The more stubborn to keep organised items are usually things that you also use more often, and therefore have more need to be organised.
Keeping something organised is where the trouble usually lies – rather than the organising itself (especially when its an area that gets used and messed about with a lot).
Theres a very basic reasoning behind why thats the case – and that is that the more you use something, the more you need to have not only organised it, but also have it become a habit to keep it organised going forward.
You can’t expect movable items in your house, and by that I mean anything that doesn’t stay in the same place permanently, to be organised, and stay organised, from the second that you organise them.
This is why rooms such as dining rooms appear more organised more easily – as they are used less frequently than say the kitchen.
And this is the reason many people get frustrated with getting organised and give up.
Is it a habit yet?
Getting organised doesn’t just stop at the task itself – it continues until the organised change is an ingrained habit – no longer requiring your conscious to make sure you do something – instead it can relax and let your subconscious take over.
Think about it – do you have to remind yourself to brush your teeth each morning? probably not. And when you get to the sink, do you have to search for your toothbrush? again, I doubt it.
You most likely go to the sink after showering, and you toothbrush is in its pot waiting for you – you clean your teeth and put everything back in its place ready for the next time you need it. The whole process has become a habit.
Cleaning teeth has to be learnt – usually when we are very small – so we forget that we learnt it.
And its the same with every other part of your day – if you create systems and get organised properly, then ensure that each system becomes part of your routine, you are much less likely to let things slip back to where they were before.
Habit is key.
Lets take an example:-
Your organising job may have been to declutter and sort your wardrobe. You have spent a few days getting things perfect – taking away anything thats old or doesn’t fit – adding in new storage items as required, and generally when you close the door at the end of the day you feel happy that its finally done.
HOWEVER – the second you have to start using your wardrobe again to get clothes out to wear, and put clothes away after laundering is when it can start to breakdown.
The clothes are moveable, and therefore need a habit to ensure they stay organised.
And that habit? it can be as simple as ensuring that when you bring clothes up after being laundered, that they are immediately put away in the correct place, and not left to pile up, or just be bunged anywhere out of sight “for now”.
Sounds so simple – but if you weren’t used to doing this before you got your wardrobe organised, chances are you will have to train yourself to do this now.
Its not about trying to completely change your way of life – as thats never going to work long term, but it is about tweaking your already ingrained habits – adding in a small extra bit to them until it becomes embedded into that habit for good.
And it can feel like you are having to spend more time and effort to do things this way, but actually once it becomes a habit you will barely notice the time spent – you will just see and feel the results of being that bit more organised.
And who wouldn’t want that!
This is where A.D.O.R.E comes into play!
My ADORE method really helps this action to become reality – as you don’t simply stop once you are organised (O = Organised), you have to live with it for a while (R = Real Life) and evaluate (E = Evaluate) the systems you have created.
It makes you think after the organising has been done, and this helps to make your brain concentrate on creating habits and ensuring that the organising stays put – no matter whether its a room thats barely used, or a cupboard in constant use by the whole family.
Living with your organised space, evaluating how its working in your life, and ensuring habits are created as a result – means that your organised space has a much better chance of staying organised.
You may get satisfaction for a few days looking at your gorgeously organised space, but it will soon go back to how it was if you don’t also tackle your habits and embed your newly organised system into one of them.
Set up systems that build on your current habits, and you will succeed.
What habit are you going to tweak today? Let me know in the comments below.