thing since you can get money for some of your stuff) — in fact consider making it a task you regularly tackle, even writing it down in your calendar to come back to every few months.
What do you think are the most important habits to tackle if you want to be a more organized person?
- Re-edited from a post originally published 8.23.2014 - CM