Updated: May 31
You are organized, comfortable and confident in your space. You’ve developed new habits and have systems in place. Then life gets busy with school activities, a special project at work or house guests visiting, upsetting your routine. It’s normal to fall back into old habits and for things to pile up or get out of place… but how can you make sure your spaces maintain their organization even when life gets busy? Keep reading to learn our tried and true tips for maintaining an organized space.
Does the situation above sound familiar to you? Well don’t feel alone- this is a common occurrence and nothing to feel guilty about! It is so common, in fact, that a term has been identified for this very situation. It’s called backsliding. Backsliding is when something happens that causes you to slide back into old habits and routines. It’s normal for things to get out of sorts. It happens to all of us. And it can happen at any time and for any reason. You just need some tools to help you reinforce your habits and systems to help you reset. Here are some tools that may help you avoid clutter and keep things organized:
Maintain: Put everything away and put things away in the right place so you are not moving from place to place. This is sometimes referred to as the “one touch” rule. When you touch something to move it, put it away rather than placing it in an intermediate location until it’s placed in its proper home.
Create an evening pick up routine: Before you go to bed or after you put the kids to bed, set aside 15 minutes and do a quick pick up through your kitchen and main living areas to put things away. When you wake up in the morning, you will be rewarded with no mess.
Checks and Balances: If you feel like you are constantly thrown back into old habits because of the amount of items brought into your home- this is for you! Follow the “one in, one out” rule. As new items are brought into the home, remove something to keep your possessions in balance. You may even want to practice the “one in, two out” rule. This prevents your home from getting jam packed with things.
Donation Station: We have found it useful to create a “donation station” in our clients’ home for regular decluttering. This can be an extra laundry hamper or even a cardboard box placed in your garage. As you identify items in your home that are ready to donate (outgrown or damaged clothes, unused kitchen items, decor you no longer love, etc.) place them in your chosen container. When your container is full make a run to the donation drop off.
Respect your space: Don’t fill your space, just because you have room. Think of your ideal living space. It’s human nature to fill a space and not to get rid of things causing spaces to fill up. Consider this as you put things in closets and storage areas. Are you holding on to items that you never use or no longer need? Treat your space as valuable real estate. Protect and respect your space so only your favorite items are on display and only treasured keepsakes and décor are stored away. If you wish to live in a more minimal and clutter-free space, use this visual to motivate you to not fill up your space.
Tune and Tweak: Revisit and adjust your systems as needed. Be honest with what is working and what isn’t. Organization is meant to grow with you- not hold you back. If a certain system is regularly not working for you- it may require some tweaking and fine tuning to get right. Review what’s not working and make adjustments until the system works for you. Life changes, circumstances change, your systems can change too. A new job, a new activity, a new family member, a renovation, an illness or a new hobby, any of these may upset the systems you have in place and habits you have developed. Stay calm if this happens. Use the tools above to try to help restore order. Take a few minutes to review what’s working and what’s not working. Make adjustments to your systems and give those adjustments a fair trial before making more changes.
If this blog resonated with you, but you are still feeling unsure where to start, overwhelmed, need tools, or just desire help, it’s okay. Many of us share these feelings. The good news is there’s help available for you. Our organizers are passionate about making your spaces work for YOU. Organizing should never be cookie-cutter. We also offer maintenance programs for homes that have been organized already, but may just need some extra attention quarterly, once a month, or whatever works best for you! We’d love to be part of your maintenance team to restore order and bring organization to your home. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website https://www.itsarranged.com/contactus