Organizing Is Not a Once and Done Deal
It’s lovely and rewarding to get organized. It feels so great just to step back and admire the finished project!
However, life is mostly maintenance. Maintenance is an on-going procedure that includes a lot of not so thrilling things to do.
I don’t know if I am dating myself here, but I grew up with the old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Simply said, if you work on a task when it is still a small task it will be so much easier than when it becomes overwhelming.
One example of this is in your communication center. You have worked on this project and it is a thing of beauty. You have a lovely calendar. You have desktop files set up and labeled. You have an attractive landing pad for all incoming papers. And everyday mail comes in. At first you may be motivated to sort all your mail right away – trash – shred – file. But then you begin to just drop the mail in the landing pad basket or tray. The landing pad begins to overflow. The pile of paper becomes overwhelming because you did not follow a maintenance schedule. The communication center needs weekly if not daily maintenance to keep it up and running smoothly.
Another example might be the laundry area. You reworked your space to make it more efficient. You have coded laundry baskets for everyone in the family and one for linens. At first all went well but then as Diane Quintana mentioned recently in a post, you stopped “closing the loop”. Your maintenance stopped short of getting all the clean laundry put away. Now, the laundry seems overwhelming as piles of clean and dirty laundry accumulate. Laundry needs a regular and if possible scheduled maintenance time to keep it from becoming a huge and overwhelming task.
Maintenance needs to be scheduled and it needs to become a habit that requires little thought.
Here are a few tips to keep your home maintained and ready for living:
· Make your bed every day. The bed is a large part of your bedroom. When you have the bed made you are more likely to keep the rest of the room maintained. Make it a habit to make the bed at the same time every day – perhaps right before or right after you get dressed.
· Wash your dishes and put them away every day. You are more likely to keep the rest of your counters clutter free if they are not already cluttered with dirty dishes. Make it a habit to clear your counters before you go to bed. You will find it makes your morning a happier time.
· Make sure every item in your home has a “home” or has a place to be put away. While you may use your laptop or IPad in many places in your home it should still have a place to be parked when not in use. Don’t allow homeless items to live in your home.
· Never leave a room empty handed. When you pass through the living room on your way to the bedroom, pick up those shoes you kicked off last night and put them away. Pick up the coffee cup and take it to the kitchen.
· Schedule into your weekly calendar times to dust, sweep, and clean your home. How much or how little you do is up to you but schedule what seems right for you to maintain your home the way that feels right.
· Set your timer and do 10-minute tasks to help you declutter and maintain. Check out our Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time deck of cards for inspiration.
Keeping your home well maintained will allow you to feel in control of your environment and boost your spirits. Doing a little bit each day now will make tomorrow a better day.
If you want help or just some accountability in working your organizational plan join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.