I’ve written about this topic before, and I will again. Why? Because it’s a good one. Because it’s so impactful. And, because I want you to feel the lasting peace of an organized space. Organizing takes maintenance. Sometimes people balk at this, but I assure you, it’s preferable to the toll it takes and the time it takes to be disorganized.
Employing 10 daily habits will get you well on your way to maintaining organization. I know what you’re thinking…10?! How could I ever…? You can! One at a time, in small chunks, doing what you can until the once foreign feeling actions become habits! And habits don’t feel burdensome. They’re automatic! They happen without effort. And, most of these take merely minutes to do. Here we go…
1.Make the bed
It’s fast and gives you a sense of accomplishment for starting your day off on the right foot with some forward momentum.
2. Clean the kitchen every evening
If you focus on one space, focus on this one. Set a timer for 10 min., round up some helpers if you have some, and knock it out before heading to bed.
Your kiddo brings home a trinket from a party? Great. Find one thing to exit your house. It will become automatic, it’s quick, and it is super important in guarding against the slow and unconscious accumulation of excess.
4. Finish what you start
I know, distractions happen. You get legitimately pulled away from what you were in the middle of. This will help…break the bigger elephant into smaller chunks of work that you can wrap up in a short period of time. Then, in a few hours, if you have more time, start that next piece.
5. Pack bags for tomorrow
This could mean a laptop and work supplies, or backpacks with permission slips and a library book for the kiddos. You’ll feel more on top of the day knowing that the unexpected 20 min. search for the library book is behind you, and you have what you need.
6. Spend 10 min. on email
In the evening, set a timer for 10 min., and whittle that inbox down. Don’t just read them, but take the action needed so you can file them away and be done with them.
7. Handle mail from the current day
Mail is received daily, and is best handled daily. If it piles, it’s just too easy for our mind to think the pile is just where the mail goes. Toss catalogs and junk mail into the recycling immediately. The rest can be sorted into bills to pay, other items to action, or things to file. This should take less than 5 minutes.
8. Review your calendar for the next day.
Transportation needs covered? Any conflicts/double bookings, or things that need to be communicated to other family members? A quick glance usually does the trick. It’s just a quick once over to get prepared for the next day.
9. Celebrate progress.
Take a quiet moment to acknowledge progress, to recognize that any of the above steps you’ve done that day moved you forward. You didn’t get to the whole list, but you gave away 3 things? Great! You’re decluttering.
10. Identify 2 priorities for tomorrow
Not necessarily the little daily stuff, but what priorities (longer term) are you going to move the needle on? Have some upcoming travel? Spend 15 min. and look for a place to stay. You’re not planning the trip in one sitting, but you’re keeping that ball rolling, a little at a time.
If you can focus on these 10 daily habits, you’ll feel more prepared for the next day. And staying organized is largely about habits, preparation, and combatting clutter accumulation. Don’t let your head make this out to be bigger than it needs to be. A little at a time is all it takes. You can do it!