Hmmm. Somewhere along the way, we’ve gotten “decluttering” and “getting organized” confused with each other. Look, I love decluttering probably more than anyone you know, but there is no prize for the one who purges the most toys, clothes, papers, and whatever is hiding in the basement. A 30-day plan to declutter your house might be helpful, but it doesn’t get you organized. Throwing away 75% of your clothes will definitely free up space, but it’s just as likely to lead to a buying binge as it is to bring joy.
What makes for a life that is organized? Like everything worth doing, the answer is simple, but perhaps not easy.
An organized life comes from lots of small daily choices made consistently.
An #organized life comes from lots of small daily choices made consistently. Free 31 Day #getorganized plan
So let’s not do another 30-DAY ASSAULT OF ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL THINGS TO DO EACH DAY OR YOU ARE AN ORGANIZING FAILURE. Isn’t that what it feels like? Let me offer another approach…
We’ve learned over a dozen years of organizing people, places and businesses that we all get organized in three planes:
There is always overlap between two or three of these categories, for example:
- If we reduce the amount of clutter in our homes (space), we spend less time having to clean it.
- If we take care of important paperwork (information), we don’t miss deadlines (time).
- If we set up a personalized file system for important papers (information), then we don’t have orphaned piles of paper (space).
Clutter very rarely happens overnight, and yet popular culture has latched onto an idea that a big one-day purge will create organization, and you will be organized henceforth and forevermore.
In reality, clutter happens in drips and drops, and organization happens the same way.
#Clutter happens in drips and drops, and #organization happens the same way. #getorganized #2017
Instead of a long list of projects that you should complete, one after the other, with a high chance of failure, below are 31 daily actions that you can start today, adding a new quick action every day or so until you are doing all or most of them every day, and organizing is happening almost without any effort at all.
If you already do these things, great, continue doing it, and add on one more organizing action or organizing habit.
Print off this list and check off each item as you add it to your daily routine. Remember, do each item daily, so thirty-one days from now you will be doing about 31 teeny-tiny organizing actions each day.
With this approach, you will eliminate the need to step out of your life for a day or more at a time so that you can do nothing but purge your things. Doesn’t that sound nice?
31 Daily Habits to Get and Stay Organized
- Assign a home/ hook/ bowl for your keys (and only your keys), and put them there every single time.
- Check your calendar first thing in the morning.
- Look at your to-do list. Pick three items to complete today.
- Hang up your jacket.
- Hang up or put away 5 items of laundry.*
- Plan dinner for tomorrow night and assemble the ingredients.
- Avoid buying something that you would otherwise have bought.
- Carry something upstairs and put it where it belongs inside a dresser, closet, or cabinet.
- Put 1 thing in a donation bag or box in or near your car.*
- Carry something downstairs and put it away where it belongs in a dresser, closet or cabinet.
- Write down 1 appointment to take care of your physical self in the next week or month (work out, get haircut, schedule doctor’s appointment, etc.)
- Read 1 thing that you’ve been looking forward to reading (article, website, or part of a book).
- Clean all the trash out of your car, briefcase or backpack.
- Fix or make arrangements to fix one thing that’s broken or that need’s mending.
- Organize your wallet, pay bills, check your balance, or make a savings deposit.**
- Recycle 5 magazines, catalogs or newspapers into the recycle bin.
- Delete 10 bad-quality photographs from your phone or cloud service.
- Learn to use your favorite timer (on the microwave, phone, or egg timer) for 15 minute organizing projects.
- Quickly organize one small drawer, shelf, or basket of items. This should take you less than 15 minutes.
- Read one document that you’ve been putting off (insurance papers, financial statement, instruction manual, etc)
- Call, email or mail 1 person you’d like to stay in contact with.
- Put one thing on your written or electronic shopping list (but don’t buy it today!)
- Put a label on one thing.*
- Go through everything in one small drawer/bag/toy bin/calendar week WITH your child or spouse. ***
- Empty or throw out one item or container from the refrigerator.
- File something. Anything.
- Tie up, roll up, fold up, stack up or close up something.
- Wipe down one horizontal surface like a bathroom vanity, the kitchen counter, or even your car dashboard.
- Recycle something into your everyday routine, like mason jars or storage boxes.
- Decide if something that isn’t getting done needs to be delegated or hired out to someone else.
- Stand back and admire an organized part of your life.
* Don’t go crazy, here. Remember, if you do a little each day, you’ll have it all organized in no time. Modify this instruction to fit if you don’t have an upstairs/ car/ basement/ etc.
** Yes, interacting with and keeping track of your money is a completey reasonable daily task.
***This is an advanced skill. Start small, go slow and be nice.
To review, just do the first item only today. Tomorrow do 1 and 2. Or if you already do 2 routinely, then do 1,2 and 3. Keep adding one thing a day, until you are doing about 31 organizing habits automatically each and every day. You’ll be surprised at how much more in control of your life you feel. Or maybe you won’t be surprised at all. 😉
If you are looking for an easy but effective way to get organized, then you are going to want to start using the SORT and Succeed! system right away. THIS is the organizing system that you’ve been looking for.
People are individuals, and we all need different things, so if you still want a daily list where you can knock out an organizing project every day this month, I’ve got you covered there, too. We’ve been doing this a while, so I have several months of plans to keep you going! Click on one of these 31-day plans to get organized this new year.