Staying Organised: what do do after decluttering

Achieving a more organised space when you sort and purge your possessions gives a great sense of release. But staying organised takes some consistent work so today we’ll talk about strategies to stay on track. Decluttering or downsizing will be of most benefit if you can keep your space organised.

word cloud using words in control, disorganised, system, difficult, manage, system, messy, staying organised, recycle, difficult, habit. file, peace of mind, chaos, happy, order

My grandmother was just a little woman; and yet nearly 40 years after her death she still influences my life. Of her many sayings has proved to be of practical help is “Always look back at a room when you leave, because that’s how it will look when you come back”. The washing up is finished nearly every night, beds are made, paperwork filed, even when I’d rather do something else, because of my Nanna. 

Here’s my take on key points to staying organised:

  1. Find a place for everything, and return it to that place. 
  2. One in, one out. Purchases replace items.
  3. Develop a system for paperwork.  David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” includes a workflow for paperwork, which is effective whether digital or hardcopy.
  4. Get comfortable recycling. Designate a spot for sell / donate items, and take them to the op shop or place for auction at least monthly.
  5. Spring clean – anytime of the year. To me spring cleaning is a deep clean which includes contents of cupboards and drawers, garage and shed, and naturally leads to dispensing with unused and unwanted items.

The consistent work to stay organised is easier when the work becomes a habit rather than an effort. Although it has been long been claimed by personal development coaches that a habit is formed in 21 days research from 2009 by Lally et al has demonstrated that habit formation varies widely. Behaviours that are repeated in consistent settings become more efficient and with less thought. Control of the behaviour transfers to cues in the environment that activate an automatic response: a habit. Lally’s research concluded that the time to create a new habit averaged 66 days, varying from 18 to 254 days. The message? Keep at it. The good news? The study also showed that failing to keep a new habit on occasion was not associated with failure to establish the habit in the long term.

Finally, I’m happy to loan you my Nanna if it helps you stay on track. Just look back when you leave a room. In the time it takes you to make a habit you will find that the room is organised before you even leave it.

For help with decluttering and downsizing give Canard Solutions a call 03 90138064.