Have you ever wondered what it really takes to be organized? Tips and ideas abound for getting organized, but how do you stay organized once you get there? The answer is by setting up simple organizing systems that think like you do, and creating the habit of using those systems consistently.
I don’t know about you, but for me, the second part of the equation—creating new habits—can be a challenge. Here’s an example. For whatever reason, I’m having a terrible time this winter remembering to use dryer sheets. While this is not an organizing-related action, the consequence is real…lint sticking to shirts, clothes clinging in undesirable ways, etc. The solution for me was creating a simple reminder to make it next to impossible to forget to use a dryer sheet. I decided to store the dryer sheets in front of the display panel on the dryer. There is no way for me to start the dryer without seeing and picking up the box of dryers sheets. This action makes me say “Oh yeah, throw one of these babies into the dryer!”
Once you set up your organizing system, think through the action or actions you will need to take to use that system and stay organized. Then, ask yourself “How will I remember to do this?” and brainstorm simple reminders to help you take the action. Here are some ideas:
- Set up a reminder in your phone to process the mail at the same time each day.
- Use labels to remind you where items belong in your freshly organized space.
- Put a sticky note on the mirror in the bathroom to remind you to declutter your spaces before going to bed.
- Ask a family member or spouse to help you remember to take your new actions.
What types of reminders have you used to create new habits in the past? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.