If you’re feeling overwhelmed by clutter or disorganization, I have great news for you. I believe there are small habit shifts you can make right now that will immediately provide some relief and transform your physical surroundings.
One of my favorite books, The Compound Effect, states that small, consistent action is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum. In my mind, the only difference between me and a disorganized person is that we practice different habits. Creating and maintaining an organized space simply requires small, consistent actions over time.
Below, I’m sharing five simple habits you can start practicing to easily transform your space and improve your life. My suggested habit shifts don’t take a lot of time to complete, but will have a massive impact when practiced with commitment and consistency.
Make The Bed
I actually have an entire blog post dedicated to why you should make your bed each morning. This simple ritual will set the tone for your day, help you practice self care, and help make a messy room look instantly tidier.
Do The Dishes
My husband and I have a rule that we don’t go to bed unless the dishes are done. Immediately after dinner, while I make the lunches with the kids, he loads up the dishwasher. We also take a minute or two to wipe down the counter tops and dining room table. Generally this whole routine takes about 10-15 minutes and ensures we never have to wake up to an overflowing sink full of dirty dishes or a table covered in crumbs. I can’t pretend any of this is fun but waking up to a clean, tidy kitchen is totally worth it.
Deal With Your Mail
One of the biggest challenges I come across in my work is an overwhelming amount of paper clutter. Paper clutter occurs when you don’t have a consistent practice for processing the paper that enters your home. Try immediately removing and recycling your junk mail so you never have to sort it. You should also open and deal with your mail at a minimum once a week so you never face a massive build-up. Schedule a mail date with yourself so you can pay bills, respond to invitations and file any important documents that come in. A few minutes a day will save you hours of work later.
One of the most impactful things you can do for yourself is map out your day the night before. Take a few minutes to jot down all of your most important tasks and schedule them. I also like to think about any errands I need to run, or groceries I need to pick up before dinner. I write everything down on a little index card the night before and throw it in my purse because I’m an old lady. You can also organize your day on your Google calendar, mobile phone, or whatever works for you! It always helps to think about how you can make life as easy as possible for your future self. When I do this, I get inspired to select my outfit, pack lunches ahead of time, and even plan what I will eat for breakfast and fill my water bottle. Give it a try – Your future self will thank you.
Put Away Your Clothing
Do you have laundry strewn all over your home? Please do yourself a favor and put it away before it gets worse. It only takes a few minutes each day to toss dirty clothing in your hamper and hang or fold any items that are clean enough to wear again. Likewise, when you return from a trip you should take the time to put dirty clothing right in the hamper and put away any items that are clean. Practice the mantra “put it away, right away” and watch your space transform.
I promise that practicing these daily habits will actually change your life. Start by picking just one and try to practice it every day for a month. Cultivate consistency so you can see yourself taking action and caring for yourself and your space in a new way. One small habit shift can actually trigger a cascade of other positives in your life. Have you seen this, too?