To help keep clutter at bay, it can be helpful to keep a few tried and true organizing principles in mind. When you weave them into your day-to-day life, you’ll have a path to follow so that you can keep your spaces organized and feel less stressed when things get a bit overwhelming.
Last month, I shared six organizing concepts and today, I have five more for you to review.
To maintain order, start thinking about your lifestyle and then …
Create habits and routines that work for you
“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle
Being able to keep things in order is hinged on routines. If those routines fit your lifestyle, are easy to follow, and you (or others you delegate to) keep up with them regularly, you’ll have a greater chance of kicking clutter in the arse. Organizing strategies are not one-size-fits-all, so be sure to test a few to find the ones that mesh well with your current lifestyle.
Everything must have a home
When the items in our homes and offices don’t have a designated space to live, you may find them scattered about in several areas. You might also be tempted to throw them all in a box to review later. In reality, though, when the time comes to sort through them, they’ll probably continue residing in that box if there’s still no specific place for them to permanently go. The good news is that once they have a home, you’ll be able to put them back where they belong (instead of putting them down) and find them easily when you need them.
Keep frequently used items easily accessible
It can be extremely frustrating if you always have to move other things to get access to the items you use often. You’ll also end up wasting a bit of time and chances are, you probably won’t put anything back in place because of how difficult it is to reach them. Instead, put the things you use frequently close by and in the same place all the time (your favorite pen and notebook on your desk, your keys on the hook by the door, your earbuds in the gadget box). Put the other things that you don’t use all the time on a high shelf (or behind your frequently used items).
Group like items together
By now, this rule of thumb is probably permanently etched in your mind. I say this tongue in cheek, but I couldn’t leave it off the list because it works extremely well. When you gather all the similar items in your home or office, you immediately know how big your stash is and you avoid buying duplicates. Which also means you’ll be saving a bit of money and add a few minutes to your day because you won’t be searching high and low for your stuff.
Don’t buy something simply because it’s on sale
…or because you have lots of coupons. Getting a great deal on something you’ve had your eye on can make you feel happy, almost triumphant, especially when that thing is something that you need and will use. But, sometimes sales can tempt us to buy things that we don’t use or even like. The result can be an overgrown pile of things that gather dust and take up space that could be used for things that you actually use. Before opening your wallet, think about how much you and your family will realistically use the product you’re about to buy. If you won’t really use it, why not share the deal (or coupon) with someone who really needs it?