The thing with organization, and the reason a lot of people fret about it, is that it’s not something that you can suddenly become or quickly implement. It’s something that needs to be earned and maintained with every passing moment.
The key is consistency. Because no matter how many books on organization you get, tools you buy or seminars you subscribe to... if you don’t create daily habits to keep you more organized, it just won’t happen.
So we’ve put together this list of daily habits that will help you declutter your life and stay organized.
1. Give Everything A Home
As Joshua Becker (founder of becomingminimalist.com) put it, “Flat surfaces like counters, tables and dressers are like magnets for clutter.”
So the next time you organize, decide what the best place for every little item is and make that its new home.
Then, make sure it goes back there every time you use it. This way you’ll be organizing without even realizing you’re doing it!
You’ll also reduce the need to entire days to reorganize things or areas.
This habit doesn’t have to end with counters and flut surfaces either. Assign places for each clothing type, cards within your wallet, kitchen cabinets, etc.
You can do it with the inside of your car or your trunk too! For example, our Trunk Organizer and Premium Foldable Organizer have several compartments that can be the new home of your items for the car or your entryway.
2. Do Little Tasks Right Away
Another effortless task that clutter-free people do every day is just taking care of decluttering right as the clutter is presented.
Instead of postponing until it becomes a big event, just tackle little things as they come. Take out the trash as soon as the bag fills up. Do the dishes right after you’re done eating. Clear trash from your car every time you get out of it.
With these habits, as well as the first action on this list, it’s all about dividing up the time you spend organizing into those micro-moments within each day.
Think of it as micro-organizing, or marginal decluttering.
Eventually, you won’t even notice you’re doing it. It will be almost a natural reflex.
3. Scan At The End Of Each Day
Another one of those micro-actions that can become automatic, is scanning things at the end of each day.
When you’re done with your day at work, do a little scan of your office to make sure everything is in place. It will feel so good when you turn up the next day and everything is nice and neat.
The same applies to your car and home. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to scan these areas and put everything in its right place, get rid of any trash and even clean a little bit.
It’s like de-cluttering before there’s even any real clutter to begin with.
You can also enlist your family members in this and make it nice routine to end the day together.
4. Look At Your Lists
If keeping lists is key to being an organized person, then checking them regularly is something you ought to make a daily habit.
Keep to-do-lists, shopping lists, reading lists and more... but make sure to set a specific moment, or moments, to check them each day.
It’s the same spirit of doing things right away. As soon as you run out of anything, add it to that shopping list. When you cross a task out of a to-do list, add the task that follows that one.
The idea is to make all your lists ‘run’. Kristin Carcieri-MacRae from GoLocalProv.com came up with this “running list” concept. It’s a way of saving up the energy and time-consumption of sitting down and thinking about what to put in your lists.
Now that’s a way of clearing mental clutter!
5. Cross At Least One Title Off Your Reading List
And speaking of decluttering your mind...
Do you ever get stressed out about having a bunch of interesting articles you’ve bookmarked but haven’t read?
Months can pass this way, and the next time you run into that friend that sent you a link to a particular read… you didn’t even open it.
So get into the habit of crossing off at least one title each day. Most internet articles now are a 5 to 7 minute read, so it really doesn’t take that much away from your waking hours.
You’ll also avoid that common form of procrastination to chain-read internet articles. Just read one and save that temptation of opening the next one for tomorrow.
By the end of the week, you’ll have read 8 articles. By the end of the year…
6. Go Through Your Messages
In his book Enchantment, Author and Investor Guy Kawasaki talks about getting in the habit of answering every piece of electronic correspondence within 24 hours.
Not only is this a great habit to make sure you never forget to respond to another email, it’s also a way of being respectful with each individual you engage with.
Just assign a certain time, or several moments, within the day to go through your messages in general and respond to each one of them.
Do it in every platform too! Email, whatsapp, messenger, etc. Your contact list will definitely thank you.
7. Make It Fun
And finally, this last piece of advice is crucial for sticking with your daily organization habits. Try to make them enjoyable... and you’ll do them more often!
Cleaning is nobody’s favorite task, but organized people find ways to make it tolerable.
You can get family members to do it with you and catch up on your days while doing it.
Or it can be your own personal quiet time. Keep those iPhone earbuds handy and do it to the beat of your favorite tunes.
You can even multitask while doing it. Since something like scanning the house at the end of the day and sorting everything can be quite automatic, you can do it while listening to an audiobook, podcasts or your voice messages.
Of course, you can also opt for the good old glass of wine to get into it with a relaxed face.
Remember The Key Word?
Hopefully you’ve read something here that’s helpful in making you the most organized version of yourself!
Remember that the keyword to remembers is ‘consistency’. Although some of the habits we mentioned here may seem difficult to implement or just downright OCD at first… they can become easy aspects of your daily routine once you get used to them.
As with most things, the hardest part is getting started. But once you do, they’ll become natural things to repeat each day. Maybe you’ll even feel weird if you don’t do them.
But that’s not bad! When you take on these habits, the natural outcomes will be less clutter, less stress and a more organized life!