#1 tip for getting organized

#1 Tip to Stay Organized At Home

 

Only 1 Tip?


image of bottles with the word home spelled out

Stay Organized At Home


Unfortunately, we all have habits, and unfortunately, they are often created from laziness and not paying attention to our behavior, myself included. But how can we stay organized at home?

We walk in the house and plop down the mail, keys, and whatever else we happen to bring home from work, even though we know that is not where those things go, and we will have to go back, pick them up, and put them someplace else before we go to bed.

While it may seem like I am making a big deal out of nothing, if you think about how many times we do these types of small habits repeatedly every day, we may be wasting more of our precious time than we think.

We take a shower and throw our dirty clothes on the floor, or we finish our shower and leave the towel lying wherever we changed gears.

Now you may be thinking, “duh,” of course, that is the case. What I am thinking is, that is why we often live in clutter and messes. Because each time we leave something where it does not go, we eventually have to go back, pick it up, and put it where it does go. 

Throughout a day, think about how many times we do this until the point comes where we feel we have to stop everything and clean up the trail of messes we left for ourselves.

We may even wonder how things became so messy in the first place, yet often we start cleaning without giving too much thought to how or why and deal with it.


cluttered shelves

 

Space too small or too much stuff?

It all fit nice and neat in the beginning! But as we know, things can quickly grow into a big mess.

 

 


It Grows Like A Weed


Perhaps we do not clean it all up, and every day the stuff and clutter build until we finally throw our hands up and give in to the uncomfortable feelings that come with disorganization and clutter. Add several more family members are doing the same thing, and before long, we have what seems to be a monumental task to clean up.

We may try and tune it out, but unfortunately, for some, they will develop feelings of guilt and feeling that they are somehow not good at keeping things organized and are failing. Who needs that?

image of neat, organized bedroom

If We no longer feel we have any control to keep our things organized, and I suspect being organized is how most of us prefer to live our lives at home and work, it may have little to do with your organizing skills and more to do with your habits.

The bad part is that until we stop and realize why we keep having issues with keeping down the clutter and staying organized and spending so much time and effort trying to get there, it’s doubtful that we will ever get to the place that we want to be.

The good part is we can change this. So the first “habit” that we need to start doing and can do right away do every single time, and will have a significant impact on our ability to get and stay organized is this…


PUT THINGS WHERE THEY GO THE FIRST TIME AND NEVER PUT THEM SOMEPLACE THAT YOU KNOW THEY DO NOT BELONG


Again, I know this may sound overly simple, but that is because it is simple. Simple may not mean easy necessarily if we are not in the habit of doing this, so I am not saying it isn’t hard to make the change.

organized bedroom and closet

Any changes we make in life are usually somewhat tricky initially, but once the new habit goes into autopilot, we no longer even have to think about it.

If you are middle-aged like I am, making any change to how you do things is uncomfortable and takes some effort.

At this age, habits become set in stone in our subconscious mind, and any deviation from them will sound the “what are you doing” alarm from the sub-police. ( not everyone can give such qualified scientific descriptions as I hope I didn’t lose anyone there, ha.)


Mama Just Knows How to Do Things


My mom was the absolute best at putting up and cleaning up as she went about her day. We never had big fancy houses or expensive furniture, yet I honestly cannot remember when the house was a mess, or things were out of place.

Having two rowdy boys who played all over the house, along with neighborhood kids, created the potential for disaster daily.

scarecrow with sarcastic expression
Your mama ever give you that look?

But the rules were clear in my home (make a mess, and you die, joking). You could play and make a mess, but you didn’t get up and walk away and leave it that way.

And yes, my mom had eyes in the back of her head the same as yours, and I could have one foot out the door and hear her voice coming from the other side of the house, “did you boys clean up your mess. ”

Oh, the piercing of the heart as the neighborhood football game would be starting in mere seconds, and it was of vital importance that I not be late for that function.

So after I cleaned up the mess and arrived late to the game, I learned two lessons that were far better and more important than our 3rd game of the day.

First, unless it is a real emergency, you will not sneak out and leave a mess at my home. Secondly, I am responsible for the messes I make and for putting things where they go.

I can’t remember for sure, but I think my brother was not so sharp and elected to take the beatings rather than clean up.

When we think about the things we do and what the results are of our actions, big and small, we can all find things to improve on, save ourselves some time and possibly money.

minimalistic organized living room


A Better Way To Go


Here is a better scenario from the first example we had. You walk in the door, open the drawer on the table just inside the door, place your keys in the tray inside the drawer, close the drawer.

Quickly scan the mail, throw away the junk (95%) immediately into the trash can, place the vital letter at your desk or whoever you pay bills, etc. In the specific box or mail organizer you have.

You put your coat and hat on the coat rack, your lunch box in the kitchen where it will be when you need it to make your lunch for tomorrow.

And you tailor a routine for your life and what you come walking through the door with each day and be deliberate about how you go about even the small, simple things in life, and it will make a difference in the end.

piles of trash in vacant home

Now, granted, this may require you to define a place for these things, but once you do that and have a specific area where you want your items to go, forgetting will likely not be the problem.

Not listening to yourself when you walk in the door the next time and start to flop stuff down, ignoring your mind when it nudges you and reminds you that you are putting that in the wrong place, will most likely be your biggest challenge to overcome

If you will force yourself, and you can, to listen to your instructions the first time or two, you will be well on your way to developing new habits.

Now, because of these new habits that you have, which by the way require less energy than before you had them, you may find that you don’t have to rush around trying to pick everything up like the world is coming to an end every time you have a company or before you go to bed at night.

It is funny because many of us had parents, usually, moms, that throughout our childhood told us to put things up, clean our room, don’t leave that there, etc. Well, they were right.


Now I have used over 1400 words to say one straightforward thing


And hopefully, drive it home to where you can never forget it for as long as you live.

And for the advanced students, never leave home with a mess behind and walk away, saving it for another time or person to clean up later.

Using something you need, then putting it up is not complicated; we all get lazy.

Unless you are a hoarder and in such extreme circumstances, even this concept will only take you so far. If that is something you are facing, then reaching out for some assistance would be wise and helpful. There is no shame whatsoever in asking for help.

If any of us fell and broke our arm, we would need the help of a doctor. So, should the person with a broken arm feel embarrassed that they had to get some help?

I would hope not, and if you have any disorder, seek professional help and do not feel bad about it. You can find some organizations in the leading website directory on this website in the “Services” category to help you or direct you to the right place.

I hope you take this simple tip and challenge yourself to pay attention to your daily habits to see how many times you set things down and have to go back and pick them up again and put them where they go. And I will do the same, although being mindful of this has really helped me a lot lately, and I think it can for you as well.

Thank you for your time,

Michael

 

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