Many people like buying new storage solutions for their home, and yet their organizing habits don't change so the underlying clutter doesn't go away, so you buy another great storage gadget. The problem is you've got to pick the right storage resources for what's not getting put away and … you've got to change your organizing habits.
In our last organizing article, How to Declutter Your Home in One Day, we introduced the “Divide and Conquer” approach. It can help you to clear out the clutter in your home quickly and efficiently, while setting the stage for finding a home for everything you find out of place.
But once you've invested the time to declutter your home, you want it to stay organized forever … don't you? And that's why this article is so important. In addition to needing the right storage solutions to keep your home neat and organized, you also need to change your organizing habits.
The Foundation of Clutter: Your Organizing Habits
Habits come in all shapes and sizes. There are good ones, such as grabbing a bottle of water instead of soda, and there are bad ones, such as setting down your car keys on the nearest flat surface. The easier option usually wins. If the easier option isn’t the best, a bad habit begins.
Good habits and success are part of the same package. But success isn’t some mysterious thing — there’s a definition for it, and you determine what that is.
Zenhabits.com says success equals creating your ideal future. So what is the ideal future, as it applies to your clutter-free home? Your definition might be completely different from someone else’s. Maybe clutter-free just means nothing stacked up on end tables. Maybe success means there’s a place for everything, and everything should go in its place.
It’s your home, and they’re your organizing habits. Define what success means to you, and you’ve got the foundation for staying clutter free at least most of the time.
New Organizing Habits … So You Never Need to Declutter Your Home
Chances are your clutter problem stem from a few small issues, nothing major that can't be fixed. Even if you don’t like the minimalist look with everything out of sight, those things cluttering your home do need a home. The trick is finding a home that’s convenient.
Forget any organizational habits that make you work to keep up with them. If it’s easy to stay organized, you’re more likely to do it. For example, a hook by the front door lets you always know where your car keys are. And it’s easy to use, because all you have to do is walk in the front door and hang them up.
Assess how you live, and you’ll find your personal organization style. If mail always lands on the kitchen counter, don’t try to change yourself too much by setting up a mail bin in another part of the house. A basket on the counter keeps the mail contained and it should be easy for your family to make this one of their new organizing habits. If coats stack up on a chair in the living room, think about a coat rack near the same place even if the living room isn't the traditional place we store coats.
Bad habits usually exist because they are easier than the alternative. So find easy organize habits, and don’t try to change how you live. Work with your style, not against it, and you’ll soon find bad habits replaced with great organizing habits.
By sharing your best organizing habits, everyone can get better?