Want to know a secret? Most people who are highly organized don’t spend a lot of time organizing. Read on to learn five small things you can integrate into your daily life to become as effortlessly organized as the pros.
Prevent Clutter from Entering in the First Place
You know those free samples you’re given when you buy cosmetics? Or the free swag, mugs and pens you’re offered at conferences and events? Being conscious and mindful about what you allow into your home will prevent the future accumulation of clutter. It’s always ok to politely decline freebies and hand-me-downs and doing so will spare you from having to store and organize things you didn’t even need in the first place.
A Place for Everything
The number one rule for every professional organizer I know is that everything you own needs to have a clearly defined home. Make sure to store items in zones by usage so it’s easy and intuitive to put things away when you’re done using them.
Limit Paper Piles
Read and address mail on a regular basis instead of letting paper pile up and get overwhelming. If you don’t have time to deal with it, have one centralized location for to-dos and papers that require your attention. The few minutes you spend dealing with incoming paper every day will save you hours later.
Don’t Put it Down, Put it Away
Instead of dropping things on random surfaces when you walk in the door, take the time to put your belongings where they need to end up. A little energy now will spare you a massive clean-up later. Small proactive measures like placing a bowl on your entry table for keys, or mounting a wall pocket for incoming mail and magazines will prevent you from misplacing things and keep your home tidy.
Staying organized requires setting clear and consistent limits. Respect the constraints of your particular space and it’s storage capacity. For example, if you have a tiny linen closet, you may need to limit the quantity of towels and linens you own in order to maintain a streamlined and organized home. Practicing the one-in, one-out rule will also ensure that you keep clutter at bay.
The good news is that once you’ve adopted these new habits, spending a few extra minutes emptying your work bag or opening your mail won’t feel like such a drag anymore. And if you keep it up on a daily basis, there will be less to do and less to dread.