The Perfect Home – or Just a Home?

On of my 10 secrets to getting and staying organized was to find a home for everything.  But I realized that many times you are trying to find the ‘perfect’ home.  Where does it make the most sense?  Is that really the best place for it?  I would say it doesn’t really mater WHERE the home is as long it is the same place you put the item EVERY single time.  The other day I went to use something and realized I keep it in the cupboard above the refrigerator.  Where does it really belong? >> In the office!  Yet for 10+ years I have   always kept it in that cupboard.  Even though it makes      absolutely no sense at all, it works.  It is the home I use every time and know where to look for it there.  Don’t worry so much about the perfect place to put things, but rather that you make it habit to use that home every time.

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10 Secrets to Getting and Staying Organized

10 Secrets to Getting and Staying Organized:

 1: Have a home for everything

2: Put things back– create the habit

3: Set limits– 1 in 1 out

4: Contain items

5: Small steps = large gains

6: Keep 1 small spot organized at all times

7: Do it NOW!

8: Follow through completely, every time

9: Reward yourself

10: Make adjustments as needed

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#10: Make Adjustments as Needed

The key to getting and staying organized is to realize that clutter, paper, emails, laundry and the like will always be there.  Your system will often need updating and readjusting.  But if you follow the previous 9 steps you will have to less of that to do in the long run. Organizing isn’t a “once and done”   situation unfortunately.  Don’t feel unsuccessful if things aren’t working, realize instead that you need to tweak something .  If you follow the 10 Secrets, continue to adjust your system and think positive I know you can get and stay organized.  It is possible for anyone this I know for sure!

#9: Reward Yourself

This is my favorite secret to getting and staying  organized.  If you spend all day, or even 30 minutes, organizing and it is a miserable experience you won’t want to do it again.  But after your hard work, if you reward yourself, you are more likely to want to do it again.  Make organizing a positive experience!   Reward yourself with something fun– a walk, a bath, reading a book, phone call with friends, new pair of shoes, ice cream– whatever makes you happy!

#8: Follow Through Completely

How many times have you gotten to the end of a    project or task and not completed it all the way?  Often times we get close to done and then stop, but we don’t seem to finish all the way.  Make it your goal this week to finish everything completely!  It is the little bits and pieces of projects just hanging out that tend to add the most stress to our organizing.  Don’t start   anything new until you have finished the current task completely.  Even if it means waiting to hear back from someone, running to the store or putting in the extra time.  You will feel so much better when you know the task is done all the way!

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#7: Do it NOW!

Later never comes.  We put off even the smallest of tasks for “later” and then it becomes a daunting duty.  Simply tackling the task right away makes it much easier in the long run.  Put that item away, read and respond to that email, make a decision now rather than later.  What are you waiting for?  Do it NOW! 

**    I personally think this is the KEY to getting

and staying organized

#6: Keep 1 Small Spot Organized- Always

Find a spot in your home or office and organize it.  Now make it your life’s mission to keep that one small spot clean and organized at all times.  Don’t worry about anywhere else, just that one spot.  You know what happens?  You gain confidence and feel successful and that makes you want to organize another area.  Remember our last tip: small steps equal large gains.  Don’t feel you have to keep an entire area organized> too much pressure.  Just work on that one spot until you have the skills, the time and the success.  Then move to another spot when you know you can maintain.  And as your organizing remember the other tips—having a home, creating the habit, set limits, contain items, etc.  You can do it I know you can, just focus on that one small spot~

#5: Small Steps = Large Gains

“Today I am going to organized the garage”- what a huge undertaking that will be!  Rather than looking at the entire area or project as a whole, break it up into smaller sections.  Time yourself for 30 minutes– when you are done: stop.  Or pick just one drawer or one box to go through– then stop.  Many of us feel if we don’t complete the entire project we have failed> set yourself up for success by scheduling time each day/week to do part of the project.  As you complete the sections you will feel success and want to keep going. There is no organizing rule that says you have to do everything in one day.  Smaller, more manageable   sections will be easier to commit to and easier to finish.  

What small area will you work on today?

#4: Contain Items as Much as Possible

There is an entire store based in this concept: The Container Store!  Even a junk drawer can look better if you use simple drawer organizers to divide the stuff inside.  Containing items makes them easier to find, easier to access and easier to label.  Remember to choose a container that works for your space, is easy to access and that you like.  Don’t just buy a container because it is on sale or looks pretty.  It needs to     function in your space for the purpose you have in mind.  Remember to measure your space and the items you need to store inside before you go to the store.  And remember to leave room in the container for more items.

#3: Set Limits- 1 in 1 out

Many of you have seen the shows about Hoarding and thought you are not that bad.  But trust me, if you continue to bring items into your home/office and don’t take anything out…. soon you will have a gigantic mess.  BEFORE you purchase items– set limits for how many you will keep in your space.  Stick to these limits.  This includes paper– when you put something in the file, take the old one out.  Remember you want on the most current, most used, most loved items in your space.  Setting limits will help you and others in your space to know the rules. Try getting rid of an item each time you bring a new one in > 1 in 1 out.