What is step 2? Maintenance, habits. Getting organized is fantastic. We go through everything, pare down on our belongings so we can enjoy what we have and use. We also pick great homes for our items where it makes sense to store them, they fit and they look good hopefully by putting them in a basket or bin or neatly in the location. All this is great, for like a day!
So what happens the next day? Life. We have to use those items; we wear clothing, we make dinner and pull out half the kitchen, we play a game, the mail comes!
Our belongings do not magically get put back, cleaned, folded, etc. We have to maintain them. All of this is the maintenance to our systems. It takes time, effort, will power to do. We need good habits and constant reminders to keep on top of our stuff. Or, you end up back to a mess.
Here are some ways to maintain your space and belongings: (with commentary)
- Before you put something down, ask yourself – does it belong here? If not, ut oh. Really, don’t put it down until it is back where it needs to be. Try to do this.
- Use your garbage cans; if it is in your hand and you no longer want it – let it go. (So maybe it isn’t garbage; that is fine. Recycle it or put it in the donation box that you should always have going.)
- Never leave a room empty handed. Those cups by your bed, grab them.
- Have one location in each room where you place items to “deal with” later versus spread over every surface. Pick a time each week to then actually deal with them.
- Lists are your friend, if something will take more than 2 minutes – add it to your list and then find a time to do it.
- Your 4 most used spaces in the home; spend 5 minutes every day doing a full sweep. Put things back, throw out the trash, straighten askew items. And then walk out with what you can fit in your arms that doesn’t below in that room. That’s 20 minutes of clean sweeping daily. You can do it.
- Use your planner for standing maintenance. Digital is best because you can set up recurring to-do’s, reminders, standing appointments monthly and yearly and then you are reminded. Want to go through your clothing 2x/year? Schedule it. Want to go through your pantry yearly, schedule it. Maintenance isn’t always daily, it can be monthly or once a year but you have to put it in the queue to get done.
Sometimes we luck out and magically we can adopt a new home for something right away or keep it in control forever like it has always just been that way. Most times, it is a battle that we need to keep on top of. Adopt some of the above and give yourself as many lists and reminders you need to keep up. Strive for that fantastic feeling every day.