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Perfect Habits Make Perfect
Have you heard of the quote, “Practice makes perfect?” When it comes to organization, it is our behavior that makes our environment perfect. In this case, “Perfect habits make perfect.” By developing a few routines that are done consistently, you can change your house into a pretty neat home.
- Designate a place for everything – Every item that you own should have a home. This means that when you use it, it goes back to the same place. That way you will always know where to find it. Imagine if you parked your car in the same parking structure every day in a different space. The spaces were not numbered. There would be days where you would forget where you parked and get frustrated. The same goes for items you use in your home. If the scissors and tape are always in the same drawer, you know where to find them when you want to wrap presents.
- Clean as you go – As soon as you are done using something, put it away in its designated place. Leaving it out to put away later is just an intention that doesn’t usually get done. Before you know it, you have good intentions laying all around the house.
- A time for everything – Organize your day so that there is a time for everything. For example, after a meal make time to do the dishes. If the kitchen is cleaned after every meal, there will not be a pile up of dishes to be done all at once. If you don’t feel like doing a lot of dishes, cook a meal that does not use a lot of pots and pans.
- Same place; different day – Create a place where you can drop everything when you get home. Always put your car keys and cell phone in the same spot when you get home. When you are done with work and walk in the door, have a place to put your computer bag, purse and everything else you carry in. It makes your departure every morning less stressful.
- Family Communication Center – Have an area for family communications. If there are phone messages, dates to remember or items to buy, all information should be in the same place. This will prevent confusion and anyone being in the dark as to what is going on.
- Incoming papers – Have an inbox for all incoming items that need to be handled. This goes for bills to be paid, papers for the kids that need to be returned to school, invitations to RSVP and any other actionable items. Make sure to empty the box once a week.
- Sort mail immediately – When you open the mail, do it near a trash can or recycle bin. Get rid of anything you are not going to use such as junk mail. If something needs action (e.g. bill to pay), place it in your “In Box”.
- Filing system – Use one drawer or accordion file as your place to keep needed papers. Create a system for those papers you need to keep. For example, if you receive any important document that you will need to use for taxes, file it in your drawer. If you don’t need to save a paper, shred it or trash it.
- Organize electronically – For everything possible organize electronically. Scan documents and keep them in folders in your computer. Make sure all passwords to all of your accounts are together in one document with a nondescript name so no one can tell the contents by looking at the title of the file. This will eliminate the need for being overwhelmed with papers.
- A little bit at a time – If you have a huge task of getting your home in order, pick one small space to clean. Conquering everything at once can seem like a monumental task, but breaking it down into smaller chunks make it seem much more manageable. Clean one drawer every day or spend two hours a week on an organizing project. You will be encouraged by your results and your house will feel good in no time.
Take it from a former Clutter-Maker. I follow these steps now and it made a huge difference to me. It takes focus and desire to make these changes, but in no time you can reclaim your house one room at a time. You will feel incredibly free and have a home you will be proud of. In fact I entertain more now than ever before because my house looks so good.
By Kathryn LaBarbera – Closet Factory Los Angeles
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