Hey Red! How do I develop the habits to stay organized?
I have been trying to de-clutter for years. I'll be successful in cleaning an area or room and keep it straight for a couple of days. Then seemingly while I sleep, the area gets cluttered again and I am "starting all over." How do I develop the little habits of continually picking up after myself?
Flustered in Florida
I bet gnomes come in and clutter everything up while you sleep. They're wily those gnomes.
First, don't think of being organized as an "it's done and over" thing. It's much more like weight loss and maintenance. If I take a week-long spa retreat and eat beautiful healthy foods and work out, I can't just at the end come home and think I'm done. My life is set now. If I don't maintain healthy habits then my body won't be healthy. Without developing habits to maintain the decluttering work, it'll come back.
Existence of gnomes or not.
When I was a dance teacher we had a saying, "Practice makes permanent." So to create the habit of continually picking up after yourself you'll need to practice it regularly and often. When you finish a task, put everything back where it belongs. Then also make sure to "reset" your home at the end of the day every day. Set a daily reminder to do so whether it's in your phone or post-it notes stuck in key locations. Whatever works best for you. With time and continual practice, this will become 2nd nature and a permanent habit.
Gnomes be damned.
Have a burning question of your own? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be answered in a future post.