Last night was Wednesday night which means cleaning night at my house. (“Woohoo!” right? Well…yes, “woohoo” on Thursday morning, but not so much on Wednesday night. But that’s a different blog post.)

Anyway, as I was vacuuming it occurred to me that no one expects to clean their house just once and have it stay that way forever. Instinctively we know that cleaning is an ongoing process. If we want to enjoy a clean house, we have to clean it over and over and over again. While you may not enjoy the process of cleaning (oh, wait, that’s me) you don’t expect your home to stay clean forever without any intervention or action from yourself. Right? For many people, however, organizing is a different story.

An obstacle that I often hear when working with my organizing coaching clients is that they fear they won’t be able to keep their home organized after organizing it. This fear previously prevented them from getting started in the first place.If you’ve organized your home before only to see it return to disorder, you may relate to this thought and it may be a roadblock for you, too.

My thought last night while vacuuming was that expecting our homes to stay organized after organizing it is like expecting our home to stay clean after cleaning it. Both cleaning and organizing are ongoing processes—processes which require time and attention on an ongoing basis.

The good news is that with both cleaning and organizing, there are simple ways to make the ongoing process easier. Keeping up with it a little bit at a time, works for both cleaning and organizing. The more often I do light cleaning on my home, for example, the less time overall I spend cleaning. If I scrub my shower once a week, it takes less time to clean it than if I clean it less frequently. (And believe me I have tested this theory many times…I’d rather do most things than scrub my shower.)

Organizing is the same way. Once you get a space organized, the more often you do simple, routine maintenance on it—decluttering unnecessary items, putting things away when you’re done using them, and so on—the easier it is to keep a space organized.

So if you’re resisting organizing your home out of fear that you won’t keep it that way, consider letting this idea go. Just as with cleaning a home, it won’t simply stay that way. But just as with cleaning a home, keeping a home organized is doable with the right strategies in place.

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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