Got Organized? How Do You Keep It That Way?

An Organized Lifestyle

Whether you used a professional organizer or got some DIY help, the transition from an organized space to an organized lifestyle requires maintenance.  Follow these 5 tips for maintaining your blissful space.

1.       Keep Your Goals in Mind.  There was something that motivated you to get organized.  You may have missed an appointment one too many times.  Perhaps your kids received a warning at school for tardiness.  Maybe you were just fed up with coming into your home and feeling so stressed you want to turn around and go.  Whether your goal is to keep your calendar under control, your family on-time or feelings of serenity in your home, write it down and keep it as a visible reminder for why the extra effort is worth the result.

2.       Multi-task.  While multi-tasking in the office is not always the most productive, multitasking at home will keep you organized.  Fold laundry while watching TV, plan out the week’s meals while tidying the pantry, bring something with you every time you go upstairs – laundry, paperwork that needs to get filed in the office, medicines that need to go in the kids’ bathroom etc. 

One of the responsibilities my toddlers have is to bring their plate, cup and utensils to the sink after they finish eating.  I notice they naturally want to take three trips to the sink to accomplish this chore.  I have had to teach them to bring it all at one time.  Multi-tasking isn’t necessarily an innate talent but a skill we need to teach ourselves (and our kids) to save time.

3.       Sort Activities.  If you are getting organized, you know the importance of sorting items so that similar items are stored together.  The same principle applies to getting activities done.  Collect your bills together and pay them at one time, plan your errands to do 3-4 things together in the same part of town, make appointments for the home on the same day etc.

4.       Accurately Estimate Required Time.  We often exaggerate the amount of time it will take us to do things we don’t like.  We say, “I don’t have time to pay all those bills tonight, I will have to wait until the weekend when I have two hours to do it.”  However, in reality, it might take ten minutes to pay a stack of bills and we don’t need to find a large chunk of time to get it done.

5.       No Time Like the Present. When we feel overwhelmed by something, we naturally want to delay the project.  I commonly have clients tell me they will go through a pile, basket or drawer “later tonight” and when I suggest we just do it now, we get it done in ten minutes.

Like any change of lifestyle, you need time, motivation and repetition to create a habit.  Reward yourself for building on these new skills and over time you will see results that keep you achieving your goals.