I am a huge believer in organizing habits. An organizing habit is ways in which you keep things organized by doing them over and over. Think of it like when you bring in the mail. Where does that mail go? Do you deal with it right away or do you let it pile up? Do you have a plan for tackling it daily? Weekly? Wait until it is all over before you look at it?
If you find yourself with a habit like dealing with mail daily or weekly, then you have created an organizing habit that works for you. If you find that you leave the mail to pile up and get overwhelmed by the clutter, then your organizing habit isn’t working for yourself. That is where you can tweak your habits.
Everyone has habits. The question is are those organizing habits life-changing or are they causing you overwhelm. I am going to share 10 organizing habits that can totally change your life and help you feel more organized!
It Starts When You Wake Up
Making your bed is the probably the best life-changing organizing habit you can do each day. Now why would making a bed be such a big habit to start with? Because making your bed tells your body that it is not time to start the day. Gretchen Rubin, researcher on how outer order creates inner calm, found that making the bed makes you happier throughout the day. So why not start with making the bed as an organizing habit to help you find joy in your day?!?!
Make A Plan The Night Before
Another organizing habit to start is to make a plan the night before. This way you don’t have to think about all the things you should be doing, and you can just start doing those things. Every night, write down your 3 most important tasks for the day. Becoming Minimalists suggest that by picking 3 things you are actually going to go more accomplished. I also found that when you plan the night before, you aren’t spending quality time thinking about what those 3 things should be. You can actually get started and do them when you are planned. I start by looking at my to do list for the week. Then I pick the 3 most pressing things to do the following day. When I wake up, I try to get one of those tasks accomplished so I am only left with 2 more pressing tasks. If I have more time, I can knock off a few more items on my to do list. But if I don’t, I know I got everything that was pressing accomplished for the day because I planned for it the night before.
Give Everything A Place
Now this isn’t a quick project, but you should give everything in your home a designated place. That means all the cooking items should have a spot. All the papers should be stored in one space. The storage area should have space for things. Once everything has a spot in your home, you can totally keep up with that organizing habit. Why? Because you don’t have to think about where things go. They have a spot already. You just have to put away those items into areas they belong.
Not sure where to start? No worries! I got some tips to help:
Declutter As You Go
Another organizing habit I have found so life-changing is to declutter your stuff as you go about your day. Each day as you make meals, play with the kids, and get dressed, do a quick scan of your stuff. If something sticks out that doesn’t belong or no longer makes you happy, then declutter it. I find this method really helpful with clothing. I have a bag in my closet, and do the same for clients. When they try on something and it doesn’t fit/they don’t like it/broken/etc. they can put that piece of clothing in the bag to donate. Right then and there. By removing things as you are in that space, you are more likely to declutter items that truly no longer serve you. Since you are in that space, you know what kitchen gadgets you continuously have to push aside to get to the ones you actually use. You know what clothes you always wear. So when you pass by a piece of clothing or kitchen item, you can take note and finally declutter them for good. This way you don’t have to do a big declutter since you are doing it daily.
Keep Things Simple
Whenever you overcomplicate something, you never keep up with it. So don’t do that with organizing. Make everything easy. I love using trays to help keep papers from spilling all over the desk. Simply place the papers in the tray and you have all your papers magically contained. If everyone in the house was dumping shoes in one spot of the house, add a laundry basket to collect the shoes. Then no one will have to trip over things when coming in the house because of the shoe situation. When you create simple solutions for keeping things organized, you are setting yourself up with helpful habits that will last.
Give Yourself Time Limits
With every task you have to set time limits for both when you want the task completed and how long the task should take. The reason being is that when you set those limits you are more likely to get that task completed. Forbes suggests that you can manipulate time when you set time limits for your tasks. Which proves that you can actually accomplish more when you set time limits.
To figure out how to do that, I start by setting deadlines for projects to be completed. Once I set that deadline, I will break up the tasks I need to complete the project. Each task gets a rough idea of how long it may take to complete. Most people tend to over estimate how long an organizing task may take. Which will work out in your favor because you will complete that task well ahead of how much time you planned. So once you figured out a rough idea of times, schedule them into your day. Maybe select one task to be included in your top 3 for the day. Then you can make progress by your deadline.
Another organizing habit that will help you is to delegate tasks that aren’t working for you. To determine what tasks aren’t working for you, make a list of things that you want to accomplish but haven’t yet completed. For myself, I always brush off any task that has to do with cleaning or cooking. I find that I don’t enjoy those tasks so I don’t plan for meals or spend time cleaning. So I have decided to delegate them. I have hired a cleaning lady to help me with cleaning our house. And I found a meal delivery service that will plan out meals so I just have to cook them. Both of these are examples of delegation. If you are finding you aren’t completing an organizing task, hire a professional organizer to help you. It is far better to delegate and get the task completed than allowing it to hang over your head, unfinished.
Use Rewards For Motivation
Whenever I complete a task, I reward myself with something. It mostly is time of social media or watching a television show in the middle of the day. Whatever that reward may be, you need to use it to help you keep doing what you are doing. When you use rewards to keep you motivated on tasks that you really don’t want to do, you are more likely to do them because of the reward you assigned to it.
So create rewards for a few unwanted tasks. Maybe you get to open a bottle of expensive wine when you clear out your kitchen. Or buy yourself that purse you have been eyeing after you declutter out your closet. Whatever it is, give yourself a reward for a job well done.
Daily gratitude is another organizing habit that can be done easily. Just get a notebook and write down one thing you are grateful for that day. By doing this daily, you end up changing your focus and outlook into that of gratitude. You find that you are thankful you had money to buy this item. You are grateful you can donate something to someone in need. This shift in thinking is a fantastic habit to instill in everyone in the family. Just make sure you do it daily, and you will see a shift in your outlook on all the stuff you have in your home.
Celebrate Small Wins
Small wins are anything that you do that moves the needle forward. These could be organizing a junk drawer, cleaning out your fridge, putting laces in your kids shoes. No matter how small, these wins are something to celebrate. Because you made the choice to do something. You made the decision to stop sitting on something, and actually doing something about it.
Now it is your turn to start making these organizing habits a reality in your life. Start with making your bed every day, daily gratitude, celebrating small wins, and planning your day the night before. Then move up to things like giving yourself time limits on tasks, assigning rewards, and giving everything a spot in your home.