Hey Red! Am I messy?

Hey Red!
I'm at a loss...I'd organized my main floor. It was beautiful and tidy and I'd intended to keep it that way. Then my hubby is home for a little bit between trips, left some trip stuff on the kitchen table (since it wasn't a long turnaround), and now here we are a few days later and I notice that I've left stuff all over again without even realizing I've done it.  I'm don't feel like I'm a messy person per se... but I can't figure out why I just don't notice the mess I'm making until it's a big mess. Do you have any magical insight?
Sincerely, 
Maybe Messy

Dear Maybe, 
I do have magical insight! 

Gnomes.

Garden gnomes are coming in in the middle of the night and trashing the place.   Damn gnomes.

Ok maybe not.

Sounds to me like you're not putting things away when you're done with them. To make sure that your home stays wonderful and tidy you have to get into the habit of putting things back when you're done with them. 

Two ways to accomplish this:

  • Adopt the mantra, "I see things through to the very end." This means that dinner isn't finished until the dishes are washed and put away. Laundry isn't done until the clothes are put away. So whatever task you're doing isn't finished until everything is put back where it lives.  
  • At the end of the day, every day, put everything back where it lives. This is how you'll maintain your home and work.  

Ya know...I just thought of a third option. Hire a gnome to clean up the place instead of trash it!! Then again...that could be a little *too* magical.  

You're not necessarily messy...you're just not finishing the tasks to completion where everything is put back to it's rightful place. It's important to remember and understand that there is no "done" with organizing. You can't clean once and think "ta-da!!!!" I'm done! That's the equivalent of taking one shower and thinking that's all you'll need for the rest of your life.  

And we know that's not the case.

Set a reminder in your phone or whatever will trigger you to do a quick tidy-up at the end of the day. With time and practice, this is will become muscle memory and that's how you stay organized.  

Pro tip: If you miss a day or two don't worry about it. But don't let it go longer than 48 hours either. Time compounds on itself the longer you wait. So what would have only been 10ish minutes a day becomes a chunk of hours on the weekend and there are more fun things you could be doing on the weekend!

Get into the regular habit of putting things away when you're done with them and over time you'll notice that the mess never gets too crazy ever again! 

Have a burning question? Email heyred@organizingfabulously.com to be answered in a future post.