The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Emily at So Damn Domestic.
What if your clutter – all the stuff that gets in the way of what you actually want, need, and love – suddenly disappeared from your home?
And THEN, what if a magical organizing fairy (or a professional organizer) came into your home and made everything make sense, made your storage solutions look beautiful, and gave everything a home?
Would your home life be transformed?
Certainly it would be different. Arguably better.
And here’s why. Without the right habits in place, you’ll be able to make a mess of anything…
This is why when we go on vacation with one suitcase and a small duffel bag full of our belongings, we can still manage to make the sterile hotel room look like a tornado hit it, AND leave behind a few things by mistake when we leave.
It’s why once we get our kitchens spotless, our first inclination is to go out to dinner. We know better than to mess with a good thing, and cooking (i.e., using the kitchen for its intended purpose) IS “messing with” the clean vibe we’ve got going in there.
It’s why we make excuses for our inaction, refusing to make the bed because “I’m just going to mess it up again tonight.”
But if you’re tired of the same old mess of dust, piles of mail, clothes in various states of dirty/clean/folded/not-sure, and clutter following you around like the cloud of dirt that always surrounds Pig-Pen (you know, the Peanuts comic strip character), you won’t settle for the status quo.
It’s time for a change.
Don’t wait for January 1 to make a new start. Do it now. Adopt 1-3 of these habits, and watch your home’s aura transform from chaos and overwhelm into organization and peace.
Organized Life Habit #1
Make your bed, every day.
Making your bed is a keystone habit. This means it’s been proven to affect other areas of your life, almost by magic. If you make your bed every morning, as a habit, you’re more likely to be happier in general, make better financial decisions, make better food choices, exercise more often, and more.
Plus, it gives you a “quick win” right at the beginning of the day, to stat your morning off on the right foot.
Organized Life Habit #2
Check your belongings before you buy anything new.
Want a new picnic blanket, but have an extra quilt no one’s using? BAM!
Want a new cute water bottle, but already have 14? Um…
Want those super-adorable trendy-colored baskets Target has for ORGANIZING THINGS? What about all the shoeboxes, IKEA boxes, and baskets you already have?
Want a cute little lime-juicer for all that lime juice you’re always juicing? Uhh…can you use the lemon-juicer? Or the orange juicer? Or your HANDS?
I think you can see where I’m going with this. Yes, sometimes you’ll actually want or need to buy something new, but often, we already own something that will work perfectly, and less stuff = less clutter = less mess = less stress.
Organized Life Habit #3
Empty your car of clutter every time you arrive home.
When you empty your car, you’re “resetting” it so that the next time you enter it, it’s perfect for whatever you need to use it for. And this is how every room in your house should be, as a default.
When you practice this habit, you’ll get used to “resetting” areas – a car is a small one to start with, but once you’re used to keeping it tidy, you’ll have the practice to do it in larger rooms later.
Organized Life Habit #4
When you walk into your house, put everything in your hands into its actual home.
Purse and keys don’t have a consistent, specific home? Create one. Then use it.
Put new purchases where they belong right away (if they don’t have a home, you shouldn’t buy them in the first place).
Hang up your jacket where it belongs, instead of tossing over a chair. Put your shoes away where they belong instead of kicking them off by the door.
Practicing “putting away” at this specific time will give you the foundation for “putting away” ALL the time. Yes, even when you’re in a hotel room.
Organized Life Habit #5
After dinner, spray and wipe the tabletop.
Not only because it probably needs it, but because developing a habit of cleaning up after yourself will carry over into other parts of the house.
You’ll start noticing when something is dusty, and you’ll clean it. You’ll notice some little fluffballs of lint on the carpet, and go get the vacuum.
Organized Life Habit #6
Before going to sleep, check over your planner or agenda for the next day.
Identify the most important 1-3 items. Then, affirm to yourself that you’re about to get some seriously restful sleep in order to wake energized the next morning to accomplish those tasks.
If you go to bed thinking, “I stayed up too late and I won’t get enough rest,” the first thing you’ll think in the morning is, “I didn’t get enough rest. I’m tired.”
If you tell yourself you’re about to get some incredible sleep, on the other hand, you’ll wake up with more spunk. Believe me. It works.
Plus, going over your most important or most exciting tasks for the next day in your mind before bed will prime you to wake with focus, purpose, and motivation. (And you’ll be less likely to forget your 8am appointment at the chiropractor.)
Where do you go from here?
Now you know what habits to start developing in order to live an organized life.
You know why they’ll help you, beyond their first most obvious results.
What will you do with this information?
Are you going to start developing these habits today? Or are you going to file this post away “for later”?
If you’re ready to transform your life, I know which choice you’ll make.
Emily Chapelle offers motivating guidance to busy women who are ready to make changes that last. Why? So they can spend more time on the things and people that really matter. She shares home organizing tips, decluttering your life, time-management for homemakers, and other homemaking topics at So Damn Domestic.
Emily is currently launching My Best Year Ever, her new course on setting goals and achieving them through effective habit development, and you can get the first lesson free.